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Milk Street Recipe
Milk Street Bowtie Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew (Peposo alla Fornacina)

Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew (Peposo alla Fornacina)

4 hours 30 minutes active

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Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew (Peposo alla Fornacina)

Free

The simple, generously peppered beef stew known as peposo is said to have been created by 15th century kiln (fornacina) workers in Tuscany, Italy. Chianti is the best-known wine produced in that region and is the traditional choice for peposo, but any dry, medium-bodied red wine works well. Make sure to use coarsely ground black pepper, as it has more presence and better coats the beef. This recipe makes a generous amount of stew—about 2 quarts—so serve it one night with polenta, mashed potatoes or braised beans. The stew keeps well, so it can be made up to three days ahead and reheated in the microwave or in a saucepan over low.

6

Servings

Tip

Don’t be shy about trimming the fat from the chuck roast. Remove as much as you can, which may mean shedding about 1 pound. Pull the roast apart at the natural seams, then use a sharp knife to trim the fat and cut the pieces into 2-inch chunks.

4 hours

30 minutes active

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 tomato paste
2 sprigs rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2 cups dry red wine
Ingredients
  • 6

    to 7 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2
  • 1

    large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 12

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    sprigs rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 2

    cups dry red wine

Directions
  1. 01
    Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Place the beef in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons pepper, then toss.
    See Demo
    10 09 18 Cpk 009
  2. 02
    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.
    See Demo
    10 09 18 Cpk 028
  3. 03
    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.
    See Demo
    10 09 18 Cpk 169
  4. 04
    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.
    See Demo
    10 09 18 Cpk 193
  5. 05
    Pour the wine into the now-empty pot and bring to a boil over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce to medium and simmer until the wine is syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, if you strained the meat juices into a bowl, use a spoon to skim off and discard the fat from the surface.
    See Demo
    10 09 18 Cpk 234
  6. 06
    Pour the defatted meat juices into the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 5 to 7 minutes. Return the beef to the pot, add the minced rosemary and stir gently. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is heated, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons pepper, then taste and season with salt.
    See Demo
    06 07 18 Cpk 592
Tip: Don’t be shy about trimming the fat from the chuck roast. Remove as much as you can, which may mean shedding about 1 pound. Pull the roast apart at the natural seams, then use a sharp knife to trim the fat and cut the pieces into 2-inch chunks.
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Reviews
Nancy G.
July 8, 2022
Very Flavorful
The flavor in this dish is amazing. I have made it several times and everyone loves it. The mystery to me is that there never is the amount of liquid that requires straining once the meat is cooked, In fact, if anything, this dish could use more liquid. Not sure how it would have a lot of liquid when the instructions are to trim off as much fat as possible. Yes, I have fiddled with cook times and checked the oven temperature. Just can't seem to get enough liquid for the sauce.
Catherine H.

The instructions above leave out a crucial step: adding the liquid/wine. The liquid should be added before sticking the beef and tomato mix into the oven for 2 HRS. Burnt tomato flavor is an unrecoverable mistake.

Martin B.

You have apparently missed the primary message from Mr. Kimball, that the beef should Not be braised in the wine, so as not to flatten them nuance of its flavour. As far as the tomato paste goes, it shouldn’t burn because of the liquid being released first from the sautéed onions followed by the liquid from the beef itself. I stirred the onions into the tomato paste well before nestling the beef in. I found that there was not quite enough sauce in the end, particularly for a commercial application. Since beef is often braised in a certain amount of beef stock, when I do it again I will add a cup of good stock in with the beef, and then reduce the whole bottle of wine into the sauce. The flavour is outstanding.

Sue R.

https://www.177milkstreet.com/2018/08/for-better-beef-stew-wait-to-add-wine

Maura O.

I've made this twice and both times the meat had no liquid left after being in the oven uncovered. I would reduce that time considerable. Delicious but needed more sauce!

Elaine V.

I agree. This is very good, but there is no liquid left in the pot at all. I added some beef broth for the last hour to compensate a little bit. I also didn’t leave it uncovered for the whole final hour. More sauce would be very nice!

Janelle C.

Hi Elaine,

How large is your Dutch oven? Any added surface could have caused the juices to evaporate.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Amanda R.

What size Dutch oven do you recommend?

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Amanda R.

What size Dutch oven do you recommend?

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Janelle C.

Hi Elaine,

How large is your Dutch oven? Any added surface could have caused the juices to evaporate.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Amanda R.

What size Dutch oven do you recommend?

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Amanda R.

What size Dutch oven do you recommend?

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Amanda -

We recommend a 7 quart Dutch oven.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Rosemary K.

Watched TV show with Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew.... nowhere is garlic mentioned (you can see it in pot for a second)...yet it is in recipe. What gives?

Janelle C.

Hi Rosemary,

The ingredient list lists 12 medium cloves of peeled garlic. Hope this helps.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Carole S.

I also had the same problem.... No sauce. The recipe says to "pour the meat juices into the strainer". Then after that, discard the solids. The fact is, there are absolutely NO meat juices. What I did was to leave all the solids in the pan, add the wine and deglaze and after it had thickened a bit, strain. Maybe I'll try adding beef broth as someone else suggested..
Milk Street-- please clarify. The recipe has got to be wrong....

Janelle C.

Hi Carole,

How large is your Dutch oven? Any added surface could have caused the juices to evaporate.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Carole S.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Carole S.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Joseph D.

I have been thinking about making this recipe and have read through the comments. Several people have mentioned that they had no sauce, and after watching Matt make this I was wondering if there would be an issue with the sauce. (I have made the roman braised beef and that came out great, but that recipe calls for a 28 ounce can of whole tomatoes so there is plenty of sauce). Here is my observation and question. Look at that chuck roast that is being used in the video! That is no ordinary chuck roast that you buy at Costco or your local supermarket. Look at the marbling on that beef! Magnificent! That chuck roast is a ringer. It looks like Kobe or Wagyu chuck roast. All that fat is going to be rendered out when that roast is placed in the oven and that will help make a sauce. In fact there is so much fat that Matt has to skim it off the top. So my question is what kind of beef was used in the video? And where can you get that beef? I mean the chuck roast I buy is not marbled like that. This lead me to do a search for Wagyu and Kobe chuck roast and sure enough these can be ordered on specialty websites. The chuck roast used in the video actually looks better than the pictures of Wagyu and Kobe Chuck that I see on these websites. Just my observation. thanks - Joe

Lynn C.

Hi Joseph -

While we agree that is a wonderful-looking piece of meat in the TV episode, it's just a regular chuck roast. In addition, it's just one of, probably, 20 or more chuck roasts we also used to make this stew during the development of the recipe for the magazine. All of which were regular market chuck roasts. We would not recommend buying prohibitively expensive Wagyu or Kobe beef for stewing. A well-marbled chuck roast (which you *can* find in the supermarket or your local butcher shop) will be plenty tender once it's cooked until its collagen turns to gelatin.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Lynn C.

Hi Joseph -

While we agree that is a wonderful-looking piece of meat in the TV episode, it's just a regular chuck roast. In addition, it's just one of, probably, 20 or more chuck roasts we also used to make this stew during the development of the recipe for the magazine. All of which were regular market chuck roasts. We would not recommend buying prohibitively expensive Wagyu or Kobe beef for stewing. A well-marbled chuck roast (which you *can* find in the supermarket or your local butcher shop) will be plenty tender once it's cooked until its collagen turns to gelatin.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Thomas F.

Hi Milk Street Team, I hear what you are saying about how big the Dutch Oven is. I will try again sometime with a smaller pot. If that doesn't work, I might just try adding some water or beef broth to the pot to keep some liquid during cooking. I think the innovation of this recipe is doing the wine sauce reduction separate from the meat which creates a brighter tasting sauce. My sauce I thought was fantastic, but I had to add liquid to the dutch oven to deglaze and get a sauce base first and then add the wine after.

Janelle C.

Hi Thomas,

Please let us know how it all turns out!

Best,
The Milk Street Team

EVA I.

Are you serving this over polenta? Grits?

Janelle C.

Hi Eva,

The photo pictures polenta but you can also serve with mashed potatoes or braised beans.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Devon S.

I joined just so I could comment!
I followed this recipe and it gave me tons of liquid!! My guess is most of you used too little onion, or a VERY too lean cut of beef. When I took the lid off, the 7lbs. Of beef was completely covered in liquid!

Brad A.

I had the same issue with greatly reduced sauce. I think the key is to still stir the meat at 1.5 hours or so then place the lid back for another 1 hour or so. The lid replacement will retain the sauce.

Joanne G.

I had very little liquid in the pot at the end of cooking also. I used what looks to be the same size pot that Matthew used on the show. Even after the first step, lightly browning the onions, I added more than the recipe called for because it just didn’t look like enough. I, too, added some water near the end of cooking to give it more sauce. Even so, it was an absolutely delicious stew and I’ll definitely make it again. And the polenta.......fabulous. I’ll never make polenta the stir-stir-stir method ever again.

Gail S.

I really want to make this recipe, but am I reading it correctly? Two teaspoons of pepper to season before cooking, and then another two teaspoons before serving? Seems like an awful lot (and I like spicy). Just don't want to ruin a big pot of food.

Janelle C.

Hi Gail,

You are reading the recipe correctly as this is a black pepper stew. If you feel like the black pepper might be too overpowering for your tastes, you might want to consider trying a different recipe.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Martin B.

Thank you for your comment! Your comment is currently under moderation and will appear shortly.

Howard G.

What sized Staub dutch oven did they use in the episode?

Myrna A.

Very good recipe. I had no trouble with the juice, and fat after two hours in the oven. Although i did add a quarter cup of wine before leaving uncovered back in the oven. Made sourdough bread to dip in the sauce....so good!

Bud R.

Solved the liquid problem! I've made this three times and finally got it right. First, as stated by the Milk Street Team, the size of the pot is critical. The raw meat should pile up close to the top of the pot. That way, the bulk of the meat keeps the liquid from evaporating. Second, after two hours, when the lid comes off, check the temperature of the beef after 30 minutes. The first time I did this, I let it cook for 60 minutes and all the liquid was gone, and the meat temperature was about 210 degrees! Third time, I took it out after 30 minutes, meat was well browned and there was lots of liquid! Lessons learned.

Emily J.

I have made this recipe exactly as written over and over again, and it is perfect every time. My whole family loves it. The seasoning is just right; not too peppery. I have made this using both my 7.25 quart dutch oven and my 5.5 quart one depending on how much meat is left after trimming the fat. Either way, I've always gotten plenty of liquid. I usually make the accompanying soft polenta recipe to serve with the beef. It is so simple and delicious, and it's also great topped with some stewed vegetables for any vegetarians at the table. Also, the leftover beef is very versatile to use in other applications (from those suggested by Milk Street to tacos and enchiladas).

Joanne G.

I made it again and used a smaller pot. Still had no liquid left after cooking in the oven. I added beef broth and some extra wine to give it enough sauce to put on the polenta.

Claudia M.

I made this last night, ready to eat tonight. The aroma while it was cooking was wonderful, and what I sampled tasted amazing. I followed recipe exactly, and had lots of sauce even though I cut away more than 1 pound of fat from the raw meat. I used 7.25 qt Le Crueset dutch oven.

Daniel S.

Could you half the recipe to 3 lb of Beef? With beef prices crazy right now, also 6/7 lb is a lot of food!

Lynn C.

Hi Daniel -

We haven't tested this with half the amount of meat so we can't say for sure if halving the recipe will work the same. If you do try it, I would check in on the meat during the oven time to make sure the meat is releasing enough juice to create a braising liquid since that's the key part of braising this way. Lastly, keep in mind that the recipe will not yield 6-7 lbs. of meat to eat. A fair amount of that weight is cut when you trim the fat.

Best,
The Milk Street Team

Julie B.

Absolutely AMAZING! The meat was so incredibly tender and the gravy was full of flavor. Definitely a keeper.
Notes: I had just under 6# of meat and much like everyone else, I had no juice left. I also have a small Dutch Oven so there was not a lot of room for the liquid to evaporate. Once the wine was done cooking down, I added the pieces that were left along with some broth and that was fantastic. Next time I make it, I think I will cook it longer with the lid on, and then add some broth when I remove the lid and only cook for about 30 minutes. I know there were juices when I removed the lid so I think they evaporated in the final cooking with the lid off.

Brian W.

Julie B.,

I wish I had seen your comments and others before I made my first attempt at this enticing dish! I used the recommended pot size and followed the recipe to the letter. While there was a fair amount of liquid at the end of the covered cooking time, I had very little liquid when the uncovered cooking was completed. I did note that the beef had already achieved some nice browning while covered so I concur with your approach tip the scales of cooking time towards leaving it covered longer.

Karen H.

We are a small family of 3, so I made this using 2 pounds of beef. I adjusted the oven cook times (to 1.5 hours and 40 minutes) in a 5 qt. Dutch oven and found there was not much liquid, so I kept all the solids (minus the rosemary stalks) and served it with a parsnip purée. It was delicious, and I look forward to making the pappardelle recipe that uses this as a ragu tomorrow. I will likely reduce the cook times next time in hopes that it will yield more juices.


Down arrow

Tuscan Beef and Black Pepper Stew (Peposo alla Fornacina)

Get Ready to Cook

6

Servings

4 hours

30 minutes active

Tip

Don’t be shy about trimming the fat from the chuck roast. Remove as much as you can, which may mean shedding about 1 pound. Pull the roast apart at the natural seams, then use a sharp knife to trim the fat and cut the pieces into 2-inch chunks.

Ingredients
  • 6

    to 7 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks

  • Kosher salt and coarsely ground black pepper

  • 2
  • 1

    large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced

  • 12

    medium garlic cloves, peeled

  • 3

    tablespoons tomato paste

  • 2

    sprigs rosemary, plus 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary

  • 2

    cups dry red wine

Step 1 of 6

Season the beef

teaspoon kosher salt
2
tablespoons ground black pepper
6
to 7 pounds boneless beef chuck roast, well trimmed and cut into 2-inch chunks

Heat the oven to 325°F with a rack in the lower-middle position. Place the beef in a large bowl, sprinkle with 1½ teaspoons salt and 2 tablespoons pepper, then toss.

Step 2 of 6

Braise the beef

2
tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
12
medium garlic cloves, peeled
1
large yellow onion, halved and thinly sliced
3
tablespoons tomato paste
2
 sprigs rosemary

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.

Step 3 of 6

Stir the beef, then return to the oven

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.

Step 4 of 6

Strain the beef

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.

Step 5 of 6

Reduce the wine

2
cups dry red wine

Pour the wine into the now-empty pot and bring to a boil over medium-high, scraping up any browned bits. Reduce to medium and simmer until the wine is syrupy and reduced to 1 cup, 5 to 7 minutes.


Meanwhile, if you strained the meat juices into a bowl, use a spoon to skim off and discard the fat from the surface.

Step 6 of 6

Simmer the sauce

1
tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
2
teaspoons ground black pepper
Kosher salt

Pour the defatted meat juices into the pot. Bring to a simmer over medium-high and cook, stirring occasionally, until thickened to the consistency of heavy cream, 5 to 7 minutes.


Return the beef to the pot, add the minced rosemary and stir gently. Bring to a gentle simmer and cook, stirring occasionally, until the meat is heated, about 5 minutes. Stir in 2 teaspoons pepper, then taste and season with salt.


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