Tuscan Beef Stew

Tuscan Beef Stew from Cooking Chat.

4.9 from 7 reviews

Slowly cooked beef gets enhanced with the flavors of the Tuscan countryside for a hearty meal.


  • 1 bottle Chianti or other dry red wine
  • 4 rosemary sprigs
  • 4 sage sprigs
  • 1 red onion, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 of a celery rib, coarsely chopped
  • 1 carrot, coarsely chopped
  • 3 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon black peppercorns, 1 tablespoon juniper berries, 2 teaspoons whole cloves, tied in a cheese cloth
  • 2.5 lbs. stew beef, cut into 2 inch cubes
  • 1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 of a celery rib, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 small red onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced
  • 1 tablespoon very finely chopped sage
  • 2 1/2 teaspoons very finely chopped rosemary–1 tsp reserved for later in cooking
  • Salt & pinch of crushed red pepper to taste
  • 2 whole cloves, 8 juniper berries, 2 bay leaves and 4 peppercorns, tied in cheesecloth
  • 3 cups reserved marinade
  • 1/2 cup beef or chicken broth
  • 1 cup diced tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup or so of olives, sliced
  • 1/2 cup coarsely chopped parsley
  • 1 tbsp of lemon zest
  • a few grinds of black pepper
  • 1.5 tsp garlic powder or spice blend–I like Organic Healthy Earth Seasonings spice blend for meat, seafood and veggies from Whole Foods


  1. Make the marinade: Combine all the marinade ingredients, from the bottle of wine through the spices in the cheesecloth, in a large bowl. Place the beef in a large sealable plastic bag, then pour the marinade into the bag (having a helper is handy here). Gently shake the beef around a bit to get it well-coated, then squeeze the air out of the bag and seal it tightly. Store the beef in the refrigerator for at least 6 hours or overnight.
  2. When you’re ready to start cooking, place a strainer inside a large bowl. Pour the beef mixture into the strainer, using the bowl to capture and reserve the marinade. Remove the beef, patting it with paper towel to dry it a bit, and scrape off big pieces of herbs and spices from the marinade. Set the beef aside in a bowl.
  3. Heat the oil on medium heat in a dutch oven. Add the finely chopped onion, carrot, and celery to the pan, cook for a few minutes until it starts to soften.
  4. Add the garlic, cook for another minute. Next, stir in the beef, combining it well with the veggies. Salt to taste. Cook for 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to brown on all sides.
  5. After the beef has browned, stir in the stock along with the red pepper, rosemary and sage, cooking until the stock has mostly evaporated.
  6. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees as you brown the meat and veggies. Once the beef has browned in an oven proof dutch oven, add the 3 cups reserved marinade, the chopped tomatoes, tomato paste, and the spices in the cheesecloth. Bring to a boil on the stove top, then lower to a steady simmer and cover. Carefully move the dutch oven to the oven, and cook for 4 hours.
  7. Carefully move the stew back on the stovetop. Bring to a steady simmer, and add the garlic powder or spice blend, salt and pepper to taste. Simmer partially covered for up to one hour to reduce and thicken the stew. At the end of this cooking time, stir in the olives, parsley and lemon zest. The last two items give a nice freshness to it. Alternatively, a bit of these last 3 items can be served on top of each person’s bowl of stew, for a nice presentation. Enjoy with a glass of Tuscan red wine!

Keywords: beef stew, Tuscan food, wine pairing

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