Mom's red stew

Homage to my mom’s cooking

“Red” stew

“Red” stew

This is what my mom called her “gone all afternoon stew”. It has taken me a few years to make the same as her since she never gave me an exact recipe. I figured out that tapioca was the key as well as cooking in the oven vs. a slow cooker or stove-top. Low and slow makes it right.


2# Chuck Roast - cut up into 1” cubes, trim fat and gristle - save trimmings.

3-4 carrots - save trimmings.

3-4 stalk of celery - save trimmings.

2-3 bay leaves

Bag of frozen pearl onions


1 tsp Salt & ½  tsp Pepper

Bottle (2 quarts?) of Tomato Juice

¼-½ cup Minute tapioca thickener

Preheat oven to 250

Start with a large 8 quart type pot with a lid that can go in the oven.  Also need a small saucepan/stock pot.

Put meat trimmings, carrot scraps, celery scraps, 1 bay leaf and 2-3 cups of water in a small saucepan to make some stock.

Brown the meat at on one size to get some browning on the meat and to start a fond in the pan in small batches removing to a dish.

Add veggies and saute 5 minutes.

Add herbs, salt & pepper, tapioca

Add meat & juice from bowl

Add tomato juice and enough water if needed

Bring to a simmer put on a lid and put in the oven.  Keep the stock on very low simmer add water if needed to stock.

After 2 hours stir stew, add some stock if needed.  Taste broth and season more if needed.

After 1-2 hours more check meat texture.

Cook until everything is soft. 5-6 hours total.

I usually serve the next day.