Papa's Stew

About this recipe

The trick here is to cook the meat sufficiently before adding the vegetables. If the meat is tough, you didn’t cook it long enough. If the meat falls apart, you cooked it too long. Good luck!


Place a large pot on the stove; turn heat to medium and fry:

  • 2 tbsp. olive oil,
  • 1 small cooking onion (diced).

When the onion looks good, add:

  • 3-4 lb. veal shoulder or sirloin steak (cubed),
  • ½ tbsp. basil, 1 tsp. salt, ½ tsp. marjoram, and ½ tsp. chili pepper.

Brown the meat well (it will release water). Cook until most of the water is evaporated (30-40 minutes). Then add:

  • 1 cup white wine.

Cover and let wine absorb into meat for 20 minutes. Then add:

  • 1 (28 oz.) can plum tomatoes (hand-squashed),
  • 2 cans water (use the tomato can),
  • 3-4 potatoes (largely diced),
  • 3-4 monster carrots (largely diced),
  • 1 cup peas.

Bring to a boil and simmer uncovered until everything looks like stew (approx. 1½ hours).

Eat with bread or serve over short pasta.


  • The peas can be fresh or frozen.
  • This dish also goes nicely over rice.
  • You could use meatballs instead of steak or use regular stewing beef.
  • Try adding cubed chicken breast with the wine (it falls apart if added sooner). Chicken goes really well with beef. You can also slice up 1 lb. Italian sausage.
    To make Canadian stew, flour your meat, don’t add wine, use different spices, skip the tomatoes, add 3 cans of beef stock, take out half the taste, and at the end, use cornstarch to thicken.

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