Today of the cassoeula there are numerous variations and not all of them based on pork. But what is worse is that the name of the most traditional dish of Brianza cuisine has become the way to indicate a type of preparation that is sometimes refined: it is kindly said 'in cassoeula'(With trumpet lips I recommend) when the meat accompanied by cabbage is stewed slowly over the fire, perhaps accompanied by other vegetables and flavors.
Kindly a cabbage, indeed a cabbage! There cassoeula is free-range stuff and those who especially appreciate the rustic character of this dish can only take refuge in the kitchen of some restaurant in Brianza, from where with the November mist comes the enveloping smell of the poor parts of the pig that take on the flavor of carrot, celery and especially cabbage. No waste and only seasonal ingredients: cassoeula is biodynamic ante litteram.
There cassoeula it is typical seasonal restaurant cuisine but it can also be prepared at home, usually for a good number of people as it can be kept well for several days and heated and almost tastier. What we propose here is the traditional noble recipe from the trattoria cassoeula Brianza, without customization and exactly with the ingredients indicated in an authoritative local cookery book ('Brianza in the kitchen', Bellavite publisher in Missalia - Lecco). For more homemade variations, customizations and some secrets, read also 'cassoeula pork: basic recipe and variations'.
Preparation of the traditional Brianza cassoeula. Put the pig's foot, rinds and verzini in a large saucepan. Bring to a boil and gently blanch the verzini for 20 minutes and the gelatinous parts for an hour. Meanwhile, drain the ribs with a little oil, drain them and keep them warm. Make a bottom of the chopped vegetables and brown them with the butter in a large saucepan. Browse the cabbage and let them dry in a covered saucepan with only the water left on the leaves after washing. Remove the feet and rinds from the heat and cut them into pieces, boning the feet. Add the gelatinous parts to the cooking juices, wet with wine and let it evaporate. Add the cabbage, wet with half of the broth and add the tomato. At this point, cook for an hour and a half. Finally add the spare ribs, salt and pepper and cook for another half hour. The separate cooking serves to ensure that the ribs and verzini do not break, while the gelatinous parts must be cooked to the point that they melt in the mouth. Recommended wine: Barbera d'Asti.
Ingredients of the traditional Brianza cassoeula (12 people)
700 gr. of pork ribs; 600 gr. of verzini; 200 gr. Of pork rinds; 1 pork foot; 300 gr. carrots; 200 gr. celery; 300 gr. of onions; 3 kg. of cabbage; 20 gr. Of butter; 150 gr. Of concentrated tomato sauce; 1 liter of broth; 2 dl of red wine; salt and pepper.