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Revered across Italy but most of all in Emilia-Romagna where it originates. It is the ultimate example of the beauty of traditional peasant meat cookery. The least revered parts of the animal being treated with utmost care, and given due time to become something far greater than the sum of their parts. Cotechino, or Zampone as it is known when stuffed back into the trotter, is commonly the centrepiece of an Italian Christmas dinner, and almost always served with legumes and kales braised in the poaching liquor. Unlike many sausages that are poached or roasted until just cooked through, the cotechino is braised over many hours until fully yielding. This allows the collagen rich skin and trotter meat to break down slowly, and eventually turn into gelatin, just as you would treat a shank or shin. The resulting sausage, if made correctly, is sticky, juicy and unctuous. A rare treat indeed, and a nod to the importance and enduring validity of slow food. We store the cotechino in its poaching liquor. They should be reheated in the liquor, and simply served on a bed of greens pulses. Each cotechino should feed 4 people.