Slow Cooked Georgian Beef and Tomato Stew

PUBLISHED ON: 12.07.2023

Over fed and exhausted, the three of us, settled in two aisle seats, and a window seat in the bulkhead of a Turkish Airlines flight departing from Istanbul destined for Atlanta. The hope of a vacant middle seat quickly dashed by an older woman traveling solo. Her disappointment was clear when she realized the middle seat would be occupied by no other than herself. She only wanted a glass of wine, and her sleep medication. We were happy to oblige but in between being fed, unrestful dozing, boredom and bathroom breaks we talked. We talked about real things, family, travel, work, and relationships. She was a scientist by profession and immigrated to the United States decades ago to attend college. She was returning from the country of Georgia, a whim solo travel idea executed. She talked about the rich pleasures of the food and wine. The art she mentioned was extraordinary and the museums under appreciated for their ancient treasures.

The country of Georgia which has never been on my radar previously is officially on my travel list.  This month while perusing my issue of Food and Wine I came across a traditional Georgian Beef and Tomato Stew. If we had not had the connection on the plane, I may have glossed passed the recipe.

Traditional Georgian cuisines combines meat with lots of fresh vegetables and herbs. The stew is easy to bring together and then slow cooked in the oven for a couple of hours. The stew broth is rich with beef and tomatoes. The aromatics from the abundance of fresh herbs seals it. A rustic bread loaf and a glass of Georgian red wine would bring this dish to a new level of satisfaction.

Georgian Beef Stew and Tomatoes
               Slow Cooked Georgian Beef and Tomato Stew

3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
2 small yellow onions, chopped (about 3 cups)
2 Tablespoons vegetable or canola oil
1 lb. boneless chuck roast, cut into small cubes
1 lb. boneless beef short ribs, cut into small cubes
2 Tablespoons finely chopped garlic, (about 6 garlic cloves), divided
1 28-ounce can whole peeled tomatoes (undrained), crushed by hand
3 cups water or unsalted beef broth
1 to 2 jalapeño chiles, seeded, if desired and finely chopped
6 cilantro sprigs plus 1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided, plus more for garnish
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil
1/4 cup fresh flat leaf parsley
*Note: Can serve over creamy polenta or rice (optional)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven over medium-low heat. Add onions, and cook, stirring often, until softened 6-8 minutes. Transfer onions to a small bowl, set aside. add oil to Dutch oven, and increase heat to medium-high. Brown chuck roast and short ribs in two batches, flipping occasionally, until browned on all sides. 8-10 minutes per batch.

Return all meat to Dutch oven, and add onions, 1 Tablespoon of garlic. Cook, stirring often, until fragrant, about 1 minute. Add crushed tomatoes with juices, 3 cups water or unsalted beef broth, and salt. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Stir in jalapeños. Remove from heat. Tie together cilantro sprigs using kitchen twine, and add to Dutch oven.

Cover Dutch oven, and transfer to preheated oven. Roast, stirring occasionally, until meat is fork tender, about two hours. Remove from oven. Skim and discard oil that rises to the surface.

Discard cilantro sprigs. Stir in chopped cilantro, basil, parsley and remaining 1 tablespoon garlic. Let stand 5 minutes. Garnish with additional cilantro and serve with polenta or rice.

Serves 6

Recipe from Food and Wine

  • Throw in some carrots, and it would remind me of my Grandma’s recipe for pot roast in the slow cooker that I grew up on and still make on occasion today from memory.

  • This recipe and the previous one you posted for the lentil soup both sound delicious!
    By the way, did you receive the results for the test you mentioned taking, about 3 posts back? Hope you passed!

  • Yes, I’m interesting in how your wine test went!!! Do tell! I’m not much of a stew gal, but this recipe is very tempting!!!

  • Oh I love Georgian cuisine with its rich, hearty, and flavorful dishes! It’s not so easy to find some spices or blends which are quite unique. Will need to discover Georgian food more in 2024 (my new year resolution lol). And this stew looks terrific!

  • Such a warming and delicious winter treat!

  • Interesting experiment in rater exotic foodways.
    A few years ago, food from the country of Georgia was very popular and two Georgian restaurants were open in Washngton, DC. We had a fantastic meal at one of them. My daughter ate at both, more than once, and purchased several Georgian cookbooks. I have no idea if all this survived the pandemic!
    best, mae at

  • This sounds delicious and will go on the must-try list. I saw a piece on TV about unique Georgian Amber Wine and have been researching it. Perhaps I can find it and red to try with the stew.

  • I love chance encounters with people like her — it really can enrich travel. And how nice this brought you to Georgian cuisine and wine! (My friend Susan has been doing a lot of research on the wines — and loves them.) This stew sounds so delicious and soon, we hope, it will be cool enough for making it here. But first, I have a daube I need to cook. 🙂

  • It looks like pure comfort food.

  • Love this story. Conversations are always a great way to find recipes.

  • This looks perfect for a chilly Wisconsin winter night! I love the combination of short ribs and chuck roast plus the herbs and spices. Yum!

    • For some reason, I can’t copy and paste the URL to my website in your comment form. It tells me I can’t copy content from your website? I have to type in it manually.

  • Hubby and I don’t eat much meat but this does sound very delicious for a cold winter’s night. Sadly it is very hot here and our days are well over 30C! Only 4 more months till autumn…

  • What a lovely story of a chance meeting. I have made Georgian cheese bread (on my blog) so I can attest that it is delicious heartwarming stew would be as delicious. My husband and I always sit together on a plane because we don’t want a stranger between us but we know several couple friends who sit one seat apart as you do, unfortunately, these days of full flights, their hopes are often thwarted as well. Fortunately for me, he doesn’t like the window seat because the plane angles in and he is tall so I always get the window.

  • This is a bowl of goodness indeed!

  • This is quintessential comfort food. I love the combination of chuck and short ribs. The jalapeño must add a nice little kick!

    Happy Holidays!!

  • What a delicious looking stew! Happy Holidays!

  • I’m so happy that you enjoyed your chance encounter with someone so interesting and that it lead you to this delicious sounding recipe. Wishing you and your family a wonderful Christmas.

  • A beef roast and beef short ribs… this is surely a beef lover’s favorite stew 🙂 I already know we will love it, it looks so comforting!! I haven’t traveled on a plane in a long time, but we’ve had some chance encounters and good laughs with some interesting people on our big family road trips in the last 4 years. We may never see those faces again, but we will never forget them either. It’s so fun to get out and experience the random, I love it, Thanks for sharing the cool back story here, Velva <3

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