In Italy, a regional specialty dish of Bari is called Ragu del Macellaio or “The Butcher’s Stew.” There, it’s usually made with whatever cuts of meat the local butcher has on hand – often scraps of veal, pork, beef, lamb and such. I prefer to make my stew using just pork, but you can adapt this easy recipe and make it your way with whatever meats you’d like. I suggest serving The Butcher’s Stew over gnocchi, noodles, orecchiette, or rice.
1/4 cup olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and thinly sliced
1 lb. boneless stew meat such as pork, veal, beef, lamb, or a combination cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup drained, diced canned tomatoes (Italian-style Romas are best)
Approximately 1 1/2 cup chicken stock or water
1 medium carrot, peeled and diced
1 sprig thyme
1 sprig rosemary
2-3 small white or yellow potatoes, peeled and cut into 1-inch pieces
1/2 cup frozen or fresh peas
1/2 tsp. salt
Freshly ground black pepper, to taste
Fresh minced Italian parsley for garnish
- In a large, deep skillet or casserole, heat the olive oil and saute the sliced onion over medium heat until onion softens, about three minutes.
- Add the meat and brown lightly, stirring occasionally.
- Add the tomatoes, carrot, salt, thyme, rosemary and a generous amount of black pepper. Stir.
- Pour in chicken broth or water until it just barely covers the meat. Cover and cook at a simmer for approximately 90 minutes. If the stew gets too dry, add a little more water or chicken stock.
- Add the potato pieces and continue cooking until the meat and potatoes are tender, about 15-20 minutes.
- To finish, add the peas and cook for an additional two minutes or so, just to heat the peas through. Taste for salt and pepper; adjust, if necessary.
Serve garnished with the minced parsley.