Beef, Entree, Recipes, Stew

Beef and Chestnuts Stew

With cooking a stew, that will not be too heavy, in mind, I started looking at different ingredients I had at hand. The one that popped right away was a package of peeled chestnuts, which seemed to be a good ingredient to start with. As chestnuts pair so well with Asian flavoring, I quickly decided to go down this route.

Skipping my usual go-to mirepoix (onion, celery and carrots) veggies, I used a nice amount of garlic, and a fairly long list of Asian sauces, pastes and seasonings, including star anise, for its unique aroma.

Once the seared meat cubes, garlic and chestnuts, were covered with chicken stock and seasoning mixture, and brought to a boil, the kitchen was quickly filled with wonderful scents. The stew was then transferred to the oven, to braise slowly and let all the ingredients blend together. Once cooled, the stew was transferred to spend a night in the fridge and let the flavors develop furthermore.

The reheated stew was exactly what I was looking for: hearty, yet not too heavy, highly aromatic and flavorful.

Served with steamed fresh broccoli (or sliced scallions),and white rice on the side, the stew makes a wonderful option for a leisurely weekend lunch or dinner. Try it and enjoy.



Makes: 4-6

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cooking time: 20 minutes

Braising time: 2 hours

Chilling time: overnight



½ cup soy sauce (I used Tamari)

¼ cup rice wine vinegar

¼ cup brown sugar

1 Tbs date syrup (or maple syrup)

½ tsp Sriracha hot sauce

1 Tbs Gochujang paste

1 Tbs Hoisin sauce

2 Tbs chopped pickled ginger

1 Tbs lemongrass paste

1 Tbs dried shallots

3 scallions, chopped

1 star anise

1.8 Lbs (815 grams) beef chuck under blade, boneless

3 Tbs flour

1 tsp salt

2 Tbs oil

5 large garlic cloves, peeled, halved (germ removed if it’s not very fresh)

3½ cups chicken stock

5.2 oz (150 grams) peeled chestnuts

1 Tbs cornstarch, mixed with 2 Tbs water

For serving:

Sliced scallions, or steamed broccoli

Cooked white rice


  1. In a jug, mix the soy sauce, rice wine vinegar, brown sugar, date syrup, Sriracha sauce, Gochujang paste, Hoisin sauce, pickled ginger, lemongrass paste, dried shallots, scallion and star anise, and set aside.
  2. Cut the meat into large cubes, place in a medium bowl, and toss with the flour and salt, to cover from all sides.
  3. Heat the oil in a wide pot, over medium-high heat. Shake off the meat cubes from excess flour, and add to the pot, in one layer. Sauté until they brown on all sides, adding the garlic in the last couple of minutes, following with the chestnuts.
  4. Mix gently and add the stock and the flavoring mix in the jug. Mix well and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat to medium-low, and cook for 20 minutes, titling the pot occasionally. Taste and adjust seasoning.
  5. Preheat the oven to 200F (93C). Place the covered pot in the oven, and braise for 2 hours. Bring to room temperature, and place in the fridge overnight.
  6. When ready to serve, remove the fat layer. With a slotted spoon, transfer the meat, chestnuts and star anise to a medium pan. Keep aside, in a warm place.
  7. Pour the sauce from the pot into a large jug, and clean the pot.
  8. Process the sauce with a hand blender until smooth. Place a strainer over the clean pot and strain the sauce into it. Bring to a boil, over medium-high heat. Lower the heat to medium and cook for 5 minutes. Taste and adjust seasoning. Add the cornstarch slurry, and mix well. Cook for 1-2 minutes, until the sauce thickens a bit. Pour half of it over the meat and chestnuts, and cook over medium heat, until the meat warms through. 
  9. Serve with steamed broccoli (or sliced scallions), cooked white rice, and the rest of the sauce on the side.

33 thoughts on “Beef and Chestnuts Stew”

  1. Oh my, there are so many ingredients that I’m not able to eat unless I make them by myself. (That dreaded garlic allergy!) I actually just bought all the ingredients to make homemade hoisin sauce so I should do that soon! And I guess I can use Sambal Oelek instead of the Sriracha sauce. This looks amazing, and I actually have the beef and the chestnuts on hand.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you David, I’m glad you liked the dish. I was very happy with how it came out.
      Allergy to garlic must be hard! It’s great that you came up with ways to make such pastes/sauces, or at least find ones you can use.
      It will be interesting to see your version. 🙂


  2. Back on November 21st I was in the small town of Abita Springs, Louisiana, reviewing a restaurant. There was this flea market kind of thing going on a few blocks from the restaurant. Like a scene out of Mayberry. There was a stage with a band playing, and people selling stuff all around. One old guy, from Mississippi, had made the trip to sell chestnuts he grows on his property. He was actually roasting them over an open fire, bagging them up, and selling them roasted or plain. I confessed to him that at the age of 57 I had never eaten a chestnut in my life. They don’t grow in southern Louisiana. He gave me one to try right off the grill. Delicious! We bought a bag. I would eat this but add more chestnuts!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Nice to see a recipe with chestnuts. I like your substitution – by using tamari. – another favorite . The only ingredient I did not have was Gochujang paste. I suspect it is Korean. Wha are your thoughts of making this without the Gochujang paste?

    Liked by 1 person

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