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Roman Beef Stew (Stufatino Alla Romana)

This traditional Roman dish is easy to cook–and quite delicious. Cardoons, a favourite vegetable in the area around Rome, are often added.

ingredients

4 - 6 servings
1 kg (2 lb) Top rump (bottom round) of beef, cut into cubes
50 g (2 oz) 1/2 cup Seasoned flour (flour with salt and pepper to taste)
1 Tbs Olive oil
175 g (6 oz) Streaky (fatty) bacon, chopped
1 Medium onion, thinly sliced into rings
2 Garlic cloves, crushed
2 Celery stalks, thinly sliced
1 Tbs Fresh marjoram
250 ml (8 fl oz) 1 cup Red wine
125 ml (4 fl oz) 1/2 cup Beef stock
2 Tbs Tomato puree (paste)

method

1. Coat the cubes in the seasoned flour, shaking off any excess.

2. Heat the oil in a large flameproof casserole. Add the bacon pieces and fry until they are crisp and have rendered all of their fat. Transfer them to kitchen towels to drain.

3. Add the onion, garlic and celery to the casserole and fry until the onion is soft. Add the beef cubes and fry until they are evenly browned. Stir in the marjoram and reserved bacon, and pour over the wine and stock. Bring to the boil, reduce the heat to low and simmer the stew, uncovered, for 30 minutes, or until the liquid has reduced by about half. Stir in the tomato puree (paste) and continue to simmer for a further 30 minutes, moistening the meat with a little more stock if it becomes too dry. (It should be very tender and the sauce very thick and dark by the time the stufatino is cooked.) Serve at once.

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