My mother made traditional beef stew, in a pressure cooker (now called an “instant pot”), with onions, potatoes, and carrots, lots of gravy, and topped with puffy dumplings. I loved it, even though the vegetables were way overcooked and mushy.
I’ve also learned to love the Italian combination of braised beef and polenta. Here, the polenta stands in admirably for the potatoes and dumplings, the onions flavor the braising liquid, which becomes the gravy, and the carrots add texture and color. I add the carrots towards the end of the cooking process, basically after the meat is done, so I can cook them just to the almost-tender state that I prefer.
I specify beef chuck for this recipe, but I’ve had it made with short ribs, as well. Leaving the bones on the short ribs also adds depth to the resulting gravy. Either way, it’s a very satisfying dish. Enjoy!