Rhody Recipe: Cranberry Beef Stew 

Shop the Pawtucket Indoor Farmers Market for all the fixin’s of this slow-cooked dish


Cranberries, sage, thyme, and beef all slow-cook together to create a warming savory stew that’s easy to make. Whether you’re seeking a cozy holiday meal or no-fuss weeknight dinner, this hearty recipe is sure to become a family favorite, especially when served over reheated mashed potatoes from Thanksgiving or sopped up with leftover rolls. The cranberries not only bring a bright and beautiful color to this dish, but also contribute a sweet and tangy pop of flavor.

Rhode Island is home to two cranberry bogs: Middle Acres Cranberry Inc. in Tiverton and The Greene Company in Coventry. You can find even more fresh produce and herbs for this recipe at the Pawtucket Indoor Farmers Market at Hope Artiste Village, going strong through the winter season every Wednesday from 4-7pm. 

Cranberry Beef Stew

2 pounds stewing beef, cut into 1-inch cubes

2 small yellow onions, peeled and chopped

3 carrots, peeled and chopped

8 oz. sliced mushrooms (any kind)

2 Tbsp olive oil

1½ cups dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)

2 cups beef stock

2 Tbsp tomato paste

1 Tbsp brown sugar

About 20 sprigs of fresh thyme 

About 10 fresh sage leaves

1½ cups fresh cranberries

2 Tbsp cornstarch

1 tsp salt 

½ tsp black pepper


  1. Heat olive oil over medium-high in a large pot or Dutch oven. Toss in the stew meat, and let one side sear for about 2 minutes until lightly browned. Stir the meat, and sear on a new side for 2-3 minutes.
  1. Toss in the onions, carrots, and mushrooms, stirring to combine. Cook for about 3 minutes.
  1. Pour in the red wine, which should come to a simmer quickly in the heated pot. Simmer for 3 minutes to reduce slightly.
  1. Add the beef stock, tomato paste, and brown sugar to the pot. Stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper; then add the thyme and sage.
  1. Transfer the contents of the pot to the slow cooker and place the lid on. Cook on high for 4-6 hours or on low for 6-8 hours. 
  1. Two hours before the stew is done, spoon about a half cup of liquid out of the slow cooker into a bowl. Add the cornstarch to the bowl, and mix until there are no clumps. Pour this mixture into the slow cooker, along with the cranberries, and stir well. Continue to cook for the remaining 2 hours.
  1. Once finished, remove the thyme sprigs and sage leaves. Serve over a base, such as mashed potatoes, and enjoy!


No comments on this item Please log in to comment by clicking here