Winter is almost here and during these cold days the most pleasant thing is to enjoy the warmth of your home and prepare a great Sunday meal. The recipe I propose you today is part of the traditional Italian gastronomy. It reminds me of the Sundays in front of the fireplace when the smell of bay leaves and pepper came from a clay pot. Earthy and inviting fragrances turned waiting into an enjoyable moment. And the surprise arrived when I could taste that pulpy, bright and steaming dish called spezzatino, Italian beef stew.
But let’s talk about meat! Which is the best cut for beef stew? The ideal beef for stews is boneless typically from the chuck. The ideal size for cooking is 1-1/2 inch cube. My suggestion is to choose bright cherry red meat and being careful when you go to the butcher. Ask him questions, he’ll be happy to answer and serve you well.
2.2 lb chuck beef
3 table spoons olive oil
1 garlic clove
2 medium onions
1 branch of celery
1 yellow turnip
1 glass of red wine
2 bay leaves
Peel all the vegetables and cut them into 2 cm thick slices. Then put them in a casserole – better if it is a clay pot – and let them brown with olive oil. Flour the meat and let it brown with vegetables. Pour red wine and stock and let evaporate. After 15 minutes, pour the tomato sauce, season with salt and pepper and add the bay leaves. Let everything simmer for about 2 or 3 hours, stirring occasionally, till the sauce gets thick and the meat is very tender.
Serve your steaming spezzatino with potato purée. Buon appetito!