A Florentine Midsummer Night’s Beef Stew
(Contains Beef | Contains Gluten | Dairy-Free)
After the Chinese New Year’s steamboat feasts and traditional snacks, this stew is suitably refreshing yet light on calories! In Italy, especially in Florence, the feast of St. John the Baptist has been celebrated from the medieval times, certainly in the Renaissance. Festivals last for three days from the 21st to 24th June, a period marked as midsummer, a celebration of the summer solstice. There will be a fireworks display and in ancient times, people from the surroundings come to dance around the bonfire in the central square. Perhaps this is the inspiration behind Shakespeare’s comedy of the same name, with fairies dancing away in the moonlit forest. During my trip to Italy, it was so hot on most days and it was not even summer! The heat and beauty of the place inspired me to name our beef stew after this artispirational medieval city of Florence, the birthplace of Renaissance and home of the Uffizi Museum. A pot of simmering good soup begins here with hearty beef coaxed with the help of aromatics, fresh herbs, tomatoes and white beans into a flavourful stew that is rich and thick with a gorgeous red hue. Wonderful with hot crusty garlicky foccacia! Buon appetito!
Ingredients: Beef stock (water, beef bones, root vegetables, herbs), grass-fed beef, potatoes, carrots, tomatoes, button mushrooms, white beans (great Northern beans), leek, celery, onions, garlic, fennel, sherbs, spices
Condiments: A drizzle of olive oil and dried parsley