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  • 2 1/2 to 3 pounds beef top, bottom round or trimmed chuck, cut into 2- to 3-inch cubes
  • Kosher salt and black pepper
  • About 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 3 ribs celery with leafy tops, sliced on a bias into 1-inch pieces
  • 2 large onions, chopped into 1-inch dice
  • 2 mild frying peppers, red or green, seeded and cut into 1-inch slices
  • 1 cup good quality, dried Porcini mushrooms, coarsely broken up
  • 4 large cloves garlic, sliced
  • 1 teaspoon fennel seeds
  • 1 teaspoon red chili flakes
  • 1 rounded teaspoon sugar or a fat drizzle Acacia honey
  • Herb bundle of rosemary, sage and parsley
  • 2 cups red wine
  • 2 cups chicken or beef stock
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed or diced tomatoes


Serves: 6 servings


Bring meat to room temp and season with salt and pepper. Set a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 325°F.

Heat a large Dutch oven over medium-high to high heat. Add olive oil, to coat bottom lightly. Brown meat all over in 2 batches and remove.

Add a little more olive oil to the pan and reduce heat to medium-high. Add celery, onions, peppers, mushrooms, garlic, fennel seeds, chili flakes, sugar or honey, herb bundle and salt, and cook to soften 7-8 minutes. Add wine and reduce by half. Add stock and tomatoes, and bring to boil. Add reserved meat back to the pan and cover. Transfer to oven and cook 2-2 1/2 hours until meat is tender.

Remove herb bundle and serve with bread, Garlicky Mashed Potatoes or polenta alongside.