Braised Beef in Espresso

Friday July 24, 2009

The addition of coffee to a beef stew may look new and innovative, but it is one of the oldest methods of enriching a sauce. You can use freshly brewed strong coffee or instant espresso powder dissolved in boiling water.  Try topping this stew with dumplings if you like.


  • Cooker:  Medium or large round or oval
  • Setting and Cook Time: LOW for 7 to 8 hours
  • Serves 6


  • 3 pounds beef stew meat, such as boneless chuck, trimmed of fat, cut into 1 1/2-inch chunks, and blotted dry
  • 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • Pinch of salt
  • Pinch of freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 2 medium-size onions, chopped
  • 3 carrots, cut diagonally into 2-inch chunks
  • 4 new red or white potatoes, diced
  • 6 small turnips, peeled and quartered
  • 1 cup strong coffee
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine


  1. In a zippered-top plastic bag or a bowl, toss the beef with the flour, salt, and pepper, shaking off the excess.  In a large skillet over medium-high heat, warm 1 1/2 tablespoons of the oil until very hot.  Add half the beef and brown on all sides, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the slow cooker. Repeat with the remaining oil and beef.
  2. Add the onions to the skillet and cook, stirring, until softened, about 5 minutes. Transfer to the cooker and add the carrots, potatoes, and turnips.  Add the coffee and thyme to the cooker.  Pour the wine into the skillet and bring to a boil over medium heat, stirring constantly and scraping up any browned bits stuck to the pan.  Pour into the cooker and stir.  Cover and cook on LOW until the meat is tender, 7 to 8 hours.  Taste for salt and pepper, and serve.

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