Meaty Tuscan Stew

Meaty Tuscan Stew

Called Scottiglia in Tuscany, this flavourful mixed meat stew was traditionally made from whatever the woodsmen hunted. This recipe uses a mix of chicken legs, stewing beef and Italian sausages but you use what you like. Try rabbit, lamb, beef or pork ribs, duck legs or even turkey legs.


1/4 cup olive oil
1 pound stewing beef
Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
2 chicken legs, cut in half
2 carrots, finely chopped
2 celery ribs, finely chopped
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped
2 to 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
1/2 bottle dry red wine
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes
1 cup chicken stock
1 piece Parmesan cheese rind (optional)
2 to 3 Italian sausages, cut in half
2 tbsp. chopped parsley
Polenta with Cheese & Herbs, for serving (optional)


Heat Dutch oven over medium to medium high heat. Add 2 tbsp. olive oil. When oil is hot, add stewing beef. Season with salt and pepper. Brown on all sides, about 8 to 10 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add remaining 2 tbsp. olive oil. Add chicken pieces. Season with salt and pepper. Brown on each side, about 4 to 5 minutes per side. Transfer to plate.

Reduce heat to low, add carrots, celery, onions, garlic and rosemary sprigs. Cook gently until soft, about 5 minutes.

Add the wine, tomatoes and chicken stock. Bring to a boil and then reduce to a simmer. Add Parmesan cheese. Cover. Cook, stirring occasionally, until stewing meat is just tender, about 2 to 2 1/2 hours. Add sausages. Cook covered, stirring occasionally, until sausages are cooked through and stewing beef is very tender, about 30 minutes more.

Remove rosemary sprigs. Stir in parsley. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve with Polenta with Cheese & Herbs, if desired.

Variation for serving: For a Tuscan style feast, add polenta to large wooden board. Make a well in the centre. Spoon stew into the well. Garnish with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.

Yield: 4 servings.



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