The Best Italian Beef Stew Recipe

Nothing better than a Beef Stew, get some fresh bread and dip it in the Red Wine gravy! – heavenly. Today Piero shows us how to prepare and what ingredients to use to make this scrumptious dish. Enjoy!

beef with carrots and mushrooms

Piero’s Recipe from the video:

  • 1 Kilo Diced Beef (chuck steak is a good balance between fat and lean)
  • 5 Sticks Celery
  • 4 x Onions
  • 4 x Carrots
  • 3x Garlic Bulbs
  • 1 Bottle of Red Wine

What does red wine do to Beef stew?

Ah, red wine can work wonders when added to beef stew! It brings a delightful array of flavors and benefits to the dish. First and foremost, red wine enhances the overall taste of the stew by adding depth and complexity. The tannins, acidity, and fruity undertones of the wine beautifully complement the richness of the beef and other ingredients, resulting in a more flavorful experience.

But that’s not all! Red wine also has a tenderizing effect on the meat. Thanks to its alcohol and acidity, it acts as a natural meat tenderizer by breaking down the tough connective tissues in the beef. This helps ensure that the meat becomes wonderfully tender and succulent as it simmers away in the stew.

Speaking of simmering, red wine adds moisture to the stew, keeping everything nice and juicy. It prevents the stew from drying out during the cooking process and contributes to a more satisfying texture. Plus, it imparts a rich, appetizing color to the dish, making it even more visually enticing.

Another benefit is that red wine helps to balance the flavors of the stew. Its acidity cuts through the richness of the beef and other ingredients, adding a bright and refreshing element to the overall taste. This creates a lovely harmony of flavors that can make your beef stew truly irresistible.

It’s worth noting that when using red wine in beef stew, it’s best to choose a wine you enjoy drinking. The flavors of the wine will infuse into the stew, so selecting a wine that you find pleasing will enhance the overall experience. And don’t worry about the alcohol content, as it will evaporate while cooking, leaving behind only the wonderful flavors and aromas.

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Does red wine cook off in a slow cooker?

Yes, when you cook red wine in a slow cooker, the alcohol content will evaporate over time. While the process may be slower compared to cooking on the stovetop or in the oven, the extended cooking time in a slow cooker allows the alcohol to gradually dissipate. However, the flavors and aromas of the red wine will still infuse into the dish, enhancing the overall taste of the stew.

It’s important to note that the exact amount of alcohol that remains in the dish after slow cooking can vary. Studies have shown that a significant portion of the alcohol can evaporate, but there may still be a small residual amount left. The final result will depend on factors such as cooking time, temperature, and the specific recipe.

If you have concerns about the alcohol content in your stew, you can opt for longer cooking times, as this allows more time for the alcohol to evaporate. Additionally, choosing a wine with a lower alcohol content can also help minimize the residual alcohol in the final dish.

Remember, the primary purpose of adding red wine to the stew is to enhance the flavors, and any alcohol content that remains after cooking will be minimal.

chunky beef stew

Does red wine tenderize meat?

Yes, red wine can contribute to tenderizing meat. The alcohol and acidity present in red wine can act as natural meat tenderizers. They work by breaking down the collagen and connective tissues in the meat, resulting in a more tender and flavorful outcome.

The alcohol in red wine helps to denature proteins in the meat, which can help break down tough fibers and make the meat more tender. Additionally, the acidity in red wine can further aid in the tenderization process by helping to break down the muscle fibers.

When using red wine to tenderize meat, it’s best to marinate the meat in the wine for an extended period, typically several hours or overnight. This allows the wine to penetrate the meat and work its magic. However, keep in mind that excessively long marinating times or using highly acidic wines can actually lead to a mushy texture, so it’s essential to find the right balance.

It’s worth noting that while red wine can help tenderize meat, it’s not a quick-fix solution for extremely tough cuts. Tougher cuts of meat generally benefit from long, slow cooking methods, such as braising or stewing, to break down the collagen and achieve tenderness. Red wine can certainly enhance the flavor and contribute to the overall tenderness when used in combination with these cooking techniques.

So, while red wine can play a role in tenderizing meat, it’s important to consider other factors such as the cut of meat, cooking method, and marinating time to achieve the desired results.

Tips for choosing the right red wine for Beef stew

When it comes to choosing the right red wine for beef stew, here are some tips to consider:

  1. Use a Bold and Flavorful Red Wine: Opt for red wines that are full-bodied and have robust flavors. These wines can stand up to the rich and hearty flavors of beef stew without being overshadowed. Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Syrah, Malbec, and Zinfandel are popular choices.
  2. Consider the Wine’s Tannin Level: Tannins are compounds found in red wine that provide structure and astringency. For beef stew, wines with moderate to high tannins can complement the meaty flavors and help balance the dish. However, avoid wines with extremely high tannins that may overpower the stew.
  3. Look for Good Acidity: Red wines with good acidity can provide a refreshing and bright element to the stew. They help cut through the richness of the beef and other ingredients, creating a well-balanced flavor profile. Wines from cooler climates often exhibit higher acidity.
  4. Don’t Splurge on Expensive Wines: While you want a decent quality wine, there’s no need to break the bank for beef stew. Save the expensive bottles for drinking. A moderately-priced red wine that you enjoy is sufficient for cooking purposes.
  5. Consider Regional Pairings: If you want to enhance the regional flavors in your beef stew, you can choose red wines from the same region. For example, if you’re preparing a French-style beef stew, consider using a Bordeaux or Rhône red wine.
  6. Experiment with Different Varieties: Don’t be afraid to try different red wine varieties in your beef stew. Each variety brings its own unique characteristics to the dish. Experiment and see which ones you prefer or try a blend of different red wines to create a complex flavor profile.
  7. Balance Personal Preferences: Ultimately, choose a red wine that you enjoy drinking. The flavors of the wine will infuse into the stew, so selecting a wine that you find pleasing will enhance your overall experience.

Remember, there are no strict rules, and the choice of red wine ultimately depends on your personal taste preferences. Feel free to explore and experiment to find the perfect red wine that complements the flavors of your beef stew.

big batch of beef stew

Tips and tricks for rich and flavorful Beef stew with red wine

Of course, my apologies for slipping out of the conversational format. Let’s continue the conversation!

When it comes to making a rich and flavorful beef stew with red wine, there are a few secrets that can take your stew to the next level. One of the first secrets is to brown the meat before adding it to the stew. It’s all about creating that beautiful caramelization on the surface of the beef, which adds a depth of flavor that you’ll definitely notice in the final dish.

Another secret is sautéing the aromatics, like onions and garlic, before incorporating them into the stew. This step allows their flavors to develop and adds a strong foundation of taste to the overall dish. Trust me, the extra effort is well worth it.

Now, here’s a little trick that can really elevate the flavor profile of your beef stew: deglazing the pan with red wine. After browning the meat and sautéing the aromatics, pour in some red wine and scrape up those delicious browned bits stuck to the bottom of the pan. These bits, known as fond, are packed with concentrated flavors that will make your stew incredibly rich and tasty.

Choosing the right cut of meat is another important aspect. You’ll want to go for cuts that are suitable for slow cooking, like chuck roast or stewing beef. These cuts have a good amount of marbling and connective tissues that break down during the long cooking process, resulting in tender and flavorful meat that practically melts in your mouth.

Now, let’s talk about slow cooking. Patience is key here! Allow your stew to simmer gently over low heat for a while. This slow-cooking process allows the flavors to meld together beautifully, creating a rich and concentrated flavor profile that will make your taste buds sing.

To add an extra layer of flavor, herbs, and spices are your best friends. Thyme, rosemary, bay leaves, and black pepper are commonly used and can really enhance the taste of the stew. Feel free to adjust the seasoning according to your personal preferences.

For an umami boost, consider incorporating ingredients like tomato paste, Worcestershire sauce, soy sauce, or mushrooms. These umami-rich additions will take your beef stew to new heights of savory deliciousness.

Lastly, once your stew is cooked, give it a little time to rest before serving. This allows the flavors to mingle and develop even further, resulting in a more harmonious taste throughout the stew.

So, those are some secrets to achieving a rich and flavorful beef stew with red wine. I hope these tips help you create a stew that will impress your taste buds and satisfy your cravings.

red wine with beef stew

When should you add vegetables to Beef stew?

When it comes to adding vegetables to beef stew, the timing can make all the difference in getting them cooked to perfection. Here’s a simple guideline to follow:

So, for those hearty root vegetables like carrots, potatoes, and parsnips, it’s best to add them right at the beginning of the cooking process. They take a bit longer to soften up and become tender, so giving them a head start ensures they cook through and infuse their flavors into the stew.

Now, when it comes to onions and garlic, those aromatic wonders, you can add them either when you’re browning the meat or shortly after. They help create that delicious flavor foundation for the stew, so it’s up to you when you want to introduce them.

Ah, mushrooms! If you’re including these earthy delights in your stew, it’s a good idea to add them around the halfway mark. That way, they have enough time to release their moisture and develop their distinct flavors without getting too soft or losing their texture.

When it comes to peppers and tomatoes, they’re relatively quick-cooking vegetables. If you prefer them to have a bit of bite and retain some of their freshness, it’s best to add them closer to the end of the cooking time, maybe in the last 30 minutes or so. This ensures they maintain their texture and brightness in the finished stew.

Ah, leafy greens and herbs! If you’re adding delicate greens like spinach or kale, you’ll want to toss them in towards the end. They wilt quickly, so just a few minutes of cooking will do. And those lovely fresh herbs like parsley, thyme, or rosemary, can be sprinkled in during the final stages as well to keep their vibrant flavors intact.

Remember, these are just general guidelines, and you can always adjust the timing based on your personal taste preferences and the specific recipe you’re using. The goal is to ensure that the vegetables contribute their flavors and textures to the stew in the most delicious way possible.

So, have fun adding your vegetables at different stages, and enjoy the process of creating a perfectly balanced beef stew that’s bursting with flavors and textures!

What is the secret to good Beef stew?

So, the secret to a good beef stew, my friend, is all about combining a few key elements to create a mouthwatering dish that will have everyone asking for seconds.

First and foremost, quality ingredients play a crucial role. It all starts with choosing the right cut of beef. Look for cuts that have a good amount of marbling and are known for their tenderness when slow-cooked, such as chuck roast or stewing beef. Fresh and flavorful vegetables and aromatic herbs also make a difference in elevating the overall taste of the stew.

Now, here comes one of the secrets that can take your beef stew to the next level: browning the meat. It’s all about getting that beautiful golden crust on the meat before it even touches the stew. This step adds depth of flavor and creates those irresistible caramelized bits that will make your taste buds dance with joy.

Slow and low cooking is another key secret. Give your stew plenty of time to simmer and mingle over low heat. This gentle cooking process allows the flavors to meld together, resulting in a rich and hearty stew that’s bursting with deliciousness. Plus, it gives the meat ample time to become tender and melt-in-your-mouth tender.

Now, let’s talk about layering flavors. Sautéing your aromatic vegetables like onions and garlic before adding them to the stew is a game-changer. This step helps develop their flavors and brings out their natural sweetness. And don’t forget about deglazing the pan! When you add red wine or broth to the hot pan after browning the meat, those little browned bits stuck to the bottom are like nuggets of concentrated flavor that add depth and complexity to the stew.

Seasoning and adjusting as you go is another secret. Don’t be shy with the salt, pepper, and other seasonings. Taste as you cook and make adjustments along the way to ensure that the flavors are just right. Remember, it’s all about finding that perfect balance that suits your taste buds.

And once your stew is ready, don’t rush to serve it immediately. Let it rest for a few minutes. This resting period allows the flavors to mingle and intensify, resulting in a stew that is even more flavorful and harmonious.

Lastly, the true secret ingredient is your own personal touch and enjoyment. Don’t be afraid to experiment and add your own twists to the stew. Maybe you have a special spice blend you’d like to incorporate or a secret family ingredient that takes it to another level. Cooking with love and putting your own stamp on the dish is what makes it truly special.

So, armed with these secrets, go forth and create a beef stew masterpiece that will have everyone clamoring for more. Enjoy the process and savor every delicious spoonful!

plated beef stew

What to serve with Beef stew?

When it comes to serving beef stew, there are plenty of tasty options that can accompany and enhance the flavors of the stew itself.

One classic choice is a warm, crusty bread. Picture a freshly baked baguette or a rustic loaf with a crispy crust. The bread is perfect for dipping into the flavorful stew and savoring every last bit of that delicious sauce. It’s a comforting and satisfying way to enjoy the meal.

Another popular option is mashed potatoes. Creamy, buttery mashed potatoes provide a luxurious and velvety texture that pairs beautifully with the rich and hearty nature of beef stew. The combination of tender meat, flavorful vegetables, and creamy potatoes creates a harmony of flavors that is simply delightful.

If you’re looking for a lighter alternative, consider serving the stew over rice or quinoa. The grains absorb the flavors of the stew and add a fluffy and slightly nutty element to the dish. It’s a versatile choice that complements the stew without overpowering it.

Roasted vegetables can also make a fantastic side dish. Think about roasted carrots, parsnips, or Brussels sprouts. Roasting brings out their natural sweetness and adds a wonderful depth of flavor to the meal. Plus, the caramelized edges of the vegetables provide a delightful contrast to the tender beef in the stew.

For a touch of freshness, steamed or sautéed greens can be a great option. Consider spinach, kale, or Swiss chard. The vibrant colors and slightly bitter notes of the greens offer a refreshing counterpoint to the richness of the stew, creating a well-balanced plate.

If you’re in the mood for a lighter bite, a crisp salad can be a great choice. A simple green salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber, tossed in a tangy vinaigrette, adds a refreshing element to the meal while providing a burst of freshness.

And don’t forget about the possibility of adding some pickles or tangy condiments to the table! Cornichons, pickled onions, or a dollop of mustard can bring a tangy and zingy flavor that cuts through the richness of the stew, adding an extra layer of complexity to the meal.

Lastly, let’s not overlook the option of enjoying a glass of red wine alongside your beef stew. Since you’re already incorporating red wine in the stew itself, sipping on a glass that complements the flavors of the dish can enhance the overall dining experience.

How do you thicken Beef stew?

To thicken the beef stew and achieve a rich and hearty consistency, there are several methods you can try. Here are a few popular options:

  1. Flour or Cornstarch: One common method is to use a mixture of flour or cornstarch and water as a thickening agent. Start by combining equal parts of flour or cornstarch with cold water to make a slurry. Then, gradually add the slurry to the simmering stew while stirring continuously. Allow the stew to cook for a few minutes after adding the slurry, and it will thicken as it heats.
  2. Roux: Another traditional method is to create a roux, which is a mixture of equal parts flour and fat (such as butter or oil). Start by melting the fat in a separate pan, then add an equal amount of flour and cook it over medium heat, stirring constantly, until it forms a paste-like consistency. Incorporate the roux into the stew, stirring well to blend it in. As the stew simmers, the roux will thicken the liquid.
  3. Tomato Paste: If you’re looking to add flavor along with thickness, tomato paste can be a great option. Add a tablespoon or two of tomato paste to the stew and stir it in. The tomato paste will not only thicken the stew but also contribute a rich and savory taste.
  4. Pureeing Vegetables: For a more natural thickening method, you can puree a portion of the cooked vegetables in the stew. Use a blender or immersion blender to puree a small amount of the softened vegetables, then return the mixture to the stew. This technique adds thickness and body to the stew while incorporating the flavors of the vegetables.

Remember, the amount of thickening agent needed may vary depending on the desired consistency of your stew and the specific recipe you’re using. It’s best to start with a small amount and gradually add more if needed, as it’s easier to thicken the stew further than to thin it out if it becomes too thick.

Also, keep in mind that as the stew cooks and reduces, it may naturally thicken on its own. If you prefer a thicker stew, allow it to simmer uncovered for some time to allow the liquid to evaporate and concentrate.

Feel free to experiment with these methods and find the one that suits your taste and desired texture. Happy cooking!

Hot beef stew simmering

What drinks with Beef Stew?

When it comes to pairing drinks with a delicious beef stew, there are a few options that can perfectly complement the flavors of the dish.

If you’re a fan of wine, red wine is a classic choice. Since you’re already using red wine in the stew, enjoying a glass alongside your meal can create a delightful harmony of flavors. A rich and robust red wine, like a Cabernet Sauvignon or a Merlot, can stand up to the bold flavors of the stew and add an extra layer of depth to the dining experience. However, feel free to choose a red wine that suits your personal taste preferences and complements the flavors of the stew.

Now, if you’re more of a beer enthusiast, fear not! There are beer options that can work wonders with beef stew. A hearty and malty beer, such as a Belgian Dubbel or a brown ale, can complement the richness of the stew and provide a nice contrast. These beer styles often have caramel and toasty notes that go well with the savory flavors of the dish.

If you prefer non-alcoholic options, there are still choices that can be enjoyable. A rich and full-bodied apple cider can bring a touch of sweetness and fruitiness to the meal. Alternatively, a flavorful herbal tea or a warm spiced beverage can also be a comforting and refreshing accompaniment to the stew.

Do you have other Roast Videos?

Yes! we do here is a list:
Pork Belly Marinade
Tasty Lamb Shanks
Beef Roast Sirloin

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Cooking With An Italian

Ciao I am Piero coming all the way from Puglia Italy. I created this site to bring my love of food to all, hope you enjoy.