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May 2, 2009 04:24 PM

Hazan Drunken Pork Problem

I'm cooking my way through Essentials. Last night I cooked drunken pork. Two issues:
1) Marcella calls for 1.5 cups of wine, but then says add more if need to in order to almost cover. In almost any pot with a chunk of pork you will need more than that. I ended up using over 1 bottle.

2) This may relate to 1, but it took me a lot longer to reduce the wine to a syrup as per the instructions. My real problem is once this was done it tasted sharp and a bit like vinegar. This meant the pork did not taste as good as it would have tasted if I had just baked it with some salt. Is this the way it should taste, or did all my wine lead to this? It tasted great when there was still about a half a pot of the stuff. I couldn't serve this to anyone and would not cook again as is.

I don't want to give up on cooking pork on the stove like this. As I said, I'm trying to cook my way through the book (posting on my blog) but I've only hit one winner so far and that was the braised chicken with red cabbage. I really want this to work. Any suggestions?

Thanks very much


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    1. I don't have any answers for you about the pork, but I hope the following can offer some Marcella encouragement (especially as I see you are newly started on this enterprise).

      Essentials was the very first Cookbook of the Month here on Chowhound. Here is the main thread: In it you will find links to all the threads covering different recipes. Lots of useful discussion about which recipes posters made, favorites, why they liked them, what worked and didn't, etc.

      Another thread, "An open apology to Marcella Hazan," with more discussion of her recipes:

      Finally, on the roast chicken with lemons: 1. Absolutely spoon the pan juices over the meat when you serve it, as they are delicious and enhance the chicken. 2. Ignore her warning to not squeeze the juice from the lemons after roasting, but use tongs to do it (over the carved chicken, or into the pan juices), holding the lemon a little way from you. I've never had a problem with squirting.

      Good luck with your endeavor. Marcella's flavors are mostly subtle, but simple and good. I love some of the simple long-cooked vegetables - braised carrots with parmesan, smothered cabbage, Venetian-style; not assertive, but so good.

      1 Reply
      1. re: Caitlin McGrath

        Thank you for the encouragement. I have read those posts, which is why I have come here for some help on the pork.