West Village Beef Stew


When I lived in New York City years ago, one of our favorite dinner places was a tiny Brazilian restaurant on a side street in Greenwich Village, a few short blocks west of Sixth Avenue. They had seating for only about 12 or 14 people, if that many. When you walked into the place, you knew from the gorgeous smells that dinner was going to be outstanding. And it was, without fail. One of my favorites was a beef stew, reminiscent of Beef Bourguignon, but with something special. The secret ingredient? Coffee!! It was always served with braised greens (collards, I think) and a bowl of black beans that had been cooked slowly with garlic, onions and a bit of bacon. I’ve since learned that many Brazilian stews have the beans cooked in them. As one who likes to stir things together as the spirit moves me, I prefer leaving the components separate. This is a pretty good replication of the fragrant stew that was leisurely and graciously served in that magical place. I serve it with lightly sautéed chard and (now) WinnieAb’s Simple Seasoned Adzuki Beans -- my new go-to bean for meals like this -- on the side. Enjoy!! ;o) - AntoniaJames

What you will need

1 ½ pounds chuck eye roast, cut into 1 ½ inch cubes (See note below.)

Dry rub consisting of

Dry rub consisting of:

** ¼ teaspoon ground white pepper (black is also fine)

** ¼ teaspoon ground coriander

** 1/8 teaspoon ground allspice

** ½ teaspoon Kosher salt

Grapeseed or olive oil or bacon fat for browning

1 medium onion, coarsely chopped

4 cloves of garlic, coarsely chopped

2 tablespoons tomato paste

1 ¼ cups strong decaf coffee (1 cup for braising, ¼ cup for finishing)

¾ cup red wine (I use a Burgundy or Cotes du Rhone for this.)

2 bay leaves

2 three-inch pieces of celery

A pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste (optional)

½ cup rich chicken stock (reduce ordinary stock, if necessary)

3 medium carrots, peeled and cut into 1” slices

1 tablespoon sweet butter

1 tablespoon flour

½ cup of coarsely chopped parsley

Juice of 2 limes (See note below.)

Salt and pepper to taste


Avatar placeholder