Tuscan Style Beef Stew

This was an interesting recipe, mostly from the standpoint of what the end result was. In my experience, a beef “stew” (or any stew really) contains more than just the meat. But the end result of this, if I understood the recipe correctly and the accompanying picture, you are left with only the meat. It seems more like we are making a braised beef rather than a stew. Read the recipe here, and see for yourself. 

Now, all that being said, it was a really good meal. I chose to put the beef over mashed potatoes over the polenta as I’m the only one that likes polenta. Everyone liked although my wife thought it was a little spicy. I didn’t think so at all but can understand her point as there is a lot of pepper with this. A tablespoon of cracked peppercorns in the braising and two teaspoons in the sauce. 

I did make a change to this and that was the meat. Although I have beef short ribs in the freezer, this called for boneless and I didn’t want to mess with trying to get four pounds of meats from what I had. In the end, as I couldn’t find boneless short ribs, I bought packages of cubed beef that was “for stewing”. Again, I had that in the freezer but not the quantity I needed. But it worked out. 

This is another recipe that takes quite awhile to make. Overall it was close to four hours although there is plenty of “down time”. I spent the full thirty minutes the beef was sitting on the counter prepping everything else. That made it much easier to put it all together but it was about about another half hour before it went in the oven. I chose to not stir it halfway through so it sat for two hours.  Once it was done, it was at least another half hour before it could be considered “done”. I did let it go a little longer as dinner was pushed back a bit. I would plan on between three and three and a half hours to make this. And that is multitasking at the highest. 

I never got the sauce to be like “heavy cream”, nor did I feel like it thickened at the very end when the cornstarch was added. And that was with letting it go longer than stated in the recipe. But, it tasted really good and worked well over the potatoes. Even if it was just the meat. 

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