Rich and savory, this simple Tuscan beef stew gets its flavor from plenty of freshly ground black pepper, dry red wine, and a hands-off braise in the oven.
Like so many of my favorite batch cooking basics, this Tuscan beef stew is one of those recipes that just keeps on giving. It’s the perfect Sunday meal you just can’t wait to taste as it cooks away in the oven and perfumes the entire house. Oh man, does it smell good! And, it’s generous in its portions, making it the perfect meal prepping recipe for leftovers to eat later during the week.
This is another recipe my husband and I discovered on one of our weekend morning quests of “what are we going to make for dinner tonight?” Served with this super creamy polenta recipe, this Tuscan beef stew with black pepper was our answer after watching an episode of Christopher Kimball’s Milk Street.
With a long and low braise in the oven, this simple Italian beef stew is winey, peppery, and lusciously delicious as it melts in your mouth. It’s one of those hands-off recipes that’s perfect for weekend cooking when you can plan ahead and not be rushed but does take about 3 ½ hours total time to cook. The upshot is that prep is a cinch and there’s no need to brown the meat, making it even easier to cook with less mess to make.
What’s In Tuscan Beef Stew
While my mom’s pot roast recipe and my butternut squash and beef stew have extra vegetables in the recipes, this beef stew’s veggies are only aromatics that cook down to become a rich and lush part of the deep, rich gravy.
Here’s what’s in this Tuscan beef stew:
- Chuck roast
- Kosher salt and a generous amount of freshly ground, coarse black pepper
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Yellow onion
- Tomato paste
- Fresh sprigs of rosemary
- Dry red wine, such as chianti, cabernet sauvignon, or merlot, or see this article for more
The Best Meat for Stew
The best meat for just about any stew is a well marbled, boneless chuck roast. A chuck roast marbled with sufficient amounts of fat keep it tender, flavorful, and moist as it cooks for longer amounts of time. Lean cuts of beef or pork dry out and become tough during longer braises.
Trim excess fat from the roast, then cut into 2-inch chunks. To ensure even cooking, cut the meat into same size pieces, trimming excess fat so the stew doesn’t become greasy.
How to Make Tuscan Beef Stew
Generously season the meat with kosher salt and extra coarse ground black pepper. The more coarse the pepper, the easier it will stick to the meat as it browns and flavors the stew as it cooks. Gently pat the pepper into the chunks of meat before adding to a dutch oven or heavy bottom pot with a lid.
Cook the onion and whole garlic cloves, then stir in the tomato paste. Once the onion is transparent and the garlic is softened, stir in the tomato paste and cook for 3-5 minutes. Cooking the tomato paste deepens the sweet flavor and eliminates that raw tomato taste.
Add the beef to the pot then add the pot to the oven. Nestle the raw beef chunks in the onion and garlic and add the rosemary before covering and cooking for 2 hours. Remove the lid, stir, and continue cooking for 1 to 1 ½ hours more.
Once the beef is cooked, reduce the wine with the meat juices, and bring it all together. This is where everyone in the house really begins to visit the kitchen thanks to the winey smells. Reduce the wine until syrupy, then add the reserved meat juices. Simmer, reduce, and add the meat back to the pot. Taste for seasoning, and serve.
What to Serve With Tuscan Beef Stew
- Soft and Creamy Polenta
- Easy Parmesan Buttered Noodles
- How To Make The Best Mashed Potatoes
- Mashed Cauliflower With Parmesan And Chives
- Rosemary Garlic Butter Smashed Potatoes
If you make this recipe, please let me know! Leave a ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ rating on this recipe below and leave a comment, take a photo and tag me on Instagram with #foodiecrusheats.
Tuscan Beef Stew
- 6 pounds boneless beef chuck roast , trimmed of extra fat and cut into 2-inch chunks
- 2 tablespoons freshly ground, coarse black pepper
- 1 tablespoon kosher salt
- 1 large yellow onion , halved and thinly sliced
- 15 cloves of garlic , peeled
- 3 tablespoons tomato paste
- 3 sprigs fresh rosemary , plus 1 tablespoon minced rosemary
- 2 cups dry red wine , such as cabernet sauvignon, chianti, or merlot
- Preheat the oven to 325°F with a rack placed in the lower third of the oven.
- Place the beef in a large bowl and sprinkle with the black pepper and kosher salt. Toss to coat, pressing the salt and pepper into the beef as needed.
- Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven or heavy bottomed pot with a lid over medium heat. Add the onion and whole garlic cloves and cook, stirring, for about 5-7 minutes or until the onion is soft and translucent and beginning to brown. Stir in the tomato paste and cook until it is fragrant and begins to brown, about 3-5 minutes. Snugly nestle the beef in the onion and garlic mixture with the rosemary sprigs. Cover tightly with a lid and place in the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
- Remove the dutch oven from the oven, stir, and uncover the pot to continue cooking for 1 to 1 ½ hours or until the beef is fork tender and is easily pierced. Transfer the meat to a large bowl. Place a strainer over a medium bowl or a Pyrex 4-cup measuring cup. Pour the meat juices into the strainer and press on the solids to extract all of the liquid. Discard the solids.
- Pour the wine into the dutch oven and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium and scrape up any browned bits from the pot. Cook until the wine is syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, about 5-7 minutes. Skim the fat from the reserved meat juices and pour into the pot. Bring to a simmer and cook stirring occasionally, until thickened and the sauce coats the back of a spoon, about 5 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pot, and add minced rosemary. Stir gently as the meat reheats in the sauce. Add more pepper and taste season with more salt to taste. Serve with creamy polenta, mashed potatoes, or pappardelle egg noodles. *Adapted from Christopher Kimball's Milk Street
More Beef Dinner Recipe Ideas
- Beef Bourguignon
- Roasted Mushroom Beef Stroganoff
- Swedish Meatballs
- Mom’s Pot Roast Recipe
- Beef Stew With Butternut Squash (Instant Pot, Stove Top Or Crock Pot)
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Honestly amazing. Cut down on the wine reduction because it was so good without it.
While the taste was good, because the recipe was for 10 people and there were only 3 of us, I tried halving however did not adjust the cooking time and so the beef was a bit dry (and there were no juices).
Next time will need to experiment with cooking times.
Hopefully Heidi can let us know how best to half this recipe. I too do not need so much.
Hi Janet and Vince, click the PRINT option on the recipe card. The ingredients and directions will come up in your browser in another window. At the top of the recipe card is a function to adjust the number of people you’re cooking for and that will change the ingredient amounts needed.
great dish, love the flavors in this and its always nice to have an Italian dish that isn’t all tomato-Southern Italian flavor, so thank you!