About Beth

Beth, along with her husband, Mike, is co-owner of two Italian Deli/Markets in St. Louis - Viviano’s Festa Italiano. When not creating yummy new menu items for the deli, she’s the pediatric research lab supervisor at Washington University School of Medicine. Read more out about Viviano’s Festa Italiano.

About Irene

Irene loves to think, read and dream about food. She enjoys cooking & eating in general. Although she demures about her talents, Irene has a finely-tuned palate that her friends envy. She bakes on occasion. The rest of the time she's creating memories with her family and friends. . . or she's learning a new needlecraft technique.

About Deborah

Deborah is a wife, mother, grandmother, traveler, bootlegger, and a very poor speller! As Victor Hazan so eloquently puts it, Deborah has chosen Umbria to be the home of her soul. When she can’t be there in body, she spends her free time cooking & reading about Italy. She blogs mostly about food and about trips – past and future – here: Old Shoes New Trip.

About Doug

Doug lives in Eastern Ontario in a farmhouse built in 1903. He is a retired teacher with four adult children, a wife, a son-in-law, two Irish step-grandchildren and one grandson who he is lucky to hang with a lot. He has way too many books. Doug also blogs at To Slow Time Down.

About Cindy

Cindy lives in Eagle River, Alaska where her freezer is always full of salmon, halibut & shrimp. Cindy participates in several regular cooking challenges. You can read more about her cooking and life in the last frontier on her blog, Baked Alaska.

About Sandi

Sandi is a true Southerner, but a traveler & Italian cook at heart. She lives in Alabama and knows more about fried green tomatoes than fricassees. Her family owned the WhistleStop Café for many years. Sandi also blogs at Whistlestop Cafe Cooking.

About Jan

Jan, a serious home cook, has owned “Essentials” since 1992. She is passionate about all things Italian, especially the cuisine & the language. Jan blogs about her travels (next trip Italy May/June of 2010) at: Keep your Feet in the Street.

About Jerry

Jerry is a food obsessed Canadian. He learned to love Italian food as a child while eating the meals prepared by his Napolitano uncle. He learned to cook Italian foods by watching his uncle cook these feasts for the family. This love of Italian food has been honed through serious personal experimentation in eating and cooking. Willing to try most anything once, Jerry isn't so sure about tripe! Jerry also blogs at Jerry's Thoughts, Musings, and Rants!

About Palma

Palma is a Marriage & Family Therapist in Palm Desert, CA. She’s an Italian-American with a passion for cooking, entertaining, & travel to Italy. She’s always planning her next culinary adventure to Italia on her blog, Palmabella's Passions

About Kim

Kim is our permanent sub and the image above gives you a good idea of the look on her face when she realized she was drafted. Kim loves to eat, drink, travel and cook - probably in that order. When she's not here, you can find her organizing and leading food, wine and beer tours in Europe as co-owner and operator of GrapeHops or blogging at What I Really Think.

« Pork Loin Braised in Milk, Bolognese Style | Main | Drunk Pork Roast »

Roast Pork with Vinegar and Bay Leaves


I have a wee announcement to make:

This is the best recipe in Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking!

There. Cue the debate . . . .

Here we are on page 419 of Marcella's Italian cookery 'bible' and I do believe that I have found the 'best' recipe. Sure, I have some more to go but for whatever reason I think that this is the favourite thing I have cooked to date and I'm not sure that the sauteed lamb kidneys coming up are going to top it.

This was a surprise. One reads the title and thinks . . . 'Pork with vinegar and bay leaves? So what?'

The ingredients listed don't really provide an inkling of the culinary delights ahead should one pull this together. In fact, the only ingredients NOT listed in the title are butter, oil, salt, and peppercorns. You wouldn't think that culinary genius lurks amongst that short, simple, list.

You would be wrong. 7 ingredients can work wonders.

That is it campers. 7 ingredients. Done. 7 ingredients that I bet many of you have in your home right now.

Hint, hint, hint . . . MAKE THIS!

Essentially (pun sort of intended) you are directed to brown the pork all over in butter and oil and then slowly braise it in the vinegar with bay leaves and crushed peppercorns until the pork is cooked through to perfection. Like all slowly braised dishes, this is not on the table in 30 minutes. I think that I spent about 90 minutes working in the kitchen until this served up to rave reviews.

I believe the comment was 'this is the BEST ******* Pork I have ever had!' (edited for our family friendly audience but you get the picture.) Note to self . . . don't start pouring the wine for dinner companions until AFTER their feedback on the dishes has been received.

Of course, the wonderful thing about braised dishes is that once they are in the pot and slowly cooking away you can work on other things while resisting the temptation to peek under the lid every 5 seconds at whatever in that pot is filling the house with the most promising scents.

In this instance, I took the opportunity while the pork was cooking to make the sunchoke gratin and baked red beets that I'll chat with you about on January 1st (thank god I did this one ahead because you just know I'll be nursing a headache on New Year's Day!) and March 26th respectively. I also roasted some fingerling potatoes and dinner, as they say, was served.


Comments (4)

I'm not convinced it is the BEST (because my lamb was....), But I am convinced we are trying it this week with a pork roast I have!

Well Jerry, after such a convincing, enthusiastic and as always, entertaining post, I shall be making this soon.

Well, Jerry. Why not try telling us how you REALLY feel?
I don't understand why you have to approach every one of your reports with such dry reserve. Can't you try to drum up some enthusiasm about one of them?! :-)

Marcella Hazan:

The best??? You startle me, Jerry. Save your praises for the the lamb kidneys. Don't sell them short. I wonder if you haven't already written that post before making the dish.

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This page contains a single entry from the blog posted on November 27, 2010 5:11 AM.

The previous post in this blog was Pork Loin Braised in Milk, Bolognese Style.

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