They eat the pig, all the pig in Milan. This is my (simplified) version of a classic. Don't knock it til you try it! —Sippity Sup (Greg Henry)
whole pig's trotter (foot)
pig's ear (available in an Asian market if nowhere else)
raw pork rind
onions, roughly chopped
medium shallot minced
cloves garlic, minced
Luganega sausage,cut into 2-inch lengths
small mild salami, sliced into 1/2-inch thick rounds
dry white wine, plus more for deglazing
carrota cut into 1-inch x 1/4-inch batons
stalk celery, thinly sliced crosswise
savoy cabbage sliced into 1/2-inch ribbons
sage leaves, chopped
whole black pepper corns
baked polenta slices
In This Recipe
Working over the burner of a gas range flame the trotter, ear, and rinds to remove any hairs that remain. Let them cool and wipe them clean with a cloth. Split the trotter, lengthwise, using a cleaver if necessary, and cut the ear and rinds into strips. Boil them in lightly salted water for an hour, by which point the fat will be rendered out of them. Drain. Set aside to cool.
Heat the oil and the butter in a large saute pan. Add the onion, shallots and garlic and cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, for about 15 minutes. Chop the trotter into small pieces. Add it, the sliced pig's ear and rinds to the onion mixture. Season well with salt and pepper. Add enough vegetable stock to cover the mixture and cook, over medium-low heat, until the liquid has reduced by half.
In a separate large Dutch oven brown the ribs and set them aside. Then brown the the Luganega sausage, and the salami lightly. Return the ribs to the pan and then sprinkle the meat with white wine and cook over a moderate flame until the liquid is evaporated. Remove the meat from the pan, then deglaze the pan with a bit more wine. Add the carrots and celery, together with the tomato paste and about 2 tablespoons of water. Season with salt and pepper. Cover the pan and cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally.
Add the reserved onion, trotter, ear, and rind mixture along with the sliced cabbage. Then lay the ribs and sausage over the top of it. Sprinkle in the lemon zest, chopped sage leaves, rosemary sprig, fennel seeds, dried juniper berries and whole black pepper corns. Add enough additional stock to bring the liquid to about halfway up the side of the pot. Cover and simmer for 1 hour, skimming and stirring the pot as needed. NOTE: During this period, the trotters and rinds will have begun to break down. Additional stock may be needed to keep a loose, glutinous consistency.
To serve: Lay a couple slices of baked polenta on the bottom of a low soup plate. Ladle the cassoeula over the slices making sure to get a few sausages and ribs onto each bowl.