This easy orange-thyme beef stew is loaded with rich, warming flavors and just a hint of sweetness thanks to a fresh blood orange.
In this orange-thyme beef stew recipe, I use a delicious blood orange. If you’ve never had a blood orange, I highly recommend trying them! Blood oranges are more than just a citrusy addition to this stew – they have wonderful hints of grapefruit, cherries, and raspberries. They bring a fabulous punch of sweetness to what is normally a very savory beef dish. Don’t let the orange intimidate you; it is not overpowering at all!
One of the most striking things about blood oranges is the colors! Sometimes you’ll get a beautiful gradient, like I did in the orange above. Other times, the flesh will be a beautiful deep, ruby red. The flavor is just as wonderful as the color!
How to Make this Easy Orange-Thyme Beef Stew:
This recipe is a breeze to make, but it will require some time! Fortunately, most of the time is spent letting the stew cook slowly in the oven while the yummy aromas fill your home.
First, start by browning the beef. Don’t overcrowd the pot when you do this, allow the beef to sit in an even layer in the pot until a golden crust forms on each piece. After the beef is browned, remove it from the pot and transfer to a bowl. From there, it’s just a matter of cooking the aromatics, adding the beef stock and the remaining ingredients. Toss the pot in the oven for a few hours until the beef is very tender.
After you’ve baked the stew, transfer it back to the stove top and throw in the carrots until they’re tender. You can use chopped carrots, but I love how young, whole carrots look in the stew!
While the carrots cook, prepare your accompaniment. Serve this orange-thyme beef stew with mashed potatoes, roast potatoes, noodles, or crusty bread! You can even serve it with mashed cauliflower for a low-carb option.
Looking for more beef recipes? Check my archives!
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Easy Orange-Thyme Beef Stew
- Wide ovenproof pot with lid
- 1 tablespoon neutral oil for frying
- 3 pounds chuck or rump roast cut into bite-sized cubes
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 yellow onions peeled and cut into thin wedges
- 5-6 cups low-sodium beef stock
- 1 teaspoon dry thyme or 4 sprigs fresh thyme
- 1 head of garlic halved crosswise, do not remove the garlic skin; the head should remain intact
- 1 red Fresno pepper halved lengthwise, seeds removed, if desired
- 1 large blood orange or navel orange halved
- 1 pound young carrots tops removed and peeled; halved if the carrots are large
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Crushed red pepper to taste
- Mashed potatoes crusty bread, noodles, rice, or roasted potatoes
- Parsley for garnish
Brown the Beef:
- Preheat oven to 300ºF. Heat the oil in a wide pot over medium-high heat. Pat the beef dry and season liberally with salt and pepper. Cook in batches in an even layer until very well-browned, about 4-5 minutes per side. Transfer to a bowl and set aside.
Cook the Aromatics:
- Melt the butter into the pot and add the onions. Cook, stirring regularly, for 4-5 minutes until softened. Add 1 cup of the beef stock and scrape up all the browned bits stuck to bottom of the pot. Bring to a boil and stir occasionally for 4-5 minutes until reduced slightly. Add the remaining beef stock.
- Return the beef back to the pot and reduce heat to low.
- Add the thyme, garlic halves (cut-side up) and the red Fresno pepper. Squeeze the juice from both orange halves over the beef and add the orange halves to the pot. Taste and season lightly with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper. Turn the heat off and cover the pot. Transfer to the oven for 2-3 hours until the beef is very tender.
Cook the Carrots:
- Return the pot to the stove over medium heat. Remove and discard the orange and chili pepper. Remove the garlic from the pot. Once cool enough to handle, pop the cloves from the paper and mash them into a paste. Work the garlic paste back into the broth. Taste and season to your preferences. Add the carrots and cook, covered, for 15-30 minutes on low heat until tender. Remove the cover and cook for 5-10 minutes over medium heat to allow the sauce in the pan to thicken.
- If needed, add a splash or two of water. If a thicker gravy is desired, add a flour slurry to the pan and whisk it in and allow it took for an additional 5-10 minutes to thicken.
- Ladle the beef stew over mashed potatoes or your accompaniment of choice. Garnish with parsley, if desired. Enjoy!