A few months ago, I took part in a Daring Cooks challenge about salumi. At that time, I chose to make Salame Cotto, and it was a great success. That, and the fact that I regularly make my own Pork Sausage, encouraged me to try my hands at making another popular Italian meat product: Cotechino. It is similar to a big sausage (with different spices), but what really makes it different is the fact that it also contains pork rind in the meat mixture. Cotechino takes about 10 minutes to make (yes!) and 2 to 3 hours to cook… you want the rind to really become soft, so that when you eat it, it melts in your mouth. Italians always eat Cotechino on New Year’s Eve and it is usually served with lentils (click here for my Cotechino with lentils recipe), but we also like to eat it during the remaining cold days of winter. I am sure you can find pre-cooked Cotechini in the shops (I am so lucky to actually find freshly made ones at my Italian butcher!), but home-made is always best as it does not contain any preservatives. That is also why my home-made Cotechino is not “reddish” in colour (nitrates usually make cured meats look red). Even though the look is slightly different, this Cotechino tasted much better than the store bought ones. Give it a go and I am sure you won’t be disappointed! Enjoy!
Home-made Cotechino - a tutorial on how to make your own Cotechino at home!
- 600 gms – 1 1/3 lbs. pork scotch fillet
- 200 gms – 7 oz. pork rind
- 200 gms – 7 oz. rashers without rind
- 18-20 gms – 3 ¼ tsp salt
- 50 ml – ¼ cup red wine
- 3 gms – 1 tsp peppercorns crushed with a mortar and pestle
- ¼ tsp cinnamon
- 1/8 tsp fennel seeds
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp clove powder
- 1/8 tsp garlic powder
- Salami casing soaked in tepid water for at least 20 minutes and rinsed
Roughly chop the rind, the scotch fillet and the rashers.
Grind the rind using a 1.6 cm – 0.6 inch diameter grinder.
Grind the scotch fillet, the rashers and the already ground rind using a 0.8 cm – 0.3 inch diameter grinder.
Mix the ground meat together in a bowl. Add the salt, red wine, nutmeg, pepper, cinnamon, fennel seeds, nutmeg, garlic powder and clove powder and knead well.
Stuff the cotechino into the casing and tie the ends off with a bubble knot.
Let it rest, uncovered, at 20° to 25°C (68°F – 77°F) for 24 hours before cooking it.
This cotechino has no preservatives, so it keeps in the fridge, uncooked, for 2 to 3 days.
Betsy @ Desserts Required says
I had not heard of cotechino before. It sounds delicious!!
I have to buy a meat grinder just to make this!
I’ve pinned this to try later. Also checked out the recipe with the lentils, we may be trying something new this New Year’s Eve! Looks delish, my family can never get enough salami and cheese.
Frank @Memorie di Angelina says
I absolutely adore cotechino but I never thought of making it myself—until now, that is! Just one question: any idea what a pork scotch filet would be in the US? I Googled scotch filet and it ‘translates’ as ribeye steak, but that’s a beef cut, of course…
I had no idea pork scotch fillet had a different name in the USA and I could not find it either. That said, I have found this link http://www.pork.com.au/media/217373/Australian%20Pork%20Cuts%20Chart%20-%20low%20res.pdf that shows where a pork scotch fillet is in a pig… I think it may help. It is also called pork neck, but I think that’s more of a British term.
I can also say that in Italy we don’t use a scotch fillet for cotechini… we use all the left over meat for other cuts. So it doesn’t really matter too much what cut you use. I use a scotch fillet as it is soft and not too fat (it is the “parte magra – but not too lean” of my cotechino as I then add rashers and rind). I hope it helps! Let me know!
ITs called Boston Butt in the US
Stefano Serati says
I live in St. Louis, Missouri, USA, and am lucky enough to live near a popular deli in the Italian section of the city named “Gioia’s” that serves a similar item called “salame di testa” or what most non-Italian locals refer to as “hot salami”. Salame di testa is popular in Northern Italy. A still-warm boiled pig’s head is boned, cut and mixed with spices, ground, cased, refrigerated overnight, then boiled, sliced and served hot. Gioia’s has been serving salame di testa since the early 1900s. If you’re ever in town, don’t miss it!
I have to say I love your recipes and this one is no exeption! Keep up the good work, congratulations!
What are rashers? Is that the same thing as bacon?
Rashers are thick slices of pork belly here in Australia.
You leave the sausage at room temp for 24 hrs after stuffing the casing?
Hi David. Only if it’s cold. Here in Australia, I now put it in the fridge just to be safe and it works out perfectly.