A classic Veneto traditional recipe: the Pearà. Particularly appreciated in the area around Verona, its name in the Veneto dialect means “peppered”. The sauce does indeed contain a lot of pepper, is used to accompany meat and is served piping hot.
The pearà is a typical Veneto recipe based on remote peasant tradition. It is a boldly full-blooded sauce in taste and consistency, made mainly from breadcrumbs, beef marrow, butter, meat broth and abundant pepper.
Some pearà recipes indicate the use of parmigiano reggiano or grana padano as an ulterior ingredient, to be added after cooking. However, the most authentic pearà does not contain cheese. Because cheese was not used in the original recipe, which involved only the use of “poor” ingredients, without high prestige cheeses such as parmesan or grana.
This sauce is not difficult to prepare, but it does require patience: the slow cooking process takes at least 2 or 3 hours. But the wait is worth it, especially if you are fond of meat-based dishes, because pearà is traditionally used to accompany assorted meats that have been boiled to make meat broth.
Pearà alla Veronese: a sauce with a legendary taste
The origins of this key element in Veneto cookery are not documented. However, one legend traces it back to the Longobard era. The legend says it was invented by the chief cook at the court of Alboin, the King of the Longobards when they first invaded northern Italy. The cook’s desire was create a dish to revive Queen Rosamund from her grief after the murder of her royal father. Whatever about the legend, it is certain that many centuries ago the pearà, eaten with boiled meat, was an important part of the diet of poor families.
In much more recent times, in the second half of the 19th century, when the Veneto Region was impoverished after the creation of The Kingdom of Italy, boiled meats with pearà sauce became part of local aristocratic culinary tradition, and thus spread through all levels of society. Where it remains to this day, especially in the Sunday lunches and Christmas meals of countless families around Verona.