Food is history and local culture. It is about socialising and sharing. Spit roasting, an ancient cooking technique that has been used for thousands of years, is a good example of this.
This convivial dish takes a long time to prepare, giving you plenty of time to chat and have a few drinks: in fact, waiting for the spit roast to cook is part of the preparation process, and it often becomes a festive social occasion.
Spit-roasted meat is a staple food of most village festivals and fairs, and both adults and children tend to gather around the spit.
To be prepared together with others and cooked for a long time, it is a simple recipe which, in the traditional version, is made with high-quality meat and herbs.
A trusted butcher, a garden in which sage plants grow well, and a few tricks to get organised: this is the secret behind Andrea’s spit roast, which is cooked strictly in the oven, slowly and with lots of love.
The preparation and cooking process is rather long, which is why it is advisable to prepare the spit the night before. First of all, season the meat chunks with salt, pepper and a little oil. Slide a pork rib onto the rotisserie spit rod, then a sage leaf, a slice of lard, and some more sage. Add the remaining meat chunks, alternating fatty and lean ones, making sure to place a slice of bacon and two sage leaves in between them. To make sure they cook evenly, the meat chunks should not be pressed too hard against each other (when cooking, they shrink in size by about 20-30%).
If you decide to prepare the spit the night before, store the spit rods in the refrigerator in a covered container.
Insert the frame of the rotisserie into the hole in the oven, resting the ends against the steel support. Place an oven dish filled with water under the meat so that it creates moisture. Set the oven to 100 °C on rotisserie mode.
In the meantime, prepare a flavoured oil by squeezing the oranges and mixing the juice obtained with white wine and olive oil.
Leave the meat to cook for about 5 to 6 hours or until nicely golden: you should be able to remove it easily by pinching it with your hands. While cooking, brush the meat with the flavoured oil a couple of times to keep it moist: using the oven ensures even cooking, so there is no need for you to keep checking it.
As soon as it is ready, serve the meat with fresh salad, seasoned with a dressing made with balsamic vinegar, oil, mustard, salt and pepper.