Florentine beef stew (Tomorrows stew)             Dec 2017

There is a story that in the 1400s, the Renaissance architect Filippo Brunelleschi (he designed the dome of the Florence Cathedral) was overseeing the red roof tiles for the duomo. Apparently, during their production and firing, he would eat, a stew of beef, wine and pepper cooked in a terracotta pot in the doorway of one of the huge tile kilns. Florentine beef stew.

Some food tastes better the day after it is cooked. Florentine Beef is one of them. I call it Tomorrows stew for this reason, so to eat it at its best, I like to cook it before I want to eat it.

There are reasons your Stew tastes better the next day. 

The flavors in your Dish benefit from reduction, with long, slow cooking then cooling, the water in the dish evaporates leaving more concentrated flavors behind. In fact during these processes the molecules even get closer.  

But whatever the exact reason, one thing is for sure Florentine Beef stew definitely tastes better the next day. So do as they do in Florence, make it a day in advance.

For Four or five people you will need

  •     800 g of Stewing beef or beef cheek
  •     2 cloves of garlic
  •     Extra virgin olive oil
  •     1 glass of red wine
  •     2 400g tins if Italian tomatoes
  •     500 ml of hot beef stock
  •     500 g of yellow potatoes
  •     Salt
  •     Black pepper
  •     Fresh thyme
  •     Half a teaspoon of sugar

How to make it

Cut the meat into 2cm cubes and coat in plan-seasoned flour. 

Cover the bottom of a large stew pot with olive oil and a nob of butter. 

Add the garlic and heat the oil, then add the meat and brown it over high heat on all sides, stirring to brown it evenly.

When the meat is brown all over, pour in the red wine. Let it reduce on medium-high heat, then add the tomatoes, rinse the tins with a little of the wine and pour it into the pot with the sugar.

Cut the pealed potatoes them into a regular cube and add them into pot.

Season with salt and pepper and bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat, covered, checking from time to time to be sure that there is still enough liquid in the pot. Simmer for at least an hour and a half

You can serve immediately with some fresh thyme, or set the stew aside for the next day, when it will be even better, once warmed.

We like this served with some steamed green vegetable’s and some crusty bread.

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Jason’s Wine recommendations

Florentine Beef Stew  

One of the heartiest and intensely flavoured dishes…

The 2014 is £19.99 per bottle from 

Majestic wine.

Florentine Beef Stew a real excuse to have a full-bodied red wine. A cabernet Sauvignon. Take your pick of where from… traditionally you could have a Bordeaux or be more adventurous and go New World in style. I particularly like some of the South African Cab Savs. Push the boat out a go for Meerlust Rubicon from Stellenbosch approx. £19.99 per bottle from Majestic wine.

Hope you enjoy it.

Filippo Brunelleschi 


Filippo Brunelleschi was one of the leading architects and engineers of the Italian Renaissance, and is best known for his work on the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore (the Duomo) in Florence.