A traditional Italian Recipe, this Italian Beef and Potato Stew is an easy comfort food recipe. Tender beef and potatoes simmered in a tasty spiced light tomato sauce. The perfect one pot dinner.
Italian Beef & Potato Stew
This is a Classic Italian recipe that you will find for lunch or dinner, at least a dozen times during the cooler weather in Italy. A true Comfort Food. Nothing like Beef Stew.
This was always a dish I looked forward to that my mother-in-law would make. Just the aroma while it is slow cooking on the stove, is enough to make your mouth water.
The combination of the pancetta and beef is perfect, then throw in chunks of potato. I like to serve Homemade Soup or Stew with some crusty Italian bread or how about a homemade Focaccia?
So dig in and enjoy every delicious mouthful!
How to make Beef & Potato Stew
- In a large pot on medium heat, add the oil and chopped onion, cook until the onion is transparent.
- Then add the chopped pancetta, rosemary and garlic, cook for a few minutes.
- Then add the beef chunks that have been dredged in flour, cook for about 5-8 minutes, until the beef has browned, stirring often so nothing burns.
- Add the chunks of potato, tomato paste, spices, vegetable broth or bouillon cube and water.
- Cook on low heat for about an hour or until tender and thickened.
- Taste for salt once the stew has cooked, because the bouillon or broth and the pancetta can be salty enough without adding more. Remember you can always add salt but you can’t take it away.
What is the best beef to use in a stew?
Your best choice is stewing beef which is trimmed and then cut into bite-size pieces. It is usually chuck or round tough cuts that become tender and flavourful when slowly simmered in a liquid.
The best cuts are either round cuts (bottom and eye) which are usually leaner than chuck (shoulder, leg and butt) and are perfect for a stew.
How to thicken a stew
Dredge your beef in flour before browning this will help to thicken the stew while it is cooking. This is what I always do, or if you prefer, you can mix a tablespoon of cornstarch with one tablespoon of water to form a paste.
Then add the paste to the stew. Stir until it is fully combined. Cook on medium heat for about two minutes to allow the stew to thicken.
How to store stew?
Make sure to place the stew in an airtight container when it is completely cool. It will keep for up to three or four days in the fridge.
It can also be frozen, be sure to freeze in a freezer safe container. It will keep for up to three months in the freezer. Thaw the stew overnight in the fridge before reheating.
So if the cooler weather has started to come your way, I hope you give this hearty Beef and Potato Stew a try and let me know what you think. Buon Appetito!
Italian Beef & Potato Stew
- 2-3 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 medium onion (minced)
- 1/4 cup pancetta (cubed)
- 1-2 stems rosemary (fresh)
- 1 clove garlic (minced)
- 1 pound Boneless beef chuck steak cut into chunks
- 4-5 medium potatoes (peeled and cut into large chunks)
- 2 tablespoons tomato paste
- 1/2 teaspoon oregano
- 1-2 dashes pepper or hot pepper flakes
- 2-3 cups water or low sodium vegetable broth*
*If using water then add a low sodium bouillon cube.
- In a large pot add the olive oil and minced onion, cook on medium heat until transparent (2-3 minutes). Add the pancetta, rosemary and garlic, sautee 2-3 minutues.
- Add the beef (toss the beef with about 3-4 tablespoons of flour before adding) and cook on low heat for about 5-8 minutes, turning often so the meat browns and nothing burns.
- Add the potatoes, tomato paste, oregano, hot pepper flakes and broth (or water and bouillon cube). Cook on low covered for about one hour or until tender and thickened. Taste for salt before serving.* Enjoy!
Just made it tonight and it is absolutely delicious! Followed the recipe word by word and cooked it on the top stove for 1h and the meat and potatoes are soft and yummy!
Definitely recommend it 👌
Hi Andra, thanks so much, so glad you liked it. Take care and have a great week!
Wow, seems such a delish recipe! Would be great for winter evening I think. Just a small question, I don’t eat pork, can I substitute pancetta with something else? 🙂
Hi Tahiti, thanks so much, you can actually just leave it out if you want. Or use a turkey or chicken bacon. Let me know how it goes. Take care!
I’ve made this before and the flavor is delicious, however, since stewing beef is being used, it should really be made in a slow cooker or the beef will be fairly tough.
Hi Ian, yup you are right, that’s what happens when you do direct translation. Thanks. Have a great weekend.
Not to continue this too much, but I’m not sure you understood my comment. Your only cooking instruction for this is to “slow cook” it on the stove top. I was saying that is not enough to keep the meat from being tough (and if the chunks of potato are on the larger side, they will not be soft enough either). This definitely feels like a meal that should go into a slow cooker for 4-8 hours depending on if you use high or low heat. Plus it will make your kitchen smell amazing with those spices. Like I said, the flavor of this stew is fantastic. I just thought the method of cooking could be tweaked.
Hi Ian, I share authentic Italian recipes, Italian don’t use and don’t buy slow cookers or instant pots, stews and soups are made on the stove in a big pot, I have never had a problem with the meat being tough and the potatoes or veggies not soft. And I can guarantee you that my house smells pretty darn good. If you want to make it with a slow cooker then great, but that is not what I share. Have a great weekend.
Really really delicious. The whole family enjoyed this. I used oregano instead of rosemary as I didn’t have any and it was perfect.
Hi Bec, thanks so much, glad everyone enjoyed it. Have a great week.
Can I do the prep on the stove then cook in the oven and for how long at what temperature?
Hi Cecelia, I really don’t know what you intend to prep, it really needs to be cooked in the oven. I suppose you could have cook it on the stove and then finish up in the oven, for about 30 minutes or so check and if it needs more time continue cooking. Hope that helps.
David Macfarlane says
Oops i did mine on the pan. For what it’s worth, it came out great!
Hi David, thanks glad you liked it and that works too. Have a great weekend.
Do i have to use tomatoe paste?
Hi Heather, no you can leave it out, but if you have a ripe tomato (finely chopped, seeds removed) or canned diced tomato you could add that. If not it will be ok.
LISA SHOAF says
If I don’t have pancetta, should I use bacon, or prosciutto?
Hi Lisa, you could actually use either whichever you prefer. Let me know how it goes.
Licia Trifoglio says
I’m leaving 5 stars for ingredients which we love. I have a question, can you remove the onion, garlic, pancetta mixture and put on a plate wile you “brown” the beef? Or can you brown the beef first? It just seems the meat might not brown without burning the other ingredients? I’m willing to try it this way, and I don’t mean to question you ( I love your cooking by the way). Just asking. Have a great day
Hi Licia, don’t worry I understand, and sure if you want you can, but it shouldn’t burn if you keep turning it and don’t cook on too high a heat, five minutes is probably plenty of time. Thanks glad you enjoy the recipes. Have a great day you too.