Cooking Maiale Ubriaco & Applesauce

My first foray into Francesco Ghedini’s Northern Italian Cooking was a success! As I mentioned the other day when discussing this week’s menu, I went with a recipe that didn’t involve any tomato sauces because I want to actually make those from scratch and haven’t had the time yet (maybe this weekend). So, I decided on Maiale Ubriaco (“drunken pig”) which is a pork chop dish with red wine sauce. I’m not sure what the deal with typing out someone else’s recipes, so I’ll just give you the basics. You cover both sides of some pork chops with salt and pepper, then brown both sides in a pan of olive oil, cover and cook on low for 30 minutes, flipping occasionally. Then remove the meat and most of the oil, cook some garlic and parsley, then pour in some red wine (I got a $10 bottle of Pinot Noir) to make a sauce. Once it’s reduced, serve the sauce on top of the chops. Blammo. The only thing I goofed up was combining the garlic and parsley with the wine ahead of time. You’re supposed to cook the garlic first before adding the wine, so I scooped as much as I could out, but there was still a lot on the bottom. Still tasted good though.

When I wrote up the post about the menu, I asked about a possible side to go with the pork chops and my mom suggested apple sauce. I remembered this as I was walking into the grocery store, so I looked up a quick recipe that I can’t even find, but it basically involved peeling, coring and chopping up four apples and boiling them in water, cinnamon and white sugar, then smashing them up. I went with Fuji apples because I like them, but the end result was a little too sweet. My wife suggested going with Macintosh next time. I tasted it as I went, but I’m not very good with sweet flavors and don’t have a lot of applesauce experience, so I wasn’t sure what I was doing. Maybe they’ll taste a little better after sitting over night?

Overall, I really dug this recipe. The sauce reduced a lot, but packed quite a punch and it just looked really cool on the plate. How can you not like purple colored food? I also liked how simple the recipe was. Both involved covering pots and cooking for somewhat extended periods of time which allowed me to chop things up and make sure my daughter was doing well. What more can you ask for?

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