Spezzatino alla toscana

Beef stew, Tuscan-style  Traditional recipe of Tuscany

Meat stew from Tuscany is a very simple dish that dates back to the tradition of the typical cuisine in this region, especially in areas where Chianina race is bred. Its ingredients are: beef shoulder, onion, celery, garlic, rosemary and carrot, fresh tomatoes and olive oil. It is a Mediterranean diet example for the simplicity of these ingredients, even if the same diet recommends a very moderate use of meat.

Beef stew, the photo shows the beef pices on the plate in their tomato sauce
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Beef stew, Tuscany-style

Ingredients / Serves 2

  • 400g (14 ounces) lean stewing steak, cut into cubes
  • 200g (7 ounces) canned peeled tomatoes
  • 80g (2.8 ounces) onion, chopped
  • 40g (1 1/2 ounce) carrot, chopped
  • 30g (1 ounce) celery, chopped
  • Sprig fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 150ml (5 fluid ounces - 2/3 cup) red wine
  • 1 garlic clove
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • Vegetable or meat stock
  • Salt
  • Pepper, if liked
  • Time:
    preparation: 15 minutes
    cooking: about 2 hours
    total: 2 hours 15 minutes
  • Difficulty:
    easy recipe
  • How many calories in a serving?
    Calories: 345 (kcal) 18 % GDA (*)- 1442 (kJ)
    Protein: 45.0 (g) 90 % GDA
    Total fat: 15.4 (g) 23 % GDA
    Total carbohydrate: 6.6 (g) 3 % GDA
    Sugars: 6.6 (g) 8 % GDA

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Recipe for Tuscan beef stew

Preparation and cooking

  • - Put olive oil, onion, rosemary, carrot and celery in a pan.
    Sauté all these vegetables on very low heat, stirring frequently, a few minutes.
  • - Add the meat too.
    Continue cooking, few minutes, stirring frequently.
  • - Pour in wine, let it evaporate and add tomatoes.
  • - Season to taste with salt and pepper and continue cooking, half-covered, on very low heat, stirring now and then.
    Add the boiling stock when necessary.
  • - Cooking must be long (it should last at least 90 minutes after the addition of tomatoes) if you want to have tender and tasty meat.
    Generally I let all the cooking juice reduce very well as you can see in the photo.

Just before servng

  • - Serve beef stew warm.



  • - Nobody likes garlic at my home and so I use fresh chives and add it to the meat together with the tomatoes. Besides we prefer hot chili pepper according to the Mediterranean diet.
  • - You can also use veal meat (boned shoulder of veal, cut into pieces).
  • - Choose the stock you prefer. Generally I put an onion, a carrot and a celery stalk in a pan. I cover these vegetables with water, season to taste with salt, bring to the boil and then reduce heat and let them simmer while meat is cooking. I add a bit of this stock when necessary.
  • - What tomatoes? Choose the tomatoes according to the season. In summer prefer fresh ripe tomatoes (300g - 10 1/2 ounces) and in winter canned peeled tomatoes.

Menu planning

  • - Serve beef stew with mashed potatoes or potatoes cooked together with the meat. It's enough to cube 3 medium size potatoes and add them to the meat half an hour before the end of cooking. Keep on cooking half-covered. It's a fantastic dish! In Italy we are also used to accompany this dish with peas or carrots.
  • - You can make beef stew all the year but it is preferable in the cold months.

Healthy eating

  • - The amount of meat per person is twice if compared with the rules proposed by nutritionists, but these are the quantities, usually prepared. Remember that the meat portion is 100 grams as suggested. The result is very high protein for this recipe.


What's the right wine for " Beef stew, Tuscan-style "?

Friuli Grave Merlot DOC (wine of Friuli) or Chianti (wine of Tuscany) are the best pairings.