- Tuscan Beef Stew with Polenta
- (Spezzatino di Manzo Toscano con Polenta)
For the Stew:
2 pounds stew beef, such as boneless chuck
3 carrots, peeled and cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 stalks celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
3 medium tomatoes, halved
1 red onion, cut into medium dice
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 and 1/2 cups dry red wine
8 sprigs fresh thyme
3/4 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
For the Polenta:
1 cup polenta (coarse cornmeal)
4 cups vegetable stock or broth
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
Prepare the Stew:
Trim the excess fat off the beef and cut into 1-inch cubes.
In a heavy, large saucepan over moderately high heat, heat the olive oil until hot but not smoking.
Add the onion, carrot, and celery and saute, stirring occasionally, until light golden brown, about 10-12 minutes.
Add beef and saute, stirring occasionally, until brown on all sides, about 5-6 minutes.
Add wine and thyme, stir well, and bring to a boil.
Add tomatoes, salt, and pepper, then lower heat to moderately low, cover, and simmer, stirring every 15 minutes, until beef is tender, about 2 hours.
Prepare the Polenta:
Pour olive oil into large serving bowl and swirl to coat.
In a heavy, large pot over moderately high heat, bring stock to a boil.
Lower heat to moderate and slowly add polenta, stirring constantly.
Continue cooking, stirring constantly, until polenta thickens and pulls away from sides of pan, about 10 minutes.
Transfer to oil-coated serving bowl and keep warm.
When beef is tender, use tongs to remove tomato skins and thyme sprigs.
Transfer stew to large serving bowl.
Serve polenta alongside. Makes 4 to 6 servings.
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