Italian Beef Stew (Spezzatino)

Slow cooked beef would always fill the kitchen with an aroma that would bring everyone to the table. When my mom was growing up, beef wasn’t plentiful in her small country town in Italy, so my grandmother would usually get less tender cuts that would create delicious stew-type meals like this one. Serve this saucy stew with plenty of crusty bread to soak up the sauce.
Yield 6 Servings Prep. Time 20 min Cooking Time 165 min Total Time 185 min


Here are the following ingredients:

  • 2 lb (1 kg) Boneless Beef Blade Roast, Blade Steak or Beef Stew Cubes
  • 3 tbsp (45 mL) extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 large carrot, thinly sliced
  • 1 onion, thinly sliced
  • 1 large clove garlic, minced
  • ¾ tsp (4 mL) salt, divided
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) dry red wine
  • 2 cups (500 mL) tomato passata (strained tomatoes)
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 sprig fresh rosemary
  • ½ tsp (2 mL) hot pepper flakes
  • 6 fresh basil leaves, torn


  • 2 lb (1 kg) yellow-flesh potatoes, peeled
  • Salt
  • ¼ cup (60 mL) extra virgin olive oil

Shopping List

Here are the following shopping items to buy:


Follow these cooking methods/directions:

  1. Trim visible fat from beef. Cut beef into about ½-inch (1 cm) pieces. Pat dry with paper towel and set aside.
  2. In a Dutch oven, heat oil over medium heat. Add carrot, onion and garlic; cook, stirring for about 5 minutes or until softened. Stir in beef and ¼ tsp (1 mL) of the salt. Cook, stirring, for about 3 to 4 minutes or until beef starts to change colour, but not brown. Add wine and increase heat to medium-high; bring to a boil.
  3. Stir in passata, bay leaf, rosemary, hot pepper flakes and remaining salt; return to a simmer. Cover, reduce heat and simmer, stirring frequently, for about 2½ hours or until beef is very tender.
  4. Potatoes: Meanwhile, place potatoes in a saucepan and add cold water to cover. Bring to a boil over high heat. Season water with salt. Reduce heat and boil gently for about 25 minutes or until tender but firm. Drain well and return to pot. Drizzle with oil and ¾ tsp (4 mL) salt and stir to break into chunks; keep warm.
  5. Stir basil into stew and simmer, uncovered, for about 10 minutes until slightly thickened. Discard bay leaf and rosemary stem. Serve spezzatino with Potatoes.