Stufatino alla Romana

This is quite strongly flavoured Italian beef stew that I cooked, originally, more years ago than I care to remember. I remember its being quite interesting largely. I think, due to the combination of celery with beef. Other than that, it’s a pretty standard “Beef in red wine” kind of meal but it tastes pretty good. Here I go reviving a wintery blast from the past.


serves: 4
preparation time: 25 mins
cooking time: 1½ hrs


  • 2 oz flour
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp dried marjoram
  • 2 lbs beef top rump, cubed
  • olive oil
  • 6 oz green streaky bacon, rinds removed & chopped
  • 1 medium onion, sliced & pushed into rings
  • 2 ribs celery, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 tbs fresh marjoram, chopped
  • 8 fl oz red wine
  • 4 floz beef stock
  • 2 tbs tomato purée


In a large plastic bag, combine the flour, pepper, salt and dried marjoram. Add the beef cubes, seal the bag and toss it about to coat the beef with the seasoned flour. Set the beef aside on a plate.

In a large flameproof casserole, heat the olive oil and fry the bacon pieces, stirring occasionally, until they are crisp and have rendered their fat. Remove the bacon with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the onion and celery to the pan and fry gently for 6 to 8 minutes until the onion is soft and translucent but not brown. Shake excess flour off the beef cubes and add them to the casserole, stirring occasionally for another 6 to 8 minutes to brown them lightly. Add the fresh marjoram, reserved bacon, and stir in the stock and wine. Bring to the boil and simmer uncovered for 30 minutes or until th eliquid has reduced by about half. Stir in the tomato purée and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes.

The sauce should be thick and dark by the time the stufatino is cooked. We’re trying it with some homemade gnocchi and some tenderstem broccoli.

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