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Peposa Dell'Impruneta (Tuscan Black Pepper Beef)

Rated as 4.86 out of 5 Stars

"The story goes that terracotta tile workers in Impruneta, Tuscany, would place this stew into clay pots and cook it in their still-hot kilns overnight where it would be ready in the morning. They used a lot of pepper because the meat was not always top quality. The amount of pepper is up to you--I used a ridiculous amount, but even so it wasn't overpowering."
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3 h 40 m servings 655
Original recipe yields 6 servings


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  1. Place meat in a large mixing bowl. Sprinkle all sides generously with 1 tablespoon kosher salt.
  2. Place chopped garlic and a pinch of salt in a mortar and mash with pestle until pastelike. Add tomato paste; mash until blended. Transfer mixture into bowl with beef and rub onto all sides of meat. Add crushed peppercorns and ground pepper. Distribute evenly over all sides of beef. Transfer to a deep skillet or Dutch oven bone side down. Tuck sage leaves, rosemary, and dry bay leaves between pieces of meat. Carefully add wine along the side of the pan to avoid washing over the top of the meat.
  3. Place pan over high heat and bring to a simmer; reduce heat to low. Cover tightly. Cook until meat is fork tender, turning pieces every 30 minutes or so, about 3 1/2 hours. Transfer pieces of meat to a warm bowl.
  4. Increase heat to high and bring braising liquid to a boil. Simmer until liquid is reduced by about half or until slightly thickened, 8 to 10 minutes. Remove bones from meat.
  5. When sauce is thickened, transfer meat back to skillet. Reduce heat to medium-low and spoon sauce over meat. Cook until until heated through, about 5 minutes.


  • Chef's Note:
  • Beef shank is traditionally used for this recipe, but the short ribs worked really well. You could even use chunks of beef chuck, but would need to adjust cooking time. Just remember, cook until a fork goes easily into the meat.
  • This is delicious served over polenta, but you could also serve it over rice or pasta.

Nutrition Facts

Per Serving: 655 calories; 52.1 5.1 27.5 116 1075 Full nutrition

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Read all reviews 25
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I used a chuck roast that I cut in pieces and cooked in a pressure cooker for 45 min after it got to pressure. I'm not sure if it needed that long but I wanted to err on the side of well-cooked....

This was killer! Oh my! The aroma while it was cooking was unbelievable and the flavor just wakes up all your taste buds! We buy 1/2 sides of Black Angus raised on pasture with no hormones etc....

This is fantastic! I made it as written. I definitely had to de-fat as my short ribs were pretty fatty. The sauce is just delicious!

This was a big hit over cheesy polenta. It requires the full cooking time that Chef John specified and even though I used a dutch oven with a tight fitting lid I had to add some water to keep t...

Made this last night for Friday night supper. Absolutely delicious - so flavourful. And even though it seemed like an obscene amount of pepper, it wasn’t! I did have to adapt the recipe since I ...

Absolutely delicious!! I followed the recipe exactly and it was very flavorful and moist! I served it over polenta made with fresh grated parmesan cheese, Hungarian paprika and black pepper. I w...

Did not have sage or tomato paste. I substituted some crushed tomatoes and had to add some beef broth after 2.5 hrs. Used Penzey’s Sunny Paris to season. Absolutely delicious and sauce was so yu...

Absolutely delicious