Saturday, July 21, 2012

Recipe ~ Tuscan Beef Stew

A Hearty Meal

Even during the hottest days of summer, I dream of this Tuscan Beef Stew.

We recently hosted a dinner party, served this dish and as a result, made friends for life (no kidding). Our friends still rave about this awesome dish, so I'm publishing it for them (and you!)

Best of all, this stew is easy to make and even easier to eat!

The stew's signature ingredients? Chianti-marinated beef brisket and a jalapeño or three!

~ ~ ~  TUSCAN BEEF STEW ~ ~ ~


3-5 pounds | beef brisket (get a good cut)
3-4 cloves | garlic, halved
1 bottle (750 ml) | italian chianti wine
4 tablespoons | evoo (extra virgin olive oil)
to taste | kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
2-4 cups | beef broth
3-5 medium-sized carrots | peeled and cut into 1" pieces
3 stalks  | celery, chopped into 1/2" pieces
4 medium | russet or red potatoes, cut into 1-1/2" chunks
3 4" sprigs | fresh rosemary, chopped

Plus Ups:

1/2 cup | kalamata olives, halved
2 leaves | sage or bay
2-3 | jalapeños, for a Texas-inspired kick
to enjoy | rice or noodles


to cover | cling film
to "pat" beef dry | paper towels
to brown | a dutch oven or large pan
to cook | a crock pot (slow cooker)

What To Do:

1. Place the beef into a 13-inch by 9-inch glass baking dish. Cut 6-8 "slits" in the brisket and insert the garlic halves. Pour the wine over the meat and marinate in the refrigerator, loosely covered with cling film, for 2 hours (overnight recommended). Turn the meat over and marinate here and there.

2. Remove the brisket from the wine and "pat" dry with paper towels. Reserve the wine.

3. In a large Dutch oven or large pan, heat 4 tablespoons of the EVOO over medium-high heat. Season the meat on all sides with salt and pepper.

4. Using tongs, place the meat in the pan and brown on all sides, about 2 minutes for each side. Remove the meat and place it into your Crock pot.

5. In the pan, pour the reserved wine, scraping up any brown bits. Cook for about 1-2 minutes. Transfer into the Crock pot.

6. Add the beef broth to almost cover the beef. Cook on low Crock pot setting for 2-2.5 hours.

7. Add the carrots, celery, garlic, potatoes and rosemary (plus the olives, sage and jalapeños, if desired). Cover and continue to cook on low setting for another 2-2.5 hours, or until tender.

8. Note: the meat may already be soft and falling apart before you cut it! In this case, skip this step. Remove the meat from the stew. Place the meat on a cutting board and cut into quarters. Using 2 forks, shred the meat into bite-sized pieces. Return the meat to the stew and cook until warmed through, about 5 minutes.

9. Serve with a glass of Chianti and enjoy!

Foodie Tip:

If you like tummy fillers like I do, you can serve the stew on top of rice or noodles. 

One thing we enjoy is that instead of boiling rice in water, we boil it in beef or chicken broth. Molto saporito! I have a rice cooker we found at Target that has a special section you can tuck herbs into; it infuses the herb taste into the rice while you steam it. Basil and rosemary-infused rice? Mamma Mia!

More of our favorite recipes here.

for the love of : italy

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