It's a drizzly, February day here in Umbria... a beef stew kind of day...
One day, like today, when I had my restaurant in Foligno, I decided to make an Italianized version of Irish Beef Stew... Low and behold, what I had really made was classic Umbrian Spezzatino di Manzo - and it was a hit! I had to leave this dish on my menu all winter, because for my Umbrian clients, spezzatino was a comfort food, a dish that takes time to prepare, and few have that time - except for me, of course!
Spezzatino di Manzo
- 5o0g cubed beef for stew
- flour for dusting
- 1 onion, diced
- 1 -2 carrots, diced
- 2 stalks celery or 1 fennel bulb, diced
- 2 potatoes, diced
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1 small hot pepper
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 Tbs chopped rosemary
- 1 glass white wine
- 1 Tbs course sea salt
- extra virgin olive oil
Heat a few tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottomed pot. Meanwhile, dust the beef with flour. Brown the beef in the olive oil (over medium high heat) and remove from pot.
Add the diced onions, carrots, celery, garlic, pepper, bay leaf, rosemary and sweat for a few minutes.
*If you want a red stew, you can add some tomato paste or tomato puree at this point, and subsitute red wine for the white.
Add the beef back into the pot with the potatoes. Deglaze with a glass or so of white wine. Salt.
Add enough water to come about half way up the meat.
Cover and turn heat to low, or cover and put in oven at 325/165 and cook slowly for about 1 1/2 to 2 hours or until meat is tender.