Italian Veal Stew Recipe

Enjoy this hearty, classic Italian Veal Stew Recipe that is topped with zesty fresh gremolata. The tender chunks of veal are flavorful and are complimented nicely by the tomatoes, garlic and white wine. This easy-to-make stew is perfect for a weeknight meal on a cold day and fancy enough to serve for guests on the weekend!

A bowl of Italian Veal Stew on a table.

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If you are looking to warm up your cold winter days or nights, a hearty pot of Italian veal stew will hit the spot. Simmering the tender cut of veal in your Dutch Oven with veggies, white wine and broth makes the veal so tender it will melt in your mouth.

Veal is a delicious and tender cut of meat which has a gentle flavour. This allows it to really absorb the flavors that it is cooked with. It is a popular choice and used in many other dishes as well, such as these Italian Veal Cutlets.

This stew is delicious in a bowl by itself, or you can serve it over a bed of polenta, fluffy mashed potatoes or creamy parsnip puree. It is a versatile dish that works well for casual weeknight dinners or more formal dinner parties.

Italian Veal Stew recipe in a pot served on a table.

What Makes This Veal Stew Recipe Great?

  • Tender & Flavorful. The cuts of veal are so tender and flavorful. They are perfectly combined with veggies, herbs and broth.
  • Great for Cold Weather. This dish is warm and hearty making it perfect for any cold weather days.
  • Easy to Make. Just like most Dutch oven meals, this recipe is easy to make. Simply prep your ingredients, toss them in and let them simmer.
Ingredients for a veal stew recipe.

Ingredients for Stew

  • Veal – boneless veal shoulder is best due to its marbling.
  • Salt & Pepper – to seal in the flavour of the veal before seasoning.
  • Olive oil – for browning the meat.
  • White or Yellow onion – chopped.
  • Carrots – peeled and sliced.
  • Celery – washed and trimmed.
  • Garlic – because garlic is like life in Italian food.
  • Cippolini onions – these provide a light sweetness and also caramelize well.
  • Flour – all-purpose works best. This is used to coat the veal and thicken the gravy.
  • White wine – any type of dry wine works. This adds flavour and helps with deglazing. Deglazing is getting all the caramelized or brown bits off the bottom of the pan which adds flavour and color to the gravy.
  • Chicken broth – to add moisture to the stew and create a hearty gravy.
  • Stewed whole tomatoes – I like to use one can of stewed San Marzano tomatoes because the stewing process removes the peel. I also like to keep some of the sauce from the can to add to the stew to flavour the gravy.
  • Bay leaves – provide a mild, peppery and slightly minty flavour which creates a more well-rounded and balanced flavour.

Ingredients for Gremolata

  • Lemon zest – adds a touch of bright flavour to the recipe.
  • Parsley leaves – adds flavour, perks up the dish and helps counteract any bad breath from the garlic.
  • Cornstarch – used to thicken the gravy once cooked.
  • Water – to create a slurry with the cornstarch.

See the recipe card below for exact quantities.

Substitutions & Variations

  • Pearl Onions – you can substitute pearl onions instead of cippolini onions.
  • Red wine – you can use red wine instead of white wine if desired. It will result in a darker, heavier flavored gravy.
  • Beef or Vegetable broth – instead of using chicken broth, you can use beef or vegetable broth.
  • Diced tomatoes – you can use diced tomatoes instead of whole, stewed tomatoes.

Instructions

Follow these easy step-by-step instructions to make a warm batch of your own stew.

Step one: Preheat the oven to 300°F.

Step two: Prep your veggies – dice the onion, peel and slice carrots into 1/2″ rounds and wash/trim/cut celery into 1/2″ pieces.

Veal patted down with a paper towel.

Step three: Trim veal into 1″ cubes. Pat the veal dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.

Veal being browned in a dutch oven.

Step four: Add olive oil to the pot of the Dutch oven and heat on medium-high. Add veal and brown on all sides. Work in batches to ensure the veal is not overcrowded. Remove the veal from the pot and set aside.

Chopped veggies in a pot.

Step five: Add in more olive oil, chopped white or yellow onions, celery and carrots. Sauté until onions are translucent.

Vegetables being sauteed with garlic.

Step six: Add in garlic and sauté until it is soft.

A pot of stewing veal being coated with flour.

Step seven: Put the veal back into the pot with the sauteed vegetables. Add in flour and mix until the veal is well coated.

Step eight: Deglaze the pot. Pour white wine into the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown or caramelized bits from the bottom.

Step nine: Pour in chicken broth and add in onions. Stir to combine everything. Then, pour additional broth in (if needed) to cover the veal.

Veal stew being simmered with tomatoes and bay leaves added to the pot.

Step ten: Add in tomatoes and bay leaves. Stir once more and cover the Dutch oven with the lid.

Step eleven: Transfer to the oven and cook at 300°F for around 1.5 hours.

Ingredients for a gremolata in a bowl.

Step twelve: Just before the stew is done, make the gremolata. In a small bowl, mix together minced garlic, lemon zest, and chopped parsley. Set aside.

Step thirteen: Remove stew from the oven and make sure it is done. If the gravy is too thin, add a cornstarch slurry to thicken. Which basically means adding a heaping tablespoon of cornstarch to a class with a little water, just enough to become liquid and stirable, and then pour the slury into the stew and give it a stir.

Once the stew is thickened and you are happy with it, remove the stew from the heat and serve with a sprinkle of gremolata on top!

A bowl of veal stew on a table with a dutch oven and bread.

Tips

  • Properly Browning Veal. Make sure you brown the veal properly. Work in small batches to ensure it isn’t too crowded – otherwise, the veal will steam instead of brown.
  • Deglaze well. This step really provides a lot of flavour to the dish, so make sure to scrape up all of the caramelized and browned bits from the bottom of the pan to ensure they are incorporated into the stew.
  • Thicken gravy. The stew is done when the gravy is thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. If it is not thick enough to do that after 1.5 hours of cooking, you should place it on the stovetop at medium-high heat. Add cornstarch slurry (1 tablespoon of cornstarch and 1/4 cup of cold water) and boil the stew for about a minute. This should thicken up the gravy.

Storage

This stew should be kept in an airtight container in the refrigerator for no longer than 3 days. It can be reheated on the stovetop, microwave, dutch oven or crockpot.

Or, it can be frozen in freezer bags or an airtight container for up to 6 months. Defrost it by placing it in the refrigerator overnight and heating it on the stove.

Italian Veal Stew FAQs

Can you overcook veal stew?

Yes, you definitely can overcook veal stew which can cause the veal to become less tender. To avoid overcooking, make sure that you remove the stew at the 90-minute mark and just thicken the gravy on the stovetop if it is not done yet.

How do you thicken veal stew?

Use a cornstarch slurry to thicken your veal stew if needed. Simply mix cornstarch and cold water together until smooth. Then add to the stew and boil for about a minute to thicken.

Overhead shot of a veal stew recipe on a table.

Italian Veal Stew Recipe with Gremolata

Alisa Infanti | The Delicious Spoon
A hearty, class classic Italian veal stew recipe topped with zesty fresh gremolata. Serve this rustic veal stew recipe over a bed of polenta!
4.69 from 16 votes
Prep Time 25 minutes
Cook Time 2 hours
Total Time 2 hours 25 minutes
Course Dinner
Cuisine Italian
Servings 6 servings
Calories 517 kcal

Equipment

  • Oven
  • Stove
  • Dutch oven
  • Chopping Knife
  • Measuring Cups
  • Measuring Spoons
  • Large Bowl
  • Paper towels
  • Wooden Spoon
  • Lemon Zester

Ingredients
  

  • 3 lbs boneless Ontario grain-fed veal shoulder trimmed and cut into 1" cubes
  • 1 tsp salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • 4 tbsp olive oil divided
  • 1 medium white or yellow onion diced
  • 3 medium carrots peeled and diced to 1/2" rounds
  • 3 medium celery ribs trimmed and diced to 1/2" pieces
  • 4 cloves garlic minced
  • 4 tbsp all-purpose flour
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 12 Cippolini onions peeled and left whole
  • 1 ½ cups chicken broth
  • 14.5 can stewed San Marzano whole tomatoes strained, cut into quarters; reserving 2 tbsp of tomato sauce from can
  • 2 bay leaves

Gremolata

  • 1 clove garlic minced
  • 2 tsp lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley finely chopped

Instructions
 

  • Preheat oven to 300°F.
  • Pat the veal dry using paper towels and season on all sides with salt and pepper.
  • Add 1 tbsp of olive oil to the bottom of the dutch oven pot and heat to medium-high heat. Add the veal to the pot allowing space between the pieces and brown on all sides. Work in batches transferring the browned veal to a large bowl off to the side and then add more veal to the pot. Continue this process until all the veal has been browned adding in a little olive oil as needed so the veal doesn't stick to the bottom of the pot.
  • Once the veal is browned and in transferred to a bowl add the remaining tbsp of olive oil to the pot. Next, add the diced onions, carrots, and celery and sautee until the onions become translucent. Add in the garlic and let cook for 1 minute.
  • Bring the veal back to the pot and add the flour and mix to coat the veal. Let cook for one minute.
  • Add the white wine to the pot and use a wooden spoon to scrape up any brown bits from the bottom of the pot. Add the Cippolini onions and top with chicken broth. Pour in enough so that the veal is barely covered about 1 1/2 cups.
  • Add the bay leaves and quartered tomatoes along with 2 tbsp of the tomato sauce from the can. Mix. Cover the pot with the lid and place in oven. Let cook for about 1 1/2 hours or until veal is tender.
  • Remove the Dutch oven from the oven, mix removing the bay leaves. The gravy should be thick enough to coat the back of a spoon. It should not be watery. If still thin, add the pot without the lid back to the stovetop over medium-high heat. Add 1 heaping tbsp of cornstarch to a 1/4 cup of cold water stirring in the cup until smooth and clump-free. Pour this cornstarch slurry into the stew and mix. Bring the stew to a boil and stir. After about 1 minute the gravy should be thickened. You don't want it sludgy just thick enough to add a smooth coating to a spoon. Remove from heat.

Gremolata

  • To a small bowl add 1 clove minced garlic, the zest from 1 large lemon and a 1/4 cup chopped fresh parsley. Mix.

Serving

  • Serve the stew in over a bed of polenta or mashed potatoes and sprinkle with the fresh gremolata and salt and pepper to taste.

Nutrition

Serving: 1servingCalories: 517kcalCarbohydrates: 30gProtein: 60gFat: 16gSaturated Fat: 6gPolyunsaturated Fat: 9gMonounsaturated Fat: 3gTrans Fat: 0gCholesterol: 11mgSodium: 789mgPotassium: 334mgFiber: 4gSugar: 13g

Notes

Storage:
Store in a sealed container in the fridge for up to 3 days.  Reheat stovetop or in the microwave.
Substitutions:
  • Pearl onions can be substituted for Cippolini.
  • Vegetable or Beef broth can be used in place of chicken broth.
  • Diced tomatoes can be used instead of stewed tomatoes.
Please Note:

The information shown is an estimate provided by an online nutrition calculator. It should not be considered a substitute for a professional nutritionist’s advice.

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11 Comments

  1. I am in the middle of making this at this moment.
    Just wondering if it’s just me, but has anyone else noticed that the celery is not mentioned in the instructions?
    I will assume they are to be sauteed along with the carrots and onions.
    Looking forward to seeing how this come out.

    1. Hi Lily, Sorry about that. Yes the celery is to be sauteed with the onions and carrots. I will make the correction now. Thank you for brining this to my attention.

  2. 5 stars
    Excellent! I made this recipe yesterday for my spouse and I for dinner, (and cornstarch wasn’t necessary). It was delicious . I’ll add this to the dinner lineup and make it again for sure.

    1. I find that sometimes I don’t need the cornstarch either but included it in case it was needed to thicken the sauce!

  3. 5 stars
    I love the addition of the gremolata. It adds a freshness that complemented the delicacy of the veal. Yum.

    1. I would like to make this stew in my crockpot. Has anyone tried it? If so, how long did you cook it for?

      1. I haven’t made this recipe in a crockpot myself but if you do I think 7 hours on low or 3-4 hours on high will do it. I would still sear the meat on the outside first to add flavour and seal in the juices. If you do try it please let me know how it turns out and how long you cooked it for and I can share this info with others. Alisa

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