Tuscan Fantasy IV
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La Belle Cuisine - More Pork Recipes

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Braciole di Maiale Contadine
(Pork Chops Smothered in Creamy Onions)




“These grandmothers, le nonne, are the keepers of memory and the
providers of many of the sacred moments of everyday life.”

~ Carol Field

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Braciole di Maiale Contadine
(Pork Chops Smothered in Creamy Onions)

In Nonna's Kitchen: Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers
In Nonna's Kitchen:
Recipes and Traditions from Italy's Grandmothers

by Carol Field, 1997, HaperCollins

Serves 4 to 6

“Emma Grassi Bensi is deep in her eighties, stands about 5 feet tall, has red hair
cut in a pixie style, wears huge rose-colored glasses, and reads Gente, the People magazine of Italy. She has a deep throaty chuckle and lively appreciation of life, among whose pleasures she counts cooking the best Tuscan country dishes, like these pork chops in a sauce of onions that almost melt as they cook. Women from all over Italy cook onions so slowly that they become a creamy sauce, which is then used as a sauce for meat. The technique is common; the results are superb.”

3 onions, sliced very fine
4 to 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 to 2 tablespoons water
Freshly ground black pepper
6 pork chops (about 2 3/4 pounds)
All-purpose flour with salt and pepper for dredging
1/2 cup dry red wine
1 to 2 tablespoons unsalted butter

Put the onions in a large, heavy skillet with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, a tablespoon or two of water, salt, and pepper. Cover and cook them at the lowest simmer over the lowest possible heat – use a flame tamer if you need to – for 45 minutes to 1 hour, stirring occasionally. At the end the onions will be soft and creamy.
Dredge the pork chops in seasoned flour so they won’t stick while cooking. Drizzle the remaining oil into a heavy sauté pan large enough to hold the chops comfortably without crowding, add the pork chops, and brown them, turning so they cook evenly. When they have browned, 2 to 3 minutes a side, pour in the red wine and boil until it evaporates. Put the cooked onions on top of the pork chops, cover, and cook together briefly on top of the stove so the flavors meld, turning the chops several times. The onions cook into a really thick sauce; at the end puree them in a processor or blender, adding a little water or a tablespoon or two of butter.

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