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Organic beef stew with bacon

Beef stew: Emilian recipe but Italian flavour

Emilian beef stew is a delicious second course of meat and often served at family Sunday lunches. A recipe that embodies all the taste of Emilia - more precisely in the province of Piacenza - and which 100% expresses the Italian aromas and flavors with that something that always tastes like home and warmth.

In the Piacenza area it is often prepared with donkey meat - typical of the area - but the original recipe includes a second course based on beef which is cooked for a very long time - it is no coincidence that the name Stracotto - immersed in a sauce based of tomato, broth and mixed aromas that give a winter scent.

If we move closer to the Bergamo area, we might hear beef stew called braised beef, a small difference in the name but the taste that the meat takes on thanks to long cooking and low heat is always the same. To enjoy this dish, you don't need to wait for Sunday or a holiday, you just need to have time to prepare the recipe and the outside temperature drops: only in this way will a good dose of polenta - or purée - and stew really taste like winter dinners.

Stewed or braised? The differences

Often used as synonyms, the difference lies only in the ancient way in which it was prepared. Brasato, in fact, derives from the Piedmontese word "brasi or braso" which actually means "ember", and this indicates that it was customary for this recipe to be physically cooked in a large pot directly on the embers of the fire. Stracotto is the same recipe as braised beef, the only difference lies in the region and - often - the city in which it was prepared.

The base always remains excellent Italian beef with fat, red wine, herbs, with or without tomato and very long cooking to create a spectacular sauce. So let's see together the recipe for organic beef stew.

The recipe for organic beef stew with bacon

Stewed beef ingredients

  • 1 kg of beef pulp (beef rump, priest's hat or baby spinach)
  • 1 liter of meat broth
  • 70 g of bacon cut into cubes
  • 70 g of butter
  • 4 cloves
  • 2 glasses of full-bodied red wine
  • 2 tablespoons of tomato paste
  • 2 white onions
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • Bay leaves to taste
  • Juniper berries to taste
  • Extra virgin olive oil to taste
  • Salt and Pepper To Taste

Organic beef stew process

To prepare the braised meat you need to arm yourself with patience and marinate the meat the day before. Peel and cut the onion, celery and carrot into very thin cubes - similar to sautéing. We cut the bacon into very thin cubes or cubes and put our piece of meat to marinate in a saucepan large enough to submerge at least half of the cut with the wine.

We cut the meat slightly and insert the chopped bacon with more fat. Now take the beef pulp and marinate it with the red wine, the chopped vegetables, the bay leaves, the juniper berries, salt, pepper and the remaining bacon. Cover with cling film and let rest in the fridge overnight.

The next day, drain the meat and set aside the vegetables and marinating liquid. In a saucepan, brown some sliced ​​onion with butter and, if you want, a few more cubes of bacon. We add the vegetables that we have drained from the marinade and then also the beef pulp.

Let it sear well on each side to seal in all the juices. Salt, pepper and blend with the marinade wine, add the tomato paste and about half a liter of meat broth - in any case the right amount to almost completely cover the organic beef.

Cook with the lid on over low heat for about 4/5 hours, stirring frequently and adding any broth if it dries out too much. Be careful not to overdo it because we need to create a nice cooking base.

Once cooked, remove the meat from the bottom and let it rest on a cutting board. Blend the cooking juices with a blender so as to have a nice velvety sauce, spicy and red like wine. We serve the stew cut into thick slices with a generous dose of sauce and hot polenta.