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Bring Out The Falsomagro (page 2 of 2)

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There is more than meets the eye to this cult Sicilian Sunday roast - a stunning highlight of any family meal.
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Start tying salami-style. This is quite easy. Just tie one of the end with a piece of string and do not cut it. Then pull the string about 5cm/2'' from where you made your first loop and circle again around the falsomagro. Pass the string inside the loop and pull (picture). You'll need to use all three pairs of hands for this. I'm not Vishnu and my falsomagro exploded on its rear end, with two eggs rolling out. But focus on the falsomagro's end you are tying and just place what came out back inside.

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Finished. Actually, the more you tie, the easier it gets, and after a certain number of loops it looks really solid. In Sicily they say that 'Do not judge the cook by his falsomagro', but perhaps they say this only because people actually do judge cooks by their falsomagros, and want to remind themselves that size is not everything. Who knows?

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Peccato! My largest pot is smaller than my smallest falsomagro. What a pity, I wanted to play 'hide the falsomagro' in this pot. Let's bind the falsomagro a little, there, it fits.

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Let's bring a little olive oil to high heat, and then roast the falsomagro on every side to flavor the veal cuts.

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Dice the onion, carrot and celery stick, then throw in the pot.

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Add the spices - cloves, chilies (my way of doing) and a stick of cinammon.

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Sauté the vegetables.

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Deglaze with a glass of red wine. How much is 'a glass of red wine'? Ah, just look at the bottle. Enough to bathe the bottom of the dish and dissolve any meat bits that stuck to the pot before the wine is vaporized.

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Add about 2 cups of tomatoes, either fresh, skinned and stemmed tomatoes, or from a good quality can. Which do you think I used?

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Ah, yes a can. Add a little liquid or stock if you have some. The idea is just to have enough liquid so that the sauce does not stick during the long simmer.

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To achieve that home-cooked, homey feel, I recommend you boil some potatoes separately, then add them to the pot. This is the way it was served to me in U Cascinari, an amazing slow-food trattoria in Palermo for a most memorable meal. If you go lazy and add the potatoes uncooked, they might not be cooked through when the falsomagro is ready, so better pre-boil them separately before.

Cover the pot and simmer for about an hour. If the sauce is too chunky, you can use a potato ricer or straight out plunging mixer to make it a bit smoother.

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Slice, remove the string and serve. How does it compare to a professional falsomagro? Here is one I ate at Ai Cascinari, a delicious backstreet trattoria in Palermo, frequented exclusively by locals. They added green peas in the sugo, but otherwise it's the exact same dish. Well done FX!

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This is one amazing dish! It may not look like much, but I served it to an audience of experienced home chefs the other day, and they immediately endorsed it with cries of 'Jesus that's so good' or 'Hell, I'm going to remember this for long, is there any left?' One nearly fainted, and that was before I brought the Tangerine Sorbet for the dessert. The meat stuffing has a strong hit-me-back state due to the cheese, and the palate is pleasantly surprised to find various morsels inside, each with its own distinct and delicate flavor - cheese, onion or mortadella. A real classic!

Trattoria ai cascinari
Via d'Ossuna 43-45
091 1651 9804
Palermo, Sicily, Italy

Published 24/04/2008
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38 Comments

This is one mighty dish. looks very interesting. something to try out soon.
FX, you say this may not look like much...but I think it looks amazing!  Sure it is not full of vivid colors, but the hard boiled whole egg in the middle makes this so interesting.  What is nice about this recipe is that it looks like even an amateur like me can pull it off with enough patience.

Thanks FX!
  • #3
  • Comment by ND
  • on: 24/04/2008
Blimey, that thing looks like the grandad of all "Beef-Olives". What exactly does "mancanza" mean, please?
  • #4
  • Comment by vaio
  • on: 24/04/2008
I believe it means lack and the expression is lack of respect (una mancanza di rispetto).
FX, great website I’m gathering utensils and ingredients for my first sorbet recipe.
  • #5
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 24/04/2008
Kyle, we are all amateurs when it comes to falsomagros! If you get all the ingredients andd proceed with care, there is no reason why it shouldn't work for you. The colors are quite nice when you cut an egg through the middle!
  • #6
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 24/04/2008
ND, una mancanza di rispetto means a lack of respect, the phrase that precedes a whacking scene in the 'Sopranos'. It's a joke of course, Sicilians are fine people who suffer more than anybody else from the mob.
  • #7
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 24/04/2008
Vaio, for the sorbet all you really need is a freezer and a fork, you can do it without an ice-cream machine!
Mmmmmm naughty food porn at it's best.

I think I will try my hand at this dish this weekend.   It looks heavenly!
  • #9
  • Comment by Donald
  • on: 24/04/2008
Fx, another great dish. I may even try it this weekend.

BTW, I did make the drunken broccoli and it turned out delicious! Thanks for great recipes.
  • #10
  • Comment by GunnCat
  • on: 24/04/2008
That looks wonderful FX. Very nice!
This is right up my husband's alley! He'd LOVE this!
  • #12
  • Comment by Paul Mckenna
  • on: 25/04/2008
Veal in England is as rare as hen's teeth. If I want veal I have to go to Soho to find butchers that supply Italian restaurants.

Any suggestions for a substitute meat ?

Great photos by the way.

Paul
  • #13
  • Comment by guillaume
  • on: 25/04/2008
Very very nice recipe .... More of those incredible old fashion recipe ....
>If you need anything about french old fashion recipe , i'll be here .

have a nice "cooking" day
Guillaume
  • #14
  • Comment by constantins
  • on: 25/04/2008
tu t'es surpassé !
  • #15
  • Comment by John
  • on: 25/04/2008
How many people would those quantities feed approximately? Veal is available in the UK but damned pricey...

Looks gorgeous though.
  • #16
  • Comment by Luke
  • on: 26/04/2008
Reading through this recipe makes me wonder whatever the hell happened to that company trying to devise a means to send smells across the Internet, because I'd love to catch a whiff of a pot of your falsomagro cooking. Seriously, that dish looks amazing.

But then again, so do so many dishes originating from working-class mamas of older times. It's like weaving threads of magic, isn't it?
  • #17
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
Heathen, falsomagro will take even heathens to the heaven!
  • #18
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
Donald, thanks for coming back and good luck if you try this. Congrats on the broccoli!
  • #19
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
Traci, good luck if you decide to prepare this for your husband, it's a really wonderful Sunday lunch!
  • #20
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
Paul, I suppose you could do this with pork or beef if you can get wide but thin cuts. Veal does taste better than hen's teeth though (I think!).
  • #21
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
Guillaume, merci de ta visite et n'hésite pas si tu as des recettes française hard-core!
  • #22
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 26/04/2008
John, I think you can safely feed 6 people with the proporations I gave. Definitely a gorgeous Sunday meal!
  • #23
  • Comment by K
  • on: 26/04/2008
I wonder if a single layer of pancetta or guanciale instead of mortadella/salami would be too overpowering...

Thoughts?
  • #24
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 27/04/2008
K, pancetta should work fine, but guanciale you would need a very thin slicer and many, many slices. Perhaps you could make an Ouroboromagro, shaped like a ring?
Francois, when are you going to get to the more complicated recipes? Like rabbit head stew. Oh wait - you did that one...
  • #26
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 28/04/2008
Claudia, this one looks complicated but isn't. I just finished Blanquette de veau, apparently a one-pot dish and yet I had 5 pots on my stoves, not counting the large dish where the meat marinated in cold water overnight. At the end of the day if you can make a memorable entertainment-grade dish complete with its side dish in only one pot and one hour, it's not really that complicated. I really recommend you try it!
  • #27
  • Comment by anh truong
  • on: 01/05/2008
Tried this dish and it is sooo yummy! the egg in the middle does it for me and everyone ate it up! Thanks for the recipe
  • #28
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 02/05/2008
Anh, I am very pleased to hear you tried the falsomagro and that your guests liked it! Cool trick with the egg indeed!
Just tried this recipe yesterday and received a resounding thumbs up from everyone! In retrospect though, we did think the egg in the centre is wonderfully visually dramatic, but the texture of the egg flavour and the grainyness of the egg yolk overwhelmed the rest of the dish. I may replace the egg with either a garlic mushroom pate, or a thin ribbon of damson/quince jam. Like a sort of fruity or mushroomy version perhaps. Also, we did think that the mortadella really did stand up to the rest of the dish rather impressively, and our rather strong skanky fontina became a rather delicate addition, much to everyone's surprise...
  • #30
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 06/05/2008
May, thanks for trying this an I'm glad this dish worked for you! I think you can definitely customize it to meet your taste, but I agree that the egg really makes for a stunning contrast. Perhaps some fresh cheese with your quince jam frozen in a roll in the middle to reproduce the white-yellow color?
  • #31
  • Comment by Mar
  • on: 23/05/2008
Todo lo que he visto es maravilloso, impresionante las recetas de pastas y el paso a paso, mil felicitaciones!!!
Adoro las pastas y prepararlas.
  • #32
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 25/05/2008
Mar, gracias por su visita y mucha suerte con las pastas!
  • #33
  • Comment by Jenny
  • on: 16/06/2008
Your articles make me laugh, make me hungry, make me want to share (the food, your words, your site).  I'm going to throw a "Jesus That's Good" party in your honor, and soon.  Thanks!
Jen
  • #34
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 21/06/2008
Jenny, thanks for your kind words and good luck with your 'FX' falsomagro party!
  • #35
  • Comment by Laura C
  • on: 27/07/2008
Wow, you amaze me. I'm very adventurous in the kitchen, and we made many similar dishes in culinary school, but I never have thought to make one at home. Maybe for the holidays with chocolate Kouign amanns  and blood orange sorbet for dessert!!!
  • #36
  • Answered by fx
  • on: 29/07/2008
Laura, you should try the falsomagra, it's a dish Sicilian mamas make every Sunday, it's no big deal and you can't tie it up properly you get as many tries as you want.

I visited your website and absolutely love your cookies, if you could get me a series of behind-the-scenes, from-the-flour-to-the-cookie, high resolution pictures I'd be glad to make an article about A Dozen Eggs.
  • #37
  • Comment by jmz
  • on: 02/11/2008
...finally made my way to this recipe!! I can't wait to try it!  [please fix the link to "Here is one I ate at Ai Cascinari," as it is not working...]

I am only about 50% through the site and have amazed a number of people with your recipes!  My mother in law *loves* the butternut squash soup -- I didn't have curry leaves though so I had to substitute.... the baking [vs boiling] the squash makes all the difference!

Keep up the good work!!   Have you found any good recipes for nova salmon, gravlax, sable, etc??

JMZ
  • FX's answer→ Thanks I just fixed the link! You really need to find some curry leaves, they can be bought dry or fresh and then frozen. No salmon recipe so far - sorry!


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