Cold temperatures and bitter winds have parked themselves here in the Northeast over the last 4-5 days and with cold weather comes an increase in the consumption of comfort foods for yours truly. Comfort foods mean different things to different folks; for example, I’m comforted by the following food items: fresh bread, cheese, olives, salumi, pasta, rice, and stew! Some crazy folks have even suggest comfort foods don’t exist – we think they need some comfort food like our Italian Beef Stew with Rosemary and Oregano dish.
Specifically on beef stew as a comfort food, I enjoy slow cooked beef with nice chunks of carrot and petite peas. Our Italian Beef stew recipe is adaption of my wife’s beef stew (originally adopted from an Irish American recipe), which includes rosemary (fresh or dried), oregano (dried), and Chianti (hence the Italian moniker). We like to serve our Italian beef stew with homemade olive oil based mashed potatoes.
A note on the best cuts for stew: We find the best cuts include, Chuck, Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck, Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, or Round Tip Roast. You can also use lamb for the recipe below (utilizing any of the same cuts above):
- 1-2 pounds of Beef. The best cuts for stew include: Chuck, Chuck Shoulder, Chuck Roast, Chuck-Eye Roast, Top Chuck, Bottom Round Roast, Bottom Eye Roast, Rump Roast, Eye Round Roast, Top Round, or Round Tip Roast. You can use lamb (same cuts as above).
- Flour to coat the meat before searing
- Olive oil
- Four carrots roughly chopped
- One red onion, roughly chopped
- Celery, three stalks, roughly chopped
- Potato, cut into cubes
- ¼ cup of tomato passato or 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
- ½ cup of dry red wine
- Two sprigs of fresh rosemary
- one bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon of dried oregano
- 1 cup of frozen peas
- Season one pound of chuck beef with salt, pepper, garlic and oregano.
- Dredge the meat with ¼ cup of flour and shake off any excess.
- Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a large pot.
- Brown the meat on all sides. Remove meat with a slotted spoon and all but about 2 tablespoons of oil (add more fresh oil if necessary).
- Add four carrots, one red onion, three stalks of celery, and one small potato (cut into large symmetrical pieces). Cook for about 5-10 minutes or until the vegetables start to soften.
- Add the meat back to the pot.
- Cover the meat with equal parts of good, dry, red wine, fresh water, and tomato passato (you'll want to barely cover the ingredients)
- Add two sprigs of fresh rosemary, bay leaf, and dried oregano
- Bring to a boil and then reduce heat to a simmer (cook for about two and a half hours or until the meat is fork tender).
- After the two and half hours, add salt and pepper to taste and one can of fresh or frozen peas.
- Enjoy with mashed potatoes.