Slow-cooked beef stew with black peppercorns

Slow-cooked beef stew with black peppercorns

Peposo di manzo al nipozzano

By
From
Tuscany
Serves
8
Photographer
Helen Cathcart

Legend has it that the Tuscan brickmakers would take this to work for lunch, cooking it in the furnaces used to make terracotta tiles for the roof of the Cathedrale di Santa Maria del Fiore (known as the Duomo) in Florence between the 13th and 14th centuries. However, it is doubtful they could have afforded peppercorns so perhaps these were added in more recent times. This stew is often eaten with soft polenta or mashed potato or a sformato of cauliflower. Traditionally, it would have been eaten with bread. This is Alfredo Bianchetti’s recipe – he was a Florentine chef from this century who perfected the recipe over years of cooking it.

Ingredients

Quantity Ingredient
120ml extra-virgin olive oil
2 red onions, peeled and finely sliced
1.2kg stewing beef
2 teaspoons salt
1 1/2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
500ml red wine
2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns
Polenta, to serve (optional)

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 170°C. Heat the oil in a large, heavy-based ovenproof pan over a medium heat with 3 tablespoons of water. Add the onions and cook for about 10 minutes or until soft. When the onions are ready, add the meat, salt and ground pepper, and stir through. Continue to cook over a medium heat for about 30 minutes or until the water from the meat has evaporated. Pour in the wine and add the peppercorns, then cover with an ovenproof lid. Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 2 1/2–3 hours until the beef is soft. Take off the lid and bring the stew to the boil over a medium heat on the hob – the liquid should reduce until the sauce is soupy. Eat straight away with polenta, or allow to cool and store in the fridge for up to 5 days, or chill and freeze for up to 3 months.
Tags:
Italy
Italian
Caldesi
Tuscany
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