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.

53 thoughts on “Italian Beef Stew

  1. 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. 😉

    1. 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!!

  2. 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

  3. 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.

  4. 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. 🙂

  5. 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 🙂

  6. 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!

    1. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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.

    1. 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!!

  9. 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!

  10. 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

  11. 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!

  12. 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.

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