The sheep (according to chef Diego Rossi) – Italian Cuisine

Everything has been said and written about Diego Rossi, we can certainly all agree that with his restaurant Trippa, in Milan, he made a significant contribution to the return of the fifth quarter (all this advances from the two half-carcases of the animal) on our tables.

A great enthusiast and connoisseur and experimenter, he dedicated a book to the fifth quarter – As long as there is tripe – which can be considered a sort of fifth quarter vademecum with related recipes.

Diego is also a chef who never misses his menu sheep and for this reason we asked him for some advice on how to prepare it, since we are in the period of the year when lamb, kid and sheep are the protagonists of the table. The goal is always to sensitize and stimulate the consumption of less usual meats.

Let's start with a plate hard core: overcooked sheep offal with onion and spices (pepper, pimenton de la vera, garlic, nutmeg) to eat boiled with a side dish of vegetables or potatoes. It's about his interpretation Haggis, a sausage symbol of the Scottish culinary tradition, tasted during his last trip to Scotland and which suggests that offal is also appreciated abroad.

The chef starts from the right assumption that cooking and eating every part of the animal is a form of respect and that it is all about choosing good meat: perfectly slaughtered sheep and in super safe hygiene conditions. So, first of all, it is important to select a good breeder or butcher.

Among the sheep breeds, the medium-sized Brogna prefers the only autochthonous native of the Veronese mountain to survive the extinction or the Bergamo-based lean and delicate meat alternatively the lamb of the Lucanian dolomites bred in the wild.

But where does the inspiration come from? from tradition, from the family recipes and from the exchanges, from the dialogues with the people he meets (Editor's note we also talked about the various versions of lamb lamb and egg from Abruzzo).

So here is a starting point for one sheep crépinette, a kind of patty oval-shaped, in which to insert parature of finely chopped sheep cuts, sheep's liver, salt, cumin, garlic and pecorino. To tie everything together, combine bread, milk and eggs and insert the mixture into a pork net, which gives its name to the preparation, scald it in a pan with oil and salt, then pass it in the oven for a few minutes (about 10).

In this period, to be served with sautéed artichokes or asparagus also boiled with gratin and for the lucky ones, thistles.

Do you know how to cook the head instead?

Remove the brain, boil it for about an hour and a half, then pass it in the oven with oil, garlic, thyme, mint and salt, leaving it to roast for about 12 minutes at 180 °. With the brain kept aside, you can create a sauce by combining garlic, oil, thyme, mint, chilli pepper and sliced ​​lemon, letting it reduce on the heat and adding fresh lemon juice at the end of cooking.

But we do not live only offal, so Diego recommends consuming the leg, lean muscle tissue, preparing a tartare with salt and extra virgin olive oil, a sheep burger or a tasty ragù.

The white meat sauce it can be done with the meat cut with a knife or minced using a classic sauté seasoned with thyme, mint, cumin or even sesame and wet with the broth obtained from the bones of the sheep or other boiled cuts.

at Hamburger, to the minced meat of sheep you can add fatty parts of pork such as bacon and it is flavored with salt and flavorings also adding mustard sauce or beans. Pink cooking in a pan.

The mantra is always the same: nothing is thrown away, you eat everything with respect, awareness and taste, it is always about being guided by the experience of those who have worked before us by generating a culture of inestimable value.

Text by Romina Ciferni

Photo by Marco Varoli.

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