Beef Stew with Chocolate

Dark chocolate adds depth to this hearty, comforting winter meal.

Preparing the best version of this cold-weather meal is easy – thanks to one secret ingredient! A touch of Lindt EXCELLENCE 90% Dark Chocolate doesn’t add sweetness, but instead gives rich body to this family favourite. Here’s how to make it.

Maître Chocolatier Tip: With dark chocolate, a little goes a long way: Start with two pieces, taste, and add more until you’ve achieved the right balance.

3 hours 20 minutes
4 people


  • 4 strips bacon, chopped
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 2 tbsp (30 mL) all-purpose flour
  • 2 lb (900 g) stewing beef cubes
  • 1 yellow onion, peeled and diced
  • 2 sticks celery, chopped
  • 1 cup (250 mL) dry red wine
  • 4 cups (1 L) beef broth
  • 2 sprigs fresh thyme (plus more for garnish)
  • 2 carrots, peeled and chopped into large pieces
  • 6 oz (170 g) pearl onions, blanched and peeled
  • 2 to 4 pieces (20 to 40 g) Lindt EXCELLENCE 90% Cacao Dark Chocolate


Step 1.

In a 12-inch (30 cm) braising pan, cook bacon on medium until browned and crispy. Remove with a slotted spoon and reserve on a large plate.

Step 2.

Season flour with salt and pepper, then toss beef cubes in mixture to coat. Sear cubes in same pan as bacon, browning on all sides. Remove browned beef from pan and set aside.

Step 3.

Add onion to pan and cook to soften and caramelize it. Add chopped celery and cook until softened. Pour in wine and bring to a boil, scraping browned bits off bottom of pan with a wooden spoon. Boil for a couple of minutes to reduce it and boil off some of the alcohol.

Step 4.

When wine has reduced, add beef broth, browned beef and bacon. Season with salt and pepper. Add in 2 sprigs of fresh thyme. Bring stew to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer until beef is tender (about 2.5 hours).

Step 5.

About 30 minutes before stew is ready, stir in carrots and pearl onions. Continue simmering stew with lid on until veggies are tender.

Step 6.

When veggies are tender, remove sprigs of thyme, then stir in 2 pieces of chocolate. Taste and add more chocolate as needed. Adjust seasoning with more salt and pepper. Garnish with thyme leaves.


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