Ingredients for 4-5 people:800 g beef leg (or another good stewing meat)2-3 glasses dry red wine (preferably Chianti)
8 garlic cloves1 tbsp tomato purée (or 2-3 fresh or preserved peeled tomatoes)1 bunch fresh herbs (sage, rosemary, bay leaves)1 heaped tbsp black peppercorns (2 if you like to “exaggerate”) salt
Cut the meat into large pieces. Put them into a terracotta pot with the whole, peeled cloves of garlic, the tomato purée dissolved in half a glass of hot water (or the tomatoes cut in pieces), the spoonful of pepper, the bunch of herbs and some salt. Pour in the wine, put the lid on the pot and cook slowly, on the stove or in the oven, at a low heat (165 °C) for 2-3 hours, or until the meat is tender (check by pricking it with a fork). Stir delicately from time to time, and if the Peposo seems too dry, add a little hot water; if it is too liquid, take the lid off the pot. At the end of cooking, the sauce should be well thickened, but creamy and soft. For those who aren’t afraid of strong flavours, once removed from the heat, add another good sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper.
Peposo can be served with slices of toasted, homemade, white bread: exceptional for “fare una scarpetta” (= mopping up the sauce)!
This is a traditional dish of Tuscan cuisine from a town in the hills around Florence, Impruneta, renowned for the production of terracotta. The workmen used to leave the Peposo overnight (while the heat was not so high) in the ovens, where by day they would fire pots and tiles. Cooking the meat extremely slowly, for 6-8 hours in plenty of Chianti, helped make the dish delicious.