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Farsumagru Recipe - Classic Sicilian Meat Sauce Recipe

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Farsumagru: This is perhaps the most celebrated Sicilian meat dish; it draws its name -- farsumagru translates roughly as nonlenten -- because it contains an amazing wealth of ingredients, including meats. You'll need:

Prep Time: 45 minutes

Cook Time: 2 hours

Total Time: 2 hours, 45 minutes

Yield: 6-8 servings Farsumagru

Ingredients:

  • A rectangular slice of veal weighing 1 3/4-2 pounds (7-800 g), with no holes!
  • 1/2 pound (200 g) prosciutto or mortadella
  • 1/2 pound fresh mild sausage, or the soft salami of Chiaramonte Gulfi
  • 4 hard-boiled eggs
  • 4 ounces (100 g) cured lard (a strip the length of the slice of meat)
  • 3 ounces (75 g) ground beef
  • A fresh spring onion
  • A beaten egg
  • A clove of garlic
  • 4 ounces (100 g) sharp caciocavallo or provolone, diced
  • 2 1/2 ounces (60 g) grated pecorino col pepe (similar to Romano, but with peppercorns)
  • A small bunch parsley
  • 1/4 pound (100 g) freshly shelled peas, blanched in salted water
  • Tomato sauce
  • A walnut sized chunk of rendered lard
  • A sprinkle of well aged red wine
  • Olive oil
  • Salt & pepper

Preparation:

Begin by pounding the meat with the flat of a knife, being careful to keep the slab rectangular in shape, and not puncturing it. Next, lay the slices of prosciutto or mortadella over the meat. Trim the tips off the hardboiled eggs to reveal the yolks, and lay them lengthwise down the middle of the piece of meat. Trim the rind from the lard if need be, put it around the eggs, then sprinkle the diced cheese and parsley sprigs over everything, along with the garlic, minced, and the spring onion.

To complete the filling combine the ground meat, grated cheese, peas, and, if you want, some fresh sausage. Spread the mixture over the other ingredients in the filling, and roll the meat up around it. Tie the roll with string lengthwise and widthwise and down, to produces a "salami."

Put the farsumagru in a large pan and brown it either in the fat from cooking sausages, or a mix of lard and oil.

At this point the farsumagru is ready to take its place in a festive ragù. Or, if it is to reign in glory by itself at the table, sprinkle it with red wine and continue cooking until the wine has evaporated. Then add some tomato sauce, diluted in water, and simmer the roll for about an hour, covered. When it comes time to serve it transfer it to a platter and remove the string, but wait till you get to the table to slice it into half-inch slices. The beauty of the thing, if it's done right, is the way the brilliant yellow of the yolk is surrounded by the whites, in which are in turn surrounded by the milky lard, with the green of the peas and parsley in the brilliant white of the cheese.

This is the farsumagru, the undisputed King of Sicilian meat dishes.

Serve it with its sauce, and with a fine red wine, along the lines of a Nero D'Avola.

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