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Tuscan Peppered Beef

In Tuscany this recipe is called peposo, and it's been made for centuries in this part of the world. It's basically a very simple, unadorned pot roast that's left to cook at low heat for 12 hours. With a combination of only 5 ingredients, a tough beef shank transforms into a meltingly tender dish notably infused with pepper. Perfect for a cold winter night when served with a green salad, creamy polenta or mashed potatoes, and a glass of hearty red wine.

4 Servings


5 lb

beef shanks

1 ½ Tbsp

kosher or sea salt

¼ cup

Freshly ground black pepper


bulbs garlic (loose skins discarded and cut into quarters)


bottles hearty wine, such as chianti, zinfandel, or merlot


Position a rack in the lower third of the oven and preheat to 450 degrees F.

Season both sides of the beef shanks with the salt and pepper, using it all. Place the shanks in a roasting pan that will just accommodate them (you don't want the pan to be too large). Add the garlic cloves to the pan and cover the shanks with red wine. The meat should just be covered, so depending on the size of your roasting pan, you may not need all of the wine.

Transfer the pan to the oven and cook for 30 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 200 degrees F and cook for 4 hours.

Turn the meat over, cover the roasting pan with aluminum foil and continue to cook for 6 hours.

Uncover the pan and check to make sure that there is still some liquid in the pan. If not, add 1 cup of wine or water. Turn the shanks over again, re-cover with foil, and continue roasting for 2 hours.

Remove the foil and test to make sure that the meat is extremely tender and that the juices have reduced and concentrated. There should be about 1 to 2 cups of liquid remaining. Serve the peposo hot.


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