Beef Ragout

This is an old Italian dish called a peposo because it calls for lots of pepper.

If you double the, double the cooking time - 24 hours instead of 12.


  • 2 1/2 pounds lean stewing beef, cut into 2-inch cubes
  • 12 whole cloves garlic, peeled
  • 2 to 3 tablespoons freshly cracked (not ground) black pepper
  • 4 cups canned diced tomatoes in juice (three 14 1/2 ounce cans)
  • 1 cup hearty red wine, such as merlot
  • 1/2 cup chopped fresh basil leaves
  • Salt to taste


  1. Heat oven to 275 degrees F.
  2. Place beef, garlic, pepper, tomatoes, wine and basil in a heavy pot, preferably ceramic or enamel. Bring mixture to a gentle boil on top of the stove. Cover tightly, place in oven and bake for 12 hours. Don't try to bake this in any less time. It takes exactly 12 hours for the meat to fall apart and the pepper to mellow.
  3. Taste, and add salt at the end.

Yield: 6 servings

Per serving: calories: 414 (46% from protein, 16% from carbohydrate, 38% from fat); protein: 50 grams; total fat: 17.1 grams; saturated fat: 6.5 grams; cholesterol: 124 mg; sodium: 742 mg; carbohydrate: 10.2 grams; dietary fiber: 1.8 grams

Exchanges: 11/2 vegetable, 1/2 fat, 6 meat

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