Ingredients for 4 people:600 g pork loin (or shoulder, or leg)1 L Vernaccia di San Gimignano D.O.C.G.250 ml water6 leaves bay leaf3 juniper berries4 sprigs of rosemary plenty of extra virgin olive oil to cover the pork in the jars a handful of black peppercorns coarse salt
Don’t be deceived… Chianti “Tuna”, despite the name, is made with pork. It’s a traditional dish, created out of necessity, before fridges existed, when the farmers of the Chianti area needed to preserve meat during the hot summer months. After marinating at length in olive oil, the pork has a delicate flavour and a tender consistency which recalls that of tuna – so that unravels the “mystery” behind the name.
Use a sharp knife to eliminate the fatty parts of the meat and cut it into pieces measuring approximately 5-6 cm. Put them in a bowl, cover completely with coarse salt and leave in the fridge for 3 days. After which, carefully wash the meat under cold running water. In a large saucepan, heat the wine, water, 2 bay leaves, the juniper berries and peppercorns. When it begins to boil, add the pork and cook for 5 hours over a low heat; then turn the heat off and leave to cool down completely. When the meat is cold, drain off the liquid it was cooked in and pull it apart with your hands (the pieces mustn’t be too small). Put it into the jars, alternating with a few rosemary leaves and bay leaves, then pour in enough extra virgin olive oil to completely cover it. Close the jars and put your Chianti “Tuna” in the fridge, where you can keep it for a couple of months.
It’s excellent accompanied by a “Giardiniera” of pickled vegetables, salad or beans...
Our tip? Serve it on slices of toasted homemade Tuscan bread – it’s delicious!