It’s January 1st and for whatever reason I decided that I would make a New Year’s Day lunch. My downfall was that I would have to start cooking it two hours after coming home from New Year’s Eve up in London. Oh well!
Thanks again to the good people of Melbury and Appleton for actually selling something as obscure as this. If you want to know what zampone is then you just need to imagine a pig’s trotter that has been hollowed out, stuffed with sausagemeat and is then slow-boiled until the fat becomes jellylike.
Thankfully you can buy this pre-made and in a form that only requires a 30 minute stint in boiling water and so that is exactly what I did. The only bones that remained were some tarsal and metatarsal bones in the foot itself. Otherwise it was just a beautifully spiced coarse sausagemeat wrapped in bacon-flavoured meat jelly.
It was utterly gorgeous – even if the hub had trouble dealing with the idea that I was carving up a pig’s trotter. I only wish there had been more of it to share out. Still, it made this meal feel that extra bit special.
After all the gorging that comes with Christmas I felt the need to have some form of salad with this lunch. Seeing how it’s a salad for a special dinner I decided it was time to use the bottle of single-estate Spanish extra-virgin olive oil that I found in my local Waitrose.
Having recently read Gulp by Mary Roach (where she has a chapter that talks about people doing an olive oil taste test) I have been trying to actually tell the difference between olive oils. Sounds a bit gross, right? Well with this bottle of Castillo de Canena oil might just be some of the best I have ever tasted.
It’s a bit weird to say this, but it smelled like vine tomatoes. That fresh and grassy smell that you get when you pick tomatoes straight from the plant. The hub said it reminded him of freshly-cut grass, but in a good way you understand. I am going to have so much fun finding uses for this outside of being a fancy salad dressing.
Right, so the trotter broke in half after I cooked it (it was just that soft after being cooked). As well as the salad dressed with the Spanish olive oil and the trotter I also made some Parmesan and sage polenta as well as a big bowl of stewed green lentils. I still have enough leftover lentils to feed a family of four, but damn if this wasn’t a good meal to welcome in the new year.