This is a family favorite in Italy. And as with many traditional recipes, families tend to have their own way of cooking this delicious stew. It’s usually made with mature veal but it’s equally as delicious with lamb, beef or pork or even chicken.
In this version, peas are used but quite often carrot or potatoes are added towards the end of the cooking instead, cut to the same size as the meat. But if you do the pea version below you can always serve with potatoes on the side, cooked any which way you like.
One thing is for sure, whatever version is made in an Italian home, most families will have some fresh bread on the side ready to spoon into the delicious juices and such a great idea when you’re out camping too!
I’ve seen some Italians substitute the white wine for a pale or dark beer which results in an equally mouthwatering dish.
The trick to get a really tasty flavor is to make sure the onions and meat are browned in the fat. The addition of the bacon is an extra that is used in older versions of this recipe but many cooks leave this out now, perhaps more for convenience than anything else.
The Dutch oven is perfect for this all in one recipe. Keep checking every now and again to make sure it’s just simmering. Slow cooking the stew once everything is added is going to require patience as those smells waft out of that Dutch oven but trust me, your patience will pay off.
If you are new to dutch oven cooking, we have an article to tell you all you need to know here.
When you finish checking out this recipe, here are couple more you are sure to love.
- 2 lb boneless shoulder or leg of veal, cut into 1 inch cubes
- Flour for coating
- 3 tbsp butter
- 3 thick slices of bacon, cut into ½ inch cubes (optional but adds a great flavor)
- 1 onion peeled and chopped
- ⅔ cup dry white wine
- 1 red bell pepper, cut into thin strips
- 1 stalk celery, sliced
- 1 tbsp tomato paste
- 1½ cup stock
- Sprig of rosemary or dried
- Salt and ground black pepper to taste
- 1½ cups peas
- 1 cup of sliced carrots
- Coat the veal cubes with flour.
- Fry the bacon cubes in the butter for about 5 minutes until the bacon fat starts to melt.
- Add the onion and start to fry for a few minutes.
- Add the veal and fry until golden brown, stirring all the time. The onions should have a little color by this time too. Add a little extra butter or oil if it is too dry.
- Stir in the wine and allow it to bubble away until well reduced.
- Add the peppers, celery, carrots, tomato paste, salt and pepper to taste.
- Bring to the boil, stirring all the time.
- Cover and cook for about 1½ hours, using a few coals below only, to create a gentle simmer.