Veal Stew with Quince-Spezzatino di vitello con mele cotogne

The taste of good home-cooked food can change your whole attitude. This veal stew is an Italian dish that combines the sweet and savory marvelously. It needs patience and gentleness!

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4 medium quince
375 ml (1 ½ cups) white wine
3 tbsp olive oil
1.5 kg deboned veal shoulder or shank trimmed and cut into chunks of 5 cm
1 onion
2 garlic cloves
1 large carrot
1 celery stalk
1 small bunch of parsley
a few juniper berries
about 1.5 lit. (6 cups) water


  • Peel and core the quince with a small, sharp knife, taking care as they are as they are very hard. 
  • Cut them into 2 cm slices and put them into a roasting dish.
  • Peel and chop the onion, carrot and celery stalk into approximately the same size pieces.
  • Mince the garlic
  • Finely chop the parsley

Preheat the oven to 160°C

  • Add 125 ml (1/2 cup) of white wine and 125 ml (1/2 cup) of water to the chopped quince.
  • Cover the dish with aluminum foil and cook for about 2 ½ hours, turning the quinces over once.
  • Add extra water as necessary to prevent them from sticking. The quince should start becoming a beautiful, deep, pinky red color towards the end of this time. Leave them a little longer, if necessary.
  • Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a stockpot over high heat.
  • Add the meat and brown lightly on all sides. Season with salt and pepper. Set the meat aside on a plate.
  • Add the onion, garlic, carrot, celery and parsley with the remaining tablespoon of oil the pot. Sauté on a medium heat for a few minutes until softened.
  • Return the veal to the pot and add the juniper berries with the 250 ml (1 cuρ) of wine.
  • Boil until most of it evaporates, then add the water. Cover the pot with a lid, lower the heat to a minimum and simmer for about 1 hour.
  • Remove the lid and simmer for another hour or until the veal is very tender with a bit of thickened sauce. Add a bit more water, if necessary.
  • Add the cooked quince slices to the veal pot and simmer for another 5 minutes to mix the flavors. Serve warm.




You can use beef, pork or even wild boar instead of the veal. The quinces may be cooked together with the veal from the beginning if you prefer, although their colour will be less intense and the fruit will be softer.
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