Veal Stew with Potatoes (Spezzatino) is a classic Italian stew, a winter rustic confort food. Spezzatino recipe is a tasty complete meat recipe: tender veal cubes cooked slowly with the potatoes in stew. The result is a luscious rich creamy stew. Just the aroma, while it’s cooking, is enough to make your mouth water!
The best veal stew is simmered with vegetables, potatoes, white wine and rosemary until the meat is incredibly tender. You can even use this recipe to make Beef stew, which however needs to be cooked longer then veal.
Serve Italian Veal Stew with potatoes with some slices of Italian Homemade Bread.
Now find out how to make Spezzatino Recipe; a step by step recipe to make a delicious meat stew just like an Italian!
How to Make Italian Veal Stew with Potatoes (Spezzatino Recipe)
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 1 H and 15 Min
NOTE : You can make this recipe with Veal, tender and delicate, or you can make it with Beef. If you choose Beef, add an extra hour of cooking.
- 600 g (1,3 pound) of stewing Veal
- 500 g (1,1 pound ) of potatoes
- 1 small carrot
- 1/2 stick of celery
- 1 small onion
- 1/2 cup of dry white wine
- 500 ml (2 cups) of meat or vegetable stock
- 2 sprigs of rosemary
- 6 tablespoons of Extra virgin olive oil.
- 2 tablespoons of all-purpose flour
- 2 tablespoons of Tomato Paste (optional)
- 1 teaspoon of fine salt
- freshly ground black pepper
Step 1) – With the help of a small food processor, chop the celery, carrot and onion into small pieces and set aside. Then with a sharp knife, cut the veal into 3 cm (1 inch) pieces.
Step 2) – Flour the pieces of meat and shake them to remove excess flour. Keep them aside. In a large casserole, make a soffritto with the extra virgin olive oil and the chopped vegetables. Cook over low heat until softened and golden, about 2 minutes.
Step 3) – Add the floured pieces of meat. Cook over high heat for 3 minutes, turning them from time to time until browned all over. Then add the dry white wine. Mix and let it evaporate completely over high heat.
Step 4) – Finally add a couple of ladles of hot stock and a pinch of salt. Cover with a lid and reduce the heat. Let the veal stew cook for about 30 minutes over very low heat, taking care to stir it from time to time. While the veal is cooking, peel the potatoes and cut them into fairly regular pieces of about 4 cm (1 1/2 inch).
Step 5) – Now add the potatoes. Season with salt, freshly ground black pepper and the rosemary. Then add a ladle of hot stock.
Step 6) – At this step, if you want to give an extra touch of color and flavor, add two tablespoons of tomato paste. Stir and cook for another 45 minutes. During the cooking, don’t stir very often or you risk flaking the potatoes. They must be soft, but still intact. Remove the sprig of rosemary before serving. Italian veal stew with potatoes is ready. Serve it hot!
How to Cook Veal Stew: Some Tips
To make the best meat stew you’ve ever eaten, cooking method is really important.
For the veal stew it takes at least 1 hour to cook up to 2 hours. For the beef stew on the other hand, being a less tender meat than veal, it takes at least 2 to 3 hours of cooking.
So let the Veal Stew cook for no less than 1 hours over low heat, taking care to turn it every now and then.
The meat must never be dry, so replenish it with hot stock when needed. However, do not overdo the stock: the stew must be moist but not excessively liquid!
After adding the potatoes you will not have to turn the stew very often, otherwise you risk flaking the potatoes which must be soft, but still intact. Then stir the stew from time to time, do it gently and if necessary add a little more broth.
You need to get a soft, creamy veal stew but with veal cubes and potatoes still intact!
You can keep Italian Veal Stew with Potatoes in the refrigerator in an airtight container for about 3 days. It’s possible to freeze it if you have used fresh meat.
Spezzatino Recipe: How to Serve and Some Variants
“SPEZZATINO” consist in a piece of meat, in this case veal, cut into cubes (“Spezzare” in Italian means “to break/to cut”) and then let them simmer in a casserole for a quite long time.
Spezzatino is one of the most popular traditional meat stew recipes in Italy, from north to south, but with different characteristics.
Generally in southern Italy they use a lot of tomato sauce to make a Spezzatino called “in umido“. They often use meat stew to dress pasta. Famous are sheep and lamb stew.
In the northern Italy, Spezzatino is with a little tomato or even completely without tomatoes, called “spezzatino in bianco“. As for the meat, they use veal and beef. In the mountainous regions of the north, you can find venison or pork stew with Polenta.
In addition, like for all traditional Italian recipes, even for the meat stew, each family has its own recipes, handed down over time.
So you can make many type of spezzatino recipes, according to the vegetables and the type of meat you want to use. For example you can make Spezzatino with mushrooms, Spezzatino with peas, Pork Spezzatino (pork stew) or Beef Spezzatino (beef stew).
When the type of meat or the type of vegetable is not specified, but you find only the word “Spezzatino”, it means the Veal Stew with Potatoes. This is the most classic and most popular type of Spezzatino recipe in the Italian families.
What is the Best Cut of Meat for Veal Stew?
For a tasty veal stew it’s better to use less valuable cuts of meat, suitable for long cooking.
The pieces of meat obtained from the shoulder, neck, belly and also some parts of the thigh are the best, which can be cooked over low heat from 1 hour and a half to 2 hours.
The best cuts for a veal stew (but also for a beef stew) are Round Cuts (bottom and eye) and Chuck.
The Chuck is the neck of the bovine. In Italy it roughly corresponds to two cuts: “Reale” and “Cappello del Prete“. It’s a second-rate cut, rich in connective tissue and fat; the Italian culinary tradition considers it excellent for boiled meats and stewed dishes.
The Round corresponds to the thigh of the beef. The main cuts of Round are Knuckle Round (“Noce” in Italy) and Top Round (“Fesa” in Italy). These cuts are suitable for those who prefer a leaner meat stew, with less connective tissue.