Updated: Feb 6
Lombard cassoeula is a succulent traditional dish rich in stewed meat and vegetables, a typically winter dish with a unique taste. The name of the cassoeula or casòla probably derives from the spoon with which it is mixed (casseou) or from the pot in which it is prepared (casserole).
Regardless of the name, cassoeula was born in the early twentieth century during the Spanish domination of Milan: legend tells of a Spanish soldier in love with a cook from a noble family who one day found himself without ingredients in the pantry. The soldier then suggested that she use the scraps of the pig and the few vegetables from the garden, thus giving life to a poor dish but which the guests liked very much, to the point that the girl decided to accept the young man's courtship.
“The older ones know it well: to talk about cassoeula you have to wait for it to get cold enough to freeze the cabbage, "it has to make a drop, so that it falls apart during cooking", they say.”
Because the thermal shock actually makes the cabbage softer. During cooking it must almost form a cream and this characteristic is essential.
The parts of the pig that must never be missing in the truly authentic cassoeula are all the less noble ones: first of all the ear, then the rind, the foot, the tail, the verzini, to which we can also add the muzzles, ribs and thumbtacks. once these parts were the prerogative of the farmers, who could only keep the scraps of the pig. Today it has become in some cases difficult even to find them.
For gourmets from Lombardy, Milanese in particular, it is the cult dish of winter - but not only. December is the right time for Cassoeula, the symbolic dish of the Lombard popular tradition.