Cotechino in galera

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This cotechino in galera recipe is a celebratory dish from Emilia Romagna, combining the region's prized cotechino sausage with beef rump, prosciutto and a Lambrusco braising liquid. A decadent, indulgent main course that's perfect for Christmas and other special occasions.

First published in 2018

Traditionally served on New Year’s Eve (though delicious on any cold day of the year), cotechino in galera is a classic dish that perfectly embodies the rich decadence of cucina emiliana. Cotechino is a large sausage made with leftover pork bits: cotica (rind), lesser cuts of meat and fat. It is seasoned with salt and spices and typically slow-boiled over a low heat for several hours.

Cotechino in galera (literally 'imprisoned') takes this dish a step further. The boiled cotechino is freed from its casing and wrapped in a thin slice of beef or veal and then slow-braised in the local red wine of choice, Lambrusco. This gives way to a succulent gravy that matches the holiday season – and a scoop of buttery mash or braised lentils for an incredible winter dish.




  • 1 cotechino, weighing approximately 600g (not parboiled)
  • 1 slice of beef rump, weighing approximately 400g, pounded out and flattened
  • 100g of prosciutto crudo, thinly sliced
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
  • 750ml of dry red wine, ideally Lambrusco
  • fine sea salt, to taste


  • Toothpicks
  • Kitchen string


Gently pierce the cotechino all over with a toothpick. Place into a pot and cover with cold water. Set over a very low heat and bring to a simmer. Cook for 2 hours, making sure the simmer does not grow into a boil
  • 1 cotechino, approx 600g, not parboiled
Remove the cotechino from the water and leave until cool enough to handle. Peel off the casing. Lay out the beef rump over a work surface – it should be wide and long enough to completely cover the cotechino. Top the beef with the prosciutto slices, then place the cotechino in the centre. Wrap the cotechino with the meat and tie with cooking twine
  • 100g of prosciutto crudo, thinly sliced
  • 1 slice of beef rump, approx 400g, pounded out and flattened
Heat the oil in a deep pan over a medium heat. Add the cotechino and brown on all sides, then pour over the wine. Lower the heat, cover and cook for about one hour, turning halfway through. At the end you should be left with a thin layer of glistening cooking juices in the bottom of the pan
  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil
Cut off the twine, slice and serve with the leftover juices alongside mashed potatoes or lentils

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