Friday, April 29, 2011

Everybody hang on to your skin ...

Well, here we are. Kate and William are now married (did you wake up to watch? come on, you can tell me..) and it's you, me and Cotechino. The Cotechino, basically skin sausage, was made by Chad and Leslie the day after the headcheese and the sausage. Thank God. Cotechino dear readers, is a traditional Italian sausage. In some parts of Italy it is served on New Year's eve to bring luck to the family for the upcoming year. It is rich, it is fatty, it is a pain in the butt to make (see below) and it is heaven in a casing.

I am going to get right to it then. So, I do not actually have any shots of the actual making of the Cotechino because did not actually make them. And between this and the laptop expiring, well, picture it...

Time to dish.

Cotechino a la King of Pig

Step 1. Remember these? You're going to skin them.

Check. Remembering.

Step 2. Thank the stars for the book. As in Chad's beautiful hand written cookbook. Which I am now in. And pretty pleased about it.

                                                                 Check. No Shot. Stars have been thanked.

Check. Shot. In the book. Pleased.
Step 3.  Hang on to your skin. Making the Cotechino is the same as making any other sausage except you have to deal with the skin. And what I mean by that is you have to wrestle it off, hang on to it (as if it were your last life line because it's fatty and slippery) and slide your very sharp knife along to remove all the fat. Dear readers I was there for this part and I will not lie, it is a big pain in the butt. There is a reason for the big smile in the hang on to your skin photo ...he knew what was coming ...

Check. Hang on to your skin. Smile because you know what's coming.

Step 4. Slice the skin into strips about two inches wide (the length should be as the original leg because you have to hang on to it (again) when you put it through the grinder. The equation here is three parts skin to one part pork. Yep.

                                                                Check. No shot. Sliced.

Step 5. Take one part of the meat you seasoned for the Italian sausage and three parts of the skin you now curse because it has taken everything you have to get it grinder ready, place the casing on the grinder nozzle and begin.

Step 6. And pull and stuff and grind. And pull and stuff and grind.

                                    Check. Pulling, stuffing grinding. No Cotechino shot but see here.

Step 7. Follow the same instructions for tying and twisting as the Italian sausage.

Step 8. They are done.

                                                         Check. Done. No shot.

Step 9. Beer time.


These amazing little sausages then came home to me and I made my basic staple tomato sauce which I love and then added the Cotechino to it. I let it cook, partially covered on low heat, for about 2 hours. It was to die for.

Adventures in Porkland - The end.

For now.


  1. What a meaty trilogy. And thank you SO MUCH for the sample you brought me of everything.

  2. Yep. Welcome, enjoy and let me know your thoughts. I'll do the same for the lobster broth.

  3. Cool--skin! What sort of difference does it make in a sausage? Pig skin and I have a long history together, though only in crispy, fatty form typical of Cantonese-style barbecued pork. My dad has always been a big enthusiast.

  4. @ Katie - It gives the sausage a soft gelatinous almost creamy consistency. It is nothing like I had ever tasted before and it was beautiful. Oh that sounds so delicious, if you ever have a story or recipe you want to contribute here, you are more than welcome. Especially if it involves crispy skin :).

  5. Unfortunately, my interest in cooking coincided with my vegetarianism, and crispy barbecued pork was something my family left to the experts, so I don't know very much about preparing said pork. It's too bad since cooking meat looks so fun! (Wow, I'm a terrible vegetarian.)

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  7. @ Groupdmt - Thank you, I could not have done it without the king of pig. He is passing along things that are becoming a rare art.

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