A rustic Italian beef stew recipe or ” Stufato di Manzo ” with red wine gravy, tomatoes, mushrooms and potatoes. Italy in a pot!
Who’s bringing the wine ? I used all mine in the stew, so it is a drunkard style dinner tonight!
Just like in the case of a rugu alla Bolognese, there are endless variations of Italian beef stew recipes as well.
From family to family, from region to region, from one season to the next, this one pot wonder changes like a chameleon. I sure do hope that makes sense.
I have about 10 different variations up my sleeve, but the one I’m sharing today is a classic that the Batman loves. A riff on this winter blood orange beef and butternut squash stew.
As related as all the recipes are, they also stand on their own, with their unique rustic charm, flavors and textures shining through.
A few variations on this include:
- potatoes or gnocchi
- polenta dumplings
- ravioli pasta or tortellini
- green peas, lentils, borlotti beans, or risotto rice
- finished with gremolata
- with fennel and pancetta
- peppers and cipollini onions
- served over creamy polenta (my favorite)
The #1 secret of a perfect beef stew is the cut of meat!
Ideally made with organic, grass-fed marbled chuck roast, cut up into smaller pieces that can withstand the cooking time of 2+ hours.
We use a simple process of braising the chuck roast with aromatics in red wine, until it literally falls apart when stabbed with a fork. To that we add mushrooms, and rainbow carrots, and some quickly grilled scallions to brighten up the entire meal at the end.
Depending on your taste you can go for more gravy or less. I prefer to let the entire stew reduce uncovered at the end for about 15 minutes or so. This way the liquid will reduce and thicken up, while the carrots and potatoes will get lovely little golden roasted edges.
- 3 1 /2 lb chuck roast beef cut into 1 inch cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 10 cloves garlic
- 1 medium onion diced
- 2 1/2 c red wine
- 3 - 4 c water
- 15 oz fire roasted tomatoes -diced
- 4 cloves whole
- 1 bunch thyme
- 1 leaf bay
- 1 sprig sprig
- 1 large carrot -diced
- 1 bunch small rainbow carrots (tops discarded)
- 4 golden potatoes diced (gnocchi or polenta)
- 8 oz portobella or wild mushrooms
- 1 bunch scallions or spring onions
- 2 tsp sea salt + more to taste
- 3 tbsp flour all purpose
Preheat your oven to 350”F
In a large cast iron dutch oven add a lug of olive oil and sear the garlic cloves until golden all over. Transfer to a plate.
Add the onion to the pan and saute until it starts to caramelize, about 15 minutes.
Then add the beef cubes to the pot with the onions and sprinkle with the flour over the top. Toss to coat well all over and cook for a few minutes.
Add the thyme, rosemary, bay leaf and cloves to the pot together with the red wine.
Bring everything to a gentle simmer and add the garlic cloves back to the pot. Cook for 10 minutes until the wine has reduced a little.
Stir in the fire roasted tomatoes, sea salt and the water. Cover with a tight lid and transfer to the preheated oven for 2 hours.
After 2 hours have passed, carefully add chopped carrots, rainbow carrots, potatoes and mushrooms to the stew, give it a gentle stir, cover and cook another 25 to 30 minutes until the potatoes and carrots are cooked through and the meat falls apart when stabbed with a fork.
Meanwhile clean the scallions and cut them in half. Drizzle with a little bit of olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. Toss to coat and pan sear them in a cast iron skillet until nice golden charr marks form. About 3 minutes.
Ladle the beef stew into bowls, sprinkle with the parsley and a nice drizzle of extra virgin olive oil. Divide the scallions between bowls and serve hot with lots of crusty garlic bruschetta to soak up all the gravy.
For a Paleo version of this stew, simply omit the flour and potatoes.