Among the delicious dishes of antique traditions, the Florentine stew is one of the most popular recipes in all of Italy, not only in Tuscany. But make sure you follow the recipe! It is the original one and the long cooking time must be respected and the ingredients all in the right amounts.
In 1891, the famous cookbook “Science in the Kitchen and the Art of Eating Well,” also known as the Artusi named after its author, this Florentine stew was defined. This definition is due to the fact that since it is a rather soupy dish, it must be served with bread, preferably toasted. Here is a a curious detail on the preparation of this delicious dish: at a time when the existence of tomatoes was still unknown, it was prepared with a product what was the juice of unripe grapes was used instead of tomato sauce and after careful processing,it was needed to flavor some dishes. Now the use of this has almost entirely disappeared,and only remains in some Florentine dishes and overall it has largely been replaced by tomato pulp.
Original Florentine Stew Recipe
Artusi named the stew with veal, and started with the following ingredients:
- 500 grams of lean veal meat, including bone or the junta;
- 50 grams of dried meat (salted bacon);
- 30 grams of butter;
- A quarter of a large onion;
- A small carrot;
- Two pieces of celery;
- Tomato pulp.
As it is evident from its name, this stew requires a long cooking time so be patient and your hard work will be rewarded! Cut coarsely and dice the vegetables and reduce bacon. Over a medium fire and in a saucepan, slowly cook the the onion, celery and chopped carrot along with dry meat, stirring occasionally to prevent sticking. Add the veal meat and soon you realize that it is quite browned, sprinkle with a pinch of flour, indispensable ingredient to bind the sauce. Stir often with a wooden spoon because if the flour turns brown it might ruin the whole dish because of its bitter taste. Now take the tomato sauce and add it to the pot with just enough water just to cover the ingredients. Do not overdo it with the sauce, please! It may lose its original flavor. Of course do not forget add salt, but do not exceed the amount of salt because the broth is already quite tasty.
The stew must cook for a few hours, then add the broth from time to time to prevent it from burning and, if they fit your tastes or those of your guests, you can add dried mushrooms during cooking, which make the dish even tastier. When the Florentine stew is ready you can serve it as second course or choose add it to about 300 grams of macaroni pasta. Before adding this rich sauce to the macaroni add butter and Parmesan cheese and then combine them with the sauce. Grated cheese can then be brought to the table for those who like pasta.
Have you noticed that in the preparation of this recipe we did not use oil? The reason is very simple: oil is replaced by dry meat according to the most traditional Tuscan culinary guides to give the dish a stronger flavor. Florentine Stew is a tasty recipe, which has been passed down over generations but still gains general approval as it did in the past. a single dish that unites the tastes and smells of the Tuscan tradition and should be served with a fine red wine.