Sicilian-Style Beef Stew

Beef stew gets the Sicilian treatment with the addition of red wine and olives from the southern region of Italy, plus fragrant herbs and citrus peel. For the best flavor, season the meat with salt and pepper the night before and store, covered, in the refrigerator. Can be served with Polenta instead of Mashed Potatoes if desired.


  • 3 lbs. beef chuck, trimmed and cut into 1 1/2 inch pieces
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
  • 2 Tbsp. good quality olive oil
  • 6 shallots, thinly sliced (2 cups)
  • 1/2 cup dry red wine (such as Cabernet Sauvignon)
  • 1 can whole peeled tomatoes (28 oz.), crushed
  • 1 bulb Fennel (12 oz.) cut into 1/2 inch wedges
  • 1 sprig Rosemary
  • 2 strips Orange zest (each 1 inch  x 3 inches) plus orange wedges for serving
  • 1 cup pitted green olives, such as Castelvetrano (7 oz.)
  • Mashed potatoes for serving


  • Season beef with salt and pepper
  •  Heat a large skillet over medium-high
  • Add 1 Tbsp. oil and half the beef in a single layer. Cook, turning a few times, until browned all over (5 – 7 minutes).
  • Transfer to a 5 – 6 quart slow cooker and repeat with remaining oil and beef.
  • Add shallots and wine to skillet, cook, scraping up brown bits, until wine has almost evaporated, about 3 minutes.
  • Transfer to slow cooker and add tomatoes with their juices, fennel, rosemary and zest.
  • Cover and cook on high until meet is fork-tender, about 4 1/2 hours.
  • Stir in olives, remove rosemary and season with salt and pepper.
  • Serve with mashed potatoes, orange wedges and more pepper.

Recipes from Martha Stewart and Rachel Ray