Peposo alla Fornacina (Tuscan Beef and Pepper Stew)
This another refugee from our friends at Milkstreet. Sounded good so I thought I would see what I might do to make it even “mo betta”. If you don’t like good, fresh black pepper you probably won’t like this one.
4-6 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks
Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
12 medium garlic cloves, peeled
3 Tbs tomato paste
2 sprigs rosemary, plus 1 Tbs minced fresh rosemary
1 Tsp capers, drained.
1/2 tsp crushed red peppers flakes
2 cups dry red wine (I like Sangiovese)
- Heat the oven to 325°F. Place the trimmed beef in a bowl, sprinkle with 1 Tbs salt and 2 Tbs pepper, then toss.
- In a large Dutch oven over medium, heat the oil until shimmering. Add onion, garlic and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 7 to 9 minutes. Add the tomato paste stirring until the paste begins to brown, 3 to 5 minutes.
- Nestle the beef and rosemary sprigs in Dutch Oven, cover and cook in over for 2 hours.
- Remove cover, stir and leave uncovered. Cook another 1 to 1½ hours. A knife inserted into a piece of beef should meet no resistance,.
- Using a slotted spoon, transfer the meat to a bowl. Set a fine mesh strainer over a fat separator or a medium bowl. Strain meat juices and press on the solids and discard any solids left behind after pressing. Use a spoon to skim off fat from the liquid.
- Pour the wine into Dutch Oven. Bring to a boil over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce to medium, add red pepper flakes and simmer until the wine is syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 7 minute.
- Pour meat juices into the simmering wine sauce. Raise heat to medium-high and stir occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 5 to 7 minutes.
- Return the beef to the pot, add the minced rosemary, capers and stir gently. You may need to add water or inversely add a Tbs of flour mixed in water to get your sauce to the right consistency. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is reheated and coated, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons pepper, then taste for salt.
Serve with mashed or roasted potatoes, a good crusty bread and of course, a nice red wine.