This is a variation of an ancient Italian recipe called Peposo, so named because it uses a lot of pepper. It’s a no-brainer as far as preparation goes, and it stays in the oven all day. Something happens in the long slow cooking that gives the meat great flavor and texture and mellows the pepper. If you still have a Crock-Pot or other slow cooker, now is the time to drag it out. Traditionally, this was served over slightly stale, crusty bread topped with the braising liquid, but you can also serve it with potatoes (mashed or roasted), polenta, or pasta. Cut the meat into stew-sized chunks before cooking, if you prefer.
Classic Italian gremolata is one of my favorite seasoning blends: a light, loose mixture that adds a spike of flavor to innumerable dishes. You can make it quickly by hand or super-quickly with a mini food processor.
Heat the olive oil in a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven or casserole, and over high heat, brown the meat well on all sides, working in batches if you have cubed the meat. Pour off the fat and add the garlic, pepper, tomatoes, wine, and basil to the pot. Cover tightly, set it in the oven, and
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