This dish from Arezzo originated in a time of great poverty and drought, when pigs had to be slaughtered because there was nothing to feed them. The pigs' legs, of course, were preserved in the form of prosciutto. The local farmers devised a method of preserving the rest of the pork similar to the way fresh tuna is preserved in Sicily: they salted it, cooked it very slowly in olive oil along with some seasonings and a little bit of unfiltered vin brusco, and then preserved the meat sott’olio, literally “under olive oil.”
I guarantee you'll enjoy making this dish, as it will fill your kitchen with a wonderful aroma. When served, the meat is broken apart into small chunks, exposing a juicy pink interior. The chunks are presented on a bed of Tuscan white beans tossed with intense pan drippings from the meat. Thinly sliced vinegared red onions are sprinkled on top.
The Slow Mediterranean Kitchen by Paula Wolfert. Copyright © 2003 by Paula Wolfert. Photographs copyright © by Christopher Hirsheimer. Published by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt. All rights reserved.