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Italian stew (wine braised beef over polenta)

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Serves 6-8 Servings | Prep Time 30 min | Cook Time 90 min

Why I Love This Recipe

This is a hearty robust stew that I've been making for years. It's one of those recipes I go to when I'm looking for something warm and comfy for dinner on those cold nights. Served over polenta with some crunchy bread...yummm!

Ingredients You'll Need

3 tbs Olive Oil
7 lb Beef Chuck Roast: 1" Cubes
1 Large Onion: Minced
1/4 cup Fresh Italian Parsley: Chop
3 Garlic Cloves: Chopped
2 Bay Leaves
1/4 tsp Cloves: Ground
1/4 tsp Cinnamon: Ground
1/4 tsp Allspice: Ground
1 cup Red Wine: Dry
2 1/4 cup Beef Stock or Canned Broth
32 oz can Whole Italian Plum Tomatoes
1/2 cup Nicoise Olives: Pitted and Sliced
4 tsp Rosemary: Chopped
2 Red Bell Peppers, 1/4" Strip
9 cups Water
11/2 teaspoon Salt
2 cups Cornmeal (not quick-cooking)


Heat oil in heavy Dutch oven over high heat.

Add 1/5 of beef and brown on on all sides, stirring occasionally, about 5 minutes.

Transfer beef to bowl using slotted spoon. Repeat with remaining beef in 4 more batches.

Reduce heat to medium, and add onion and Italian parsley to Dutch oven and cook until onion is golden brown, stirring frequently, about 10 minutes.

Stir in chopped garlic, bay leaves, cloves, cinnamon and allspice.

Return beef to Dutch oven and stir to coat with onion and spice mixture.

Add red wine and bring to boil, scraping up any browned bits, and simmer mixture for 15 minutes.

Add beef stock and simmer 10 minutes.

Add tomatoes with their juices, breaking up tomatoes with back of spoon.

Mix in olives and rosemary.

Reduce heat to low, cover and cook until beef is tender, stirring occasionally, about 1 1/2 hours.

Add bell peppers, cover and cook until just tender, about 15 minutes.

Season to taste with salt and pepper. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Cover and refrigerate.)

For Polenta: Bring water and salt to boil in heavy large saucepan.

Gradually whisk in cornmeal.

Continue whisking until mixture boils and thickens, about 2 minutes.

Reduce heat to low, and cook cornmeal until thick and thoroughly cooked, whisking occasionally, about 30 minutes.

You can add some parmesan cheese (about 1/2 cup) and 2 Tbls butter before serving.

Serving: Bring beef to simmer, stirring occasionally. spoon polenta into shallow soup bowls. Spoon beef over polenta and serve.

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