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cuz

mutton preserved in fat

They say this is the oldest known recipe in Lombardy, going back to the 8th century, invented by shepherds in the upper Valle Camonica as a way to preserve meat. Pieces of mutton (castrato) from the rare local Cortenese breed, are slow cooked in butter and a little water over an open fire for five or six hours, while stirring with a juniper stick to bring the excess fat to the surface for removal. Once it's cooled, the stew is ready to eat (with polenta or boiled potatoes) or placed in an ule, a vessel made of wood or terracotta and covered with a layer of fat, which preserves it for up to six months, without refrigeration.

Text © Dana Facaros and Michael Pauls

Image by carbo