As winter rolls into Greenwich, I was thrilled to prepare “Peposo alla Fornacina” that was recently featured in Milk Street.
Frankly, I can’t recall eating any meat stew in Tuscany that was this delicious, but I will certainly add my endorsement to this hearty entree.
While the recipe suggests that you get only 6 to 8 servings from 7 pounds of stew meat, this stew is very rich and it could easily feed another 4 people (perhaps not teenagers).
I would strongly recommend choosing a high-quality stew meat with clearly defined grain lines. Asking your butcher to trip away unwanted fat and cutting the stew meat into 2″ pieces will certainly help in reducing the prep time. You may want to give the meat a second look before committing it to the oven to trim away any sinew or fat missed by the butcher. We were lucky. Our butcher did a wonderful job.
You need a couple of cups of wine, so don’t go overboard.
Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew
- 6 to 7 pounds boneless beef chuck roast well-trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
- Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 large yellow onion halved and thinly sliced
- 12 medium garlic cloves peeled
- 3 tablespoons of tomato paste
- 2 sprigs of rosemary plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
- 2 cups of dry red wine
- Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Place the beef in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1 tablespoon salt and 2 tablespoons pepper, then toss.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add the onion and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the tomato paste and cook, stirring, until the paste begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes. Nestle the beef and rosemary sprigs in the onion mixture, cover and transfer to the oven. Cook for 2 hours.
- Remove the pot from the oven. Stir, then return to the oven uncovered. Cook until a knife inserted into a piece of beef meets no resistance, another 1 to 1½ hours.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a medium bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over a fat separator or a medium bowl. Pour the meat juices into the strainer and press on the solids to push them through the strainer; discard any solids left behind.
If you are not a beef person, sample these other great recipes from Gourmet Living: