This cold-weather dish has never looked so pretty or tasted so good. Partner it with a tossed green salad and French bread. Uncork a dry red wine.

All purpose flour
6 tablespoons (3/4 sticks) butter
3 pounds trimmed boneless beef chuck, cut into 1 1/2-inch cubes

2 large onions, chopped
1/4 cup tomato paste
3 cups dry red wine
2 14 1/2-ounce cans beef broth
1 tablespoon dark brown sugar

1 1/2 pounds baby red-skinned potatoes, quartered
30 baby carrots, trimmed
12 to 14 ounces baby pattypan squash, halved
1 pound fresh shiitake mushrooms, stemmed, caps thickly sliced
3 tablespoons chopped fresh marjoram or 1 tablespoon dried

Place flour in baking pan. Season with salt and pepper. Melt 4 tablespoons butter in heavy large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Working in batches, coat meat with flour; add to pot and brown on all sides. Using slotted spoon, transfer to plate.

Melt 2 tablespoons butter in same pot over medium-high heat. Add onions; sauté until tender, about 6 minutes. Mix in tomato paste, then wine. Bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits. Add broth and sugar, then beef and any accumulated juices. Bring to boil. Reduce heat, cover partially and simmer 1 1/2 hours.

Add potatoes and carrots; simmer uncovered until meat and vegetables are almost tender, about 25 minutes. Add squash; simmer until almost tender, about 10 minutes. Add mushrooms and 3 tablespoons marjoram; simmer until mushrooms are tender, about 5 minutes. Season with salt and pepper. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cool slightly. Cover, chill. Before serving, cook over medium heat, stirring occasionally.)

I made a few changes…didnt know what pattypan squash, so use whatever you like or leave it out and I used regular white mushroom, and threw in a handful of dried shiitake . My family never loved stews until this one.

Jeff call Pietro…stew’s cooking.