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    from "Italian Farmhouse Cookbook" by Susan Hermann Loomis

    Dario Cecchine is known throughout Tuscany for his skill as a butcher and for his obvious energetic charm. He picked up his knowledge of the ancient ways of treating meat from his father and grandfather and from the research he's done. He considers himself an Etruscan (thought to be one of the first groups to settle Tuscany), and he uses what he calls Etruscan flavor combinations of herbs, vinegar, and honey.

    I had the good fortune of watching as he prepared pork for a customer. He sliced it into smooth wide strips, drizzled it with his homemade vinegar, then sprinkled on herbs that he took from attractive jars and a huge basket that surrounded his workspace. These he crushed carefully into the pork, then wrapped it up like a gift. Before he handed it to the customer, he gave the package a powerful whack on each side, "To help the vinegar and spices penetrate," he said.

    Dario's macerated pork is redolent with aromatic herbs and a hint of acidity from the vinegar. Make and enjoy it, for it embodies the flavor of the Tuscan countryside.

    I like to serve this pork with an accommodating red wine, such as Brunello di Montalcino.

    4 to 6 servings

    2 pounds boneless pork shoulder, cut into 3/8-inch-thick slices*
    1 teaspoon best-quality red wine vinegar
    2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves
    1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
    2 imported dried bay leaves, broken into small pieces
    2 teaspoons fennel seeds
    1/2 teaspoon fine sea salt

    * FreshDirect Note: Because our boneless pork shoulder roast tends to run larger (about 5.5 lb), we recommend substituting 2 lb boneless pork loin (about 6 chops).

    Print recipe

    1. Lay the pork slices in a single layer on a sheet of parchment or waxed paper placed on a work surface. Cover them with another sheet of parchment or waxed paper. Gently pound each slice several times with a meat mallet or rolling pin, moving the instrument away from you as it hits the meat so as to encourage the meat to flatten, rather than just pulverizing it. Uncover the meat and sprinkle the vinegar evenly over one side of each slice.

    2. Crush the herbs, spices, and salt together in a mortar with a pestle, then sprinkle them evenly over one side of the slices. Stack the slices of pork in 2 equal-size stacks, wrap them in parchment or waxed paper, and refrigerate for 24 hours.

    3. Preheat a barbecue grill to medium-high. If using charcoal, when the coals are red and dusted with ash, spread them out and place the rack on the barbecue. When the rack is hot (after 1 to 2 minutes), lay the slices of pork on the rack and grill until the pork is cooked through and crisp, about 2 minutes per side.

    4. Remove from the fire and serve while blistering hot.

    Product nutrition and information
     Quantity Ingredients Est.Price
      Boneless Pork Loin Chop - $5.99/lb
     1.0", Standard Pack
      Thyme - $1.49/ea
     Farm Fresh
      FreshDirect Fennel Seeds - $3.59/ea
    You May Already Have
      Roland Aged French Red Wine Vinegar - $3.69/ea
      La Baleine Fine Sea Salt - $3.79/ea
      FreshDirect Crushed Chili Peppers - $3.59/ea
      FreshDirect Bay Leaves - $3.79/ea
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