Loving this beef stew on top of polenta - can't get enough. Even my very specific-about-their-food kids eat this up, polenta and all. It does remin...
The origins of this dish are still being debated. One version has the recipe dating all the way back to the 15th century, when the construction of the Santa Maria del Fiore Dome was underway in Renaissance Florence, under the careful watch of architect and genius Filippo Brunelleschi.
Ever concerned about what to do for lunch, the workers handling the placement of the Dome's rooftop tiles had the brilliant idea of using the ovens where the tiles were baked to also prepare this tasty meat dish.
Another version has terracotta workers wives in Impruneta making the dish to provide hearty, nutritious meals for the workers toiling in the terracotta factories. Whatever its origins, we do know that the dish is still very popular in today's Tuscany. Contrary to the name (which translates literally into very spicy), the modern version is not typically brimming with spice. Why don't you give this traditional Tuscan recipe a shot and see how it works with your modern-day workers in your own home?!
The ideal pairing for this important dish is a structured red wine with lively tannins, that can dry out the succulence of the stew, such as an Aglianico dei Campi Taurasini or a Barbaresco. For those who want to be daring, a classic method pink bubble enhances the aromatic notes of the porcini mushroom.
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for 4 servings
Coarsely cube beef and place into medium metal-bottomed soup pot.
Add remaining stew ingredients, bring to boil.
Lower heat to medium-low, and allow to simmer for at least 3 hours or until meat is softened nicely. If stew begins to look dry, add either room temperature water or vegetable broth.
Bring water to boil in medium sauce pot. While water is boiling, thoroughly clean and rinse dried Porcini mushrooms, set aside. Peel and finely mince garlic, set aside. Coarsely mince parsley, set aside.
Add cleaned mushrooms, and allow to soak at least 30 minutes. Remove from water, drain well. When softened, coarsely chop mushrooms, set aside.
Bring water back to boil, add salt, and very slowly add in polenta (cornmeal, be sure it's not precooked variety), stirring constantly with wooden spoon. Allow polenta to continue cooking over low heat for at least 1 hour.
In medium sauté pan, coat bottom with extra-virgin olive oil. When heated, add garlic and parsley. Stir for 30 seconds, add porcini mushrooms and allow flavors to blend for a few moments. Once cooked through, add to cooked polenta.
On serving plate, place generous portion of warm polenta and top with serving of beef stew.
Garnish with drizzle of olive oil and serve immediately.
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90 minutes 19 ingredients 408 kCal
Vanessa Monday 17th of August 2020
Excellent variant of classic dish
Loving this beef stew on top of polenta - can't get enough. Even my very specific-about-their-food kids eat this up, polenta and all. It does remind me of some dishes I enjoyed while touring Tuscany - if you haven't been in the off winter months, I highly recommend that too. It's so good to remind myself of these super dishes I ate while there and to be able to do it from my own kitchen makes it all the better. Be sure to use a good quality red wine for the stew - I've tried both good and bad wines, and here, it does make a difference.
Joyce T. Foreman Monday 17th of May 2021
Thick and tasty
Love the Tuscan beef stew - it takes me right back to enjoying this dish right in the middle of Impruneta. Totally dig the blend of rich black pepper and tender beef - slow stewing makes everything so amazing and well-meshed. I think this might be perfection in a bowl.