Prep Time: 30 min
Cook time:4/6 hours
Difficulty: 2 out of 5
3 lb beef cheeks
1/2 bottle red wine
8 whole cloves garlic
1 tbs black peppercorns
1 tbs tomato paste
2 tbs salt
1. Preheat the oven to 300.
In prepping the beef cheek, you will find that it’s a quite fatty piece of meat. You will
need to be able to decipher the good fat from the bad fat and cut off anything that is
hard or white. The good fat is usually more rubbery and soft and the bad fat is whiter
2. Cut the beef cheek into 3” cubes.
3. You will need to put all the ingredients together at the same time in the same pot.
Find a pan big enough to accommodate and add all of your ingredients.
4. Cover with hot water and close well with aluminum foil.
5. Bring the pot to boil and put in the oven for at least 4 hours at 300 degrees. The
longer it can cook, the better.
If you can let it sit and cool overnight, you’ll find that the flavor becomes much more
intense. When reheating, be sure to include the sauce in addition to the meat.
This dish is best served with Cannellini beans
The fornacini were clay workers in the area of Impruneta, nestled in hills of Chianti, near
Florence. At the end of the long work day, the fornacini would put left over pieces of
meat (mostly very fatty), some garlic, peppercorns and wine into a clay pot. The pot
would sit overnight inside one of the clay ovens, unlit but still warm. By the morning,
they would find a perfectly cooked stew, just in time for breakfast.
Check more recipes from: Chef Michele Baldacci