MONTALCINO’S TRIPE WITH SAFFRON
SAFFRON, AN EXOTIC AND PRECIOUS SPICE, GROWS SPONTANEOUSLY IN MONTALCINO, IT GROWS ON THE EMBANKMENTS , AND IS USED TO COOK TRIPE
by Donatella Cinelli Colombini
In the tradition of the Val d’Orcia, saffron had very particular uses: it was spread on the peel of pecorino cheese to make it look older and increase its price. It was also used to dye fabrics….
Obviously the Montalcino saffron is not fine saffron like the Iranian or the Indian Kashmir ones but it is intense and has an ancient tradition that makes it worth trying.
In gastronomy, Montalcino’s tripe is the triumph of saffron.
In the Quartiere Travaglio, one of the four districts into which Montalcino is divided, the beginning of Lent is celebrated with a meal of tripe with saffron.
INGREDIENTS FOR MONTALCINO’S TRIPE WITH SAFFRON
For 4 people:
500 g of veal tripe, a spoonful of baking soda, an onion, 2 celery ribs, 2-3 cloves, 10 grains of black pepper, a pork trotter, 2 cloves of garlic, 1 chili pepper, extra virgin olive oil, half a litre of meat broth, a pinch of saffron (half a spoonful), 50 g of aged pecorino cheese, salt and pepper.
PREPARATION OF MONTALCINESE TRIPE WITH SAFFRON
Soak the tripe for a day in cold water and baking soda. Change the water several times. Boil it in a pot of water together with the onion, celery, cloves, peppercorns and salt.
The tripe is cooked when it becomes soft and can be pierced by a fork. Separately, boil the pig’s trotter with the same herbs.
Cut the tripe into strips. Sauté in the EVO oil, garlic and chili pepper in the pan, then add the tripe. Brown it for a few minutes and then lower the heat, add salt and pepper and add the meat broth mixed with the cooking water from the pig’s trotter. Dissolve the saffron in the hot broth and continue cooking with the help of this liquid.
After about an hour on the hob, the tripe is ready and can be served piping hot with a sprinkling of dry pecorino cheese on top.
THE WINE IN COMBINATION WITH MONTALCINO’S TRIPE
A wine of the same origin is a must due to cultural assonance.
I would suggest a young Rosso di Montalcino. Not a baby Brunello, but a Rosso with vinous suggestions and youthful vigour.