Recipe - Arancini with horse meat and Piacentino cheese from Enna
Introduction to the recipe
Horse meat is one of the most popular street foods in and around Catania: meatballs, steaks, sandwiches... you name it, and you’ll probably be able to find it! When used in sandwiches, horse meat is often served in thin slices with melted Emmenthal cheese and onions.
For its “arancini incarnation”, we have substituted the Emmenthal with a Sicilian cheese, Piacentino from Enna, made with sheep's milk, saffron and black pepper. In addition to adding an extra touch of “Sicilianity”, the Piacentino also complements the saffron in the rice.
Ingredients for about 12 arancini
- 500 grams of rice ("Roma" and "Originario" rices, mixed in equal doses)
- 1.1 liter of vegetable stock
- 2 bags of saffron
- 10 grams of salt
- 60-100 grams of butter
For the finish:
- 100 gr of flour
- 180 ml of water
- 2 eggs
- 150 gr of bread crumbs
For the filling:
300 gr of horse meat
200 gr of piacentino Ennese
1 tablespoon of vinegar
1 teaspoon of oregano
extra virgin olive oil
salt, black pepper
Preparation of rice and filling
How to prepare the rice:
- In a saucepan, put the broth, the butter, the saffron and the salt
- When the stock is boiling, add the rice and mix well
- Cover and cook over low heat until the rice absorbs all the broth and is cooked but al dente
- When cooked, stir, pour the rice on a cold surface and spread evenly to allow rapid cooling
- When the rice is cool down, it is ready to prepare the arancini
It is important to let the rice dry well during cooking. It should not be too hot or too wet, or it could stick to the mold.
For more informations about rice, Click here.
- Use a knife to cut the horse meat into very thin slices
- Cut the onion into paper-thin slices
- Place the meat and onion in a bowl and add the vinegar, oregano, 5-6 tablespoons of oil, ½ teaspoon of salt and a pinch of pepper. Let it marinade for at least 30 minutes
- Let the meat and onion sauté on high heat for a few minutes, then allow them to cool
- Chop the cheese into little cubes and add it to the meat
How to shape the arancini
How to frying the arancini
The finishing touch
Put the arancini in the batter and in the bread crumbs as follows:
- In a bowl, place the flour
- Add the egg and water and beat well with whips
- When the batter is smooth and dense, pass the arancini
- Immediately after having passed them in the batter, pass the arancini in bread crumbs
- Fry in plenty of oil until golden brown, to ensure your arancini fry up perfectly, use one of the following oils: peanut oil, olive oil, or palm oil.
- Heat the oil to the ideal temperature, 190°C, either in a frying pan or by setting the temperature on your deep fryer.
- If using a pan, you can make sure that the oil has reached the proper temperature by dropping in a bread crumb. If it sizzles, then the oil is ready.
- Immerse the arancini gently in the oil, only a few at a time, so as to prevent the temperature of the oil from falling too low.
- When they are done, place the arancini on absorbent paper, then serve.
- Serve the arancini with sauce on the side.
Enjoy your arancini!
In some areas, horse meat is sold in dried strips, which can be a flavourful alternative to fresh meat.
To bring out the flavour of the saffron even more, you can add a generous handful of grated Piacentino to the rice.
Piacentinu, the typical sheep’s cheese produced in and around Enna, with its distinctive yellow-gold colour, features prominently in an old Sicilian legend. In the 11th century, the Great Count, Roger I of Hauteville, called for the creation of a cheese made with saffron and black pepper, both of which were, at the time, incredibly precious spices. He hoped that, by eating it, his wife, Adelaide Incisa del Vasto, would be cured of a deep depression. To the great satisfaction of the court cheese makers, it pleased the noblewoman immensely, and from that time forward the cheese was called piacentinu, (from the word “piacere”, meaning “pleasure”).
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- Arancinotto Staff