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Beef & Veal Stews

Though one might associate Italy with pasta, there is a very long tradition of stewing beef and veal, born of the hearths and wood fired stoves people used until WWII, which provide even heat that's perfect for slow cooking. Coda alla Vaccinara, Peposo, Brasto al Barolo, and much more!

Spicy Braised Beef With Polenta, Brasasato Speziato Con La Polenta
Though this packs a punch, the sauce and the polenta go together beautifully. Should you prefer it less hot, reduce the pepper content. Serve it with a good, full bodied red wine that will not be overwhelmed by the pepper, or with beer.

Spiced Braised Beef With Polenta Recipe - Brasasato Speziato …
Though this packs a punch, the sauce and the polenta go together beautifully. Should you prefer it less hot, reduce the pepper content. Serve it with a good, full bodied red wine that will not be overwhelmed by the pepper, or with beer.

Adriana's Beef and Pork Stew Recipe - Lo Stufato Dell'Adriana
A number of years ago I finished Vinitaly, the major Italian wine trade show, with a delightful potluck dinner at the home of Lorenzo Begali, who makes wonderful Valpolicella and Amarone. And wrote down the recipes. This time it was a much quieter dinner, and Adriana, Lorenzo's wife, served pasta followed by stew and polenta.

Piemontese Meat Stew Recipe - Fricandó - Fricandó alla Piemontese
In introducing Tuscany's cacciucco Artusi notes that a very similar fish stew is called Brodetto on the Adriatic coast, and then observes that the word Brodetto is an egg-based Easter soup in Florence: He concludes with the hope that Italians will unify their culinary terminology. It hasn't happened, and the stewed meat he calls Fricandó differs considerably from what you will find in Piemonte or the Valle D'Aosta.

Artusi's Fricandó - Fricandó - Stewed Leg Of Veal
In introducing Tuscany's cacciucco Artusi notes that a very similar fish stew is called Brodetto on the Adriatic coast, and then observes that the word Brodetto is an egg-based Easter soup in Florence: He concludes with the hope that Italians will unify their culinary terminology. It hasn't happened, and the stewed meat he calls Fricandó differs considerably from what you will find in Piemonte or the Valle D'Aosta.

Alessio Pesucci's Peposo - A Tuscan Answer to Chili
Peposo is a rich peppery stew traditionally made by the tileworkers of Impruneta, near Florence. There are two recipes, one with tomato and one without. Alessio Pesucci makes his without, and it is very nice, an excellent Tuscan answer to Chili.

Beef Pastissada - Pastissada di Manzo
Pastissada is an old Veronese stew that draws from Austro-Hungarian tradition (Verona was a part of the Empire for a long time) and brings goulash to mind. Most of the recipes I've seen call for horsemeat, but this one is beef based, and it might be nice with an Amarone. To serve 6:

Kyle's Chile
I mentioned in a newsletter that I cooked chili for some American friends in Florence, and a couple of people have asked me for my recipe. Since our Italian friends line up at the door when they hear I'm making it, it's not quite as off topic as you might think.

Guido's Roast Veal Shank - Guido's Stinco Arrosto
Guido Stucchi Prinetti has taken over the cooking classes his Mom -- Lorenza De'Medici -- used to hold for foreign visitors at Badia a Coltibuono. This roast veal shank is one of his Mom's recipes, and classic cucina borghese, upper middle class Italian cooking. It's also quite easy to do, requiring little supervision: You simply prepare the meat, put it in the oven, and go about your business; in 3 to 4 hours it will be done. To serve 4-6 you'll need:

Impruneta's Peposo: An Illustrated Recipe
Peposo is Impruneta's signature stew, a zesty creation that can easily match any chili out there. And it's easy to make, too!

Veal Stew with Porcini Mushrooms and Finely Sliced White Truffle
Veal Stew with Porcini Mushrooms and Finely Sliced White Truffle, or Bocconcini di Vitello Con Funghi Porcini e Lamelle di Tartufo Bianco: This is quite elegant, and fit for a major feast or celebration; indeed, it was served at the dinner held to celebrate Pope Giovanni Paolo IInd's 25th anniversary as Pope. If you're making it for a slightly less important occasion you may want to omit the white truffle; the stew will be quite nice in any case.

Beef a la Mode -- Bue alla Moda
There are many recipes for beef a la mode. This one, which has you lardon the meat and then stew it with wine and herbs, is from The Art of Eating Well (Random House, 1996), my translation of Pellegrino Artusi's La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, the first truly successful Italian cookbook.

Caramelized Veal with Cannellini -- Vitello Caramellato e Cannellini
Caramelized Veal with Cannellini, or Vitello Caramellato e Cannellini: This is an old recipe, at least in its origins -- the tradition of adding sugar to a recipe dates to the middle ages, when sweeteners were scarce and consequently highly prized, something to be enjoyed by those wealthy enough be able to procure them.

Summery Braised Beef or Veal -- Brasato Estivo
Summery Braised Beef or Veal, or Brasato Estivo: Brasato al Barolo, beef braised in Barolo, is one of the most classic dishes of the Langhe, the hilly area where Barolo and Barbaresco are made. It's also a wintery dish. This, instead, is a summery variation on the theme.

Braised Meat and Speck with Santa Maddalena - Speck e Brasato al Santa Maddalena
Braised Meat and Speck with Santa Maddalena, or Speck e Brasato al Santa Maddalena: Santa Maddalena is a dry red wine from just outside Bolzano made from Schiava with lesser amounts of Lagrein and Pinot Nero; this particular pot roast is similar to many one can find in Northern Italy, though speck adds a special touch.

Marengo Stew -- Spezzato Marengo
Marengo Stew, or Spezzato Marengo: A simple, hearty stew from Ada Boni's Il Talismano della Felicità.

Braised Beef Brescia Style -- Braciato Alla Bresciana
A simple, tasty braised beef recipe that will also provide a nice sauce for pasta, and would be a good bet for making meatballs too.

Milanese Stew -- Stufato Milanese
Milanese Stew, or Stufato Milanese: Almost every region of Italy has a stew it calls its own. This variation is Milanese, and it will also work well with lamb or pork; the important thing is that the pieces of meat not be too small, because if they're small then the dish is a spezzatino as opposed to a stufato. He goes on to say that the quality of the red wine is important for the success of the marinating, and warns not to overcook it. To serve 4:

Jailhouse Meat -- Carne da Galera
In the course of a cooking show, Dario Cecchini, Panzano's butcher, presented Carne da Galera, a dish whose name literally translates as Jailhouse Meat. The name comes, he says, from the fact that the cuts involved are less noble, and tended to go bad quickly in the days before refrigeration. Hence this herb-laden pot-roasting method, which was able to cover any off smells the meat might have developed.

Rovato Beef with Olive Oil -- Manzo di Rovato all'Olio
Rovato Beef with Olive Oil, Manzo di Rovato all'Olio: This is a classic dish from Rovato, one of the towns in the Franciacorta production area. The recipe is from the Trattoria il Priore, in Callino di Franciacorta.

Home-Style Cutlets with Potatoes -- Costolette alla Casalinga con Patate
Home-Style Cutlets with Potatoes, or Costolette alla Casalinga con Patate: Meat & potatoes is supposedly a classic combination from the British Isles, but they don't have a monopoly on it, as Mr. Vialardi shows.

Beef Braised in a White Wine Sauce -- Bue Stufato in Salsa al Vino Bianco
Beef Braised in a White Wine Sauce, or Bue Stufato in Salsa al Vino Bianco: A classic dish that Mr. Vialardi's Employer (the King) would have much enjoyed.

Beef Roll -- Salciccione di Bue
Beef Roll, or Salciccione di Bue: This recipe is drawn from a volume entitled Il Cuoco Piemontese, which was published in 1766. As is true with most recipes of the time, it was aimed at professional cooks and assumes that one has a feel for proportions. In the modern world, this means that one is free to experiment.

Veal Stew with Peppers -- Spezzatino con i Peperoni
Spezzatino con i Peperoni -- Veal Stew with Peppers -- Spezzatino con i Peperoni -- Veal Stew with Peppers

Stewed Beef or Veal, Alessandria Style -- Stracotto all'Alessandrino
This dish calls for Vitellone, which is a young cow (18 months or so), or for beef, which will be a little more flavorful. It's a classic dish of Casale Monferrato; to serve 6 you'll need:

Rump Roast with Greens -- Sottofiletto alle Verdure
Sottofiletto alle Verdure -- -- Rump Roast with Greens

Sanato Veal in Milk -- Sanato al Latte
Sanato Veal in Milk, or Sanato al Latte: Sanato is a special Piemontese veal that's fed with milk and egg whites after it's weaned, so its flesh remains white. In its absence use regular milk-fed veal, and adjust the cooking time, which will likely be a little less.

Veal Provence Style -- Vitello alla Provenzale
Veal Provence Style, or Vitello alla Provenzale: Provenza is of course in France, but you'll also find this tasty stew in Liguria, especially towards the French border.

Ghisau: A Sardinian Beef Stew
One of the most interesting dishes at the Salone del Gusto was Ghisau, a Sardinian beef stew that was made, for the occasion, from Sardo Modicana beef and Neapolitan San Marzano tomatoes (because the cook couldn't get Sardinian; San Marzano tomatoes are the original plum tomatoes, and are extraordinarily rich). The cook said she simmered the ghisau for several hours, and the results were impressive. To serve 6 you'll need:

Valdostan Fricassee -- Fricandò Valdostano
Valdostan Fricassee, or Fricandò Valdostano: Fricandeau is the French name for a cut of meat known in Italian as sottonoce (a part of the rump), and also the dish made by lardoning it and braising it in wine, with vegetables. It's also made in Piemonte and Liguria, though with broth rather than wine. In the Valle d'Aosta they use wine, but traditionally used cured rather than fresh beef. Some cooks thicken the sauce with a little flour, and others add 1-2 tablespoons of tomato paste.

Carbonade
Carbonade is one of the classic Valdostan stews, and was a mainstay of the valley diet. The traditional recipe calls for the use of salt-cured beef, which is quite dark and gives the dish its name (carbonade, charbon, charcoal). Now restaurants commonly prepare it with fresh beef, though some marinate the meat overnight. Cooking times have also decreased from the three hours of the original and now some put the onions through a strainer or thicken the sauce with a little flour.

Neapolitan Meat Ragù -- Carne al Ragù
Neapolitan Meat Ragù, Carne al Ragù: This is an elegant, rich Neapolitan recipe published by Cavalcanti in the late 1830s and reprinted by Caròla Francesconi in her wonderful La Cucina Napoletana. She notes that the meat used should vary depending upon the goal in mind; though Cavalcanti suggests one use an elegant cut if the primary goal is to serve a pot roast as a second course, he also used other cuts, and also other animals, including chicken and pork.

Stew Meat Tocco -- Tocco di Stufato
Stew Meat Tocco, or Tocco di Stufato: Tocco is a Ligurian term that means meat sauce, or ragù, and is an example of frugality: The meat is gently stewed. The resulting sauce is used to season pasta, rice, polenta, or what have you, while the meat serves as a second course with the vegetable of choice.

Beef or Veal Tocco -- Tocco d Carne
This is a Ligurian sauce; in introducing it Alessandro Molinari Pradelli says, "Tocco, with an o so closed it almost sounds like u (tucco) is a thick sugo that's used to season pasta and other things. In other words, a hearty sauce, made with the obligatory olive oil and complemented by the ever rarer use of bone marrow or veal fat (ingredients abhorred by the modern health fanatics), in which the cooking is lengthy and the sauce is put through a strainer to gain a creamier consistency.

Piemontese Stewed Beef -- Manzo Stufato alla Piemontese
Piemontese Stewed Beef, or Manzo Stufato alla Piemontese: Every corner of Italy has a pot roast. This recipe is from Piemonte; it's one of those dishes you set on the stove and leave while you do other things, and will improve if you can cook it most of the way one day and finish cooking it the next.

Braised Beef with Polenta Gnocchi -- Bue Brasato con Gnocchi di Polenta
Braised Beef with Polenta Gnocchi, or: Bue Brasato con Gnocchi di Polenta: A hearty winter dish to keep the cold at bay.

Scottiglia Aretina: Arezzo's Scottiglia
Though scottiglia is generally associated with the Maremma, the wild scrub hills of South Western Tuscany between Siena and Grosseto, it's not limited to that area, and it would perhaps be more correct to consider it an outdoorsy dish of the sort that woodsmen and charcoal burners can make with what they have on hand. Poor people's food, in short, but not less tasty for that.

Beef Goulash -- Goulash di Manzo
Most people associate goulash with Hungary and central Europe. However, it's also quite popular in the north-eastern Alps, which were long under Austrian domination (Bolzano, in the northern half of the Val D'Adige, is ethnically German and was annexed by Italy at the end of World War I). This will be delightful with a steaming polenta.

Brasato Marchigiano
This recipe is from the Marches; it's a braised beef dish from a recently republished 17th century manuscript compiled by one of the first master chefs to admit women into the kitchens as chefs. The recipe, we were told in the course of a demonstration on TV, is braised because at the time few people had ovens. To make it you will need:

Braised Beef -- Bue alla Brace
Pellegrino Artusi was quite thorough in his La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, and when I translated it I was forced to cut some recipes to keep the manuscript of manageable size -- mostly those that were obvious or could be found elsewhere. Since this is his take on a French classic we omitted it, but it is good and well worth enjoying.

Beef a la mode -- Bue alla Moda
Pellegrino Artusi was quite thorough in his La Scienza in Cucina e L'Arte di Mangiar Bene, and when I translated it I was forced to cut some recipes to keep the manuscript of manageable size -- mostly those that were obvious or could be found elsewhere. Since this is his take on a French classic we omitted it, but it is good and well worth enjoying.

Peposo
Peposo is a specialty of Impruneta, a town near Florence that's famous for its terracottas. The stew is a fiery exception to the rule that Tuscan cooking is bland, and is also one of the few dishes to have provoked a general strike. According to legend, Brunelleschi tried some while he was scouting tilemakers for the roof of the Duomo. He loved it...

Ossibuchi alla Milanese
Milano is known for a number of dishes, including cotoletta alla milanese, ossobuco, and risotto alla milanese. The former, which is quite easy and very tasty if properly done, has spread throughout the rest of the Peninsula. The other two haven't -- people often refer to them in hushed tones, as if there were great secrets involved in their preparation. It's a pity, because they're both very good, and neither is particularly difficult.

Calabrian Feast Day Meat -- Carne di Juorni ‘I Festa
A rich, tasty Calabrian feast day beef stew with olives, tomatoes, and lemon.

Scottiglia
Scottiglia, as Aldo Santini observes in "La Cucina Maremmana," is the charcoal-makers' answer to Livorno's cacciucco: A stew made from whatever animals they could catch, boiled in a great pot with whatever seasonings they had on hand. This means that no two cook's scottiglias are the same, and also that batches made by an individual cook can vary considerably.

Graziella's Beef & String Bean Stew -- Lo Stufato Coi Fagiolini della Graziella
Come summer, when string beans are at their tasty freshest, my mother-in-law makes this about once a week, and everybody volunteers to snap away the tips of the beans. Her proportions are never hard-and-fast, so feel free to adjust them to suit your taste. This will serve 4-6, and there may or may not be leftovers.

Beef Braised in Barolo: Brasato al Barolo
Beef braised in Barolo wine. Sounds simple....

Oxtail Stew: Coda alla Vaccinara
One of the most classic Roman dishes, from my review of David Downie's book on Roman cooking.

Marino's Italian Barbecue
A delightful beef & sausage barbecue done in a pan over the fire.

Stewed Ossibuchi: Ossibuchi al Sugo
Simple, but oh so tasty veal shanks in meat sauce (this also yields excellent pasta sauce)

Tripe: Trippa
A classic Italian dish. Background, preparation, and a basic recipe.

Farsumagru
A rich meat roll filled with delights, the undisputed King of Sicilian meat cookery.

Festive Ragù: Gran Ragù della Festa
An extraordinarily rich, festive Sicilian stew that also provides sauce for the pasta. In many occasions it was the reason for the festivities.

Roast Veal with Milk: Arrosto al Latte
A rich, mushroomy veal potroast.

Roman Stew: Stufato alla Romana
Hearty stewed beef with lots of veggies -- usually celery or cardoons.

Stuffed Cabbage Leaves: Rambascìci
Though one might expect richer fare for Christmas Day, these stuffed cabbage leaves were one of the standard dishes among the Italians living in Dalmatia, perhaps because they were introduced by those who fought the Turks in the mountains.

Taglierini with the Sauce from a Roast: Tajarin Col Sugo di Arrosto
Tajarin (Piemontese tagliatelle) with the sauce froma pot roast. Makes for a fine first course and a tasty second course too.

Castelfranco Meatballs With String Beans and Potatoes
From Erica De Mane: "Here's an old family recipe that I love to make well into the fall. I find it an excellent way to use up the last-of-the-season tomatoes and starchy string beans you find at the greenmarket in early October....This dish is from Castelfranco in Miscano, a dry little hill town near the border of Puglia and Campania where my grandmother was born...."

Giordano Beretta's Ossibuchi
Several very tasty looking recipes for osso buco, including a Swiss (Canton Ticino) variation and one that's quite quick.

Ossibuchi con Porcini Secchi
Ossibuchi with dried porcini mushrooms -- a nice looking variation on an old standby.

Oxtail Stew with Red Vermouth and Orange
"Oxtails were originally actually cut from oxen, which are castrated bulls. Now they are cut from everyday beef cattle, but I suppose oxtail sounds more folklorico than cow tail, so the original name of the stew has endured..." From Erica De Mane

Sformato di Patate al Ragu
A Sicilian classic from Anna Tasca Lanza

Short Ribs Braised in Chianti with a Celery Gramolata
"Short ribs can be butchered in two ways, either lengthwise along the bone, like traditional ribs, or crosswise through the bone, into shorter sections. Either cut is fine for this recipe..." From Erica De Mane.

Roman Beef Stew Recipe - Stufatino di Manzo alla Romana
Stufatino di Manzo alla Romana: A classic Roman dish. As is often the case with stews, it provides the wherewithal for an entire meal: use some of...

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