Italian Beef Stew

  • 3 pounds chuck roast or bottom round  
  • Salt, black pepper, and paprika to taste  
  • 1/2 cup olive oil  
  • 3 slices pancetta or bacon, roughly chopped  
  • 2 medium-size carrots, finely chopped  
  • 3 celery stalks, finely chopped  
  • 1 large onion, roughly chopped  
  • 5 garlic cloves, finely chopped  
  • 1 tablespoon dried Italian herbs 
  • 1 large can tomatoes, drained and chopped  
  • 1 cup dry red wine  
  • 1/2 cup minced parsley  

Cut the meat into 1 1/2-inch cubes and season to taste. Heat half the olive oil in a heavy cast iron pot over high heat. Brown the meat on all sides in batches and set aside. Add the bacon to the pot and cook for several minutes. Add the carrots, celery, onions and herbs, with more olive oil as needed, and cook until the onions are translucent. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook several minutes more. Return the meat to the pot, add the wine, and bring to a boil. Cover the pot, reduce the heat, and simmer for two hours or until tender. If necessary, raise the heat and boil the sauce, uncovered, until thickened. Sprinkle the parsley over the stew and serve.