Sunday, May 3, 2009

Drunken pork

Such high hopes! Let's be honest, my big wins with Marcella have been the chickens. The cabbage and red wine. The rosemary, olive and cherry tomatoes (from a later book). Even the chicken and two lemons. I wanted to move onto another meats.  So I wandered down the butcher and he had a nice piece of pork. So to speak. 

Drunken pork it was. It looked easy enough.
My first mistake was thinking the carrots were to be put all over the pork. That looked a bit silly and I read it again and they were only to go in the ends. In they went.
Then came the flower and the browning. No worries there.
Then the drunken part arrived. First I poured in some brandy. Marcella calls for 1.5 cups of red wine, or more if you need to in order to almost cover the meat. Is she kidding? What sort of lump of pork can you almost cover with 1.5 cups? I ended up using over a bottle of shiraz along with the bay leaves and nutmeg.
Then came the long cooking at a simmer. All going to plan except with all the wine it didn't reduce in the time Marcella expected, and I had to boil it off at the end. I must say when there was quite a bit of wine still left in the pot the taste was very pleasant. 
Eventually I was able to carve it up, and spoon on some of the syrup as suggested by the big M.
All very pretty. Unfortunately, my sauce had acquired a sharp, vinegary taste that made the whole thing a bit unpleasant. Only saved by the excellent mash. The texture was fine, but the taste was something to avoid in the future.

What went wrong? Did I reduce too much wine? Is it meant to have this taste? 

I'm not sure if I will ever fine out. I want to work out how to cook pork on top of the stove though, so watch this space.


  1. Yes, too much wine; I think that you used too big of a pot-the idea is to braise the meat, so it doesn't need to be covered, just compactly cooked in moisture.

  2. Just tried this recipe last evening. The pork was VERY dry when finished. I'm thinking pork needs to be fatter than it is today. Any thoughts?

    1. It's certainly true that a lot of pork is too lean today.