Serves 12 cooking time 6 hours (holds hot for another two hours)
2 corned tongues optional – substitute with smoked dried ham hocks or zampone
3kg skinless and boneless pork neck
6 hot cacciatore sausages, skinned
2kg beef or pork neck
1 small bunch of sage
10g whole black pepper
10g Maldon sea salt
2 bay leaves
1.5kg small carrots, peeled
1.5kg medium onions, peeled and quartered
1 large Savoy cabbage cored at the base and cut into wedges
2.5kg potatoes peeled
The order is important and the pot needs to be large enough to hold everything. Start with the tongues/hocks, add the pork, then the beef. Scatter the sage, pepper and salt and add the carrots and onions. Add the vinegar and cover everything with water. Cover the top with baking paper, pressing it against the water and then cover tightly with a double layer of foil.
turn the heat of the oven to 160°C
Put the pot into the oven and set a timer for four hours. When the timer goes add the potatoes. Half and hour before you want to serve add the cabbage and push it under the liquid, recover and return to the oven.
Once cooked the food will stay hot for at least an hour so there is no panic or pressure in getting it to the table.
There should be plenty of left overs for delicious cold meat sandwiches and the stock (with the left over meat) and the addition of more vegetables and beans makes a truly splendid soup. Don’t forget, never throw out parmesan rinds add them to the pot.
tips and variations
Coteccini are large pork sausages and can be bought fresh and matured/dry. Zampone is a boned stuffed and dried pork hock and can be purchased boutique Italian butchers.
Winter cavolo nero is also delicious and substituting the potatoes for just dug, scrubbed new potatoes is especially good.
Mustard fruits, mustards and polenta.