Cuz is the typical dish of Val di Corteno, made with the meat of the sheep of Corteno, a native breed.
The dish looks like a stew of meat cooked for a long time in a copper cauldron without being stirred, if not by giving the cauldron a few shakes. When cooked, the meat can be transferred, covered by the cooking fat, into wooden or terracotta containers, inside which it is kept until consumption.
This recipe is a version that can be made using the stove and cookware that we usually have at home.
For 6 people:
5 kg of mutton cut into small pieces
3 glasses of fresh water
1800 g of finely chopped sheep fat
Coarse salt as needed
Grated seasoned alpe ricotta or grated parmesan cheese
Cooking time: about four hours (the duration varies according to the age of the sheep)
Put the thinly sliced fat into a large pot with a thick bottom. Put the pan over a low heat and place the meat onto the fat, cooking it slowly. Add the water, take the handles of the pot and move the meat with circular gestures so that it does not stick to the bottom. Be careful, don't mix the meat! If the rotation is fluid (and you can see the sauce), the cooking is proceeding correctly. Repeat this operation several times, especially in the first hour of cooking, so as not to burn the fat. Second hour of cooking: check that the sauce is smooth, so as to allow an agile rotation of the meat. Turn the meat as you did previously. Ten minutes before the end of the cooking time, add the coarse salt in pinches and again, turn the meat as above. Once cooked, the meat should be very soft. It is served on a bed of polenta, along with its gravy sauce. Sprinkle with grated ricotta / parmesan to taste and serve with a glass of good red wine.
If there are any leftovers of Cuz, don’t worry: fat is a natural preservative, which allows you to preserve the flavour of the meat for many days, in order to be used for other tasty recipes such as Cuz soup, or boiled potatoes and Cuz.
In the original preparation with a copper pot over a fire, the "masters of Cuz" add a juniper stick to the centre of the pot to facilitate the rising of the fat.
Once upon a time, Cuz was stored throughout the whole winter season in wooden terracotta containers with its own fat and was used to season soups.
Tradition is the deposit of a long-term and wide-ranging memory, it does not lie in a short time of two or three generations and in an individual memory. However, tradition is not a sepulcher to be preserved and venerated, it always remains a tenacious and obstinate presence of a past to be rediscovered and above all valued.
“I am now 53 years old, I was born in the stable and I am still in the stable and, despite this, I still learn and still make mistakes. I think that to master a trade, not a job, a trade, you need passion, perseverance, commitment, sacrifice, ability, intelli ...