Succulent, melt-in-the-mouth beef sits in a rich, fragrant sauce that’s so simple to make it’s almost unbelievable. Peposo Alla Fornacina is a wonderful Tuscan delight, guaranteed to impress.
I'm always amazed how delicious some Italian dishes can taste with such little effort. Peposo Alla Fornacina a wonderful Tuscan Beef & Black Pepper Stew, is one such marvel. Very few ingredients go into its making, but the results are nothing short of miraculous. Soft, meltingly tender beef is stewed until it gives up the fight and creates a rich, decadent and impossibly fragrant sauce.
What is Peposo Alla Fornacina?
In its essence, Peposo Alla Fornacina is a beef and black pepper stew. Black pepper, red wine, garlic and beef are the traditional ingredients. There's a slight twist for my Peoposo Alla Fornacino recipe with the appearance of fresh herbs.
Typically, the lead flavour comes from Chianti wine and black pepper (lots of it). You'd think that the pepper would create a spicy dish, but you'd be mistaken - the finished stew is rich and flavourful but not a hint of spice. A wonderfully mellow affair.
As I mentioned, I do like to add a little more fragrance in my recipe which, while not hard-core authentic, isn't going to ruffle the feathers of too many Tuscan nonnas. I like to use herb bags that I can put the black peppercorns and herbs into so that I can fish them out later without any fuss. My herbs of choice, are a combination of the hardier varieties like rosemary, thyme, sage, oregano and marjoram. I think they bring something special to the dish, so they stay!
To create Peposo Alla Fornacina, we simply fry the beef in a little oil to seal and create a little char on the pan (all flavour!). It's then as simple as adding a little garlic, the black pepper and herbs bag and then pouring over a whole bottle of red wine (preferably Chianti, but any dry red wine will be fine). As with a lot of wintery, warming stews, time is our friend – 3 hours to be precise. Low and slow to let the magic happen.