This is easily the best beef stew among all others I’ve cooked and tasted. . . in my opinion at least. It just has every element of a good beef stew covered(personal opinion again). Let me elaborate.
This stew, as all others should, start with a good cut of beef. Though I leave choosing the cut of meat totally up to you, I suggest going for short ribs. The perfect layering of lean meat and fat just makes the dish significantly moist, tender, and rich. An equally good replacement would be, cuts from the shank, which just explains the popularity of the French Osso Bucco.
We begin by giving our beef some considerable depth of flavor with a simple marinade of Worcestershire sauce and black pepper. The slight fermented taste of Worcestershire sauce just gives the beef so much more umami, and not to mention, a deeper brown color.
Leave the beef to marinade overnight to let those flavors fully develop.
Let’s give these cuts a quick sear to intensify those flavors further. Make sure to let any excess marinade to drip off from the beef, drying them with some paper towels if needed. Too much moisture on your beef would keep it from getting a proper sear, ending up steaming in the pan instead.
Once deeply crusted, set the beef aside, and in the same pan roast the aromatics – carrots, onions, bell peppers, and olives. Other cooks I know leave these vegetable components to be added towards the end of cooking to keep them al dente. That would be the right thing to do if you do intend these to be vegetable components for your dish.
I do however prefer that these vegetables serve as flavoring agents so I’m adding them right from the beginning and get the most flavor out of them. Give them some time to fully caramelize in the pan.
Once the aromatics have properly roasted, it’s time to add the tomato sauce and liver paste. You may skip the liver if you personally don’t like the taste of it.
No need to bring the contents of your pan to a simmer. Take it off the heat, transfer everything together with the beef into a sous vide bag and cook accordingly.
I gave these short ribs 24 hours at 150F and they ended up perfectly succulent and tender while retaining a very natural bite. You may go all the way up to 36 hours if you really want your beef much tender.
I’ve seen some cooks finish this dish with some gratinated cheese on top, and to be honest, it does add so much richness to the dish. I personally find the dish adequately rich as it is, and would rather add heat from some chilis to cut some of that richness down.