Serving
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Beef with Tomato & Peas
Italy
  -   Spezzatino
Serves
Effort:
Sched:
DoAhead:  
4 main  
***
3 hrs  
Yes
A traditional stew found all over Italy, and, naturally, made with a thousand variations. It goes particularly well served with potatoes but can also be used with pasta.



2-1/4
------
2
1
1/2
1/4
------
5
------
2
1
1
1
1
------
3
1-1/2
1/2
1/2
1/4
#
---
T
t
t
t
---
oz
---
cl
#
T
c
c
---
T
c
t
t
t
Beef (1)
-- Coating
Flour
Thyme,dry
Salt
Pepper
---------
Onion
-- Sauce
Garlic
Crushed Tomatoes (2)
Tomato Paste
Wine, red
Stock, beef
--------
Olive Oil, pure
Peas, frozen (3)
Sugar (opt)
Salt
Pepper
Prep   -   (20 min)
  1. Cut BEEF into cubes about 1-1/4 inches on a side.
  2. Mix together all Coating Items and tumble Beef with the mix until evenly coated.
  3. Chop ONION medium.
  4. Crush GARLIC and mix together all Sauce items.
Run   -   (2 to 2-1/2 hrs)
  1. In a large heavy dutch oven (see Note-4) heat Olive Oil and fry Beef over moderate heat until all exuded liquid has evaporated and the meat is lightly browned on all sides. Take care the fond stuck to the bottom of the pan doesn't burn.
  2. Remove Beef, leaving as much oil as possible behind. Stir in Onions and fry over moderate heat until translucent.
  3. Stir in Sauce mix and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat scraping up the fond from the bottom of the pan until it is all incorporated into the sauce.
  4. Stir Beef back in and bring to a boil. Simmer covered over very low heat (see Note-5) until beef is tender. This can be 1-1/2 to 2 hours depending on cut.
  5. Stir in Frozen Peas and bring back to a simmer for simmer for another 5 minutes.
  6. Serve with Potatoes or Pasta (see Note-6).
NOTES:
  1. Beef:   Weight is without bones and all excess fat removed. Chuck is good for this recipe, round is ok but takes a bit longer cooking.
  2. Crushed Tomatoes:   The pattern recipe calls for sugocasa or passata, both common in Italy but scarce and expensive in North America. Canned crushed tomatoes work fine.
  3. Frozen Peas:   Measure is while still frozen. If using fresh peas use 2 cups and put them in with 15 minutes cooking time to go.
  4. Dutch Oven:   A sizeable non-reactive dutch oven is fine for a single recipe, but for any more I'd fry in a large heavy iron skillet, transfer to a dutch oven or stew pot, fry the onions and deglaze the pan with the sauce, then pour it all in with the beef.
  5. Cooking:   The pattern recipe puts the dutch oven into a 325°F/165°C oven, but with so much liquid there is no reason the stew can't be finished on the stovetop, or in a slow cooker (a bit more time needed).
  6. Serving:   Served as a party buffet dish I would tend to put potatoes in the stew, making it less likely someone will eat all the beef. Fingerling potatoes cut in half crosswise and boiled, stirred in just before serving would work well.
  7. U.S. measure: t=teaspoon, T=Tablespoon, c=cup, qt=quart, oz=ounce, #=pound, cl=clove in=inch, ar=as required tt=to taste
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