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Autumn Harvest Beef Stew with Pears, Onions and Thyme

Make this dish more filling – and go further – by serving over polenta, pappardelle pasta or rice

15 minutes
8 hours and 20 minutes


  • 2 lbs. Raley’s beef chuck roast, cut into 1-inch cubes, divided
  • 1 tsp. salt, divided
  • 1/2 tsp. pepper, divided
  • 4 tsp. olive oil, divided
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 1 fennel bulb, cored and sliced
  • 1 stalk celery, sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth, divided
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 3 tsp. minced fresh thyme, divided, plus additional for garnish (optional)
  • 2 carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise and cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 ripe but firm Bartlett or Anjou pears, peeled, cored and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 tsp. sherry vinegar or white wine vinegar
  • Tip: We prefer using fresh pears, which dissolve into the sauce and make a natural thickener and sweetener.
  • Tip: Make this dish more filling – and go further - by serving over polenta, pappardelle pasta or rice.


  1. Sprinkle beef with 1/2 tsp. salt and 1/4 tsp. pepper. Heat 2 tsp. oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add half the beef and cook for about 5 minutes or until browned, stirring occasionally. Transfer to a plate and repeat with remaining oil and remaining beef.
  2. Add onion, fennel and celery to skillet and cook for about 5 minutes or until soft, stirring often. Add garlic and cook for 30 seconds or until fragrant, stirring constantly. Add 1 cup broth and tomato paste and cook, stirring to scrape up browned bits from bottom of pan, until mixture comes to a boil. Stir in 2 tsp. thyme, remaining 1/2 tsp. salt and remaining 1/4 tsp. pepper.
  3. Place carrots and pears in bottom of 4- or 5-qt. slow cooker. Add onion mixture, then beef. Add bay leaf and pour in remaining broth. Cover and cook on LOW 8 hours, or until vegetables and beef are tender.
  4. Stir in vinegar and remaining 1 tsp. thyme. Remove and discard bay leaf. Spoon evenly into 6 bowls and sprinkle with additional thyme, if you like.


Per serving (generous 1 cup): 282 calories, 30 g protein, 10 g total fat (3 g sat., 0 g trans), 20 g carbohydrate, 3 g fiber, 11 g sugar, 82 mg cholesterol, 698 mg sodium, 8 points

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