Watch Cooking Channel

From Nose to Tail, Be Inspired by Pork

Butcher Demonstration - Joshua Applestone of Fleisher's

Joshua Applestone of Fleisher's

Our kitchens turned into pork central when Joshua Applestone of Fleisher’s led us in a “nose to tail” class. We butchered, cooked, developed recipes and got inspired by the awesomeness of great pork. Using every part is good economy and ecology (and how we need to think about all meats in general), but it’s also fabulous eating. It is remarkable what comes from thinking whole hog:

Bacon — the “gateway meat” — starts out as belly and is transformed by both its salty cure and a smoky finish. Pancetta, the Italian version is not smoked; the Irish keep the loin attached; and Canadians, in characteristic self-control, forgo the rich belly altogether and focus on the lean loin. Brits make rashers from this cut; the French make lardons, rillettes and rillon; and the Chinese stir-fry or red cook it. Amazingly, a new breed of hog-wild chefs has given pork belly a makeover as the ultimate fashionable fare.

Butcher Demonstration

So what’s right for family dinner? Go-to speedy chops from the loin: They can be center cut, thick or thin, T-bone-like with a tenderloin nugget, or boneless for medallions or cutlets. The best of this class are slightly rosy, firm, not flabby, nor pumped up with enhancing solutions. Pork tenderloins take pride of plate for being super lean and fast. Both chops and tenderloins feed and fuel us, whether they’re brined, braised, baked, broiled, grilled or seared.

Crowd-friendly roasts — juicy Porchetta, Pernil, Arrista, elegant rack or crowns — are cut from the fore and hind quarters or loin. This also includes fresh hams, picnics, blade roasts, sirloins and Boston butts (actually from the shoulder, but never mind). These cuts can be kind on the wallet and, when coaxed by gentle roasting, braising or slow cooking, make for fine party or weeknight eating.

Ribs — baby back, St. Louis, country and spare — find barbecue deliciousness in many styles, from vinegary Carolina, dry-rubbed Memphis, saucy Texas, lacquered Thai or citrusy Cuban. Gentle, smoky cooking marks these with a distinctive smoke ring and makes for a happy Mr. Brown (Southern for all things pork).

We love to Ham it up — cured, smoked or slow aged. Think silky Parma prosciutto, Iberian, Parisian, Polish, Black Forest, Yunnan, Virginia, country, citified, chestnut feed, steaks or just floating with cheese between bread.

Roasted Pigs Trotter Recipe

Roasted Pigs Trotter With Garlic and Herb Breadcrumbs courtesy Claudia Sidoti

Hats off to all those nasty bits, too, like scrapple, trotters, chitlins, cheeks and jowls, lardo, and offal, which make some squeamish and others relish in the highest form. We can’t deny the guilty pleasure of carnitas (don’t ask, the best are cooked in lard), addictive cracklings and crispy rinds. And a quality old-school hot dog holds an esteemed spot in our pantheon of pork.

Fatty, you say? But that’s pork’s charm! A little goes a long way. Drop a hock or a shank in a pot of beans or greens and y’all experience a classic Southern potlikker.

Thanks to the masters who transform pork into pates, terrines, speck, sopresatta, saussison, Andouille, Coppa or chorizo. Kudos to those who dig and tend hog pits with smoldering fires and then pull, chop and sauce pork into all-American blissfulness.

And let’s not forget the passionate farmers who raise heritage breeds like Berkshire, Tamworth, Mangalista and Ossabow. Those farmers both honor these animals and remind us that all this good eating starts with good farming.

Pork Chops Recipe

Grilled Pork Chops With Lentils and Swiss Chard, recipe courtesy Liz Tarpy

So next time pork is for dinner, have some fun and discover a new cut, preparation, or way of looking at this remarkable meat.

Need inspiration?

Get the recipes we developed in the kitchens:

Check out The Whole Hog Cookbook by Libbie Summers, and give a few of her best bacon recipes a try this week:

And visit La Quercia for some quality cured meat.

Tags:

Comments (1979)

  1. carti de vizita cluj posted 05/17/2014

    Websites worth visiting…

    [...]here are some links to blogs that we link to because we think they are worth visiting[...]……

  2. CZ P-07 holster posted 05/19/2014

    Dreary Day…

    It was a dreary day here yesterday, so I just took to messing around on the internet and found…

  3. ecigarettes posted 05/21/2014

    Websites we think you should visit…

    [...]although websites we backlink to below are considerably not related to ours, we feel they are actually worth a go through, so have a look[...]……

  4. Ego ecigarettes posted 05/21/2014

    Read was interesting, stay in touch……

    [...]please visit the sites we follow, including this one, as it represents our picks from the web[...]……

  5. coq10 and cholesterol posted 05/21/2014

    Digg this…

    While checking out DIGG today I noticed this…

  6. Electronic cigarettes posted 05/26/2014

    Awesome website…

    [...]the time to read or visit the content or sites we have linked to below the[...]……

  7. sell gold nyc posted 05/26/2014

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  8. iPikavipit.com posted 05/28/2014

    Bored at work…

    I like to look around the web, regularly I will go to Stumble Upon and read and check stuff out…

  9. näin posted 05/31/2014

    Gems form the internet…

    [...]very few websites that happen to be detailed below, from our point of view are undoubtedly well worth checking out[...]……

  10. Click here posted 05/31/2014

    Its hard to find good help…

    I am constantnly proclaiming that its difficult to find quality help, but here is…

  11. ukraine cigarettes posted 06/02/2014

    Visitor recommendations…

    [...]one of our visitors recently recommended the following website[...]……

  12. Tumblr posted 06/02/2014

    Sources…

    [...]check below, are some totally unrelated websites to ours, however, they are most trustworthy sources that we use[...]……

  13. Landscapers posted 06/04/2014

    Blogs ou should be reading…

    [...]Here is a Great artice You could Find useful that we Encourage You to see[...]……

  14. garcinia cambogia gnc posted 06/12/2014

    News info…

    I was reading the news and I saw this really cool topic…

Post a New Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.

c