This Italian Beef Stew is everything you want in a comforting, hearty meal with huge depth of flavor.  Cooked low and slow with Italian wine, fennel, Roma tomatoes and beef  broth.

A closeup of a bowl of Italian beef stew on a bed of polenta in a white bowl

If you know me, you know I like to make my own broth because there is nothing better than the best broth because it can be the foundation flavor of soups, sauces and is also perfect to moisten dry meat. If the broth is not good, then the finished dish will not be good.

A ladle full of Italian beef stew being poured over polenta into a bowl

There is a healthy food that is taking the world by storm and it’s nothing new. The simple act of cooking beef bones, vegetables, herbs and spices to create delicious broth has been around for thousands of years.  The broth is slowly simmered to extract the collagen, amino acids and minerals that results in a nutritious liquid. The benefits of the nutrients the come from the broth can help with digestive health.

Pouring warm polenta into a white bowl

When I was thinking about what recipe to make to highlight the broth, beef stew immediately came to mind. The weather is turning cold and nothing is more comforting that a hearty bowl of stew and in honor of my husbands heritage, I made it Italian.

To make it Italian, I used ingredients that are popular in Italian cooking like a full bodied red wine, fennel, Roma tomatoes and rosemary. To develop the flavors, the stew simmers for 2 hours  and the result is an intense, deep-flavored beef dish. Serve with a creamy polenta and you’ll be in Italian comfort food heaven.

Slow Cooker Method

This recipe also works well in the slow cooker so you can make it all year round. Prepare per the recipe to step 11. Instead of simmering on the stovetop, transfer to a preheated slow cooker and cook on low for 6 hours.

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Yield: 6

Italian Beef Stew

Italian beef stew served in a white bowl over creamy polenta

Everything you want in a beef stew, hearty and meaty with huge depth of flavor. This Italian beef stew is cooked low and slow with Italian wine, fennel, Roma tomatoes and really good beef bone broth. 

Prep Time 10 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours 22 minutes
Total Time 2 hours 32 minutes


  • For the beef stew:
  • 2 pounds chuck or round roast, cut into large bite size pieces
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 large onion, chopped into large pieces
  • 2 medium fennel bulbs chopped, 3 cups when chopped
  • 2 garlic, cloves finely chopped
  • 1 ½ tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon all purpose flour
  • 1 cup full bodied Italian red Wine
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 2 pounds carrots cut into large pieces
  • 4 Roma tomatoes, seeds removed and chopped
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 teaspoon fresh parsley, chopped, for garnish
  • For the polenta:
  • 2 cups water
  • 2 cups whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup instant ground cornmeal
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter


  1. For the beef stew:
  2. Season the beef with salt and pepper.
  3. To a large heaven soup pan or dutch oven over medium high heat, add 1 tablespoon oil and the butter.
  4. Add ¼ of the beef to the pan and cook until browned, turning the pieces often. Remove to a bowl.
  5. Repeat with the rest of the beef.
  6. Once all the beef is cooked, add the remaining tablespoon of vegetable oil to the pan.
  7. Add the onions and fennel and cook until they start to soften, about 10 minutes
  8. Stir in the garlic and rosemary, cook for 1 minute.
  9. Sprinkle with flour and mix into the vegetables well,and cook, while stirring for 1 minute,
  10. Add the wine, stir and simmer for 2 minutes.
  11. Return the beef to the pan along with the beef broth, carrots, tomatoes, bay leaf and pepper. Stir.
  12. Simmer for uncovered for 2 hours stirring occasionally.
  13. After 2 hours, remove bay leaf and serve warm garnished with parsley.
  14. For the polenta:
  15. Add the water and milk to a large saucepan and bring to a boil. Whisk in the cornmeal and salt until well combined. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, whisking every few minutes so it doesn't stick to the bottom. Stir in the butter before serving.

Nutrition Information



Amount Per Serving Calories 476Saturated Fat 12gCholesterol 109mgSodium 569mgCarbohydrates 26gProtein 33g

Traditional Bolognese Sauce



A ladle full of Bolognese sauce