“Tonno del Chianti”, or fake tuna of Chianti, is an ancient Tuscan preparation that is similar to tuna in oil in appearance but is a dish made with pork. The preparation is linked to a similar piedmontese dish, of ancient tradition, which is called “rabbit tuna” and is made in a similar way with the rabbit’s pulp. It seems, however, that in ancient times the Chianti peasants, not yet having refrigerators and freezers available, used this means of conserving the meat of young pigs that they were forced to slaughter (ie for diseases contracted during the summer months). The name derives from the fact that the meat, after cooking in wine and marinating in oil, takes on a consistency very similar to that of tuna. The colour is a light hazelnut and the taste and the scent are very similar to the delicate one of tuna.
I serve it on a plate of cannellini beans, with Tropea onions, a few capers …. and then you just have to read my recipe
- 1kg. of pork meat in a single piece
- 1 litre of white wine
- 1 litre of water
- 2 bay leaves
- A few juniper berries
- Black peppercorns
- Fresh sage
- Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- Rock salt
Put the bay leaf, peppercorns and juniper berries in a pot with the piece of meat, the white wine and the water. The meat must be completely covered by liquid.
Close the pot with a lid and place on very low heat to boil for several hours, at least 3 hours, until the meat begins to break up. When half cooked add salt.
After cooking, leave the meat in the pot until it is completely cold.
At this point take out the meat and begin to tear it into pieces (it must resemble tuna).
Put the meat in a glass container a little at a time and intersperse with fresh sage leaves and split garlic and peppercorns. Continue making the layers, and lastly cover all the meat with extra virgin olive oil.
It is better to let the meat rest for a day in the refrigerator, and then serve on a bed of cannellini beans, Tropea onions, a few capers, black olives, and ripe tomatoes.