In The Kitchen: Peposo dell’Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef) from Food Wishes (with video recipe)

This recipe, found on the Food Wishes YouTube Channel, is all about the WOW! You will definitely be surprised by the amount of black pepper it uses, but once it is braised for several hours it all mellows in a wonderful flavor with a little bit of heat on the finish.

I made mine with a simple pot roast from the grocery, instead of the short ribs used in the video, but it came out wonderfully. I just cut the roast into about 6 large chunks. I would made it with short ribs though for anyone who might especially like them.

While this certainly takes a lot of time to cook, it doesn’t require a lot of attention. I did strain the sauce at the end before cooking it down as the rosemary had disintegrated and I personally don’t like chunks of rosemary needles in my food.

In The Kitchen: Peposo dell'Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef)

My version, just getting started

I served mine over polenta, just like the video. I have been using this accompaniment for braised meats and such for a long time. It is a great way of capturing all the juices, and the flavor they bring to the dish.

This is a wonderful collection of flavors and while I don’t often eat large cuts of meat like this, it is definitely a recipe I will make again!

One tip: If you don’t have a tight fitting lid for your large skillet or dutch oven, seal the top with aluminum foil and then cover with the existing lid and crimp the edges of the foil. This really helps keep all the moist, juicy, goodness inside over the long cooking time.

In The Kitchen: Peposo dell'Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef)

My largest skillet with foil seal. The foil covers the entire top and then is crimped at the edges.

Peposo dell’Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef)

In The Kitchen: Peposo dell'Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef)

Food Wishes Finished Version

Some recipes have amusing, or romantic stories for how they came to be, but this peposo isn’t one of them, unless you consider making bad quality beef taste better by covering it in black pepper, amusing or romantic.

As the story goes, the workers who made terracotta tiles in the city of Impruneta, would place this stew into clay pots, and leave it their still-hot kilns overnight, where it would be ready the next morning. Since they were often stuck using less than fresh meat, copious amounts of black peppercorn was used to make the beef palatable.

Read this entire blog post – Peposo dell’Impruneta – Making Bad Beef Better Since Before Columbus on Food Wishes

Recipe: Peposo dell’Impruneta (Italian Black Pepper Beef)

Ingredients for 6 portions:

6 bone-in beef short ribs (about 8 to 10 ounces each)
1 tablespoon kosher salt to coat the beef
8 cloves garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon tomato paste
2 tablespoons black peppercorns, freshly crushed
1 tablespoon freshly ground black pepper
3-4 sage leaves
3-4 small sprigs rosemary
2 cups red wine, preferably Chianti
2 bay leaves
salt to taste, to adjust sauce

Simmer on low, covered, about 3 1/2 hours, or until fork tender. Turn occasionally.

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