Beef stew

Beef Stew with Mushrooms Recipe

Beef Stew

I love to use beef cheeks for this beef stew. Sounds weird, doesn’t it?

For the sake of this dish and many others I love to use cheeks for, I spent hours picking some fellow bloggers’ brains, about how to rename beef cheeks. The name bothers me no end. When I say cheeks, I imagine something inviting, rosy and kissable. But a cow’s Beef Cheeks? It ain’t happening!

Now that we had this little talk, let me tell you this: Beef cheeks are absolutely delicious, succulent and gelatinous, and form a rich and velvety sauce, all at a reduced price and reduced labor. Because it is so flavorful, I did not take any steps other than, all aboard at the last hour of cooking. The beef cheeks cook all by themselves in water for the first two hours, and that’s when I proceed with making the dish proper. I made this dish, a sort of low maintenance cousin of Boeuf Bourguignon,  my own expat version of it, for Rosh Hashanah, determined NOT to say the dreaded word “beef cheeks” when asked, terrified that all bets would be off. So I decided to wait until the whole platter was licked clean to spill the beans!

Soak Beef Cheeks Thoroughly

Very important: Make sure to soak them thoroughly to rid them of excess salt, and be sure not to add salt anywhere in the dish.

Naturally, regular Beef stew is perfectly OK, if this is what you prefer.


  • 4 pounds beef cheeks (you will get about 5-6 cheeks total), rinsed thoroughly several times to rid them of their excess salt
    OR Regular beef stew, cut in 2 inch cubes
  • 10 cups (2 1/2 quarts) water
  • 2 pounds portobello mushrooms, diced (If you get lucky and find a variety of affordable wild mushrooms, use them in any combination)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon turmeric
  • 2 good pinches saffron


Be sure to rinseNOT to add any salt anywhere in the dish


Bring the beef to boil with the water in a large wide bottom pot. Reduce the flame to medium, and cook covered, 2 hours.

Add all remaining ingredients and bring to a boil again. Reduce to medium, and cook covered one more hour (total cooking time: 3 hours)

Transfer the meat and vegetables to a platter with a slotted spoon. Check the liquid in the pot. If it is too thin, turn the flame on high, and reduce it, just a few minutes, until it gets to the consistency of maple syrup. Pour this sauce evenly over the whole dish.
Serve hot, using the gravy all up, with rice, mashed potatoes or other white vegetable puree, or boiled noodles.

Makes 8 servings

Yield: Makes eight servings

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