In this extract, I am describing the wonderful season in Capoposta where families slaughter their pigs and prepare cured meats. It was a fascinating period to witness and I am inspired by the way my relatives truly live the 'nose to tail' philosophy - nothing goes to waste. Families work together in a jovial atmosphere of celebration to produce a year's worth of pork meat. It is a way of living and process of production that we in Australia admire and indeed envy.
One of the real treats though is the tradtional feasts that go with this season. I experienced some of the most delectable and finger licking dishes of my year in that 3 week period. One of the most delicious dishes tradtional to Abruzzo is cif e ciaf. As I haven't included a recipe for this in my book, I thought I would post one here.....just in case the article gets you inspired!
The recipe varies a bit, depending on who I ask or where I read, but the following should give you a taste of this time-honoured dish and hopefully transport you to the Abruzzo mountains. Traditionally, this is cooked in a large cast iron pot that hangs over the fire hearth. These large fires are present in most traditional Abruzzese kitchens and is often the centre of focus, activity and warmth in winter.
CIF E CIAF - Abruzzese braised pork
INGREDIENTS (Serves 6)
1kg lean pork, cut into chunks
1 onion, chopped
1 stick celery, chopped
1 carrot, chopped
1 chilli, finely chopped
marjoram and parsely
1 glass white wine
In a cast iron pot or heavy based pan, lightly fry the vegetables in a good amount of olive oil then add the meat. Stir a few times then cook for 20 minutes. Add the wine and salt. Add the marjoram and let the dish continue to cook for another 20-30 minutes, until the meat is tender. Serve with crusty bread and enjoy in good company!