Peposo (Tuscan Beef and Peppercorn Stew)

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Peposo is a rich, warming stew from Tuscany. Unlike most Tuscan food, Peposo is given a spicy heat using peppercorns in the sauce. Peposo’s full name, Peposo alla Fornacina, gives some indication as to the dishes history and origins. Fornacina means Kiln Worker, therefore the dish was probably cooked by potters or glassblowers who would place all the ingredients in a pot at the start of their day, leave it on their kiln to cook and it would be ready and cooked by lunchtime.

Peposo alla Fornacina
Kiln workers’ pepper stew

2lbs stew meat (if you can get beef cheeks all the better)
9 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 cups red wine
salt
2 tiny chili peppers or chili pepper flakes
1 tsp black pepper, ground or whole (if whole, tie in a spice bag and remove before serving)
optional: tomato sauce

(1). Cut the meat into 2-inch cubes.

(2). Place in a deep casserole and add the meat with the chopped garlic cloves, red wine, salt, chili and pepper.

(3). Add wine to cover the meat.

(4). If you want, add the tomato sauce for a more classic stew, but the true recipe was just wine.

(5). Cook until totally, adding more water if the stew starts to dry out while cooking.

(6). Taste to see if you need to pump up the pepper and chili. Add if needed.

(7). Serve on slices of fettunta, the Tuscan garlic bread, or as I do with some fresh cooked beans.

 

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