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Dec 9, 2008 08:34 AM

Mario Braised Pork Black Rooster or Marcella Drunk Roast Pork?

Never having made pork shoulder before, I purchased a 4-pound rolled and tied butt from a local (NYC) farmer's market, intending to make the Batali dish from Molto Italiano. I have just noticed Marcella's Drunk Roast pork. Would love to hear comments on these two recipes that might help me decide which one to tackle this week. Thanks!

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  1. Is the drunk pork the same as the pork braised in milk?

    2 Replies
    1. re: cassoulady

      No. the Drunk Roast Pork (Essentials) calls for inserting carrot sticks into the trussed pork and browning the floured meat in butter and vegetable oil. Then deglaze with grappa or calvados and then red wine,
      and then simmering, with nutmeg and bay leaves, etc, for about 3 hours...

    2. Here's a subthread about the Batali dish from a recent COTM thread


      You can tell that I really liked that dish a lot, but the Hazan dish sounds pretty interesting too. The idea of using calvados at this time of year appeals to me--even though calvados isn't really a season-specific ingredient, anything having to do with apples says "autumn" to me. :-)

      4 Replies
      1. re: hohokam

        Thanks for the links!

        Here is a question about the Marcella recipe: She says to place a double sheet of heavy aluminum foil between the pot and its cover before beginning to braise. What is the reason for this? (The liquid is supposed to cook off, leaving a syrupy glaze at the end).

        1. re: erica

          ;-) Yet another link...


          As you have described it, it seems to me that the foil will create a better seal, thus diminishing the liquid lost to evaporation. But, I've also heard tell of a paradoxical effect of tightening the seal, whereby the heat builds up in the pot and thus speeds up the "boiling off" of the liquid. I have the feeling that ideal gas law (PV = nRT) or one of those other gas laws I learned (and then forgot) from chemistry class comes into play here, but I haven't thought this through to see if it makes sense.

          The only other time I've run into instructions for creating a tighter seal was in a Rick Bayless recipe where he called for making a "gasket" out of corn masa dough. I omitted this step and the pot cooked dry [grumble], hence my mild skepticism regarding the tighter seal = faster evaporation notion.

          If I were you, I would (1) follow her instructions, (2) check the liquid level every 45 minutes or so, (3) if necessary, add liquid during cooking, and (4) if necessary, further reduce the liquid on the stove, after removing the fully cooked meat from the pot.

          1. re: hohokam

            Madeleine Kamman also recommends braising this way and recently I've seen another chef do it. Can't remember which one. Kamman's instructions for a braise are to: cover the food snugly inside the pot with layer(s) of heavy foil, or several layers of regular foil folded, weight that foil (I use an oven safe plate), then seal the top of pot with foil, then place the lid on top.

            I've had excellent results with this method. The reason it works as I understand it is that a braise cooks and tenderizes the meat by pressure. To maximize pressure, there needs to be as little free space as possible around the food to be cooked. Braise pans used to have concave lids, but modern pots don't. So the layers of heavy foil weighted down mimic that device. I've also heard of using parchment paper immediately over the food.

            But I would guess the top sheet of foil between the lid and the plate are for sealing purposes, just as you explained.

            I've used two recipes lately that directed not to open the pot during cooking, under any circumstances. I didn't like it, but I "behaved", and the meats were cooked to perfection. I do normally check it intermittently, however.

            1. re: Steady Habits

              Thanks. I understand placing the foil or parchment directly on top of the food in the pot, but could not understand just putting the foil over the top of the pot and then covering with the lid.. But I guess that is one reason why I am not writing cookbooks! If I go with the Marcella pork, I will heed Hohokam and follow her instructions!!

              I will report back on the results..

      2. I haven't made the Marcella recipe but I made the Mario pork shoulder for the October COTM and it was delicious.


        1 Reply
        1. re: NYCkaren

          I ended up making the Mario Black Rooster pork. It was also delicious! And quite easy. This was the first time I made pork shoulder and I was a little taken aback by the amount of fat given off. I did refrigerate overnight and take off the solid fat before serving.

          I am left with a large amount of sauce, which I reduced a bit and hope to serve with the shredded meat over pasta tonight. But the consistency is very loose and it still seems quite greasy---any remedies for this (just add flour?)