Many stew recipes call for cooking the meat and vegetables at the same time, leaving the latter overcooked and mushy. Instead, first braise the meat with onions in red wine and beef broth until a rich sauce develops. Then, after about an hour, add carrots, celery, and potatoes. By the time the vegetables are cooked, the beef will be tender, then just stir in some peas for a little freshness and color. Spoon the stew over egg noodles or celery root purée, or just pass around plenty of crusty bread to scoop up all the rich sauce.
Watch Lisa Lavery of the CHOW Test Kitchen make this simple beef stew recipe in an episode of our Easiest Way video series.