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Cotechino Sausage for New Years Eve. [Italian]

Cotechino Sausage for New Years Eve. [Italian]
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  • Cotechino Sausage for New Years Eve. [Italian]

    Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 9:04 am
    Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 9:04 am Post #1 - January 7th, 2006, 9:04 am
    LTH,

    So I'm at Riviera buying a few New Year's Eve snacks, Soprassata, Capicola, fresh mozzarella, roasted peppers etc when I see a hand lettered sign on the outside of the meat case. Cotechino Being the inquisitive sort, I asked the owner, Carmelo Pugliese, who happened to be taking care of us, what cotechino might be. His answer, $6. :)

    After explaining I had absolutely no idea, in general, what cotechino was Carmelo said those magic words, the words equivalent to the all-encompassing (said with a wink) 'make you stronger', "it's an Italian tradition, lucky for New Years" Lucky for New Years was all I needed to hear, I mean, for 6 bucks who wouldn't buy a little luck. ;)

    Carmelo went on to explain it was a mix of pork and pork skin and should be simmered for 30-40 minutes then cooled slightly before eaten. Riviera was pretty busy at that point so that's all the info I got from him, somewhat sparse I know.

    Cooked Cotechino from Riviera resting on a full-size dinner plate
    Image

    Impressively m'th'su knew, with just a glance, exactly what cotechino was, he also said it's commonly served with lentils for New Years. I served the cotechino sliced and chilled and, quite frankly, was not overly thrilled with the taste, though I could see it being very good warm with lentils or beans.

    I wonder what other traditional methods cotechino is served, I get the distinct feeling I missed the boat on this one.

    Sliced Cotechino
    Image
    Image

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 9:20 am
    Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 9:20 am Post #2 - January 7th, 2006, 9:20 am
    I had Cotechino sausage most recently at the new Bin Wine Cafe. It had been thinly sliced and served over toasted peasant bread with white beans.

    I found the sausage (and the dish in general) to be terribly bland.

    Like you, Wiv, I wondered if I was missing something.

    E.M.
  • Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:23 am
    Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:23 am Post #3 - January 7th, 2006, 9:23 am
    There's a reason some things only get brought out once a year...
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  • Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 10:42 am
    Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 10:42 am Post #4 - January 7th, 2006, 10:42 am
    Gary,

    Sounds like your luck would be improved by cooking that thing for a few hours in a smoker and maybe served with a little BH Tennessee Red dipping sauce. But then, I think corn flakes would taste better smoked and served with Tennessee Red. :twisted:

    Happy New Year!
    Bill/SFNM
  • Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 11:09 am
    Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 11:09 am Post #5 - January 7th, 2006, 11:09 am
    FWIW:

    "Butchers and delicatessans specializing in Italian food sell cotechino, but what sausage makers outside Italy produce is leaner, drier, and saltier than the Modenese archetype, closer in style to a French saucisson."

    --Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking, p. 433
  • Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 11:32 am
    Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 11:32 am Post #6 - January 7th, 2006, 11:32 am
    ...but the real question is: did anyone eating your sausage get lucky on NYE?


    Cold: I would have served it like pate du Maison, with cornichon and mustard...not exactlly authentic, but that is what the texture brought to mind.
    Unchain your lunch money!
  • Post #7 - January 7th, 2006, 2:51 pm
    Post #7 - January 7th, 2006, 2:51 pm Post #7 - January 7th, 2006, 2:51 pm
    It's best as a component of a proper bollito misto, steaming hot from the broth with some mostarda. In that context, the blandness has some virtue. Think meatballs in the pho...
  • Post #8 - January 7th, 2006, 3:25 pm
    Post #8 - January 7th, 2006, 3:25 pm Post #8 - January 7th, 2006, 3:25 pm
    I found the Cotechino served on NYE to be akin to eating pencil erasers. :?
    Steve Z.

    “Only the pure in heart can make a good soup.”
    ― Ludwig van Beethoven
  • Post #9 - January 8th, 2006, 6:35 am
    Post #9 - January 8th, 2006, 6:35 am Post #9 - January 8th, 2006, 6:35 am
    JeffB wrote:It's best as a component of a proper bollito misto, steaming hot from the broth with some mostarda. In that context, the blandness has some virtue. Think meatballs in the pho...

    Jeff,

    Now that makes sense, counterpoint. Though I must say Bill/SFNM's idea of Blues Hog BBQ sauce and corn flakes sounds interesting. :) White beans and toasted peasant bread sound good as well, except for the overriding blandness Erik encountered.

    Frankly, I don't think I'm going to be doing much experimenting with cotechino.

    Enjoy,
    Gary
    Hold my beer . . .

    Low & Slow
  • Post #10 - January 8th, 2006, 11:44 am
    Post #10 - January 8th, 2006, 11:44 am Post #10 - January 8th, 2006, 11:44 am
    G Wiv wrote:White beans and toasted peasant bread sound good as well, except for the overriding blandness Erik encountered.


    Let me put it this way:

    The three items in combination were beyond bland. It was like the "black hole" of flavour.

    I would highly, highly not recommend this dish. ;)

    E.M.
  • Post #11 - January 8th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    Post #11 - January 8th, 2006, 1:03 pm Post #11 - January 8th, 2006, 1:03 pm
    I have had cotechino made and served in the traditional way by an excellent cook, warm, with lentils, and it was delicious. There is usually a bit of a vinegary zing to the lentils, and the cotechino itself should be juicy and have a nice, old school gamey taste to it. While it isn't exactly a flavor explosion, I would certainly not describe it as bland. To me, it's more like comfort food, perfect for a cold winter's day, in the same way a cassoulet can be. Don't give up on Cotechino, it may be that you just haven't had it in its best form, or maybe even that the sausage you purchased wasn't as good as it should have been.
  • Post #12 - January 8th, 2006, 4:49 pm
    Post #12 - January 8th, 2006, 4:49 pm Post #12 - January 8th, 2006, 4:49 pm
    A few years back I cooked cotechino in red wine laced with aromatics. It was really quite good. I would assume that would be one way to counteract the blandness that you experienced.
    MAG
    www.monogrammeevents.com

    "I've never met a pork product I didn't like."

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