Marsala Beef Stew

Serve this rich stew over cooked rice, polenta, mashed potatoes, or toast alongside a tossed salad.

Serves: 8Hands-on: 30 minutesTotal: 2 hours 30 minutesDifficulty: Medium

Serves: 8


  • 4 strips of bacon, chopped
  • 2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 lbs. stew meat
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and cut in 2-inch pieces
  • 1 celery stalk, finely diced
  • 1 large yellow onion, diced
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, cleaned and quartered
  • 1⁄2 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup Marsala wine
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried rosemary
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried oregano
  • 1⁄2 tsp. dried basil
  • Water as needed
  • 2 tsp. salt
  • 1⁄2 tsp. ground black pepper


  • In a 4-quart Dutch oven over medium-high heat, cook bacon until most of fat is rendered, about 5 to 7 minutes. Remove and set aside, leaving fat in pan. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and half of the stew meat to the pan and cook all sides until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer browned meat to a plate. Add remaining oil to pan with the remaining stew meat; brown and remove from pan as above. Do not wipe out pan.
  • Reduce the heat to medium and add the carrot and celery to the empty pan; sauté for 7 to 10 minutes, or until soft. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is transparent. Add the garlic and sauté for an additional 30 seconds. Stir in the mushrooms; sauté until tender, about 5–7 minutes.
  • Return browned meat to pan with, the red wine, Marsala, rosemary, oregano, and basil to the pan. Add water, if needed, to bring the liquid level to just over the top of the meat. Reduce the heat, cover, and simmer for 1 1⁄2 hours or until the vegetables are tender.
  • Taste the broth. Simmer uncovered long enough to reduce the broth if it tastes weak. Add salt and pepper. Allow the stew to rest, uncovered, off of the heat for 30 minutes, then return it to the stove top over low heat to bring it back to temperature. Serve hot.