A cut of meat often dedicated to the emperors: the kaiserteil. But we tell you about the speck from the topside, the one made by Ezio Meggio in Trentino
⏱ 4 MINUTES READING
IN THE PLATE
To give a measure to this salami, start by imagining a fifteen-day holiday by the sea: you would get tanned, you would reopen your lungs with a little sea air and you would put on a couple of kilos thanks to rice salads and fish dinners.
That period of time is the same as Ezio Meggio needs to prepare the pieces of topside before seasoning. In fact, in those 15 days the meat is massaged with salt and spices, according to a half-century old family recipe. It is then smoked with beech wood and finally aged for at least 90 days. The result is a speck that stands out for the leanness of the meat and the extremely melt-in consistency.
Simple and direct, certainly suitable and hardly disappointing as a combination with speck. Since in our case we have a lean speck, let’s raise the bar a little and start going towards the mountains and the alpage to select our matching cheese, perhaps an Asiago. We need lactic and fatty notes that will be mitigated and accompanied by the spicy and smoky ones of speck. Alpage cheeses are upon us, let’s catch the moment and always reward those who make these choices in the mountains!
Well, do we have a lean piece of charcuterie? We should take advantage of it, right?! Cut it into thin slices, just like a carpaccio and arrange them on a tray, sprinkle them with rocket salad, extra virgin olive oil and balsamic vinegar. We also have an additional advantage, which is that the flavour of the speck, obtained thanks to the seasoning, will allow you not to use much salt and will add a pleasant smoky note. A nice alternative carpaccio dish for the summer!
One of my favourite vegetables: grilled, fried or baked, it is really versatile in various preparations and super summery. If we steal and develop the idea of vertical parmigiana, I imagined layers with grilled aubergine, speck Meggio and a nice and dense tomato sauce. All lightly baked in the oven and served with stracchino or squacquerone, to add that sweet/sour note that will give meaning to everything.
TARTARE OR NOT TARTARE
Chatting together, Ezio told me that his speck is perfectly suited to being diced into a tartare to compose an original appetizer. So why limit the concept of tartare? While respecting the concept, we can evolve it into something new, different, with its own identity. I elaborated my version of tartare a little: I thought of speck Meggio as a starter by adding grated lemon zest, thyme and a little yogurt mayonnaise. The bite is unusual for a tartare, but very succulent and with a smoky note that beautifully accompanies that sour hints from lemon and yogurt.
Matteo De Santi
IN THE GLASS
Cinematic suggestion: “Into the wild”
This product gives me an excuse to travel with my mind. Ezio’s speck is discovery, it is perfumes and it is also fun. Yes, because I really enjoyed writing these pairings. We just need to start, enjoy your trip!
TRENTINO LAGREIN KRETZER DOC
Trentino Alto Adige
I recommend you a rosé. A wine with a gentle structure and a refreshing acidity. Pay attention: in the topside speck the meat separated from the fat is important and must be respected. Even if in its lighter version, you can still find Lagrein nuances: red fruits, currants, hints of earth and spices. A summer wine to combine with pure rump speck, add an open-air dinner, need more?
VALLE D'AOSTA FUMIN DOC
A product that is increasingly present on the shelves of wine shops. Indigenous of the Aosta region, in this case the wine is soft, with not excessively rough tannins and moderate acidity. The vines are grown at high altitudes and the richness of scents proves it. In the versions I tried, the note of smoke has always been present, perfect when paired with topside speck!
BIRRA BITTER ALE
Just the toughts of this beer make me thirsty! They are English-style beers, slightly carbonated and with complex but not intrusive hoppy notes. Generally characterized by an equilibrate structure and a persuasive aromatic range, notes of caramel, dried fruit and resin will go well with the topside speck and its spiciness.
In order to avoid ruining the speck, it is necessary to maintain “soft” tones also with regard to cocktails. Remember when I told you about the open air dinner? Here, you can also think about a Galliano-based blend, sweet & sour and a splash of Angostura. The aromatic freshness given by herbs and an infusion of citrus fruits will not prevail over the delicate scent of speck, leaving your mouth clean thanks to the acidity of the lemon juice.
MORE IN THE CELLAR?
Ça va sans dire, Pinot Nero from Alto Adige, Teroldego Rotaliano, Trento Doc. I think the important thing with rump speck is not to exagerate with tannins and aromaticity of the wine, have fun and don’t hurt your head when going down to the cellar!
Enrico De Conto