Zampone is made from the front trotter of a pig which is stuffed with a mixture of lean meats, belly, back skin, back fat and boiled before consumption. In 1510 the people of Modena formed an alliance with Venice what deeply offended Pope Giulio II, also known as “the Warrior Pope.” The Pope besieged Modena as he considered province to be in his sphere of influence. With no food supplies people in Modena had to preserve what they had, and someone hit upon the idea of boning pigs’ forelegs and stuffing them with a mixture of pork meat, leftover skin and spices. The Pope won but the new sausage called Zampone surived and is popular as ever.
There is also Zampone Modena PGI which carries PGI, 1999 classification.

Pork shoulder, leg meat400 g0.88 lb
Pork cheek (jowl)400 g0.88 lb
Pork skin200 g0.44 lb
Ingredients per 1000g (1 kg) of meat
Salt18 g3 tsp
Cure #12.5 g1/2 tsp
White pepper2.0 g1 tsp
Nutmeg0.5 g1/4 tsp
Cloves, ground0.3 g1/8 tsp
Cinnamon0.3 g1/8 tsp
Cumin0.5 g1/4 tsp
Vanilla extract1 ml1/5 tsp
Garlic3.5 g1 clove
Red wine30 ml2 Tbsp
  1. Trim meats separating fat, connective tissue and skin from lean meat.
  2. Grind lean pork through 3/8” (10 mm) plate.
  3. Grind jowls through 1/4” (5 mm) plate.
  4. Cook skins in water at 95° C (203° F) until soft. Cool.
  5. Grind skins and connective tissue through 1/8” (3 mm) then:
  6. grind again through 1/8” (3mm) plate OR
  7. emulsify in food processor adding 15 ml (1 tablespoon) of cold water.
  8. Mix lean meat with salt and cure # 1 until sticky. Add spices, ground jowls and emulsified paste and mix all together.
  9. Stuff into boned out and sewn up at the end pig’s trotter.
  10. Keep in refrigerator. Cook before serving.
  11. Cooked Zampone: place stuffed Zampone in hot water and cook at 80° C (176° F) for about 120 minutes or until Zampone reaches 71° C (160° F) internal temperature.

Zampone with lentils

Although cooked Zampone is ready to eat at any time, most people precook a serving portion in a waterproof pouch in hot water for about 20 minutes. Fresh (raw) Zampone tastes much better when cooked. Usually, Zampone is soaked overnight in cold water to soften the skin. Then it is wrapped in gauze or some netting so it does not touch the bottom of the pot and is simmered for up to 4 hours. Then it is sliced it into half-inch rounds, and served at once with lentils.

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