We finally had a cold snap–it’s really winter now! Well, South Florida winter which means it’s in the 50s at night and 60s during the day, and only for a few days. I had to wear a sweater when I went out. Gasp! So since it’s cold (for me), I had to find a recipe for beef stew. It’s such a winter food for me, and my husband and I both love it. This time I’m making Italian Beef Stew since I’m still in the mood for Mediterranean food. This recipe promises to be way better than plain old beef stew, so let’s find out if it lives up to that claim.
Why make a regular beef stew when you can make an Italian version with more flavor?
So the list of ingredients for this Italian Beef Stew is pretty long. I was a little overwhelmed until I read through it and noticed that a lot of the items are pantry staples I already had. Things like salt, dried spices, flour, and red wine vinegar are always on hand in my house.
That left the meat, canned goods, fresh vegetables, and fresh herbs to buy. That is still kind of a long list, but it’s shorter than the full list of ingredients, and I’m trying to stay positive. It’s the little things! And all the items I had to buy were not hard to find in an average grocery store.
The instructions for this recipe were pretty easy to follow, but I had to read them carefully. Step 2, in particular, is a long paragraph, and it was easy to lose my place as I was cooking.
There is a lot of knife work to do, but it only took me 15 minutes of prep work. I used a few cutting boards since there was so much, reserving one for the meat (I bought a whole chuck roast and cut it into bite-sized pieces).
This recipe makes a big batch of Italian beef stew, so make sure to use a large pot. I used a cast-iron Dutch oven that was just over 5 quarts. That gave me plenty of room for all the ingredients with room to stir without overflowing.
Now don’t let the long time needed to make this beef stew intimidate you. It’s mostly inactive time for the stew to simmer on the stove, so you won’t be standing over the stove the whole time. Mine was even ready almost an hour less than the 4 hours 40 minutes listed. I kept re-reading to see if I left out a step, but I didn’t. Here’s how my time broke down:
- 15 minutes prep work
- 3 hours 25 minutes to cook
- 3 hours 40 minutes total