Prep Time 20 minutes
Cook Time 4 hours
2 lb chuck roast, cut into 2” pieces 1 tbsp olive oil 1 large sweet onion, diced 1 large leek, sliced 4 cloves garlic, minced 2 tbsp tomato paste 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar 1 quart beef stock, divided 1 tsp sea or kosher salt 1 tsp cracked black pepper 12 oz yukon gold potatoes, chopped 3 large carrots, sliced into coins 3 stalks celery, sliced into coins 1 bay leaf 2 sprigs fresh thyme 1 tbsp cornstarch
PRO TIP! The flavor in a terrific beef stew all comes down to the sear - aim for a really good sear on at least 2 sides of each piece of chuck roast.
Brown the Beef. Add chuck roast pieces to the dutch oven in batches. Sear until a good crust forms on at least 2 sides. Remove and set aside.
Saute base vegetables. Sautee onion and leek until soft; add garlic and cook 1 minute more.
Work tomato paste into the vegetables. Cook at least 2 minutes to work off the canned flavor.
Deglaze. Add the balsamic vinegar to deglaze the pot. Scrape up all the browned bits until the bottom of the pot is "clean".
Return the browned beef to the pot. Add 3 cups beef stock, stir, then top with fresh thyme and a bay leaf.
First Braise. Cover and transfer to a 350°F oven. Cook 2 hours.
Thicken. Whisk cornstarch and 1 cup beef broth; pour into the dutch oven.
Add Vegetables. Add the carrots, celery, and potatoes and give the stew a good stir.
Second Braise. Cover and return to the oven. Cook 1-1.5 hours more, or until the beef is falling apart and the vegetables are tender.
Serve. Portion into bowls, garnish with bowls, and serve immediately.