Dario Cecchini, artisan butcher from Tuscany, reminded us that our preoccupation with premium tender meats such as fillet coupled with the attitude that ‘the rest (of the carcass) is not my problem’ needs to be addressed. In the past all parts of an animal were treated equally, nothing was wasted. Broth was a saviour, lovingly prepared and tended, made from bones and offcuts. It fed many and was served for several meals. As he butchered a side of beef and chatted about the food from his native Tuscany, describing it as ‘unadulterated’, Guy Grossi translated. Dario then boned a shank and prepared it for roasting, Cecchini style. In Tuscany many places are far from the coast making salt in times gone by a precious commodity. This tradition sees him mixing Sicilian sea salt with herbs and spices, to make the salt go further, he says; thyme, bay leaf, sage, coriander and juniper, and fennel pollen, to aid digestion. A generous amount of marrow was arranged in the middle of the opened out shank, then the shank was tied up, surrounded with onions and anointed with a glass of olive oil. During 3 hours’ cooking in a moderate oven the marrow melted keeping the meat succulent. Just before serving, a Tuscan trick, a good splash of Vin santo.
FIRE MasterClass Friday 9th March
Melbourne Food & Wine Festival
Collingwood Children’s Farm Abbotsford Melbourne