Zampone: Pig’s trotter filled with cotechino and celery, Mt Zero lentils, celeriac puree, Calvados jus
My very humble thanks to executive chef Ron O’Bryan for sharing the recipe when he learnt that pig’s trotters is one of my favourite dishes.
Ron tells me he “can’t take full credit for this recipe. Zampone dates back to about 1500 and is a specialty of the Modena area. Traditionally served with lentils, spinach and/or potato puree, I have tried to stay as true to this tradition as possible, only substituting the potato puree for a silky celeriac puree.
This recipe can be prepared a day or two in advance and reheated and assembled when required. Remember when reheating the Zampone from the fridge they need to be simmered for about 20 mins.”
6 pig’s trotters from the foreleg
1 large cotechino sausage (about 600-700g)
3 sticks celery
150ml extra virgin olive oil
1 bunch oregano, washed and chopped
5lt chicken stock, or water
200g Mt Zero green lentils (du Puy or any type of French green lentils will suffice)
1 small carrot
1 small leek
1 stick celery
1tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp sherry vinegar
1 tbsp chopped parsley
1 large celeriac
2 tbsp unsalted butter
1 side American pork spare ribs
2 tbsp olive oil
1 stick celery
1 bay leaf
¼ bunch thyme
200ml white wine
3lt veal stock
2 bunches spinach
cracked black pepper
For the trotters:
– Carefully bone out the trotters (or ask your butcher to do this for you), leaving the very end knuckles and toes in place. Make sure you don’t pierce the skin if at all possible.
– Dice the celery. Cover it with olive oil and place on a gentle heat and simmer for 15 mins so that it is just soft and translucent. Drain and allow to cool.
– Remove the skin from the cotechino and mix with the celery and oregano. Season lightly with pepper only.
– Stuff the mixture into the trotters, ensuring it goes all the way into the toes. The trotters should be nicely full and rounded, but not over-full.
– Roll the filled trotters in aluminum foil and secure the ends tightly. Place in a large pot, cover with chicken stock or water, weight down with a plate and bring to the boil.
– Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook for 3 hours.
For the lentils:
– Wash the lentils well in plenty of cold water and place in a pot. Cover with water and bring to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook until al dente (about 20 mins). Drain well.
– Cut the vegetables into 1cm dice and sweat in the olive oil until just soft and translucent. Mix through the lentils and season with salt, pepper and sherry vinegar.
– Set aside.
For the celeriac puree:
– Peel the celeriac and cut into small, even sized pieces.
– Place in a large pot with the milk, cream and butter and bring to the boil. Turn down to a gentle simmer and cook until soft, stirring regularly so that it doesn’t stick.
– Drain well and puree in a food processor until smooth and silky, adding a little of the cooking liquid if the mixture seems a little dry.
– Season with salt only and set aside.
For the sauce:
– Chop the ribs into small pieces.
– Heat a little olive oil in a large pot. Add the bones and sauté over a high heat until they are well caramelised, stirring constantly.
– Add the vegetables and herbs and sauté for a further 5 mins, stirring constantly.
– Deglaze with white wine and reduce by half.
– Add the veal stock and bring to the boil. Skim any foam, oil or impurities that rise to the top and turn down to a strong simmer. Reduce by half.
– Strain through a fine sieve and return to the heat. Reduce to a sauce consistency. Strain through muslin cloth or an oil filter paper. Set aside.
– Reheat your trotters and celeriac puree.
– Blanch the spinach in plenty of salted water, drain well and squeeze dry in a tea towel.
– Reheat your lentils. Add the parsley.
– Bring your sauce to the boil. Add the Calvados.
– Place a line of lentils in the centre of 6 serving plates.
– Roll the spinach into 6 even sized balls and place at the top of each plate.
– Place a spoon of the celeriac puree at the bottom of each plate.
– Carefully unwrap the trotters and trim the ends to neaten. Place on the lentils.
– Season the spinach and spoon a little of the sauce over the trotters.
and you can follow Chef Ron O’Bryan on Twitter too www.twitter.com/ronobryan