Beef Stew With Shallots

beef stew( — Mmmm….a steamy bowl of flavorful beef stew with fresh herbs, fennel and shallots on a cold night….what could be better than that? And it’s healthy, too?

Even better!

Prep Time: 15 minutes
Cook Time: 60 minutes
Servings: 6


3 tablespoons all-purpose (plain) flour
1 pound boneless lean beef stew meat, trimmed of visible fat and cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes
2 tablespoons olive oil or canola oil
1/2 fennel bulb, trimmed and thinly sliced vertically
3 large shallots, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
3/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
2 fresh thyme sprigs
1 bay leaf
3 cups low-sodium vegetable stock or broth
1/2 cup red wine, optional
4 large carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
4 large red-skinned or white potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks
18 small boiling onions, about 10 ounces total weight, halved crosswise
3 portobello mushrooms, brushed clean and cut into 1-inch chunks
1/3 cup finely chopped fresh flat-leaf (Italian) parsley
1/2 teaspoon salt