“Neapolitan Recipe Collection”
as translated by Terence Scully
Goat Kid or Mutton with Thick Broth Get kid or mutton and cut it into small pieces, and put it into a pot with salt pork, then get sage, mint and onion, and cook everyhting together; then get good spices and saffron, distemper them with the meat’s broth and let everything boil together until the meat falls apart, then lift the meat out into a dish with the thick broth.
After boning out a shoulder of mutton, I peeled as much silverskin as I could, and sliced it into “spoon-size” bits of about a half-ounce each.
Then I chopped the onion the way I sometimes like to; in half, then slice one half finely. I did this so the larger one could signal the cookedness of the dish, and the quantity would not overwhelm the small portion being made. It also made for a handy spot to stick cloves later.
Only having dried herbs, I used the sage, but chose savory over plain mint. Dried mint does nothing for me, and savory struck me as a good and tasty compromise. I don’t suggest it, it didn’t quite fit the palate.
I have salt-pork, it is unsmoked streaky bacon. I put two slices of about an ounce each into the pot. Had I chosen not to use it, I would have used olive oil and salt
Though the dish calls for no water, I added a small amount, being of the thought that a “pot” is a wet-cooking vessel. Though the meat did later give broth, it needed some liquid to start. Sticking would have ruined dinner.
The dish was cooked with a lid on the whole time.
After the meat cooked through, I added cracked pepper, a couple of cloves and a shard of cinnamon. Again, I am not a fan of using saffron except when I know the dish is otherwise honed, and feel it is worth the expense. Sunday dinner is not that time.
Had I used a larger quantity of powdered spices, I would have put them into another, smaller pot with broth and allowed them to simmer together (distempering) til the broth was thickened and the spices were homogeneous. As I was using a small amount of whole spice, this step would not have been beneficial, and the broth was not thick as a result.
After an hour the meat is cooked but not to tenderness, and the onion half is completely soft. I put the lid back on and simmered at low for another twenty minutes, then served it up.
1 lb lean meat, trimmed and cubed.
1 onion, medium, halved and one half sliced thin.
½ tsp sage, dried
(½ tsp savory, dried, used here but not preferred)
(1 TBS mint, preferred, would be best fresh)
2-4 oz salt pork (or other fat and salt)
(do not add salt to the dish unless you skip the salt pork)
2-4 oz water
an inch of cinnamon
½ tsp cracked long pepper
Place the meat and onion in the pot with a small amount of water, and set burner to medium.
Add herbs, and put the lid on the pot.
After 45 minutes to an hour, either
add your whole spices or
remove a cup of the cooking liquid, and add your powdered spices to it, then in a separate pot, simmer the spices for a few moments until they become homogeneous with the broth. At this point, re-introduce the now-spiced broth to the pot, tasting for balance. You may not choose to use it all.
Put the lid back on the pot, lower the temperature and continue cooking until the meat is ready to fall apart.
Check for salt, and serve.
A pot with a good lid is about all you really need to pull this off. A second, smaller pot for simmering the spices would be useful.
– “hidden” pork product. Make sure it’s marked when feeding groups.
– really needs the fresh herbs
– not the most popular meat.
– not the most evocative dish.
+ toss it in the pot and forget it, then simmer the spices in some of the broth. Pretty simple.
+ Minimal waste, made from trim.
+ great “intro” dish, easy to take a small portion, and not unfamiliar flavors.