Spezzatino di Vitello con Carciofi ~ Having recently spent almost two months in Umbria in what must be the coldest time of the year, we were constantly craving savory stews and hearty soups. There is nothing like making a delicious stew that simmers on the stove top for hours allowing the meat to tenderize and the flavors to meld to warm you from the inside out. Serve this stew on a pillow of soft polenta as shown in the photo, or alongside a helping of garlic mashed potatoes or rice.
I have recently started to top all of my braised meats or stews such as this one with a sprinkle of gremolata, a finely chopped mix of garlic, parsley, and lemon which I find really adds a delicious zest to each dish. We were lucky enough in Italy to have an abundance of fresh artichokes available to us, but if you cannot find good fresh artichokes, frozen will do. You could also add carrots, celery, or mushrooms to this dish if you wanted to amp up the veggie factor.
Deborah Mele 2011
- 2 Pounds Shoulder Of Veal, Trimmed And Cut Into 1 Inch Cubes
- 1/3 Cup Flour Seasoned With Salt & Pepper
- 4 Tablespoons Olive Oil
- 1 Medium Onion, Finely Chopped
- 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
- 1 Cup Hearty Dry Red Wine
- 1 (14 ounce) Can Chopped Tomatoes
- 1 Tablespoon Tomato Paste
- 1/2 to 1 Cup Beef Stock (As Needed)
- 6 Medium Artichokes
- 1 Lemon
- Salt & Pepper
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Chopped Parsley
- 1 Large Garlic Clove, Peeled
- 1/4 Cup Fresh Parsley
- 1 1/2 Tablespoon Lemon Zest
- Clean the artichokes by removing the tough outer leaves and stem, ensuring a flat bottom to enable them to sit upright in a pot.
- Cut off about 1/3 from the top, and remove the prickly choke from inside.
- Cut each of the artichokes into 6 pieces and place the cleaned artichoke immediately in a bowl of water with a little lemon juice to prevent discoloration, drain just before using.
- For the topping, chop together the garlic, parsley and lemon zest until fine, then cover and set aside until ready to use.
- Sprinkle the veal cubes with flour.
- Heat the oil in a large heavy bottom saucepan.
- Add the veal cubes, and sauté until lightly browned all over.
- Add in the onions, and continue cooking until they are lightly browned as well.
- Add the garlic and cook just another minute or two.
- Add the red wine, and cook until it has evaporated by at least half.
- Add the tomatoes, artichokes, tomato paste, parsley and 1/2 cup of broth, and mix well.
- Season with salt and pepper.
- Cover the pot, and simmer over low heat for 2 1/2 to 3 hours.
- Add additional broth during the cooking period if it seems to be drying out.
- Serve hot, over a scoop of polenta, or alongside mashed potatoes, then sprinkle with a little gremolata on top.