How to make the dish of the year

Matias Perdomo presents the story and preparation of "Ricchezza e Povertà", awarded at Identità Milano

18-03-2016
The Dish of the year award at Identità Milano was

The Dish of the year award at Identità Milano was given to Ricchezza e Povertà [Richness and Poverty] of Uruguayan Matias Perdomo, chef at Contraste in Milan. The person directly involved tells us its story and preparation

This creation, awarded as “dish of the year” during the recent Identità Milano congress, is connected with the history of 2, Via Meda. Because they say that a doctor who looked after the poor used to live in this house, which now hosts my Contraste. Once a week he opened the doors of his practice and cured them and fed them. When I heard this story with Simon Press and Thomas Piras, we fell in love with this place even more: to get inside Contraste – it’s true – you need to ring the bell because the door is closed... But in fact we want to offer the greatest hospitality, every guest is awaited with friendliness and our service is completely devoted.

Perdomo awarded at Identità Milano by Cesare Baldrighi, president of Consorzio di Tutela Grana Padano

Perdomo awarded at Identità Milano by Cesare Baldrighi, president of Consorzio di Tutela Grana Padano

The dish is composed of a few coins made with gelatine of baked pork shoulder. They are served with a consommé of cassoeula on the side. When the consommé is poured, the coins melt, creating a unique mixture. Even in this case, we looked for a "contrast" with what one would usually expect...

Yet how do you exactly prepare this Ricchezza e Povertà, this Milanese-style cassouela? First of all, we follow the classic recipe for a traditional cassoeula with sausage, luganega sausage, spareribs, pancetta, ears and muzzle. We sauté some chopped onions, celery and carrots, add the various cuts of meat, then pour some white wine and let it evaporate. Then add vegetal broth, tomato and a little cabbage. We cook for a few minutes until it’s reduced, then strain and reduce it even further so as to half the initial liquid, more or less. We then add the salt.

We then use the pork shoulder to make the coins. We cook it under extra virgin olive oil with garlic and rosemary at 120°C for 4 hours, with 30% humidity. At the end of the cooking, it will release a gelatine: we strain it, reduce it and shape it with special moulds so as to give them the shape of different coins, then we chill everything. Once ready, we colour them with edible spray.

When serving them, we leave them by themselves in the plate, then pour the cassoeula on top, straight in the dining room, so that the gelatine can melt with the heat of the consommé and create a unique mixture.


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