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stewing Italian
Tuscan Beef Stew Recipe-7178

Photo by: Joseph De Leo
Comments: 1


Italian cooks are famous for cooking creatively and deliciously with a handful of ingredients. This stew is typical of Tuscany, where many dishes include the local red wine. Don’t bother opening up a bottle of fine Chianti for cooking—moderately priced American or Australian wine will do. Serve it over hot polenta or small pasta, such as ditalini.

Yield: 6 servings


  • 3 ounces pancetta, sliced about ¼ inch thick
  • 1 medium onion
  • 2 celery stalks
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 3 pounds boneless beef chuck, cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 1 cup hearty red wine, such as Sangiovese, Zinfandel, or Shiraz
  • One 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes in puree
  • ¼ cup chopped fresh basil


Prep: Cut pancetta into ¼- to  1½-inch dice. Chop onion. Chop celery crosswise into ¼-inch-thick slices.

1. Combine pancetta and olive oil in Dutch oven and cook, stirring occasionally, until pancetta browns, about 5 minutes. Using slotted spoon, transfer pancetta to plate. Season beef with 1 teaspoon salt and ½ teaspoon freshly ground pepper. Increase heat to medium-high. In batches, add to fat in pot and cook, turning occasionally, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to plate with pancetta.

2. Add onion and celery to pot. Reduce heat to medium and cook, stirring often, until vegetables soften, about 3 minutes. Add wine to pot, scraping up browned bits on bottom, and bring to boil. Return beef, pancetta, and any juices on plate to pot. Stir in tomatoes and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low and cover. Simmer until beef is tender, about 1½ hours.

3. Stir in basil. Serve hot.


Pancetta is the same cut as bacon but rolled up into a cylinder and cured without smoke. You’ll find it at many supermarkets and certainly all Italian delicatessens. Ask the deli person to slice it on the thick side, about ¼ inch thick, and not paper thin, as is probably their habit. If you can’t find it, use regular sliced bacon.

© 2005 Leslie Revsin

Note from Cookstr's Editors

Nutritional information does not include salt and pepper to taste.


Nutritional Information

Nutrients per serving (% daily value)

715kcal (36%)
98mg (10%)
14mg (23%)
53mcg RAE (2%)
157mg (52%)
441mg (18%)
19g (94%)
49g (76%)
6mg (32%)

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  • ConnieD53

    10.12.09 Flag comment

    I made this yesterday. It was delicious, though I think next time I'll add more basil (love basil). Getting ready to have leftovers!


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