Culinary Dictionary: Peposo

Tuscan beef stew peposo

Peposo, which means “peppery”, is a long-simmered Tuscan beef stew fragrant with black peppercorns and Chianti red wine. Here’s how this comforting winter dish originated and how you can make it in your own kitchen.

Peposo is one of the most iconic Florentine dishes. This peppery Tuscan beef stew originated in Impruneta, a charming village near Florence that is world-renowned for its terracotta tiles. Here, the workers of the furnaces (they were baking the tiles for Brunelleschi’s dome) took advantages of the same fire baking the tiles to cook a spicy, piquant casserole that would help them beat the winter cold. The dish consists of cheep cuts of beef, slowly cooked in Chianti red wine with lots of black peppercorns. It is important to prepare this Tuscan beef stew in a traditional terracotta pot. Terracotta will allow the meat to slow cook to tenderness. Chianti wine will turn into a rich, luscious sauce to dip Tuscan bread in.

If you find yourself in Impruneta in april don’t miss the annual sagra del peposo, a festival dedicated to the Florentine dish. It’s a fantastic time of the year to walk around the pretty Tuscan village while tasting this comforting beef stew.

Tuscan Beef Stew – Peposo all’Imprunetina

Serves 4:

  • 800 gr/2 ounces beef suitable for stewing
  • 4 garlic cloves
  • 5 tablespoons black peppercorns
  • 1 bottle Chianti red wine
  • sage
  • salt
  • rosemary

Cut the meat into big chunks. Lay them onto the bottom of a terracotta pot, then add the garlic cloves, the peppercorns and the salt. Now pour the Chianti (make sure the wine cover the meat, add more if necessary). Cover the pot with a terracotta lid and place in a 160° C/324° F hot oven for about 3 hours until the red wine has reduced into a dense sauce and the meat is tender.

You can serve peposo with sautéed spinach or cannellini white beans. This rich Tuscan beef stew also pairs well with polenta or potatoes.


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