The Impruneta’s Peposo
It’s a typical dish from Impruneta, town of the Florentian hills, famous for the “Impruneta’s dirt” (a clay containing sand, calcium carbonate and iron oxide, that confers to the earthenware the typical reddish colors), from which earthenware, bricks and other clay byproducts where made (Cotto d’Impruneta, name of the products, referring at Cotto, the italian name for earthenware products).
The workers tasked with the cooking of the bricks in the furnaces (the “Fornacini”) came up with this recipe: in a corner of the furnace, an earthenware cooking pot was placed with all the ingredients drowned in wine; after 5 hours the dish was ready. The story goes that, during the time of the sculptor Brunelleschi, while he was building the famous dome of the the cathedral Santa Maria in Fiore, that is the cathedral of Florence, this “fornacini” that cooked the bricks for the task were making large use of this recipe.
The long cooking, the pepper and the Chianti wine, inspired the workers to eat a lot of bread and drink more wine, to refresh themself from the long day. The result of this diet was extraordinary. Especially for Brunelleschi.
Just to point out a curiosity: it’s right in this time, during the building of the cathedral of Florence that the figure of speech “Ufo style” was born to indicate something you get without paying. In fact, given that everything that was addressed to the factory of the cathedral (marbles, woods, etc.) was also tax-free, on the materials that came on the site from everywhere around Tuscany, was written “Ad Usum Florentinae Operae”, that was shortened “A U.F.O.” (Ufo style) and from this the saying was born.
Coming back to the Peposo we want to point out that, for those with a delicate tummy, it is possible to substitute the ground pepper with whole pepper grains, to obtain something more delicate but still tasty. It is to note, something quite important, that we are in front of a tasty dietetic dish, fat and oil free.
Fornacina’s Peposo of Impruneta:
This is a version of the many different ones of this dish, given that is a popular recipe: everyone has their one. As always, the quantities are an example and to the taste of who prepares the dish.
Doses: 1 kg of Chianina muscle – 1 lt of Chianti – 20 grains of whole pepper – 5 cloves of garlic with the skin on it – a bundle of herbs made of sage and rosemary – salt – slices of Tuscan bread
In a capacious earthenware pot, put the muscle cut in cubes not too small, add the garlic cloves with the skin on them, salt, the bundle of herbs and the pepper. Cover with the wine and cook with moderate heat, in the oven or on the stove, until the meat is soft and tender. Toast the bread in the oven or on the grill, pour the Peposo on it and serve right away.
- 1 kg of Chianina muscle
- 1 lt. of Chianti
- 20 grains of black pepper
- 5 cloves of unpeeled garlic
- Sliced Tuscan bread
- A bunch made of sage and rosemary Salt
THE METHOD OF PREPARATION
In a large earthenware pot, arrange the muscle cut into not too small cubes.
Add the unpeeled garlic cloves, salt, the bunch of herbs and pepper.
Cover with the wine and cook over moderate heat, in the oven or on the stove, until the meat is extremely soft.
Toast the slices of bread, in the oven or on the grill, pour the peposo over them and serve immediately.