A second dish that will never tire and will always be present in the tables of Italians: we are talking about the stew, a recipe that needs a series of tricks to be successful. Yes, because the preparation is all in all simple, but the result is often not what is expected. Why? In the first place because maybe you did not choose the right meats: in fact for a good stew the ideal are the smaller denominations. In particular, belly, priest’s hat, shoulder, breast point, pork and real cup: they have characteristics that go well with a slow and prolonged cooking, which is exactly what it takes for a tender and succulent stew.

So I recommend: no cuts too thin and fat (those listed above are the most indicated), no high temperatures in cooking and therefore no fast cooking: the stew requires first of all time, and as we said of course the right meat. But that’s not all: there is a little secret also in the preparation. This is the fried: this should not be cooked shortly before the meat or together, but also for it there is a need for a slow cooking apart. In fact, the vegetables should not be browned, but stewed and cooked over low heat, wet if necessary with water or broth so that they become soft (to make sure that the cream effect comes out).

Only when the meat and vegetables cooked separately will be ready, then they can be united. Everything must be cooked for about two hours. To make your stew even softer, it is good to add density to the sauce: just add a little flour (do not overdo it because you could ruin the dish). The flour can be used in two ways: either sprinkled on the stew before it is cooked, and eliminating the excess and which could be burned during browning, or add it when you mix meat and sauté (and this seems to be the best solution). In both cases it is essential not to overdo the doses and sift the flour well in order to avoid lumps.

You can also opt for a tomato sauce, and in this case you will not need anything but add a little more to make the dish even more creamy. It is good to abound, because the juicy part is what makes the stew even softer.

Summing up: to make sure that your stew remains soft and tasty you must first choose the right meat, cook over low heat for the right time (do not be in a hurry) and the juicy part must be generous in such a way that the meat absorb for good. The rest is also up to you and your imagination!

When it comes to cold meats we often ask ourselves: are they bad? Should we avoid eating them? These are legitimate questions, but the answer is very simple: no, cured meats are not bad. Of course, it also depends on the product we eat first of all: if it is a low quality salami, then we might have problems, otherwise not. And then the use made of it is also important, in the sense that it must not become an abuse!

The cured meats have been part of our gastronomic tradition for centuries: they are a food that appeals to millions of Italians, so it would be foolish to say they just hurt. We must always relativize, even and especially when it comes to cured meats: useless and even misleading to make speeches too general, because they are in effect the products that are absolutely important within our diet. They indeed contain basic nutrients, as well as all meat foods. Eliminating them does not make any sense: just consume them in the correct ways and quantities.

It is therefore good to debunk some negative myths regarding the consumption of cured meats. Let’s start with cholesterol: is it true that they contain a lot? No, if for example we compare the raw ham with prawns, or the turkey meat (with leather). And it is not even true that cold meats make you fat tout court: all foods, if consumed with too abundant portions, make you put on pounds. But for example a portion of stracchino or a savory brioche have more calories than a portion of mortadella or raw ham.

And what about vitamins and minerals? The cured meats have vitamin B12, and those who do not take must take supplements to avoid a deficiency, and zinc, which must be taken daily. And what about saturated fats? Lard certainly contains a greater dose, but salami, cooked and raw ham contain less cheese and milk chocolate. Other beliefs whose scope is certainly to be limited: the proteins of the cured meats are not nutritionally valid (which is not true, since the chemical index of cured meats is high and is comparable to that of other types of meat) and the salumi contain many additives and preservatives.

Finally, we often hear that sausages can not be consumed by everyone. This is too general a statement, and on the contrary it can be said that salami can be consumed by everyone. The truth is that many factors come into play, ranging from case to case, but one thing is certain: cold meats can become part of all diets, even those of people suffering from high blood pressure and must limit consumption of salt. Just do not overdo the portions, and that the chosen products are quality.

Red meat is one of the most appreciated dishes by Italians, one of the main dishes par excellence of our culinary tradition. Declined in different ways, in all its facets, however, universally requires an accompaniment of exception, or a good wine. But which one to match? A question whose answer can not be univocal, because historically our territory offers many wines. The premise is that the most recommended are the reds, but even some whites can be good choices.

What is certain is that the combination of wine is as important as the choice of meat itself: it must highlight it and not cover its taste. But let’s go in order: what are the characteristics that must have a good wine paired with red meat? The first peculiarity is undoubtedly the body. Take for example a lean red meat, as can be the pork loin cooked in the oven: in this case better to lean for a refined and soft wine such as Merlot or a Lambrusco di Modena. If instead we opt for a fatter red meat (sausages and steaks for example) better to combine with the dish a more structured red wine to counteract the accentuated flavor of the meat. Particularly indicated in this sense are: Brunello di Montalcino and Nero D’Avola.

The type of cooking of the meat is important for the choice of the wine, which according to will have to be younger or more dated. In the case of a little cooked or raw meat (rare meats), it is good that the wine is young and not necessarily red. The white wines with this type of meat are very well married: the Piedmontese Arneis and the Veneto Tocai are certainly two of the most indicated wines. In the case of very cooked meat, as it is braised, it is better to choose a more dated wine (Chianti, famous Tuscan wine, but also the Amarone Veronese).

If you are not preparing your dinner at home but have decided to go to the restaurant, you can safely ask the staff, who will surely tell you the best wines to match that particular type of meat. It is a non-trivial choice, certainly not simple: as you have seen, choosing a good wine paired with meat is essential to enjoy the dish at best.

Great, now you should be ready to prepare a succulent dish and at the same time accompany it with a wine that matches the situation. I recommend: do not skimp on the price of the bottle. Better to enjoy a luxury every now and then to drink (and eat) really well.

suino maiale salsiccia macelleria d andrea

Are there any substantial differences between sausage and luganega? What are the characteristics that distinguish these two pieces of meat? First of all, just taste them to immediately realize that they do not have the same taste. But it is not the only real and concrete difference between the two.

They can present, for example, a very different form. Moreover, the luganega belongs to a very precise territory of Italy and, usually, is even known by the term “luganica”. This very fresh, long and narrow sausage is usually rolled up into a sort of whistle. It is often accompanied by spring or summer barbecues.

Finally, the territory of Italy in which luganega is most used is the North. It is presumed that it derives from the Roman age, but we will talk to you after this aspect. Today, one of the most famous and appreciated by gourmets is the luganeghe monzesi.

What do they have so special and special? They are prepared following a very specific recipe, with very unusual ingredients: pork, grana, meat broth and marsala. Although, in the past, the luganega was prepared with the leftovers and waste meat, today it is not so. It is one of the most sought after sausages in butchers.

Now, however, let’s go to deepen the discourse on sausage, dwelling on the differences.

The characteristics of the sausage: what are they?

The sausage, on the other hand, is widespread in every region of Italy. And, moreover, the recipe for preparation, as in the case of the Lugano luganega, can vary by city and by country. For example, in Southern Italy, the sausage also appears in its “cunzata” shape, with cheese, parsley and tomato.

In Emilia Romagna, the sausage is prepared with garlic, lambrusco, salt, pepper and various spices. Each region, therefore, puts its own key ingredient, giving rise to sausages different in size, shape and flavor.

Is there a cooking method indicated on how to cook them? The answer is yes, even if each sausage and luganega lend themselves well especially if they are prepared on the grill. However, it is not the only method of cooking! We can also brown them in a pan, to release their aromas.

In general, the sausage can be placed in the oven, topped with wine and other ingredients, such as vegetables or potatoes. The luganega, instead, finds its perfect method of cooking in wet. In northern Italy, luganega is often accompanied stewed with risotto.

As you can see, therefore, the main difference between the two is that luganega, above all, is not considered a sausage by most people. In fact, it is a sausage. The “Lucanica” (originally from Lucana) has been documented since the time of the ancient Romans, thanks to the historian Marco Terenzio Varrone. Among other ways, in addition to the classic Monza, the elongated horseshoe shape is famous with typical poor ingredients. These include salt, pepper, pepper, anise and wild fennel.

As for sausage, however, each region has its own: the dish that in the past was defined as “poor”, today is one of the most widespread and loved.