Italian Beef Stew
Beef stew was not my favorite dish when I was a child. I clearly remember not being very happy when it was stew night! I honestly can’t think of any other dish she made that I didn’t like except this. I’d pick around the bowl to find something I’d like; a potato, a carrot or two, a piece of beef to slip to my dog Buffy. Everyone else all seemed to really enjoy the stew, especially Buffy.
Years later after my mom passed, I’d prepare meals from her handwritten notes to bring back memories of her through the dishes she made. I quickly passed over the Italian beef stew recipe many times before I finally decided to make it. Surprise, surprise…I loved it! It certainly had nothing to do with my making it any better but more so my taste for food had grown from when I was young. And just as surprising to me, it’s a dish my son really likes.
It’s a bowl full of love, comforting, tender and warming. The amount of potatoes, carrots, garlic and celery can vary to your taste; I’ve added in peas as well at times and used white wine when I didn’t have an open bottle of red. I’m not sure why she wrote Italian Beef Stew; I’ve never compared it to other stew recipes but the ingredients don’t seem to be too “Italian” to me other than tomatoes!
Italian Beef Stew
2 lbs lean beef, cubed, tossed in flour to lightly coat
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 large onions, sliced
1/2 cup red wine
4 garlic cloves, minced
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 large potatoes, cut into chunks
3 carrots, peeled and sliced into chunks
1 stalk celery, sliced
1/2 cup fresh parley, chopped
1 14 oz can plum or diced tomatoes
1/2 cup water or enough to cover meat
Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
In a large stockpot, heat the oil. Add in the beef and onions saute until slightly brown. Deglaze the pan with the wine, simmer for about 10 minutes. Add in the tomatoes, garlic, chopped parsley and red pepper flakes and let simmer for another 10 minutes. Add in the potatoes, celery, carrots, and tomatoes. Simmer for 10 minutes. Add in enough water to cover the meat and simmer covered for 40 minutes, stirring occassionally. Uncover the stew and simmer for an additional 10 minutes or until the meat is tender. Salt and pepper to taste.
I love being in the kitchen. Early mornings, soft music, a hot espresso. Easing into the preparation of delicious meals. Glancing through cookbooks, gathering inspiration and planning my day. I look forward to the cycles of the seasons, the pleasures of tasting and savoring and sharing this with those dear to me. Weekends are special to me as my week days are often rushed, but still I create the ambiance, light the candles, set the table and uncork the wine.
Yum – reminds me of my (Italian) godmother´s beef stew – she often made this to serve over wet polenta. Delicious!
Mmmm…sounds delicious over the wet polenta. I will make it that way next time!
I love that you make your mom’s hand-written recipes to bring back her memory. That is so touching Linda. Warms my heart. This looks like a very hearty recipe. I should give it a try with my new grown-up tastes too. Stew was never on my list of favorites as a kid either. 😉
It is surprising how we do change and also that we find that we are just like our mothers in many ways – especially when I’ve found friends of mine who have said they’d never be like their mother…and now they are!!
Mmm, this recipe reminds me of my mom’s stew! I think I’ll make some this weekend, makes a hearty meal when the boys are watching football.
I like the addition of the red wine, that’s so Italian! 🙂
With a lean cut of meat, it’s pretty much a healthy, hearty dish. I do hope you’ll try it on your boys!
Perfect for my French pot on top of the slow fire! love it. i have a recipe of mums i am making soon (if someone would STOP eating the ingredients) she wrote it in GREEN ink. I was going to photograph it but i am not sure it will turn out at all! Love beef stew.. c
Ahhh…your home must be so cozy when you light that stove!! You sure do need to be cooking comfort food right now to warm your bellies!!
Rufus' Food and Spirits Guide
That looks delicious. Isn’t it funny how our tastes can change.
So, so true!!
I too like things now I wouldn’t touch when I was younger — goat cheese is one such item. My mom made cheese from all the goat milk we had growing up and I wanted nothing to do with it — funny how things change. I’m sure you’ll savor the memories as much as the stew.
Gorgonzola was the cheese I stayed away from when I was younger and LOVE it now!! I’m waiting for my daughter to grow into it!!
Wait, this looks amazing! So hearty and comforting. I have some of my grandma’s handwritten recipes…makes them so much more special. I’m definitely keeping those safe. 🙂
Thanks Caroline. It’s nice to feel like you can “return home” by simply cooking up a dish from the past!
Hi Linda – I can remember beef stew – usually a vegetable stew with leftover pieces of tough meat chucked in. I love stew, and the vegetables are wonderful. Giving a bit of love to the beef is important and not cooking it too long, so it’s still tender at the end, is the key to a wonderful stew! Yours looks wonderfully hearty and warming 🙂
Thank you Charles! Giving a bit of love to everything we cook turns any dish into something fabulous!!
Oh yum, this is definetly a great meal for the cold weather we are having up here. I love beef stew, especially Italian style 😉
We’re getting hit with some cold weather too down here so I can only imagine how cold you are!!
I suspect it is the wine and the tomatoes, Linda, neither of which go in my mother’s beef stew (She’s Irish).
That’s what it must be then. My sister in law is Irish and I know her’s never had the red color that I was use to seeing.
I think it’s wonderful that you have the recipes. My sister was sweet enough to have them all photocopied so we could all have a copy, all three girls. I think the titles from the 70 and 80s are funny, they rarely and anything to do with the origin of the dish. It sounds delicious though. I love beef stew!
I thought of copying all the recipes too but then just created this blog for my daughter and family to find the recipes. Hopefully they are printing and saving some of their favorities.
Kelly @ Inspired Edibles
Funny how our tastes change over time and how nice that you have your mom’s handwritten recipes… I can’t think of a more precious gift. I love the smell of beef stew when it’s simmering on the stove… this recipe sounds delicious; I’d like to give it a try. Thanks Linda.
I am so glad I do have her recipes. Photos are nice, but seeing her little notations on the recipes brings her closer to me!
What a treat! Mom always put a little tomato or tomato paste in her dishes “for color” but I don’t recall her using so much tomato in her stew. Too bad because this really sounds delicious, Linda. The next time I make stew, it will be this recipe.
John, as soon as I saw your comment I grabbed her recipe again because she had written “for color” in the recipe! I took it on to add in probably more than I should as I used it for cooking liquid. How interesting that your mom stated it in the same way as mine!!
nope, my mom always put a can of tomatoes
*sends empty plate over* – I love the comfort of a well cooked stew 🙂
Lol! That’s so cute Tandy!! Thanks!
Delicious – think I will try a pork version of this – just bought half a pig so added to the half lamb, our freezer is super full.
Oh, I bet that will taste delicious!! I’ve never bought meat in that quantity, definitely gives you plenty of options for making different dishes!
careful as cooking pork for that long will result in chewy meat
good tip – thanks!
That sounds wonderful! I love love a good pot of stew on a cold day!
The Orange Bee
It’s the wine that makes it so delicious! Happy New Year!
your recipe is PERFECT and coming from an Italian…. 🙂
Thank you, I’ll take that as the best compliment!!
That’s so funny! I was the same way when I was a kid – I hated my mom’s stew, but now I love it! This looks very, very similar to her’s, so I bet it’s delicious!
I love a good pot of comforting yummy rich soup. This looks amazing and the flavors are all perfect together
Food, Flowers, Herbs and Life!
I love beef stew and yours looks delicious! My tastes have grown a long way from childhood! Good thing it’s not only our body that grows and matures!
lol.. you’re right on that one!!
A perfect dish for a cold winter night! Looks wonderful Linda.
Thanks David – perfect more for your weather I might add!!
Kay aka Babygirl
Well hello.. this Italian Beef Stew definitely is calling my name. I love beef stew and this recipe is a little different than the one I make but I am definitely trying it. Thanks for posting this
Oh good!! I’m glad you’re a stew kinda gal!!
I’m a stew lover and your mother’s recipe by any name sounds great. Maybe it’s the garlic and crushed red pepper that gave it the name.
It was also that my mother put “Italian” in front of almost all her recipes!!
For me it was meatloaf! But, I have become quite fond of it through the years! Your stew looks fabulous and it’s inspiring me to make a nice stew soon. Your recipe sounds delicious! Happy New Year, Linda!
Thanks Kathy and Happy New Year to you as well!!
Geni - Sweet and Crumby
This stew looks hearth and fabulous. It’s funny how dishes we thought were so-so or worse when we were growing up can now be our favorite. I am that way with my mom’s Matzoball soup. I wasn’t a huge fan and now that I am an adult, and still lucky enough to get to have it prepared by her, it’s one of my very favorites.
Looks delicious! I love family recipes…they are always the best! 🙂
Sometimes there isn’t anything quite as comforting as a stew…hence why I usually eat it year around. Great looking recipe. 🙂
This looks awesome!