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Home cooking: Braised pork

April 30, 2013

Glenda McBee Bonfili is a member of Sons and Daughters of Italy. She is of Italian descent.

She said this pork recipe has been handed down from her grandmother, Philomena Ferrari Billotti, who Bonfili called "Nona."

"My Italian grandmother grew up in San Genovera De Foria in southern Italy," Bonfili said by email. "She was married to my grandfather, Samuel, had one son and a second child on the way, when Samuel decided to move to America."

Samuel debarked in Boston, then moved to Clarksburg, W.Va., where he had relatives living. Samuel sent for Philomena. As she came across the ocean, she lost her baby. Samuel and Philomena lived in Clarksburg, then they moved to Morgantown, W.Va., where he opened a grocery store. Their family grew to three daughters and five sons.

Eventually, one of those daughters — Bonfili's mother — met and married Bonfili's father, who was Scotch-Irish; they raised a son and daughter.

Bonfili said she learned to cook when she was young.

"I learned to cook mostly from my Italian grandmother, who lived with us, and Aunts Angelina and Lenora, and also my Irish grandma," she said. "Now, my entire family likes my lasagna, peanut butter pie, nut rolls and Italian bread."

This braised pork dish has been used for funeral luncheons and other functions at church, she said.

The next meeting of the local chapter of Sons and Daughters of Italy is at 7 p.m. Tuesday, May 28, at Morris Frock American Legion Post 42, off Northern Avenue, Hagerstown. The group will share a covered dish dinner.

— Chris Copley, Lifestyle assistant editor



Braised pork

1/4 cup dried parsley

2 teaspoons paprika

1 teaspoon rubbed sage

1 teaspoon thyme

1 teaspoon ground mustard

1 teaspoon black pepper

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon oregano

7 lean, boneless pork chops

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups sliced onions

4 large garlic cloves, chopped

5 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch pieces (or 1 pound bag baby carrots)

2 cups chicken broth



Heat oven to 325 degrees.

Mix together parsley, paprika, sage, thyme, ground mustard, black pepper, salt and oregano to make a rub. Rub both sides of pork chops with spices.

Heat olive oil in frying pan over medium-high heat. Brown pork chops. Remove from pan and set aside.

In the same pan, saute onions and garlic for 2 minutes. Add carrots and broth. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and cook for 10 minutes.

Return chops to pan and cover. Move covered pan to oven and bake for 1 1/2 hours.

Thicken pan juices for gravy.

Serves 7. Good over noodles or rice.



— Courtesy of Glenda McBee Bonfili, a member of Sons and Daughters of Italy. For more information about the group, call her at 304-263-5004 or Domenick at 304-264-8678.

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