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Feb 15, 2007 07:31 AM

Sherry in Cooking

I am making Red cooked Pork Belly tonight from All about Braising. I have to run out to buy sherry for the recipe and don't know anything about it. Is there a special brand I should get? Are there different styles? Is there something I can use to substitute?

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  1. The trick is whether you need a "sweet" or "dry" sherry-for a trifle you need sweet, for braising I am thinking dry, but maybe you can tell by looking at other ingredients. Sweeter is cheaper. I can't think of a substitute that you might have on hand-liqueures would be too viscous and sugary. But sherry isn't expensive, especially the sweet type. It wouldn't have to be a "good" one (e.g. Harveys Bristol Cream)-ask the staff at your local liquor store about a medium brand.

    1. I use Taylor dry sherry for cooking. It is the one I find most often at beer/wine stores. It has a subtle nuttiness and is not sweet. If you need a sweet sherry for the recipe buy a bottle of cream sherry.

      1. I use Pompeian brand.
        I marinated Pork Tenderloin in it just last night. Absolutely delicious!

        1. I ikeep dry sherry on hand for cooking and sipping. Usually an Amontillado which is kind of medium dry. I use it alot in Asian cooking. When I have found myself without any I've substituted gin very successfully.

          1. Christian Bros "dry" sherry is the one always go for. It is what was recommended by Chinese chef to me..

            5 Replies
            1. re: chef chicklet

              Just bought the Christian Bros Dry Sherry last night to use in this dish, Turkey Meatballs Stroganov...I used to always buy Fairbanks Dry Sherry but it appears they've stopped selling it, at least in my area...can still find Fairbanks but not the dry sherry (I HATE when that happens!) ... this is a very tasty recipe and the Christian Bros worked just fine. I added some thyme to the mushroom-sherry mixture and did not use the dill and also swirled in some Daisy low-fat sour cream at the end like one other reviewer...sons totally devoured it.


              1. re: Val

                If you have a Trader Joe's nearby, you can get a bit better quality for cheap. CB might be passable, but that Fairbanks is just rot gut.

                1. re: coconutz

                  Alas, no Trader Joe's in Florida...will try some better quality sherries from ABC liquors; it is not my choice to sip them as I find they are much too sweet. And I have had very good quality sherry while traveling in the UK some years ago, again, way too sweet for my tastes. But I do believe that you should cook with whatever you'd drink so I should ratchet up the quality of the sherry that I cook with, I think!

                  1. re: Val

                    You find them sweet because you are buying sweet sherry's. About 99.9999% of the sherry that's sold in the states is nasty, sickingly sweet cream sherry suitable only for old ladies in stuffy parlors.

                    Seek out Fino, Manzanilla, or Amontillado from the Jerez region of Spain and I guarentee you will have an epiphany about how wonderful this stuff can be. Just stay away from Fairbanks, Taylor, Christian Brothers, etc....

              2. re: chef chicklet

                I agree. I couldn't make my infamous stroganoff without it !!!