Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew}

Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew} | In Jennie's Kitchen

People often ask about my favorite recipe, and as with choosing between your children, it’s impossible. What I cook is usually dependent on my mood, although lately my schedule comes into play often. I simply don’t have as much time on a daily basis with commuting into the city for work three days a week.

Meal planning has been essential, although I will confess I still don’t love doing it. I’ve always enjoyed spontaneity in the kitchen, and a well-stocked pantry makes cooking on the fly very doable on my work from home days. Come winter time, there is one recipe that gets repeat play: beef spezzatino. 

Fans of Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie’s Kitchen might recognize this Italian Beef Stew. It also happens to be one of my best friend’s favorite recipes. While it was created and written for the stove top, I’ve also made it in the pressure cooker and slow cooker, though I don’t have exact cooking times to share (Erin, if you’re reading this, will you chime in? I think you’ve made it in the slow cooker, too, yes?).

So, why is this Beef Spezzatino a favorite? Aside from the flavor which is so darn comforting and screams cozy on a cold winter day, it’s ridiculously easy to make. Really.

Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew} | In Jennie's Kitchen

Unlike most stew recipes where browning the meat is an essential step, that’s not necessary to make my Beef Spezzatino. It goes into a cold pan. How awesome is that? No splattering oil, no messy stove. Just a hearty bowl of tender meat and veggies, draped in a thick, rich tomato sauce that’s been seasoned with a whisper of cloves and bay leaves.

Leftover beef spezzatino heats up nicely, but my hands-down favorite way to use it up is as filling for a pot pie. And it couldn’t be any easier. Just make a batch of my perfect pie crust, roll it out, fit into smaller pie plates, and spoon in some filling, then bake at 375ºF until the filling is bubbling and crust is deep golden.

I’m off to finish a deep cleaning on the kids’ room. I began with their closet last night, and tackling the rest of the room today. Most of what we get rid of will either go to the shelter in town, the local church textile recycling, or the ReStore in Kingston. Books we decide to thank for their service to our family, and move onto new lives, will be donated to our school library.

Hope the weekend is filled with peace, joy and good eats for all of you. xo-Jennie

Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew} | In Jennie's Kitchen

Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew} | In Jennie's Kitchen

Beef Spezzatino {Italian Beef Stew}

Homemade with Love: Simple Scratch Cooking from In Jennie's Kitchen
Stew is one of my favorite meals on a blustery day. What I love most about this recipe is that there’s no need to brown the meat beforehand, which means less mess and easier clean up. A loaf of crusty bread is a must for sopping up the sauce.
5 from 4 votes
Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 30 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 to 6


  • One 28-ounce can whole peeled San Marzano tomatoes
  • 2 pounds stew meat cut into 1-inch chunks
  • 5 medium carrots cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 garlic cloves chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 2 tablespoons butter 28 grams, cut into pieces
  • 1/4 cup 62 ml extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 cup 125 ml dry red wine
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 large Yukon gold potato peeled and cubed


  • Add the tomatoes and their juices to a deep bowl and squeeze between your hands to crush them; set aside.
  • Place the beef and carrots in a heavy-bottomed, deep skillet. Sprinkle the garlic and pieces of butter over the meat and carrots. Drizzle the olive oil on top. Add the bay leaf and turn the flame onto medium-high heat and cook, without stirring for 15 minutes.
  • Stir in the wine. Raise the heat to high and bring to a vigorous boil for 15 minutes. Stir in the cloves and tomatoes. Cover the skillet, reduce the flame to a simmer and cook for one hour.
  • Give the stew a stir, and season with the salt and pepper. Add the potatoes, cover the skillet again and continue to simmer for one more hour, until the meat is extremely tender, almost falling apart when pierced with a fork.
  • Remove the bay leaf and toss it. Ladle the stew into deep serving bowls to serve.



  • Jacke S

    I love, love, love this recipe! I do switch it up sometimes with my own variation of adding mushrooms and subbing the red wine for Marsala. So perfect for snowy, slow Sunday!

  • Ady

    5 stars
    Thank you! I’ve alrerady made it twice and my sole complaint is it’s gone the minute it’s ready… my lot wold it down. Your recipes are being made (I’m a loyal fan) as far as Tel Aviv, Israel 🙂

  • Teri

    5 stars
    Thanks so much for this recipe. Incredibly easy and delicious. It’s wonderful on a cold and rainy night. (Here in SoCal we’ve had a lot of those lately!) The cloves were a wonderful addition.

  • Zara

    5 stars
    Hi Jennie, I followed your instructions with some trepidation – put the ingredients in a cold pot? Don’t stir? What?! I’m so glad I trusted you – it turned out perfectly delicious. I just ordered your book and can’t wait to get it. Thank you for all you do.

  • Jennie

    I know what you mean, Zara. It sounds crazy and counter intuitive to everything we’ve learned about stew but turns out amazing. 🙂 -Jennie