In January, Chris Shepard, Justin Basye, Ryan Pera and I took a trip to Mosefund Farm, in rural New Jersey, to participate in what they called Pigstock. We didn’t know a whole lot of the details before we arrived, but it proved to be one of the most fascinating and useful classes that I’ve ever taken. For the inquisitive, the details of the New Jersey event can be found here.
On the plane ride home, the wheels immediately began turning as to how we could host the same type of event in Texas. A few months ago, Michael Clampffer, from Mosefund Farm let me know that Chistoph and Isabell Wiesner, would be back in the U.S. from Austria in November of this year. A few emails were exchanged between all parties, and the dates were nailed down.Read the rest of this entry »
I’m resurrecting part of a post from my old blog regarding homemade bacon. Really, not a whole lot in life can beat it. It is simple beyond imagination and one of life’s great pleasures. There’s no need in the world to spend $10-$15 per pound for the good stuff when it is so easy to prepare at home.
It also seems well-timed now that delicious summer tomatoes are in full swing—I’m looking at you, Homemade BLT.Read the rest of this entry »
We are very excited to be able to now offer retail cuts to you, the fine public. We have both Mangalitsa and Gloucester Old Spots pork available. Click on the link below to check out the price list and be sure to contact me for meat reservations. Cheers!
No farming. No pigs. No food politics. Just a few pictures that I took last weekend while in Yoakum. I lived in Yoakum until college. My folks have lived in the area their whole lives. All of us agreed that we had never seen wildflowers like we’ve had this year. They are literally everywhere. In the middle of pastures, on the sides of roads, in vacant lots…absolutely everywhere. In some places, there were so many flowers that when getting out of the car to take pictures, their smells were almost overwhelming. Click on the pictures to make them bigger. Enjoy.
On Wednesday, Stacey and I will be heading to the Bay Area to spend a few days visiting friends and relaxing in beautiful San Francisco and the Northern California Wine Country. The plan will obviously be to check out as many local joints as possible: Dinner at Brett Emerson’s Contigo, breakfast at the Ferry Market (and more specifically Chilequiles from Primavera), some ice cream at the Bi-Rite Creamery and Market, charcuterie from Boccalone and Fatted Calf; the possibilities are endless. One part of the trip to which I’m probably looking most forward is our planned visit to Hudson Ranch in Carneros.
Read the rest of this entry »
Never before have I been to an event like that of Cochon 555, held this past weekend in Stillwater, Oklahoma. The seemingly dull college town of which Oklahoma State University claims as its home, is located an hour’s drive north of Oklahoma City and seemed quite the unlikely destination to hold such an affair—that is until one understands the magnitude of what OSU is attempting to accomplish. As has been noted here and here, Cochon 555 is competition held in ten destinations around the country. It invites five chefs from various regions that focus not only on quality ingredients, but chefs that also source those ingredients locally—pigs in this instance—and pride themselves by utilizing every part. Ideally, the chefs choose farms to work with that supply heritage pork to their respective restaurants. Then, they compete first for the regional prize, Prince of Porc, and eventually the grand prize at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, King of Porc.
And the excitement keeps on coming! Tomorrow evening Ryan Pera and I will be heading north to Stillwater, Oklahoma to join Team Shepherd (Chris Shepherd, that is) for what could be the piggery-cooking-competition of all piggery-cooking-competitions, Cochon 555…well, except for the Grand Cochon finale held this summer at the Food & Wine Classic in Aspen, Colorado, of course. To get to the Grand Cochon event, chefs from all over the country are invited to compete against other fine chefs in their respective regions. The winners of the regional competitions score the rights to go head-to-head with one another, all to eventually claim the title: Prince of Porc.
Revival Meats has been extremely flattered to provide one of our Mangalitsa pigs to Mr. Shepherd for the challenge. The goal is to be creative in one’s approach towards a total utilization of the whole beast. Monday afternoon, Ryan and I helped Chris break down the pig that I had dropped off at Catalan earlier that day. Although I’m not 100% certain what will make it to the final menu, I’m sure some of the highlights will include braised belly with Steen’s Cane Syrup, Chris’s take on Isabell Wiesner’s delectable blood sausage, pig’s-face terrine (it’s exactly what it sounds like—pig’s face: deboned, rolled into a terrine, cooked, chilled, and sliced, mommy), pound cake made with Mangalitsa lard, and maybe even a party favor: li’l Mangalitsa lard soaps with which you can wash your grimy hands. One thing is for certain, win or no win, we’ll without doubt have a fantastic time, and can hopefully bring one home for Houston!
I was briefly scanning my Google Reader this morning when I noticed that Heath Putnam posted a fantastic link to Christoph Wiesner’s new (and FREE) Seam Butchery Tutorial. It is ridiculously detailed with great pictures to help guide the curious through all of the steps.
A big thank you to the Wiesner’s for providing us with this.
Download the manual here
To say we are excited today would be a complete understatement. We are absolutely thrilled to announce that our first Mangalitsa pigs will be delivered tomorrow afternoon to what, in my little opinion are some of the finest restaurants in Houston–Catalan, The Grove, Feast, and Stella Sola. Without having officially confirmed their intentions for the pigs, my assumption is that most, if not all of them will be used for various charcuterie-driven purposes. Although Mangalitsa is absolutely delicious when eaten fresh, curing takes it to an entirely different level.