While slow cooker stews are super easy, this Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew brings a level of flavor you’ll never get from a slow cooker!
One cold, snowy day, my household was feeling beef stew for dinner. We had closed the store, so I had a bit of time to cook. Instead of doing a simple “dump it in and let the slow cooker go” stew, I chose to make a more traditional stew that was braised in a Dutch oven.
Our Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew was inspired by this Dijon & Cognac Beef Stew recipe from the NY Times, with a few tweaks to simplify it and adjust the flavor to my liking. In our house, we love carrots, so this is a very carrot-forward stew!
We loved the rich, savory flavor of the stew. It wasn’t mustard-y or boozy tasting at all, just incredibly deeply flavored with a complex taste that kept us wanting bite after bite! The beef was perfectly tender, and the softened carrots provided a delicious touch of sweetness to complement the richness of the rest of the stew.
The bottom line is if you love stew, and you have a bit of time to do a few cooking steps, you really need to try this Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew!
We’re going to answer a few questions about this recipe, but if you’re familiar with braised stew recipes, it’s a pretty easy to follow recipe, so you can just skip down to the ingredients and get cooking!
What type of meat did you use in this Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew?
We used our Leahy’s Angus Beef Stew Meat.
This stew meat is cut from the beef round and is a tough but flavorful cut of beef. We cut it into approximate 1″ cubes for consistent cooking. This meat will never completely fall-apart or be fork tender, but it does become easy-to-chew after gentle cooking in liquid like this recipe recommends.
If you would like fall-apart tender beef in your Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew, we would recommend purchasing a boneless beef chuck roast, and cutting that into 1.5″ cubes. This is more expensive and will take more of your time, but chuck roast is more tender (and fattier) than stew meat.
You could also use cubed pork shoulder or cut up boneless skinless chicken thighs for this recipe if you are looking to avoid beef!
I really like vegetables – can I add more to this stew?
Sure thing – it’s your meal, so cook it the way you like it!
The original recipe suggests adding quarter mushrooms that have been sautéed in butter and red wine to the stew at the end of the cooking time. We don’t like mushrooms, so we omitted them and added more carrots!
Many beef stews include potatoes in them, and adding baby potatoes to the recipe is a possibility, although we prefer cooking potatoes separately for this recipe.
We also considered adding sliced parsnips and turnips, as we had some leftover from a different recipe, but in the end, we opted out of this option. They probably would taste great and could be added along with the carrots.
How should I serve this Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew?
We served our Brandy and Mustard Beef stew over mashed potatoes and it was sooooo delicious – exactly what we needed to enjoy on a cold night. This could also be served in a bowl with crusty bread for sopping up the gravy!
Could I make this Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew in a slow cooker instead of braising it?
You could make this recipe in a slow cooker, but to really bring the flavors out, you still need to sear the beef and vegetables before adding them to the slow cooker. We also think the braising cooking process that we used for this recipe brings flavors together and leads to better textures than slow cooker meals.
If you want to make your Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew in the slow cooker, just follow these steps:
- Sear the onion and celery in butter and set aside.
- Flour and season the beef stew and sear in the butter and set aside.
- Add the beef, onion, celery, brandy, and beef stock to the slow cooker. Cook for 4 hours on high.
- Add the carrots to the slow cooker and cook for 30 – 60 minutes more until the carrots are cooked to your liking.
- Serve as suggested above.
Do you have more stew recipes?
Heck yeah we do! Here are a few you can try:
- Japanese Beef Stew – this is another carrot-forward stew that has a very delicious soy sauce and broth gravy!
- Milwaukee Pork Stew – stew doesn’t have to be beef stew, it can be a beer and pork stew like this recipe!
- Pollo alla Romana – to change it up a bit, you might consider this Italian chicken and tomato stew!
- Slow Cooker Guinness Irish Beef – if you love super easy recipes, this slow cooker beef stew is for you!
- Slow Cooker Moroccan Beef Stew – this recipe brings ingredients from North Africa into a stew. It’s delicious!
We hope we answered any questions you may have about our Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew recipe and feel inspired to get cooking!
If you have more questions, or any comments about this recipe, please leave us feedback or a rating, and we’ll get back to you.
Enjoy your stew and we’ll see you soon at Lake Geneva Country Meats – cheers!
- 4 piece Bacon (diced)
- 1 Yellow Onion (diced)
- 2 stalk Celery (finely diced)
- 3 Tbsp Butter (divided)
- 1.5 lb Beef Stew Meat
- 2 Tbsp All Purpose Flour
- Black Pepper
- 2 Shallot (minced)
- 2 Tbsp Tomato Paste
- 1/2 cup Brandy
- 2.5 cup Beef Stock
- 1/2 cup Dijon Mustard
- 2 Bay Leaf
- 1 tsp Dried Thyme
- 6 Carrot (peeled and sliced into circles)
Heat a Dutch oven to medium heat and add the diced bacon. Cook the bacon until the fat has rendered out. Use a slotted spoon to remove the cooked bacon and discard, or use as a snack for the cook. Add the onion and celery and cook until softened, about 10 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the vegetables to a bowl.
Dust the beef cubes with flour and season generously with salt and pepper. Add 2 tablespoons of butter to the Dutch oven and melt. Once melted, add the beef and cook over medium-high heat until browned. Once browned, set aside in the bowl with the onions and celery.
Work in batches to avoid overcrowding the pot!
Add the remaining tablespoon of butter to the Dutch oven, and once it is melted, add the shallot and tomato paste. Mix together and cook until the shallot is softened, about two minutes. Pour the brandy into the Dutch oven, and stir, scraping up the browned bits on the bottom of the pot into the liquid.
Once the pot is deglazed, add the beef, onions, and celery back to the pot, and add the bay leaves and dried thyme. Mixed together, then reduce the heat, partly cover the pot, and simmer the stew for about 1.5 hours, until the the beef is tender.
After 1.5 hours, add the carrots, mix together, and continue simmering for about 30 minutes, until they are cooked to your preferred level of tenderness.
Note – at this point check the liquid level and if you would like more liquid in your stew, add a bit more beef broth, brandy, or both to top off the stew.
Once the carrots and beef are tender, remove the bay leaves, and taste the stew. Season with additional salt and pepper to your taste, as necessary.
Serve over mashed potatoes or with crusty bread and enjoy your Brandy and Mustard Beef Stew!