This brilliant second course is a terrific way to begin with a lesser-valued cut of beef and turn it into a magical dish that will have your diners in pure rapture.
Not a complex dish, or overly long cooking times (you might even want to test out the slow cooker idea and prepare it overnight) make it accessible for even shorter lead-time notices. It's not a recipe for last minute dinners as the stew does require at least 2 hours cooking time, but with just a small warning, you can knock it out of the park for chillier winter dinners around a convivial family table.
Prepare the soffritto and begin cooking dish
Peel carrot and onion, and finely dice each, set aside. Wash and finely dice celery, set aside. Remove meat from any bones, if present, and chop into coarse cubes, set aside.
Generously coat bottom of sauce pot with good-quality extra-virgin olive oil. Heat over medium heat, until shimmering and fragrant. Add chopped vegetables, and cook until softened (aboout 5 minutes) being careful vegetables don't burn (if they begin to cook unevenly, lower heat). Add cubed meat when vegetables begin to cook through.
Sear meat on all sides, browning to keep the juices inside the meat. When browned on all sides, add the freshly-milled pepper and tinned tomatoes.
A note on beef cuts to use: You can substitute beef rump with shinbone veal. This is a good dish to use with harder cuts of meat needing longer braising or stewing times.
Simmer the stew and finish dish
Once you've added tomatoes, continue cooking over medium heat for about 10 minutes. Add red wine, season to taste with salt.
Cover dish with lid, and lower heat until very low and stew is simmering gently. Cook for at least 2 hours - if you note that stew begins to look too dry, add a bit of room-temperature broth or water and stir to remove bits stuck to bottom of pan.
At the two-hour cooking mark, check to see if your stew is complete. Meat should be completely cooked through and tender, and sauce should be thickened.
Serve hot with toasted Tuscan bread under stew for an extra surprise!
780 minutes 7 ingredients 295 kCal