Use our bold and peppery Nocellara to bring out the flavors of this rich tasting beef stew with fennel, nocellara olives, and cinnamon.
3 pounds of beef stew meat (see note)
1 large bulb fennel, thinly sliced (fronds reserved)
1 large onion, thinly sliced
3 ribs celery, thinly sliced
3 fat garlic cloves, thinly sliced
20 Nocellara Olives, pitted and roughly chopped (see note)
1 generous TBS tomato paste
1 TBS sweet paprika
1 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp freshly ground black pepper
1 quart brown chicken stock or beef stock
1/2-1 TBS sherry vinegar
Heat 2 TBS Olio Taibi Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil in a wide deep braiser or large dutch oven over medium high heat.
Dust stew meat with flour, and brown the outside all over in hot oil. You will need to do this in 3 or 4 batches depending on your pot's size. As meat browns, reserve to a bowl. You may need to add another TBS of oil if the pan starts to look too dry.
In empty pan, heat 1 TBS Olio Taibi Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil, and add fennel, onion, celery, and garlic with a few big pinches of salt. Lower heat to medium and sauté for 10 minutes until vegetables are softened.
Add olives, tomato paste and spices to the vegetables in the pan and sauté for another couple minutes.
Add stock and stir into vegetables. Check salt level of the liquid, adjust if needed. It should taste like a properly seasoned brothy soup.
Add in reserved stew meat, and any juices that were collected as it rested.
Bring to a simmer, cover, and cook for 2-3 hours at a low simmer until beef is tender enough to slide a butter knife into.
Remove from heat and stir in 1/2 TBS sherry vinegar, taste and add more if needed to balance out a level of brightness in the stew.
Serve topped with reserved fennel fronds and a drizzle of Olio Taibi Nocellara Extra Virgin Olive Oil.
Chuck stew meat that is well marbled and not too fatty is a good choice here. You want chunks of meat about 2" in size. Pasture raised beef will give you the best flavor.
Nocellara olives are sold in the US under the name castelvetrano.
This stew is best made the day ahead for all the flavors to meld. Serve with crusty bread, over wide long fresh pasta, or atop polenta.