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Peposo (Tuscan Peppery Beef Stew)

(from The Country Cooking of Italy, by Colman Andrews)
Course Main Dish
Cuisine Italian, Tuscan
Prep Time 40 minutes
Cook Time 6 hours
Total Time 6 hours 40 minutes
Servings 4 servings

Ingredients

  • 2 pounds cubed beef stew meat preferably chuck
  • 12 garlic cloves
  • 2 teaspoons to 2 tablespoons crushed (not ground) black peppercorns*
  • Kosher or sea salt
  • 1 cup homemade or purchased tomato sauce
  • Up to 1 bottle Chianti or other fruity red wine*

Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 275°F.**
  2. Put the beef and garlic into a Dutch oven or other heavy ovenproof pot, sprinkle with the peppercorns and season generously with salt. Spoon the tomato sauce over the top, then pour in enough wine to barely cover the ingredients (you may not need the full amount). Place the lid on top.
  3. Bake for 6 hours without uncovering the pot. The meat should be very tender and the sauce very thick. Continue baking for 1 to 2 hours more if necessary.
  4. Serve over bruschetta, if you like.

Recipe Notes

* The recipe calls for 2 tablespoons of crushed peppercorns but I started with 2 teaspoons and, after tasting later, decided that was enough.

** If you use an earthenware pot, as I did, start the cooking in a cold oven.