1 large minced onion
1 minced carrot
1 minced celery stick
3 sliced garlic cloves
2 whole garlic cloves
Mixture of available herbs (sage, laurel, thyme, a little rosemary)
2 soup-size Tbsp. of pepper (half ground, half in grains)
1 or 2 pork shanks
2.2 pounds of cut meat (muscle, snout or other non-prime areas)
Red wine at your discretion
The Peposo is a typical dish from Impruneta, a town just 9 mi. outside Florence known for its production of “cotto” tiles. This extremely flavoursome dish used to be prepared in the same ovens used to manufacture the renowned “cotto” floor tiles. The ingredients varied according to season, for instance the pork was slaughtered in the Winter to make use of its front shanks.
The meat cuts should be chosen among the more compact ones that won’t become threadbare, the 4 Leoni uses primarily the cheek (the snout), the muscle and the previously mentioned shanks. So, always put all the ingredients – except for the laurel, the minced garlic and grounded pepper – in an ample pan, better if earthenware, and douse it all with wine.
Bring to boiling point on medium heat, then lower the flame to its minimum level: it has to cook gently without boiling. Check the wine level from time to time and mix. This is a broth-intensive dish, but the broth (the “sugo,” as we say in Florence) must be dense, with a good consistency. When the meat becomes tender, add the laurel leaves, the remaining garlic and the grounded pepper and continue cooking until you get hungry!
Then turn off the flame and serve.
Buon appetito! You can also place some toasted Tuscan bread on the bottom of the pan, if you’d like.