Grano al Raga

Corn Grain with Meat and Tomato Sauce

This was originally a cheap peasant dish, made from dried maize. The maize was soaked for 12 hours then cooked in fresh water for 3 – 4 more, until soft, then served with sauce. The meat from the sauce can be served separately as a second course with a green vegetable or salad.

Ingredients

  • 6–8 corn-on-the-cob or 1.2 kg ( lb) frozen or canned, drained corn kernels
  • 50 g ( oz) fresh parsley
  • 2 cloves garlic large pinch chilli powder
  • large pinch grated nutmeg
  • 115 g (4 oz) pecorino or Parmesan cheese
  • 570 g ( lb) pork steak, in one slice
  • 75 g ( oz) streaky bacon, rindless
  • 2 tablespoonolive oil
  • 1 tablespoon pork dripping
  • ½ glass, about
  • 75 ml ( fl oz), red or white wine
  • 450 g (1 lb) canned tomatoes, seeded
  • salt and pepper

Method

Chop the parsley and garlic together, then mix in the chilli and nutmeg. Chop 30 g (1 oz) pecorino into tiny cubes and add them too. Beat the pork to flatten as much as possible, then spread the mixture over it. Cover with the bacon, roll it up on itself like a Swiss roll and tie securely with fine string.

Choose a small flameproof casserole or saucepan into which the meat fits neatly. Heat the oil and dripping and brown the meat on all sides, then add the wine. Cook for 5 minutes, then add the tomatoes and season with salt and pepper. Cover and simmer for about 2 hours, stirring the tomato occasionally and adding water if it appears to be drying out.

Cook the corn kernels – for about 10 – 12 minutes if fresh. When tender, drain and dress the com with the sauce from the casserole. Serve with a small slice of meat – though originally this would have been part of another – course. Scatter with plenty of grated pecorino.

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