I was fortunate growing up because both of my parents could cook very well. My Dad was strongly influenced by his Italian roots, and my mother her Irish. When it came to stew both of them had a little different take on theirs and it led to some fun competition as to who’s was superior. Now to be fair, I am not a big fan of stew. Mostly because I do not like the beef cubes. When I was younger I would devour a bowl of stew with just veggies and broth a long with a hunk of warm crusty Italian bread dripping with butter. Now this is how my Dad served his, a rich beef and tomatoey broth, loaded with beef chunks, onions, carrots, green beans, tomatoes, potatoes, and Ditalini or some kind of pasta. My mother of course, made the traditional Irish stew, but instead of the fancy Guinness Stout I use, she used good ol’ Budweiser. She would load up with beef cubes, carrots, onions, potatoes, and sometimes peas to get us to eat greens. This was almost always served with some mashies. Now I have a confession, I am not a big mashed potato fan at all! I save my carbs for wine and bread. My French and Italian roots no doubt. So whenever my parents made their signature stew they waited with bated breath to see our reaction. My thought was always the same, hey I’m just here for the veggies and delicious broth to dip my bread in. But I politely gave them both my thumbs up and a sincere yum!
Today I make both versions for my kiddos, whom like their Mom loves both versions as long as it is served with it’s proper carb accompaniment of either mashies for the Irish version or Italian bread for the Italian version. Whichever version you prefer, add this to your stew rotation. It is the perfect comfort food on a cold night!
Italian Rustica Beef Stew
An Italian Classic, that's pure comfort!
- 1 1/2 lbs. of stew meat, I usually half the prepared chunks that come in the supermarket, or ask my Amish butcher to make them smaller.
- 4 diced Roma tomatoes
- 3 large carrots diced
- 1 large onion diced
- 1 clove of garlic minced
- 2 russet potatoes peeled and diced
- 1 cup of frozen green beans
- 1 container of beef broth (32 oz.)
- 1/2 cup of dry red wine, I use a Pinot Noir
- 1 can of tomato paste
- 1 tsp. each of dried thyme and Italian seasoning
- 1 1/2 tsp. of Montreal steak seasoning
- 1 tbsp. of fresh chopped sage
- 2 tbsp. of flour
- 1 tbsp. of EVOO
- Kosher salt and cracked black pepper to taste
- Crusty Italian Bread for sopping up the rich broth
- In a large Dutch oven, heat on medium high heat.
- With meat at room temperature, season generously with salt, cracked black pepper, and Montreal steak seasoning, toss in flour to coat evenly.
- Add beef cubes to pot, sear until golden on both sides, careful not to crowd the pot with too much beef. Remove to plate and continue until all the cubes are browned. Add in the carrots, onions, and garlic, cook for a minute or two to get flavor, add in tomatoes, and potatoes, cook for another minute, then add back in meat. Add in wine, and broth, scraping bottom to loosen browned bits, add spices, and salt and pepper to taste. Cover and let simmer on low for two and half hours. Stirring occasionally.
- After about two and half hours, add in string beans mix well, add in pasta about 1/2 cup dry. Turn up heat slightly to cook pasta. Leave lid off. When pasta is cooked and is soft, turn off heat.
- Serve immediately, ladling into bowls, Serve with warm crusty Italian bread fresh out of the oven, dripping with butter. Devour!