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October 2008 COTM Batali: Meats

MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 06:53 AM

October 2008 Cookbooks of the Month:

Mario Batali’s Babbo, Molto Italiano, and Simple Italian Cooking.

Please post your full-length reviews of main course meat recipes here. Please mention the name of the recipe you are reviewing and the book and page number, if possible, as well as any modifications you made to the recipe.

A reminder that the verbatim copying of recipes to the boards is a violation of the copyright of the original author. Posts with copied recipes will be removed.

Thanks for participating!

  1. GretchenS Oct 1, 2008 11:52 AM

    I confess, I jumped the gun and have been cooking from Molto Italiano for a couple of weeks already.

    Meatballs with Ricotta in Milk. Molto Italiano, page 398. See thread on this recipe here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/558738
    Bottom line, these were delicious and I will make them again and again.

    Lamb Shanks with Oranges and Black Olives. Molto Italiano, page 382. You sauté red onions, lots of whole cloves of garlic and naval orange wedges, then add equal parts white wine, chicken broth and his Basic Tomato Sauce (p. 71), chopped fresh rosemary and black olives and finally add the previously-seared lamb shanks. It all comes together pretty fast then goes into the oven for 90 minutes or so to braise. Sprinkle with orange zest before serving. This was wonderful, the orange brightened up the dish so much and cut through the richness of the lamb beautifully. My DCs, for whom I have made several lamb shanks recipes before, voted this to the top of the list. Two notes: Mario called for 2 full tablespoons of rosemary and I worried it would overwhelm the dish so I used only 1 tablespoon and thought it was perfect. Also I made the Basic Tomato Sauce the day before and used it but if I didn’t have any around I would just throw in the same amount of chopped up canned tomatoes without much juice and a couple sprigs of thyme and I’m not sure it would make much difference.

    5 Replies
    1. re: GretchenS
      oakjoan Oct 3, 2008 02:05 PM

      GretchenS: I dunno about subbing regular canned tomatoes in the Lamb Shank recipe. Actually, it would probably make hardly any difference, but I've posted several times about the simple tomato sauce and believe it really adds a certain zing to dishes that wouldn't be there without it. It's so simple to make that it's not a big chore to prep.

      Will have to try those meatballs!

      1. re: GretchenS
        Scargod Oct 15, 2008 07:03 AM

        I bought (or stole, as you might say), some lamb chops yesterday. Three mis-marked packages or about four pounds was six cents...
        I wanted to do Osso Bucco but they were out of veal shanks. I've done it before with lamb.
        Seeing the recipe for Lamb shanks with Oranges and black olives made me want to ask which one would you do with the chops?
        Would anyone suggest I do any other recipe?

        1. re: GretchenS
          Scargod Oct 17, 2008 09:09 AM

          Here's my review of my bastardized version, using my infamous six cent lamb chops!

          I really went on the cheap for this one. I could not find the veal I wanted and there were these cheap (perhaps I should say "free"), lamb chops laying there. I had some opened high-pulp orange juice and lots of my homemade tomato sauce. Rosemary came fresh from the yard. I had a few of the little Gaeta olives but I used some unpitted calamatas to make up the difference.
          I used Vidalias instead of red onions. How much difference do you think that made?
          We were pleased with the results but SO whined about how I overcooked the chops and that they were not "rare".
          I thought I added a little too much orange juice. I reworked it later by adding more tomato sauce, thyme and smoky paprika and cooking it down more. It was better.
          We particularly liked the way the olives plumped up and were a burst of flavor, much like what happens with grapes. I'd make this dish again. Perhaps it would be better with just the orange and zest he specifies and a red onion.

          1. re: Scargod
            MMRuth Oct 17, 2008 12:18 PM

            Yes - I can see red onions being a little less sweet, and I do think that fresh juice/zest gives a special zing that regular juice would not.

          2. re: GretchenS
            LulusMom Oct 17, 2008 12:17 PM

            Not that I think anyone else would be crazy enough to try this, but just in case you're considering, let my attempt be a warning to you. I found this recipe (the lamb shanks with oranges, black olives, etc.) a few years ago and thought it sounded interesting, but wanted to try it with chicken thighs. NOT good. It just didn't work at all.

          3. yamalam Oct 1, 2008 04:26 PM

            also jumped the gun:)

            Pork Chops with Peppers and Capers, MOLTO ITALIANO p. 375
            http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/ma...

            Ingredients:
            Followed the ingredients almost exactly, though bought the wrong pork chops. In the book he just lists "pork rib chops" and in the picture, they look relatively thick. In the link I pasted above, he denotes "pounded thin," wish I read that. Mine were like an inch thick and I ended up undercooking them first, then inadvertently overcooking them to compensate, but that's on me. Used regular onion instead of bulb, and then garnished with scallions instead of the tops. In the spirit of using the best ingredients, I sprung for good oil cured black olives, not the canned ones, and I'm glad, their flavor was so much better.

            Recipe:
            Have never heard of brining pork before...I thought pork was plenty fatty enough and I usually associate brining with turkey and other easily dried out meats. I would want to prepare this without the brining and see if it makes a difference. Anyway, the peppers, capers, olives, and onions made a delicious sauce with the wine and pork juices. It was perfectly just spicy enough from the pepper flakes and would've been one of my fave pork chop dinners ever if I had cooked the meat properly. Used the extra veg/sauce to make a sandwich the next day, with melted mozz on ciabatta, it was delicious.

            Sorry for the lousy picture, I don't know how you guys manage to shoot such pretty food porn and get dinner on the table at the same time.

             
            1 Reply
            1. re: yamalam
              MMRuth Oct 1, 2008 04:33 PM

              That looks delicious. Re: the photos - my husband now knows that we don't eat until photos are taken! No need for a dinner bell in our house - the flash going off is the signal that dinner is ready. I've figured out that under the lamp on the sideboard works pretty well for photos, and I take them both with and w/o the flash, and then decide which photos are most accurate.

            2. JoanN Oct 2, 2008 06:57 PM

              Grilled Pork Chops with Peaches and Balsamic Vinegar (Babbo, page 254)

              You brine double-cut pork chops 12 hours or overnight (I had them in the fridge for about 24 hours), brush chops and peach halves with olive oil and season with salt and pepper, and grill or broil. Sprinkle with balsamic vinegar and serve on a bed of Broccoli Rabe with Garlic (page 204).

              These didn’t do it for me, for many reasons. First of all, how thick is a double-cut pork chop supposed to be? I’ve seen just about everything from 1¼ to 2 inches. I had the butcher cut mine 1½. The brine is salt, sugar, and water. And although the chops were wonderfully juicy, they were a bit more salty than I would have liked. I prefer the pork chop brine in The Dean & DeLuca Cookbook, which has half the salt and a lot more aromatics. Batali says you can grill or broil them, and since grilling is not an option in a Manhattan apartment, I broiled them in my gas oven.(I wouldn’t be at all surprised if grilled produced a distinctly superior result.) It took a lot longer than the 5 minutes on each side he said it would. I cooked mine 10 minutes on the first side and 8 on the second and they were still (acceptably) pink on the inside but only minimally charred on the out. Perhaps it’s just that I have my braising of pork chops down to a science, but I much prefer that method of cooking them. I still get very juicy chops, but with a good deal more caramelization on the outside, which I think adds to their flavor. I’d given up broiling chops ages ago, and now I’m reminded why. And unfortunately, my peaches just weren’t all that good, as so many seem not have been this season. Edible, but not a recipe I’ll revisit.

              I’ll report on the broccoli rabe in the veggies thread (but, sneak preview, I wasn’t overly thrilled with that, either).

               
              10 Replies
              1. re: JoanN
                oakjoan Oct 3, 2008 02:21 PM

                JoanN: I fell for peaches at the market a couple of weeks ago and had the same problem. They were not good and were also pithy inside. I always forget that peaches are NOT in season late in the summer. I feel like Homer Simpson every time I forget that and buy them. D'OH!

                I'm reporting on the Stuffed Meat Loaf from Molto Italiano, p. 397, since my Boar and Venison hadn't yet arrived. NOTTTT!

                I've made this a few times and have impressed guests. It's pretty flashy to cut the slices and reveal the filling.

                This is really good, but be sure not to overcook.

                It's beef and pork mixed together with pecorino romano and bread crumbs and s&p. It's then patted out on a board dusted with flour and bread crumbs. Spinach, lengthwise sliced carrots, prosciutto, slices of caciocavallo (or other semi-soft cheese) are layered over it. It's rolled up and baked on a rack over a broiler pan (I just used a big sheet pan) into which is poured some water and 2 sprigs of rosemary. Olive oil is drizzled over the meat.

                I think it's easier to put down a cloth or some plastic wrap to aid in the rolling up process. It works without it, especially since the loaf can be re-patted and smoothed out if you goof.

                After it's cooked, you boil the pan juices, s&p and then drizzle over the meatloaf.

                1. re: oakjoan
                  yamalam Oct 6, 2008 11:12 AM

                  This is on my to-try list for sure, thanks for the tip on the plastic wrap. Question: Have you ever subbed fresh mozzarella as the semi-soft cheese, or another cheese, with good results? Not sure if mozz has a strong enough flavor for this. Haven't found caciocavallo in my usual markets and I spent all my online food money on boar and venison (also NOTTT).

                  1. re: yamalam
                    s
                    Susan627 Oct 22, 2008 05:01 PM

                    I could not get caciocavallo as called for in this recipe so I used Italian Fontina. It came out very well - this is a great recipe.

                2. re: JoanN
                  oakjoan Oct 4, 2008 04:27 PM

                  JoanN: Could you just cook them in a skillet on top of the stove? The pork chops I mean. I have NEVER had a broiler that really worked well. Maybe one has to shell out thousands for a fancy stove, something I will never be doing in this lifetime.

                  1. re: oakjoan
                    JoanN Oct 4, 2008 04:33 PM

                    I guess so, but if I'm going to do that, I might as well braise them, which I know exactly how to do so they're just as I want them. I actually use my broiler quite a bit.--for lamb chops, flank steak (although not a strip or sirloin), fish, and even some chicken and shrimp dishes. So the broiler isn't the problem for me. I think mine really does work quite well. Just don't like pork chops cooked that way.

                    1. re: oakjoan
                      pitu Oct 4, 2008 04:46 PM

                      Not a great oven for broiling at my house either - I grill thick pork chops on the stove top (I'm crazed for a version of the Zuni pork brine, with star anise, chiles, bay) on a weird arcane creuset bacon grill (initially nabed for it's turquoise loveliness) - it has enameled cast iron ridges, but a slant for grease to slide downhill. Delicious grill marks! Anyway, a cast iron grill pan should do the job for you.

                      I've trained myself to (what used to feel recklessly) not overcook them - they really do keep cooking when you take them off...all of which I imagine you already know how to do, oakjoan master cook!

                      1. re: oakjoan
                        greedygirl Oct 5, 2008 01:05 AM

                        OK, I have to ask because I've always wondered about this. What is broiling, exactly? Is it another word for grilling but in the oven rather than on a BBQ?

                        1. re: greedygirl
                          JoanN Oct 5, 2008 04:16 AM

                          Yes. Exactly.

                          1. re: JoanN
                            MMRuth Oct 5, 2008 04:27 AM

                            And, usually, I think, using the broiler in the oven. My oven is gas and the broiler is on the bottom, which can be a bit of a pain, for steaks etc., I use my grill pan instead.

                          2. re: greedygirl
                            pitu Oct 5, 2008 11:34 AM

                            yeah, the heating element is usually above the item to be cooked, and the food is cooked close to the heat. Electric ovens here have a Broil setting that turns on the top heating coil only. My old gas stove has a narrow compartment on the bottom, below the gas flame that heats the oven, and comes with a broiler pan that puts the food 3 or 4" away from the heat. I don't particularly like to clean my oven - fat spattered from broiling chops - so stove top grill pans are my preference.

                      2. pitu Oct 4, 2008 01:47 PM

                        T-bone Fiorentina p.400 Molto Italiano
                        beautiful perfect delicious
                        I almost never cook a steak, so I appreciated some basic instructions and a great fresh herb mix. I did *not* use a 3" thick steak because that was not what I had. I did have a great grass-fed steak half that thickness, so cooking time adjusted downward significantly.
                        (I made it awhile ago, so I don't remember that detail. But I still remember the delicious. Really, I didn't think I liked beef that much...great stuff.)

                        3 Replies
                        1. re: pitu
                          arizonagirl Oct 6, 2008 10:55 AM

                          This is one of my favorites. It comes out perfect every time

                          1. re: pitu
                            m
                            moh Oct 11, 2008 10:04 PM

                            T-Bone Fiorentina p..208 Simple Italian Food:

                            I assume this is the same recipe as the one in Molto Mario. In SIF, he mentions that this recipe was one of the more popular dishes on his show.

                            We've now made this several times, and it has been very popular every time we've made it. The first time, we used the 3 inch steak, and it was burnt on the outside, and completely raw on the inside. We now use a 2 inch steak, and we prefer the results, less burning. We use a charcoal grill to cook the steak.

                            We have also adjusted the instructions a little bit. He tells you to combine the herbs with the kosher salt, cover steak with herb mix, then brush with the olive oil. We mix all the herbs, salt and some of the chopped garlic with the olive oil, then apply the whole mix to the steak. We did this because we found it hard to brush olive oil after applying the herbs. It seems to work fine.

                            It is such a simple recipe, but it really makes a great impact! My friends really love this meal. I really like the great charred flavour from the charcoal grill.

                            1. re: pitu
                              Scargod Oct 22, 2008 07:25 AM

                              This was a real winner last night. A 29 YO guest said it was one of the two best steaks he had ever had.
                              I had "only" a measly, 1-1/4 inch thick porterhouse steak, but it was a tender piece of Black Angus.
                              I applied the fresh herbs and drizzled the olive oil over it using my finger to gently push it around, as required.
                              We did not have spinach. I paired it with the grilled asparagus "al Forno". That and some fettuccine and modified tomato sauce left over from the infamous "stolen" lamb chop dish.

                            2. NYCkaren Oct 5, 2008 08:27 AM

                              Braised pork in the "black rooster," or brasato di maiale nero, "Molto Italiano" p. 377.
                              This was the main course of a Mario-centric menu. I apologize for not having photos of any of it. I can barely operate a camera so I had asked a guest to be the official photographer. But she didn't bring her camera. This wasn't the most photogenic dish anyway. But it was good.
                              You take a 4-pound boneless pork shoulder roast and braise it in lots of good stuff _ pancetta, garlic, parsley, red wine, basic tomato sauce. Mario doesn't say anything about skimming the fat off but I did try to remove some of it. Pork shoulder is fatty! There was a lot of fat!
                              I served it with roast potatoes from p. 440 and crusty bread to mop up the sauce (the Bitman no-knead bread, not a Batali recipe.) It was rib-sticking food. I have a hunk of meat and a lot of sauce left over. I think I'll shred the meat and serve it with the sauce over pasta.

                              2 Replies
                              1. re: NYCkaren
                                Gio Oct 5, 2008 08:31 AM

                                Glad to read your report as this is on my to-make list. Was reading the recipe just last night and thinking about the 3+lb. pork shoulder sitting in the freezer as I type. I made those potatoes last week and loved them, but I'm thinking a roasted squash might go well with this.

                                1. re: NYCkaren
                                  hohokam Oct 25, 2008 10:23 AM

                                  In an effort to of use up some things I had on hand (pork shoulder, pancetta, open bottle of red wine), I made this a couple of nights ago. I got a pretty late start on it, so we ended up letting it "rest" overnight. This delay turned out to be a boon, because it made skimming the fat off a snap.

                                  I certainly violated the letter (but perhaps not the spirit) of the recipe by using a non-Chianti Classico wine and a ~4.5 lb bone-in piece of shoulder (trimmed almost all of the external fat). Even with these substitutions, the dish turned out quite well. The sauce has a great richness along with a slightly bracing acidity and garlicky bite.

                                  A cook's note: After "melting" the pancetta/garlic/parsley paste into the oil, move it aside or remove it to a plate so that the pork can be in direct contact with the bottom of the pot during the browning step.

                                  I too served it with roasted potatoes that I cooked based partly on my memory of the recipe you followed and partly on whim and intuition. I think I'll serve it tonight with some polenta topped with sauteed leeks.

                                  This recipe is definitely a keeper that I would recommend to all braising fanatics. :-)

                                2. v
                                  vmorgan Oct 5, 2008 07:57 PM

                                  Made Roman-Style Veal Cutlets with Sage (saltimbocca all Romana) (MI pg. 357)

                                  Extremely, extremely rich (veal and prosciutto cooked in butter) but very delicious. Simple and quick preparation, as well. The sage and lemon absolutely made the dish. drank (and cooked) with some un-oaked chardonnay, which was a nice accompaniment.

                                  Would recommend to any veal lovers.

                                  4 Replies
                                  1. re: vmorgan
                                    mirage Oct 22, 2008 03:53 AM

                                    Recently made the veal cutlets - it was a very good weeknight supper dish. Lovely sauce. My cutlets were very small. Next time I'll have to double the recipe - we gobbled them up.

                                    1. re: vmorgan
                                      lilgi Oct 18, 2011 01:50 AM

                                      Has anyone else made this since? We had this last night and it was delicious, but the sage might have been too prominent for for me. My cutlets were very small, so I wrapped only half a slice of prosciutto for each, and I used an open bottle of pinot grigio for the sauce.

                                      I can't decide if upon making this again to just sub in a basil leaf (similar to another dish I make with chicken) or keep the sage since this might be this dish's reason for being. Again I thought it was delicious and loved the flavor combination, but the sage may have overpowered this dish. Just putting it out there for anyone inclined to try this and weigh in; quick and easy, can be pounded, assembled earlier in the day, when ready to eat dredge lightly, brown a couple of minutes each side , remove, add wine to pan and whisk in a little more butter, briefly saute the cutlets, sprinkle fresh lemon, done.

                                      eta: btw I realize you're all on another cookbook now, just wanted to post my comments here and find out if anyone's made this since.

                                      1. re: lilgi
                                        MMRuth Oct 30, 2011 06:17 AM

                                        I think I would try using less sage next time. Just love the combination of veal and sage.

                                        1. re: MMRuth
                                          lilgi Oct 30, 2011 08:12 AM

                                          Seems like a good idea to me. Next time around will pick out the smalllest of leaves instead of the largest; after all I should have realized that my cutlets were very small.

                                          Thanks, I'll have to make this again soon.

                                    2. clamscasino Oct 6, 2008 07:39 AM

                                      Pork Loin in the Style of Porchetta Molto Italiano pg 373

                                      Or: My Sunday with a Slab O' Meat

                                      This recipe calls for rolling up a 4 pound, butterflied pork loin roast with a stuffing of sauteed onions, fennel bulb, garlic, rosemary, fennel seeds and 2 more pounds of ground pork shoulder. This looked doable to me as I could actually find almost all the ingredients on this small island on which I live.

                                      Except, one can't buy ground pork here, and the local grocery (which does have good meats but not a lot of variety) did not have any pork shoulder. Learning that shoulder was probably selected for its fat content, I chose sirloin chops and ground them up with the meat grinding attachment on grandma's old Kitchenaid. That was the start of what was looking like a dinner-party disaster in the making. The grinder kept getting clogged up with, what I suppose is referred to as the "silver skin." One hour and and three pork chops later, I was ready to make the stuffing.

                                      This was fairly straight forward (or would have been had I been more familiar with slicing a fennel bulb). HOWEVER the quantity of stuffing was WAY too much for the butterflied roast. Roll up like like a jelly roll? This baby wasn't rolling. It could barely flop over without half the stuffing smooshing out. So, I removed half the stuffing and tried rolling it up again. Or tried. I finally managed to wrestle the butcher's string around this behemoth and tie it up. Then the roast is placed on top of 4 halved red onions and cooked at 425 for an hour and a quarter.

                                      I'll have to say that I was amazed and relieved (dinner was already late) that the roast was done in that time. If anything, it was just a tad too done. Plating? Well it was a little hard to slice without the stuffing falling out.

                                      So how did it taste? It actually was fairly good, despite the fact that my stuffing looked like crumbled, dry pork bits - not like the picture at all. The fennel flavor was all but lost and it could have used more garlic and rosemary.

                                      If I were to ever make this again, I would halve the amount of ground pork and keep the rest of the stuffing ingredients the same. And, by the way, this dish can feed far more people than it indicates.

                                      I'll have to post my photo separately because that darn "save" button is covering up the attach photo one...

                                      15 Replies
                                      1. re: clamscasino
                                        clamscasino Oct 6, 2008 08:19 AM

                                        Having trouble attaching photo...so I'll try again. Boy did I make a mess.

                                         
                                        1. re: clamscasino
                                          Gio Oct 6, 2008 08:21 AM

                                          Well actually, that looks pretty deliciious. Welcome to COTM!!

                                          1. re: Gio
                                            GretchenS Oct 6, 2008 08:26 AM

                                            That picture is making me VERY hungry. Thanks for the detailed report as that recipe is on my list to try and I will modify it accordingly.

                                            1. re: Gio
                                              clamscasino Oct 6, 2008 08:30 AM

                                              Thank you! I've been looking forward to this month beacause 1. I have this book and 2. I have been frustrated by it more than once. So it's great to see what others are experiencing here. And I am gathering that I am not alone in my frustration. :)

                                              1. re: clamscasino
                                                Gio Oct 6, 2008 08:35 AM

                                                Mario frustrates me when I watch his shows, never mind reading and cooking his recipes. But then, I have very high expectations. I think I've cooked 5 from Molto Italiano so far and only one was not to my liking...the broccoli rabe in wine & vinegar, but DH liked it.

                                                I thought your description of the stuffing and rolling was hilarious!

                                            2. re: clamscasino
                                              MMRuth Oct 6, 2008 08:27 AM

                                              I have to say I chuckled out loud at your description of the rolling - I admire your perseverance with the grinding. I wonder if your pork wasn't butterflied quite enough, and if that made the rolling more difficult. I've made a similar recipe of Batali's, from his Wine book, and the second time I bought the pork, I ended up butterflying it a bit more myself. Also - and I just can't tell from your photo if you did this or not, but the tying up can be a bit easier if you tie one long piece of string that runs along the whole length of the behemoth, along the sides, and then continue on with tying up at intervals.

                                              Here's the recipe for one w/o pork stuffing:

                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/4400... (recipe below that post).

                                              Edit: Now that I think about it, there was a ridiculous anomoly in that recipe too:

                                              "5 pound piece of pork loin, butterflied/pounded into 10 x 7 inch square, about 1/2 to 3/4 inch thick (Now, I always end up with a much larger square - I don't see how 5lbs of pork can end up that size - I have my butcher prepare it for me)"

                                              1. re: MMRuth
                                                clamscasino Oct 6, 2008 08:43 AM

                                                I agree with your assessment that the roast was not butterflied enough. I did think about cutting it some more but it was getting late and I was trying to avoid my guests discovering the comedy of errors that was unfolding in the kitchen. (Why does she keep putting the stuffing on and taking it off again?)

                                            3. re: clamscasino
                                              pitu Oct 7, 2008 07:27 PM

                                              were you here for the great mock porchetta obsession of 2007?
                                              From Zuni, http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/355992
                                              Would be curious about comparisons Mario v Zuni Cafe versions....

                                              1. re: pitu
                                                clamscasino Oct 8, 2008 06:32 AM

                                                I was lurking....

                                                Anyway, I am curious as to what is in the marinade. Will have to finally check out this cook book which consistently get raves here on CH. One big difference is the cut of meat. I would expect that the shoulder/butt would be amazingly tender and finger-licking good. But, I loved the idea of that pinwheel effect of the stuffed and rolled roast. Should look so pretty when plated, right?

                                                1. re: clamscasino
                                                  Gio Oct 8, 2008 08:38 AM

                                                  I was thinking about your stuffing and rolling episode and I recalled that when my mother made bracioli she would pound the meat slightly then stuff. But I imagine the butterflied pork would be thicker????

                                                  1. re: Gio
                                                    pitu Oct 12, 2008 10:06 AM

                                                    The pork is indeed thick - you open it up along the path of the muscle fiber to put the herb mix in, then tie it up to get a uniform roast size and density. There was no pounding involved.
                                                    I haven't made the Batali version because I'm so happy with the Zuni but I only make something like this once or twice a year...the Zuni is herbs and lemon zest -- crushed fennel seed, not sauteed fennel bulb for instance --
                                                    Anyone made both of them and care to compare/contrast?

                                                    1. re: pitu
                                                      Breadcrumbs Dec 7, 2010 04:02 AM

                                                      Pork Loin in the Style of Porchetta - p. 373

                                                      aka: Butchers Gone Wild meets Stuffing Mountain

                                                      Well, this started out as a good idea. We love Porchetta and have fond memories of munching on Porchetta sandwiches while strolling through the farmer's market in Montepulciano. I was conflicted as to whether to make this recipe or, the Zuni recipe and wish I'd remembered the COTM’s when I was making a decision, I could have used the info here to improve my results.

                                                      I encountered my first problem when I opened up the butcher’s paper to find the 4lb pork loin roast I’d ask to have butterflied in “FOUR” pieces. Go figure! I have no idea what this guy was thinking, there was also a bag of string in the package. . . now there’s a thought! In fairness, it was a new guy that served me, not my regular butcher but clearly we had a communication breakdown!

                                                      I pressed ahead despite the setback. Started by flattening the 4 pieces of meat and trying to piece them together to see if the notion of rolling would be possible. Not so much. Plan B : sandwich the stuffing between a top and bottom layer of pork loin.

                                                      With the “how” sorted out, I moved onto the stuffing. OMG, what was Mario thinking! I could have stuffed an entire pig with the amount of stuffing here! I should have figured this out in advance but didn’t so for whatever reason, instead of freezing some of the cooked ground pork, I decided plough ahead and pile it all onto the bottom layer of 2 pieces of pork loin (that was balanced precariously over 4 onions of differing sizes that had been cut in half as the recipe suggests . . . ok, the different size thing was my own doing!) Needless to say, pork mountain wasn’t easy to erect. Little balls of pork were tumbling all over the place and the whole pile collapsed a couple of times before I was finally successful in putting the remaining 2 piece of pork on top! I quickly hauled the monster into the oven for the 1 ¼ hrs suggested.

                                                      At that point I was concerned the pork stuffing would totally dry out since it was already cooked. Also, it looked NOTHING like the stuffing in the book which is primarily green and moist which, on reading through the ingredients list should have tipped me off that the roast in the photo was NOT, NO WAY made with the recipe provided in the book which calls for 2tbsp of chopped rosemary and whatever fennel fronds you’re able to salvage from 1 bulb of fennel. Also, the stuffing in the book’s photo has the appearance of being cooked inside the roast as the meat is not in tiny pieces.

                                                      I agree w the posts above that the cooking time is excessive as the pork loin itself was over done. To my surprise, the stuffing itself fared pretty well, it was still moist and flavorful and had set up enough (w the eggs) for slicing.

                                                      So, would I make this again? No. This isn’t even close to being an authentic porchetta and while the photo in the book might have been “in the style of Porchetta” the recipe they provided is not. Mr bc loved it but agreed it was nothing like the roast of our memories.

                                                       
                                                      1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                        clamscasino Dec 7, 2010 05:06 AM

                                                        "pork mountain wasn't easy to erect" LOL! Thanks for the memories and the good laugh to start out the day.

                                                        1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                          c oliver Dec 7, 2010 06:48 AM

                                                          Well, it sure does LOOK good. Glad for the tip as Mario rarely fails me. I just recently got the rec for the Zuni version so I'll go with that. Thanks.

                                                          1. re: Breadcrumbs
                                                            Rubee Dec 7, 2010 09:14 AM

                                                            Ha, loved reading that! That is one of my pet peeves about his book - many pictures don't match the recipes.

                                                2. Scargod Oct 8, 2008 02:21 PM

                                                  I made the lamb chops with garlic confit and mint. As I said in the pasta area, I paired it with Batali's recipe for risotto with mushroom and vin santo.
                                                  We thought it delicious but it is a s...load of garlic! Simple and delicious!

                                                   
                                                  1 Reply
                                                  1. re: Scargod
                                                    MMRuth Oct 8, 2008 02:30 PM

                                                    Welcome! That looks great. By the way, your silverware looks very much like mine (I keep trying to get more of it ....)

                                                  2. NYCkaren Oct 12, 2008 08:20 AM

                                                    Whole veal shank with marjoram, "Molto Italiano" p. 361:
                                                    Another week, another hunk of meat. I chose this recipe when I noted that my brand-new Whole Foods stocks whole veal shanks. The recipe cals for one weighing 4 to 4 1/2 pounds, and the one I got weighed a bit under 3 pounds, so I scaled the other ingredients back proportionally.

                                                    You brown the veal shank on all sides in a Dutch oven, then take it out and cook some onions, carrots and celery in the Dutch oven. Oh, and the leaves from a bunch of marjoram. Then you put the shank back in with white wine and basic tomato sauce and simmer it, covered, for about two hours. When it's done you put the whole thing on a platter and sprinkle it with lemon zest, parsley and more marjoram.
                                                    This was delicious. The meat fell off the bone and was very tender and flavorful. I would make it again soon except for one problem. I guess veal shanks are one of those items that used to be economical. Not now! At least not at Whole Foods, or probably anywhere I'm likely to find myself shopping. My 3-pound piece of meat was half bone, so I figure the cost came to about $1.50 a bite. If in my travels I ever see reasonably priced whole veal shanks I will snap one up.
                                                    A couple if other things: As with the braised pork shoulder the week before, I ended up with a lot of extra sauce. I put it in the freezer to serve on pasta at some future meal. I think maybe the thing to do would be to serve most of the sauce with pasta as a primo, then serve the meat.
                                                    Again, sorry I don't have a photo. Mine looked more or less like the photo in the book, except that when I picked the meat up from the pot with tongs to serve it, the bone stayed in the pot. Which was fine. Also, when I look closely at the photo in the book I see that there are toasted pine nuts. The recipe doesn't say anything about pine nuts. They must have been the food stylist's idea.

                                                    5 Replies
                                                    1. re: NYCkaren
                                                      MMRuth Oct 12, 2008 08:33 AM

                                                      I'm making the Osso Bucco right now for tonight - and I also couldn't believe how expensive they were - two pounds, $32. I'm hoping I'll have leftovers! The osso bucco recipe has gremolata, with pine nuts, so I wonder if the stylist "mixed" the two recipes.

                                                      1. re: MMRuth
                                                        oakjoan Oct 12, 2008 10:09 PM

                                                        MMR and NYCk: I also have been shocked by shank prices. We really love braised lamb shanks and I used to make them regularly. They were an economical dish. Now it costs like $20+ for just enough for 2. Veal Shanks are even dearer. That photo of the whole veal shank sure does look heavenly, though...even with the intruder pine nuts.

                                                      2. re: NYCkaren
                                                        JoanN Oct 12, 2008 09:04 AM

                                                        I've begun to notice anomalies in the Babbo photos as well: ingredients that aren't called for or are cut differently or shown in a form not called for in the recipe. Interestingly, the photos for the Babbo book (although not Molto Italiano) are by Christopher Hirsheimer who was a founding editor of Saveur. She (yes, despite the name) is one of the most famous food photographers in the busines: “Cooking of Southwest France” by Paula Wolfert, “Frank Stitt’s Southern Table,” “Cradle of Flavor," and dozens of other famous names. I suspect she pretty much does as she pleases and her stylists do what they're told--quibbling be damned.

                                                        1. re: NYCkaren
                                                          k
                                                          Karen_Schaffer Oct 12, 2008 09:06 PM

                                                          I nearly always sub lamb shanks for veal shanks. Yes, the meat is not as delicate as the veal is, but we consider it a plus that is has has more flavor and texture. And they're way more economical.

                                                          1. re: Karen_Schaffer
                                                            oakjoan Oct 12, 2008 10:11 PM

                                                            Karen S: Yes, lamb shanks are more economical, but they are now not the cheap cuts they used to be, as I said above. I do love lamb shanks, though. Am going to have to shell out the big bucks for them very soon.

                                                        2. liamsaunt Oct 12, 2008 02:34 PM

                                                          Grilled Lamb Chops Scottaditi with Pom-Pom Mushrooms, Garlic Confit, and Mint

                                                          Simple Italian Food, page 199

                                                          I used loin chops instead of rib, because the farmer's market only sells loin. Otherwise, I followed this recipe pretty closely. I wonder, though, why it only calls for 8 ounces of mushrooms for four servings. I cooked seven ounces of cremini mushrooms for one serving, and once they cooked down, it was the right amount. I did cut the garlic and wine though--I used four large cloves of garlic--so large I cut them in half, and 1 cup of dry wine, 1/2 cup of sweet wine.

                                                          The garlic confit was really nice mixed in with the mushrooms. I did cut back on the mint called for--a couple of leaves, minced, as opposed to the four sprigs. Again, though, I was only making one serving.

                                                           
                                                          1. liamsaunt Oct 12, 2008 02:43 PM

                                                            Grilled Baby Chicken Al Mattone with Panzanella

                                                            Babbo, page 213

                                                            The chicken is nothing special in this recipe, honestly. I think if some lemon juice was added to the marinade it would be tastier. I also noted that in the photo next to the recipe, the chicken has red pepper flakes on it, but they are not listed as a recipe ingredient.

                                                            However, the panzanella is very good. I think the salad could have been even better if the onions had been soaked in ice water for a while, as they were very sharp!

                                                            Overall, a nice summer recipe, but I would have liked a more flavorful marinade for the chicken.

                                                             
                                                            2 Replies
                                                            1. re: liamsaunt
                                                              oakjoan Oct 12, 2008 10:15 PM

                                                              liamsaunt: Do you think Batali made the marinade less tasty because he figured you'd be eating the panzanella along with it, bite for bite?

                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                liamsaunt Oct 13, 2008 08:04 AM

                                                                You might be right, but then why bother having the chicken at all? I actually ended up mostly just eating the panzanella and saved the chicken for salad. I just realized, too, that I put this review in the wrong section, I did not see the fowl thread. Sorry!

                                                            2. Scargod Oct 12, 2008 07:24 PM

                                                              Did the skirt steak "birds". Did not have pancetta so I used a good bacon and wrapped it around the whole roll of meat and the skewered it. This was delicious. I loved hitting a fresh sage leaf and getting that burst of flavor. Simple and effective!

                                                              4 Replies
                                                              1. re: Scargod
                                                                oakjoan Oct 12, 2008 10:16 PM

                                                                Which book did you use for the skirt steak "birds" recipe? Sounds luscious.

                                                                1. re: oakjoan
                                                                  Scargod Oct 13, 2008 04:16 AM

                                                                  I don't know whether I should blush; Molto Italiano is the "only" Batali cookbook I have... the recipe is called "beef birds".
                                                                  Didn't mention the proscuitto that gets rolled up inside it did I?
                                                                  I think you said it: luscious! Batali says skirt is his favorite cut after a t-bone.

                                                                  1. re: Scargod
                                                                    oakjoan Oct 22, 2008 12:03 PM

                                                                    Well, we'll be blushing together because Molto Italiano is also the only Batali cookbook that I have, too. I really like it, though.

                                                                    1. re: Scargod
                                                                      Gio Oct 22, 2008 05:16 PM

                                                                      I haven't blushed since 1954. Molto Italiano is the only Batali book I have as well.... but I would like a table at Babbo one of these days.

                                                                2. MMRuth Oct 13, 2008 11:30 AM

                                                                  Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata (Osso Buco con Gremolata di Pignoli, MI, p. 363)

                                                                  I think this may be my favorite recipe so far. I made the basic tomato sauce in the morning, then started in on the osso buco. I did tie up the osso buco as one was already falling apart - he doesn't say to do so - but in the end, the pieces fell apart anyway. Other than the browning, it took no time at all to put this dish together and into the oven, and it's a great dish to make ahead. I loved the gremolata - once again, the contrast of lemon in a rich dish. I did note that Hazan, those she gives a recipe for it, doesn't like gremolata with osso buco. I do.

                                                                  I served it with Risotto alla Milanese, and a fennel/apple/pecorino sardo salad. The only downside was the prohibitive cost of the veal. Oh - I did make the full amount of sauce, even though I only cooked 4 osso buco that weighed about 2lbs (so, thinner than those he called for). They were ready in two hours, and I would definitely make the full amount of sauce even if reducing the amount of osso buco, as I think it would get dry otherwise. We do have some leftover, and I may make it into a soup.

                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                   
                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                  1. re: MMRuth
                                                                    NYCkaren Oct 13, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                                    It looks yummy! We agree about the price of veal. It's cheaper to make these dishes than it would be to order them at one of his restaurants. But not by much. I'll make the osso buco with gremolata if I ever get an unexpected windfall.

                                                                    1. re: MMRuth
                                                                      Gio Jan 17, 2012 05:06 AM

                                                                      MOLTO ITALIANO: Osso Buco with Toasted Pine Nut Gremolata
                                                                      (Osso Buco con Gremolata di Pignoli), Pg. 363

                                                                      What a fantastic dish this is. Today is International Day of Italian Cuisines and the Dish of the Day is Osso Buco alla Milanese, so of course we just Had to get in on the culinary fun even though it's an industry driven event. Some three plus years ago MMRuth described the procedure and for us the recipe was as easily prepped and cooked as she reported. We had made MB's Basic Tomato Sauce on Sunday and because of time constraints tonight we decided to make the Osso Buco for dinner last night.

                                                                      What makes the dish truly luscious is wonderful veal in the osso buco cut which gives you some bone marrow along with silky unctuous meat. Osso buco means literally "Bone with a Hole." We had 4 slices weighing about 2.75 pounds. And, yes, the meat was falling off the bone tender after the 2 1/4 hour braise. Mario's soffritto and sauce combination is 'Squisito. Per his direction I used chicken stock, home made, but instead of white wine I used red. This gives the dish a greater depth of flavor I think. I didn't make the pine nut gremolata, just simply sprinkled finely minced parsley over each serving. The meat and fabulous sauce was served over steamed rice.

                                                                      MMR says this was her favorite dish and it certainly was ours as well. Tonight I'll continue with Risotto alla Milanese and a salad so we'll have made the complete menu. Molto grazie Molto Mario.

                                                                    2. liamsaunt Oct 13, 2008 12:08 PM

                                                                      Pork Loin with Carmelized Onions and Milk

                                                                      Simple Italian Cooking, page 197

                                                                      A very simple preparation for pork. I think the total cooking time is a little too long--next time I will pull the roast about 10 minutes earlier than he calls for. I ended up pureeing all of the onions into the gravy, rather than putting half on the platter, because some of the milk had curdled on them during the cooking, so they didn't look very attractive.

                                                                      I had a hard time carving the pork loin properly. IIended up pretty much hacking the meat up rather than geting nice slices. Of course, rereading the recipe, I see that you are supposed to cut the meat off the bone and then slice it, rather than cutting it into chops. That would have worked better! Next time. This recipe was very easy and I will make it again.

                                                                       
                                                                       
                                                                      1. Rubee Oct 15, 2008 12:26 AM

                                                                        Dry-Rubbed Ribe-Eye Steak for 2 - Babbo, p. 227

                                                                        LOVED this, even if I bought rib-eye steaks on sale instead of splurging on the 28-oz, 2-inch thick steak the recipe calls for. The rub is made with kosher salt, sugar, garlic, red pepper flakes, black pepper, porcini mushroom powder (or grind dried porcinis in a spice grinder), and extra virgin olive oil. Batali mentions that the sugar and salt in the rub "is similar to dry aging" and "intensifies the beefy flavor" when marinated overnight. There was so much flavor in these steaks, absolutely delicious. I would cut down the sugar a bit, however, if doing thin steaks such as I did as my husband thought it could have been less sweet. I'm sure the meat to rub ratio, however, is much better with the 2-inch cut, and that's what I'll use next time. I served it with Asparagus Milanese (p. 169). E wanted his left uncut, while I ate mine the way the book describes - sliced and drizzled with balsamic and extra-virgin olive oil. This recipe is a keeper.

                                                                        Recipe link:
                                                                        http://www.cleveland.com/recipes/plai...

                                                                         
                                                                        3 Replies
                                                                        1. re: Rubee
                                                                          oakjoan Oct 22, 2008 12:07 PM

                                                                          Rubee: These days, rib eye steaks are so expensive that it's already splurging to buy them. I've been buying "butcher steak" because skirt steak went up from $5/lb to almost $10.

                                                                          I guess I shouldn't complain because, after reading Omnivore's Dilemma, I know we shouldn't be eating very much beef anyway.

                                                                          What fried my liver was that a couple of months ago I splurged on 2 rib-eye steaks and they were verrrry tough. Grrrrrrrrrr.

                                                                          1. re: oakjoan
                                                                            Rubee Oct 22, 2008 11:52 PM

                                                                            I know!

                                                                            I just took out another package of the rib-eyes out of the freezer (we bought three packages of two steaks each when they were on sale), and regular price was $18.70 for two. But sales price was $10.90.

                                                                            I'm trying to pay more attention to buying meat or poultry on sale. We scored a great bargain tonight - one of the local grocery store's special this week is chicken thighs, drumsticks, or 4-5 lb whole chickens for 57 cents a pound. Yep, the freezer is full.

                                                                          2. re: Rubee
                                                                            Breadcrumbs Oct 10, 2011 02:36 PM

                                                                            Dry-Rubbed Rib-Eye Steak for 2 - p. 227 - I know, I know, it's been ages since I've posted a review...life just gets in the way of Chowhound sometimes!! We just returned from vacation and a much needed trip to the market yielded a lucky discovery of a great deal on prime rib @ $3.99/lb. A quick EYB search turned up this recipe and although I had 2 hrs vs the minimum of 12 that Mario suggests to properly marinate this beef in the porcini rub, we decided to walk on the wild side last night and give it a go anyway. Mr bc grilled this 2lb steak-roast over mesquite and wow, was it delicious. The earthiness of the porcini enhanced the beefy flavours and the spicy, salty sweetness of the rub took the grilled meat to a new level. We served this with roasted garlic, cheddar, buttermilk mashed potatoes and roasted, balsamic glazed Brussels sprouts. Not only was it wonderful to be back home again but to come home to great grilling weather was an unexpected surprise...thanks to Mario for a delicious variation on an old favourite.

                                                                          3. hohokam Oct 20, 2008 09:08 AM

                                                                            One of my contributions to a recent Phoenix 'hound feast hosted by Rubee and her husband (see the ur-post here: http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/5615... ) was Salsiccie di Lucania (Molto Italiano, p. 368).

                                                                            When prepping the ingredients, I became a bit concerned about the amount of ginger called for, so I decided I would use a bit less and taste the mixture right after mixing and then again after it had a chance to rest in the fridge for a few hours. I reacted to the initial taste test by saying, "Well, this would make an excellent filling for Asian dumplings". Uh oh. Fortunately, the ginger mellowed a bit as the sausage rested. The final cooked product was great: very tender with a good balance of flavors and just enough heat from the red chile. They turned out to be just as tasty as leftovers the next day alongside braised rabe (cooked with garlic and a little more crushed red chile)--the slight bitterness of the greens serving as a foil for the richness of the sausage.

                                                                            For the obsessives (like me), I've included the ingredient list, amounts used, and a couple of cook's notes below.

                                                                            1280 g pork shoulder (cut into ½” cubes, trimmed of some, but not all, fat);
                                                                            250 g pork fatback (cut into ½” cubes);
                                                                            95 g pancetta (roughly chopped);
                                                                            25 g garlic (minced);
                                                                            20 g ginger (minced)*
                                                                            4.5 g crushed red pepper
                                                                            28 g kosher salt
                                                                            135 ml Cotes du Rhone red wine

                                                                            Notes:
                                                                            *Following the proportions given in the recipe would have involved using ~35 g of minced ginger.

                                                                            Refrigerate for at least 6 hours between grinding/mixing and cooking.

                                                                            Next time, try increasing wine to 175ml.

                                                                            2 Replies
                                                                            1. re: hohokam
                                                                              arizonagirl Oct 20, 2008 09:53 AM

                                                                              These were perfect just like you made them. And I agree about the amount of heat. Delicious!

                                                                              1. re: hohokam
                                                                                Rubee Oct 20, 2008 11:25 AM

                                                                                I agree - just delicious. I loved how tender they were and thought they had the perfect amount of heat. The broccoli rabe was a perfect side dish.

                                                                              2. Scargod Oct 24, 2008 08:45 AM

                                                                                Beef short ribs from Molto Itiliano: Sorry folks, I don't get it. I'm kinda bummed, actually.... What is "Italian" about this dish? Perhaps it's because Mario suggested using a lot of Barolo?

                                                                                It is just your usual, plain Mirepoix with NOTHING in it to make it special or Italian. It was an OK dish (but I've done lots better), but now I'm trying to decide how to make it stand out and be a little exciting! It's also a lotta damn liquid. It did pretty much require that much to completely cover the ribs, but was all that much really necessary? When I do osso bucco it's not. I reduced the liquid, as in the recipe.

                                                                                1 Reply
                                                                                1. re: Scargod
                                                                                  MMRuth Oct 25, 2008 12:35 PM

                                                                                  You used his tomato sauce recipe in it too? I agree, it doesn't sound overly exciting, though I do like Barolo.

                                                                                2. n
                                                                                  newfoodie Oct 25, 2008 11:49 AM

                                                                                  I made the Meatballs with Ricotta in Milk from Molto Italiano, page 398.

                                                                                  Many other posts have already reported on this recipe, but if anyone hasn't tried it I would highly recommend it. I used dark meat ground turkey instead of the beef and veal as recommended (because it was on sale at Whole Foods). The meatballs were still delicious and very rich with the ricotta cheese. The sauce was easy to make and we had plenty of meatballs leftover for lunch the next day.

                                                                                  2 Replies
                                                                                  1. re: newfoodie
                                                                                    foxy fairy Oct 28, 2008 07:05 AM

                                                                                    Did you use the cornichons?

                                                                                    1. re: foxy fairy
                                                                                      n
                                                                                      newfoodie Oct 28, 2008 11:38 AM

                                                                                      I did. I bought 5 cornichons from the Whole Foods antipasta bar. I think they were a good and fairly inexpensive addition.

                                                                                  2. rabaja Oct 28, 2008 08:44 AM

                                                                                    Finally got around to making the oxtails last night. It was really pretty easy, only slightly messy what with the browning of the pancetta and the tails themselves.
                                                                                    They are sitting in the fridge until tomorrow night, will degrease them and warm them up and let you all know how they came out.
                                                                                    There's quite a good amount of grease on top, would probably trim them more next time, but didn't want to mess them up on my first try.
                                                                                    Also, although I attempted to follow the recipe closely, I couldn't help myself and i threw in a Bay leaf and a handful of thyme branches. The only herb called for is parsley and I wanted a little more herbacious goodness.
                                                                                    Not sure what we'll be serving these with, maybe polenta.
                                                                                    Also, I'm leaving them on the bone. I like bones.

                                                                                    1. Rubee Nov 2, 2008 05:55 PM

                                                                                      Stuffed Meat Loaf (Polpettona Ripieno) - Molto Italiano, p. 397

                                                                                      This made a very nice presentation, although it was a little tricky rolling up the meatloaf with the filling - I should have used Oakjoan's tip of laying it down on plastic wrap or a cloth. My girlfriend helped me out, though, so with her help we rolled it and transferred it to a broiler pan using two wide spatulas (Batali says to make this about about 16 inches long).

                                                                                      Ground pork, beef, fresh bread crumbs, pecorino, eggs and s&p are combined to make the meatloaf. The stuffing consists of layering spinach, carrots, cheese (I used provolone), and prosciuitto. The meatloaf is coated in bread crumbs and flour, drizzled with evoo (I used less than the 1/2 cup the recipe called for), and baked in a broiler pan at 400 degrees. I used a thermometer and it took about 50 minutes. Water and rosemary sprigs are placed under the broiler pan, and the rosemary smelled wonderful as the meatloaf was baking. The pan juices are reduced (I also added some chicken stock) and drizzled over the sliced meatloaf. Great flavors, and a nice dish to serve to company. I served it with roasted potatoes (p. 440).

                                                                                       
                                                                                       
                                                                                       
                                                                                       
                                                                                      5 Replies
                                                                                      1. re: Rubee
                                                                                        c
                                                                                        cpw Nov 3, 2008 07:23 AM

                                                                                        I made this last night too (way after dinner time) to have quick weeknight meals from it.

                                                                                        My log was on the harder side and since it was not sticking to the board where I rolled it (because of the bread crumbs and flour), I was able to transfer it by one bare hand and a fish stapula in the other hand. It was not as brown as Rubee's, but it reached 165 degrees in 40-45 minutes, so I took it out. Maybe I should have broiled it for few minutes to get the color.

                                                                                        I omitted the spinach and carrots as I and my husband don't like them, but it still very pretty when I cut into it. Other thing which stood out was, this meatloaf had a crust which makes it more interesting.

                                                                                        One thing, since I don't have a broiler pan, I made it on a baking sheet topped with a cooling rack. One cup of water (as the recipe calls for) in the pan was not enough. I realized it after my kitchen started getting smoky. I put around 3 glasses of water, which reduced to around a cup.

                                                                                        I nibbled a bit on it last night and it was very tasty. I am going to serve it tonight maybe with the roasted potatoes and save rest for variations through out the week.

                                                                                        1. re: cpw
                                                                                          Rubee Nov 3, 2008 08:36 AM

                                                                                          I'd like to know what you think of it - I also liked the crust on it. However, the guys would have been happy if I left out the vegetables too - my husband picked out all the spinach, and my gf's husband ate around the carrots and spinach. MEN ; )

                                                                                          1. re: Rubee
                                                                                            c
                                                                                            cpw Nov 3, 2008 03:20 PM

                                                                                            It was nice to come home to a precooked dinner. I cut the meat loaf and heated it on my cast iron skillet. I ate with roasted sugar snap peas.

                                                                                            The taste ? Not bad, it is just an ordinary meatloaf, I have had better ones though. The pecorino romano does not do too much here. And also it is a little dense for my taste.

                                                                                            I don't think I will make it again for myself (as I prefer the Paul Prudhomme's recipe from Louisiana Kitchen). But I will still keep this recipe for some of my non adventurous friends and also for the presentation and the crust. No spinach or carrots though!

                                                                                            1. re: cpw
                                                                                              Rubee Nov 3, 2008 03:26 PM

                                                                                              I actually liked the flavor of the pecorino - I used Sini Fulvi fresh-grated Pecorino Romano, and also liked the flavor of the reduced sauce drizzled on the meatloaf. However, your comment is exactly what my husband and I agreed on - we both liked it, especially for presentation and as a good dish for a dinner party, but he said "I like 'your' meatloaf better, that one is still the best". "My" meatloaf is actually Paul Prudhomme's too, it's just so good.

                                                                                              1. re: Rubee
                                                                                                c
                                                                                                cpw Nov 3, 2008 06:29 PM

                                                                                                I can taste the spices in my mouth!

                                                                                      2. c oliver Nov 8, 2008 01:08 PM

                                                                                        Homemade Sausage with Peppers, p. 370, Molto Italiano
                                                                                        (The "with Peppers" part of this is fine but this is all about the sausage.)

                                                                                        I first made this perhaps two years ago and have never eaten any other sausage at home except this! I don't live where I can easily get sausage casings but then realized that I mostly remove casings when using sausage. This makes 6# of meat and I freeze it into 8 and 16 oz. portions. I would go broke trying to buy the 2 # of pancetta so I use whatever bacon is on special at the time. The only other ingredients are kosher salt, black pepper, fennel seeds, red pepper flakes and 1/2C white wine. I buy the fennel seeds at a local natural foods grocery and I think the fresher the better when there are so few ingredients. This only has 1 T red pepper flakes but you'll taste it fine. The first time I cooked any, I just made two patties for us to taste. My husband looked at me and said "If this is sausage, what the heck have we been eating all these years that is called sausage?" I cooked a pound a couple of nights ago with some sliced garlic, a little onion, two salt-packed anchovies, and a small can of tomatoes. Over some linguini it made such a yummy, rainy night dinner. I pretty much bought my KA stand mixer to grind meat and make pasta. Well worth it.

                                                                                        5 Replies
                                                                                        1. re: c oliver
                                                                                          pitu Nov 8, 2008 01:54 PM

                                                                                          "If this is sausage, what the heck have we been eating all these years that is called sausage?
                                                                                          : )
                                                                                          Now I totally have to make this. Except I'm in NYC, and we get good sausage here.

                                                                                          1. re: pitu
                                                                                            c oliver Nov 8, 2008 02:27 PM

                                                                                            Yes, you do have good sausage (and everything else) in NYC and when we visit we love buying and eating all of it. We bring back 8 or so hunter's sausage from DiPalo's as just one example. This sausage has such a rusticity or simplicity or something about it. Just grinding together the two meats, adding the few seasonings, mixing by hand. And having this always on hand in the freezer means I always have the makings for something above average. And the price!!! Although it's not why I make it, if I buy bacon on special and pork roasts are cheap, this comes in at a $4-5/# max. If I lived in NYC, it wouldn't be the only sausage I'd eat but it would still be in the freezer. Mmm. Can't wait to get back there but probably not til next June :(

                                                                                            1. re: c oliver
                                                                                              oakjoan Nov 8, 2008 03:39 PM

                                                                                              This is the reason I love Chowhound COTM....I never noticed the sausage recipe in Molto Italiano and now I can't wait to try it!

                                                                                              Thank you c oliver!!!

                                                                                              1. re: oakjoan
                                                                                                c oliver Nov 8, 2008 04:02 PM

                                                                                                And I FOUND another sausage recipe about two pages later that almost identical except you add oregano instead of fennel. I don't think I could give up my fennel seed but no reason for it to be either or, huh?

                                                                                                I could, however, see this becoming a rather expensive board to frequent. I already owned the Batali book but not many of the others that have recently been reviewed. And here I'm supposed to be cutting back :)

                                                                                                1. re: c oliver
                                                                                                  oakjoan Nov 8, 2008 08:21 PM

                                                                                                  Luckily, many of our COTM recipes are online and often the books can be found in the library. This month's Water's Simple Food and the dessert How to Be a Domestic Goddess are sitting in my house fresh from our local library.

                                                                                                  You're right about the sausage not having to be an "either or" situation.

                                                                                        2. LulusMom Nov 11, 2008 04:01 PM

                                                                                          Braised Rabbit (Chicken Thighs) with leeks, turnips and vin santo (MI p. 380).

                                                                                          Did my usual sub of chicken thighs (boneless, skinless and cut into chunks this time around) for the rabbit. Otherwise followed the recipe. This was wonderful and homey and full of flavor, better than the sum of its parts. The turnips are so soft they just melt in your mouth. Served over polenta. A big hit - much bigger than expected.

                                                                                           
                                                                                          5 Replies
                                                                                          1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                            pitu Nov 15, 2008 05:33 AM

                                                                                            Thanks so much for posting about this...I have turnips, and a rabbit...and I was wondering.
                                                                                            Now I have to wonder where to find vin santo.

                                                                                            Anybody have vin santo substitution suggestions?

                                                                                            1. re: pitu
                                                                                              hohokam Nov 15, 2008 06:30 AM

                                                                                              Depending on where you live, Vin Santo could be surprisingly easy to find. But if not, you might want to look at this thread where I asked the same question:

                                                                                              http://chowhound.chow.com/topics/393308

                                                                                              Good luck.

                                                                                              1. re: pitu
                                                                                                LulusMom Nov 15, 2008 08:26 AM

                                                                                                He suggests dry sherry as a good substitute (although my vin santo was so sweet that I think any sherry would do). Honestly, I think anything like sherry, port, cognac, brandy would work.

                                                                                                1. re: LulusMom
                                                                                                  pitu Nov 15, 2008 09:05 AM

                                                                                                  excellent - I have port and don't really want to find vin santo
                                                                                                  thx for the replies hohokam and LuluMom

                                                                                                  1. re: pitu
                                                                                                    LulusMom Nov 15, 2008 10:10 AM

                                                                                                    I think that will work just fine. I hope you enjoy it - very homey, and perfect on an autumnal day.

                                                                                            2. c oliver Mar 29, 2010 11:21 AM

                                                                                              Cotechino "in Jail", Molto Italiano, p. 365
                                                                                              Once again I'm a year and a half late. I fixed this Saturday night for a litte dinner party and it was very special. I'd bought the cotechino at an Italian meat shop over New Years and had had it in the freezer since then trying to get a special foodie couple over for dinner. Just like in real life the shape of my pounded veal didn't look like Mario's so stuffing and tying the roll took my husband's AND my hands. You brown it and then add onion, celery, wine, bay leaf and parsley. After about 25 minutes simmering, you add small bulb onions and thin sliced carrots, cover and cook another 15. That's where there was a problem. I think that final 15 minutes of cooking was why the veal (only a half inch thick) was overcooked. I will definitey fix this again but won't add the final vegetable. I think it will be just right then. What I loved is, when sliced, it looked pretty much like the picture :)

                                                                                              1. Gio Sep 20, 2012 07:22 AM

                                                                                                Polpettine di Tacchino
                                                                                                Turkey Meatballs, Pg. 341

                                                                                                Delicious outcome for this really easy recipe. Either a mix of ground turkey and ground pork or all turkey may be used. I used all turkey and halved the recipe.Didn't make the sauce, however I will in the future. Meatball ingredients: ground meat, fresh breadcrumbs, a bit of milk, eggs, garlic, rosemary, crushed red pepper flakes, salt and freshly ground black pepper. Do the usual mix, roll, bake technique. From the mix I used 12 meatballs filled a smallish slightly oiled baking dish. They baked in a pre-heated 475F oven for 15 minutes or till golden brown.

                                                                                                We loved the taste combination of the rosemary and red pepper flakes. Served with Patate Fritte con Peperoni (Crisp fried potatoes with sweet peppers) from the Sept. 2012 COTM My Calabria, Insalata di Pomodori e Cipolle Calabrase (salad of tomatoes and onions from Calabria) from Rosetta Constantino's web site, and corn on the cob...

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