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Braised Pork Chops with Two Wines

This recipe calls for small amounts of two wines - Marsala and one of a Piedmontese Barbera or a Valpolicella or any young red from Central Italy, e.g. a non-riserva Chianti. I didn't have any of these wines around the house - only have Marsala for cooking purposes & not much of a fan of most Italian wines in general, but I do have a fondness for Valpolicella. So off for a visit to the LCBO - the Liquour Control Board of Ontario - a unique distribution/regulatory government-controlled entity found only in Ontario. The LCBO was started in the 1930's & reflects the conservative nature of much of Ontario society, at least until fairly recently. It is also a great money-maker for the provincial government and provides for a wide selection of alcoholic beverages, if not low prices. The LCBO is the world's largest purchaser of alcoholic products.

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I bought a 1.5 litre bottle of Valpolicella because it was on sale.

The rest of the ingredients are close at hand. Nothing very unusual - pork chops, garlic, tomato paste, flour, olive oil, fennel seeds, garlic, parsley, salt & pepper - simple ingredients as is typical of most of Marcella's recipes.

Following the directions of this recipe was quite easy. The first few steps only take a few minutes ... and then, whoa, an hour. "Braising" is just a word that means its going to take a while. The only issue I encountered was the relative size of the larger of my two sauté pans vis-a-vis the size of the pork chops. It was a tight fit.

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The whole dish takes about an hour and a half from start to finish. Well worth it. The humble pork chop never tasted better - see below.

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Oops, forgot to add the parsley before I took the pic. Well, you know what Ogden Nash said about parsley ....

What I liked about this recipe:

Hey, any recipe with two wines can't be all bad, right? Actually, I liked almost everything about this recipe.

What I didn't I like about this recipe:

Only issue - one tablespoon of tomato paste? What do I do with the rest of the can. Oh, I know, I can freeze it until the next time.

Would I make it again?

Yes - it was very good. My problem with a lot of pork chop recipes is that ... well they taste like pork chops. This one is a couple of steps above.

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