This is a hearty stew that will warm you up during long and cold winter. Impressive enough to be served at a dinner party to the most hard to please guests. It’s been teens in New England! Thankfully, I have a wonderful cook book from Marcella Hazan.
Adapted from Marcella Hazan’s Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking
Ingredients (for four to six servings)
3 tablespoons butter
2-3 tablespoons olive oil
1 1/2 lbs. boneless veal stew meat (shoulder or shank) – cut into 1-inch cubes
Flour, spread on a plate
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, peeled and chopped fine
3/4 cup dry white wine
3/4 cup canned diced tomatoes with their juices
2 springs chopped fresh rosemary
5 fresh chopped sage leaves
2 tablespoons chopped parsley
1/2 pound fresh white button mushrooms
1. Heat 2 tablespoons of butter and 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy bottom pot. While the pot is heating, turn the veal cubes in the flour. Put them in the pan. Cook the meat on high, turning it, until all sides are deeply browned. Transfer it to plate.
2. Turn the heat down to medium, put in the chopped onion and cook until translucent, then add garlic and cook turning from time to time until the garlic becomes slightly colored. Add wine and let it bubble for a minute. Return meat to the pot, add tomatoes, rosemary, sage and parsley, a few pinches of salt and pepper to taste. Adjust heat to cook at a steady, but gentle simmer, and cover the pot. Cook for about 1 hour, turning the meat from time to time, until the veal is tender enough to be cut with a fork. If the meat sticks to a pot, add a little water.
3. While the meat is cooking, prepare the mushrooms. Wash them rapidly in cold running water, pat dry with a paper towel . I prefer whole mushrooms, but if you’d like, you can cut them into 2 or 4 pieces.
4. Heat remaining butter and olive oil in a pan and add mushrooms. Sprinkle them with salt and pepper and cook until they brown and all the liquid from them evaporates. Turn mushrooms quickly, so they don’t burn. If they are browning too quickly, reduce heat. Set aside when done.
5. When the stew is cooked for at least 1 hour, put in the mushrooms, tossing them thoroughly with the meat. Add a bit water if necessary, cover the pot and cook for another 30 minutes until the meat is very tender when cut with a fork.
This stew is perfect when served with rice, mashed potatoes or bow pasta.
Enjoy and stay warm!