Samhain Recipe: Sage’s Traditional Sabbat Beef Stew

Updated on July 4, 2020
WiccanSage profile image

Sage has been celebrating the Wheel of the Year for 25+ years, and being a holiday junkie, she just can't get enough of the sabbats!

Samhain Recipe

At our house, nothing less than our traditional beef stew would do for our harvest dinner, made piping hot in our big cast-iron cooking cauldron. After sunset prayers, we sit down to this slow-cooked feast that warms the heart as much as it sticks to the ribs.

Start this dish about 4 to 4 ½ hours before you plan to eat. It doesn't actually take a lot of hands-on time—but it does require time to slowly cook while you go about other business. For me, that's great, so I can tend to last minute details like setting the table, lighting the candles on the ancestors altar and passing out trick-or-treat candies while waiting for everyone to make their way home.

One thing you'll notice about this recipe is that I don't actually stew the meat; I braise it. I also start with a big cut of meat, and cut it up towards the end of the cooking. I find stewing the small bits of meat cause them to lose their juices and get tough; I've found braising the whole chunk of beef, I'm just happier with the overall result.

Nothin' Says Lovin' like Somethin' from the Coven

My husband ceremonially carries the cauldron of beef stew to the dinner table.
My husband ceremonially carries the cauldron of beef stew to the dinner table. | Source


  • 2 + pounds boneless chuck roast, whole
  • 2 tsp cumin
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, if you have it
  • 3 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 large onion, cut in half and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed and minced
  • ½ cup balsamic vinegar
  • ¾ cup broth (beef, chicken or vegetable)
  • 6 all-purpose potatoes
  • 6 carrots
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 8 cups Beef stock
  • ¼ cup flour
  • Salt & pepper to taste
This is a chuck roast, sometimes called a blade roast. It's often used for pot roast, stew and other slow, wet cooking techniques.
This is a chuck roast, sometimes called a blade roast. It's often used for pot roast, stew and other slow, wet cooking techniques. | Source

How to Make Beef Stew for Samhain

  1. Turn the burner on to medium-high. Put a cast iron pan (or your heaviest pan) on it and allow it to get searing hot. You'll know it's ready when you flick a few drops of water on it and they barely start dancing before they evaporate. While you're at it, preheat the oven to 200 degrees.
  2. Mix the cumin, salt, and pepper in a bowl and rub it all over the meat, both sides.
  3. Add about 1/2 the oil to the pan and swirl it around to coat. Put the meat slab onto the pan and wait 2 minutes. Turn it and give it another 2 to 3 minutes on the other side.
  4. Remove the meat and place it on a dish to rest. Lower the heat to medium. Add the remainder of the oil and put in the onions, stirring continuously because with the pan that hot they'll burn pretty fast. Let them begin to brown and caramelize (about 2 to 3 minutes) then add the garlic.
  5. Stir for about 20 or 30 seconds (garlic burns quickly) and add the vinegar and broth. Stir, bringing the mixture to a simmer. Lower heat to keep it barely at a simmer and let it reduce for 10 to 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
  6. Now you have 2 ways to approach this. The first is to return the beef to the pan, baste with the pan juices, and cover the pan tightly with a lid or foil. If you don't have a cast iron oven-safe pan, the other option is to put the meat and all the onions and sauce over it into a medium baking dish and cover that with a tight fitting lid or foil. If using foil, double it and make sure to get a tight seal.
  7. Put the meat into the oven. Let it braise for for a total of 4 to 4 1/2 hours. You don't even have to worry about it for about 3 1/2 hours now, go about your business and don't open the oven door.
  8. About an 30 minutes before your beef will be done put a large pot or cauldron on the stove. Cut the potatoes into wedges (about the size of apple wedges). You can peel yours, but I just like to wash them well and keep the peel on for a rustic dish.
  9. Peel the carrots and chop them into 1 to 1 1/2 inch pieces. Put the potatoes and the carrots into the pot.
  10. Add 8 quarts of beef broth, 1 1/2 tsp salt and the bay leaves. Put the heat on high and bring it to a boil, then reduce heat to a simmer.
  11. When the beef is done, remove it from the oven and let it rest while the potatoes and carrots are cooking. After about 15 minutes, cut the beef up into chunks-- it should be extremely tender, you could probably pull it apart with just a fork. Once the veggies are fork-tender, add the beef, all the pan juices and onions into the stew.
  12. Put the flour into a bowl or a glass measuring cup. Ladle some of the beef stock onto it, stirring vigorously with a fork or whisk to prevent lumps. You want it to be thick, like pancake batter, but not lumpy.
  13. Pour the flour mixture back into the stock pot, stirring to distribute the thickener. Bring to a boil, stirring sporadically. Once it reaches a full boil, you can see it will thicken. If you want it thinner, add more broth or water. If you want the gravy thicker, you can make a mixture of flour and cold water (again to pancake batter consistency) and pour more in, waiting for it to boil again.
  14. Remove from heat. Remove the bay leaves and serve with a crusty bread or some buttermilk biscuits. In a cast iron pot, this stew will keep piping hot for a good hour or more, especially if covered, even if it’s sitting on the table.

Tried it? Rate it!

3.2 stars from 57 ratings of Sage's Samhain Beef Stew

Stew Remnants After Supper

Everyone really dug in! Good thing I made plenty!
Everyone really dug in! Good thing I made plenty! | Source

What Can Follow That?

Dessert is as much of an event as dinner. Our favorite follow up for beef stew are mini apple pies.

Hey, I know all this isn't healthy-- but it is a holiday, after all! And harvest season holidays are about indulgence!

Don't forget to put out an offering for the ancestors, and may you have a blessed Samhain this year!

Blessed Samhain!

Celebrate Samhain and enjoy!
Celebrate Samhain and enjoy! | Source

© 2013 Mackenzie Sage Wright


    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment
    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      3 months ago

      Aww sounds awesome! Gotta love those family sabbats. Glad you enjoyed, thanks for letting me know.

    • Fayleen profile image


      3 months ago

      I did this last Halloween/ samhaim. It was lovely I did a similar cassarole to sages recipe and put the tea light on for a thank you blessing for sage. And I loved the apple pie idea so I did that to and almost got pastry star shapes on the mini apple pies it was just a bit messy but it all worked out great. I think I will keep this as a samhaim tradition and do the same this year. I did a party as well and some family came over and me n my youngest kid made paper bat decoration s. and I did a fairy tarot reading for my sister and did the crystal ball. it was a great Halloween last year and the casserole and apple pies are great for the time of year.:-)

    • profile image


      8 months ago

      This looks great! How many people would you say it can feed?

    • Fayleen profile image


      11 months ago

      The meet chuck bits brilliant eh

    • Fayleen profile image


      15 months ago

      Well thats me given up the vegatarian idea. How yummy that looks eh. I do a similar thing but im gonna do this for halloween this year. I think i will put some barley in as well. And i will put a tealight on in the kitchen as a thank you sage:-) ps its very healthy

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      2 years ago

      Thanks for your comment, Hector.

    • profile image


      2 years ago


      I'm a Panamanian living in NC, married with 3 kids. As a Hispanic, I was raised surrounded by traditions and witchcraft has always been an option when thinking of healing the mind, heart and body. My uncle Pedro practiced "Rosa Cruz" which I think has saved his life. In any case, I have always felt attracted and my sould, which I believe is very old, know more than what I am aloud to dig into before I'm ready for it. I am so blessed to find your articles and I wanted to let you know that I am finally starting this journal, for myself and one of my kids. Leo, who had always wanted to be a wizard since he is been able to move and talk, he always talk an play on his own with this, what he first called tornado, now energie (he is 7 y/o). So I want to leran my way so I could later own passed as much of my knowledge to him if he is still interested. It is a force that has called me to it my entire life, and I don't want to die before I get to it, i think that only then I'll feel complete

    • profile image


      3 years ago

      This looks a perfect treat! All the flavours of home to sweeten and solemnise a special day. Much thanks!

    • WiccanSage profile imageAUTHOR

      Mackenzie Sage Wright 

      6 years ago

      I think it's a fairly familiar flavors to everyone. I do love cooking in cast iron. Thanks for your comments!

    • CraftytotheCore profile image


      6 years ago

      That looks so good! I make a similar beef stew. It was my grandmother's recipe. I like how you do it in a dutch oven. They make such great cooking pots.


    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at:

    Show Details
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the or domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)
    ClickscoThis is a data management platform studying reader behavior (Privacy Policy)