In this post of the blog ‘Pepo’s secret’, our chef introduces the Peposo (Peppery Tuscan Beef Stew), one of the typical dishes of the Tuscan tradition, as it is prepared in the historic Pepo Osteria in Florence. Directly from the mouth of the chef, who reveals his secret to cook the best Peposo in Florence, making this dish even more tasty.

The Story of Peposo (Peppery Tuscan Beef Stew)

Peposo is a traditional dish in Tuscany coming from the hills of Impruneta, in the Tuscan countryside. Making this dish even more delicious, we replaced the poor meat used by peasants with the fish muscle (campanello) of the beef, a small cut, formed by the muscles close to the leg. We cook it with red wine Chianti bought from local farmers. Our secret is serve it with a fried cornmeal mush to exalt the taste of the meat pleasure your palate.

Peposo is a traditional dish in Tuscany coming from the hills of Impruneta, a village among the sweet hills of the Tuscan countryside nearby Florence. It was popular in the Middle Age for the production of  terracotta d’Impruneta.

According to the local stories, the fornacini (those involved in the firing of the bricks in kilns in Impruneta) have made this traditional Tuscan dish, putting in a corner of the furnace a pan with the ingredients dipped in red wine and left them to cook for about five hours.

There’s a story that tells that these fornacini were the same employed by Brunelleschi to bake the clay for the construction of the Cathedral of Santa Maria del Fiore in Florence.

This typical dish, Peposo, tells a story of a Tuscan cuisine made ​​with simple ingredients of highest quality, cooking over moderate heat, spices that exalt the flavor without covering it. In short, the story, of an essential way for cooking, but at the same time sought in the careful selection of ingredients and in respect of their nature in the cook.

Difficulty: Medium

Cooking: 2h 30m

Preparation: 10m

Ingredients:

  • Fish muscle (it replaces the less valuable meat of the tradition)
  • Celery
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Olive oil
  • Peppercorns
  • Chianti
  • Tomasto paste

Preparation:

‘Cook on low heat chopped celery , carrots and onions. Add the peppercorns in large quantities (indeed peposo means with a lot of pepper ). Cut the fish muscle in chunks and add to the stew of odors, leaving the meat taking the flavors . At this point, add the red wine (Chianti) to cover the whole stew and cook over moderate heat for two hours and a half. The meat will take on the flavor of the wine softening . Add in a pinch of baking tomato paste to give color to the gravy . Eventually the peposo is ready to be served warm. We serve peposo with a fried cornmeal mush . The organoleptic properties of these foods together give the palate a sensation of texture and sweetness , a feeling that brings us to rediscover the typical Tuscan flavors of cuisines from a long time ago’.