Zampone with Lentils
1 zampone (pig fore shank/shin bone removed by your butcher), soaked overnight in cold water
1/2 pound ground pork
1/2 pound ham skin, diced small
1/2 pound prosciutto cotto, cut into 1/4-inch dice
2 links sweet Italian sausage, removed from its casing
Freshly ground black pepper
Scant pinch of the following spices: cinnamon, cloves, coriander, anise, caraway
2 cups dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed
2 tablespoons lard
1 onion, diced
1 cup chicken stock
2 tablespoons tomato paste
Salt and pepper
Remove the zampone from its bath and rinse in cold water. Pat dry.
In a large bowl, thoroughly combine the pork meat, ham skin, the prosciutto, the Italian sausage and the spices. Season the inside of the zampone with salt and pepper and stuff with the pork mixture. Using a large needle and butcher's twine, truss the leg. In a large pot, place the zampone with enough water to cover by several inches. Place over high heat and bring to a boil. Lower the heat and simmer covered for 2 hours.
Meanwhile, boil the lentils in water until tender but still slightly firm.
In a 12 to 14-inch saute pan, heat the lard over high heat. Add the onion and cook over high heat 5 minutes, until golden brown. Stir in the chicken stock and tomato paste and cook over medium heat 5 minutes. Add the drained lentils and cook 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Season with salt a pepper and place onto a serving platter.
When the zampone is done, remove from the water, allow to rest 10 minutes, then slice into 1/2-inch rounds and place atop the lentils. Drizzle with balsamic vinegar, and serve.
Just after midnight on New Year's Eve, Italians often eat lentils with a pork sausage (symbolic of the fat of the land) called cotechino, and zampone, a deboned pig trotter filled with sausage. This recipe is based on one by Mario Batali.
Stuffed Pig's Trotter with Lentils, Zampone con Lenticchie
December 20, 2012