A very tasty spezzatino (stew) made in the north east area of Italy. It’s quite simple to prepare and is braised in the oven. Traditionally it’s served with polenta (see below).I have served the stew as a second course, preceded by a pasta first course but it would also be lovely served with some veggies and good, crusty Italian bread. An Italian dry red wine or a Cabernet Franc or Merlot would be a perfect accompaniment.
Makes 6 Servings
6 Tbsp. EVO
4 ½ oz. pancetta, finely chopped
3 large shallots, peeled & cut in half
2 large carrots, peeled, cut in half & then into 1” pieces
2 large celery stalks, cut into 1” pieces
3 ½ lbs. veal stew meat, cut into 1 ½” pieces
1 cup + 2 Tbsp. dry red wine
2 medium bay leaves
2 ¼ tsp. chopped fresh rosemary or ½ tsp. dried
12 oz. beef stock (see below) or tinned low salt/no salt beef broth
12 oz. chicken stock (see below) or tinned low salt/no salt chicken broth
Garnish: Chopped fresh rosemary (opt.)
Preheat the oven to 325 F.
Place the shallots, carrots and celery into a food processor and chop until finely chopped, approximately 1/16” pieces, being careful not to over process to the point of a puree.
Heat 3 Tbsp. EVO in heavy large, deep skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped pancetta and chopped veggies; sauté until veggies are tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, transfer to a large bowl (do not clean pan). Add 1 – 2 Tbsp. EVO to the pan, heating until hot but not smoking. Place ½ cup flour, 1 tsp. salt and ¼ tsp. freshly ground black pepper into a plastic bag; dry the veal cubes with paper towels, then put a few pieces of veal at a time in the bag; place into the pan with the hot oil; continuing to coat more veal to fill the pan, making sure you don’t overcrowd the meat as they will not brown properly. You will probably need to do the veal in 2 batches. As the veal is browned, remove to the bowl with the sautéed veggies.
Add the wine, bay leaves and chopped rosemary to the pot; boil 5 – 10 minutes to allow wine to evaporate slightly. Return the veggies and the veal to the pan. Add both stocks; bring to a boil. Reduce heat; cover and place in the preheated oven until meat is tender; approximately 1 hr. + 30 to 45 minutes, stirring halfway through cooking. Remove from the oven; if the stew requires a bit more thickening, stir together 1 Tbsp. potato starch and 2 Tbsp. cold water. Place over medium heat, adding a little of the mixture at a time stirring until the consistency is what you desire; season with salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Sprinkle with additional chopped fresh rosemary if desired.