High on the Hog at the Pork Summit

High on the Hog at the Pork Summit

Chefs from across the U.S. gathered recently at the Culinary Institute of America’s Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA, for a wine pairing workshop, pork butchery demos and team cooking challenges. Here are four recipes from the event.

BellyChon

Photo: National Pork Board

From: Chef Leah Cohen (Pig and Khao, New York City)

Yield: 1 Pork Belly
1 pork belly, skin-on
¼ cup baking soda or more as needed
¼ cup water or more as needed
as needed, coconut vinegar
480 g. lemongrass
180 g. salt
660 g. shallots, peeled and diced
660 g. garlic, peeled and diced
48 g. black pepper, ground 
300 g. cilantro root, minced*

Dipping Sauce
1,320 g. coconut vinegar
125 g. shallots 
50 g. garlic
10 g. Thai red chili pepper stem removed
7 g. black peppercorns
45 g. salt
115 g. sugar

as needed, crispy garlic
as needed, cilantro leaves
*Note: If you cannot find cilantro root, cilantro stems can be substituted.

Using a jacquarding tool or a sharp carving fork, pierce the skin of the pork belly over the entire surface. Make a slurry out of baking soda and water and rub all over the skin side of the belly. Wrap the belly and place in a fridge overnight. The following day, remove the belly and thoroughly rinse off the baking soda paste. Pat dry and pour coconut vinegar over the belly; if it bubbles, rinse belly again to remove excess baking soda. Place the belly on a rack-lined sheet tray and refrigerate for one hour to dry.

Using a mortar and pestle, pound lemongrass and salt until the lemongrass is well broken down. Add the ingredients one by one and continue to pound until it forms a paste.

Flip the belly over so it’s skin-side down and rub with the paste. Roll the pork belly tightly, skin-side out, and truss. Place belly on a rack and into a CVap, set to 170°F, browning 4, and cook for about 5 hours or until tender. Remove pork from the pan and let cool completely.

Alternate cooking method: If you prefer to sous vide the belly, federal guidelines suggest an addition of 200 ppm for “immersion” cured meats. Add the appropriate amount of TCM or Prague Powder #1 to the BellyChon paste before vacuum sealing the trussed belly. Cook sous vide at 190°F for 8 hours, remove the belly from the circulator and place into an ice bath until completely cooled.

Dipping Sauce: 
Blend all ingredients in a blender until fully incorporated.

Heat a deep fryer to 350°F. Deep-fry the entire cooled-and-dried belly for 20 minutes until the skin is puffed and crisp. Let rest for 15 minutes and cut off the strings.

To assemble: Slice the fried belly into 1-inch slices and serve with Filipino-style garlic fried rice and dipping sauce. Garnish with crispy garlic and cilantro leaves.

New England Pork Pie

(Continued from page 1)

Photo: National Pork Board

From: Chef Matt Jennings (Townsman, Boston)

Maple Blood Cake:
4 cups pig’s blood
2½ tsp. salt
1½ cups steel-cut oatmeal
2 cups pork fat, finely diced 
1 onion, large, yellow, finely chopped 
1 cup milk
1½ tsp. pepper, freshly ground 
1 tsp. allspice, ground
¼ cup maple syrup

Lard Pie Crust: 
3 oz. butter, chilled
1 oz. pork leaf lard, rendered, chilled 
6 oz. flour
½ tsp. salt 
¼ c. ice water (in a spray bottle)
as needed, egg wash

Pie Filling:
1/3 cup butter
2½ cups Pork shoulder, ground 
1 shallot, finely shaved
2 garlic cloves, finely shaved
½ cup morel mushrooms, washed, halved
½ cup carrots, oblique cut, blanched
½ cup spring or pearl onions, halved, blanched
½ cup Yukon gold potato, medium dice, skin on, blanched
1/3 cup white wine 
½ cup flour
½ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. white pepper, ground
1¾ cup pork stock, hot 
½ cup heavy cream
2/3 cup Maple Blood Cake (recipe follows)

Salad:
as needed: young greens, celery leaves, pea shoots, herbs, olive oil, lemon juice 

Maple Blood Cake: 
Preheat oven to 325°F. Grease two glass or ceramic loaf pans and line with plastic wrap (if using metal pans, line with additional parchment to prevent any reactive flavors). Bring 2½ cups of water to a simmer in a small saucepot. 

Dry-toast the oats for a few minutes over medium heat until they start to smell nutty. Add the hot water and simmer, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes until just tender, not mushy. Remove the cooked oats and cool completely. Using a stand mixer, whisk the blood and 1 tsp. salt until fully incorporated. Pour the blood through a fine sieve into a large bowl to remove any lumps. Add in the fat, onion, milk, pepper, allspice, maple syrup and remaining 1½ tsp. salt and stir to combine. Add the oatmeal and mix to combine. Divide the mixture between the two loaf pans, seal the plastic wrap and cover with foil. Bake for 1 hour in a water bath until firm and the Blood Cakes have reached an internal temperature of 155°F.
Remove from the oven and place a piece of foil-covered cardboard cut to fit the internal length and width of the loaf pan to press against the surface of the Blood Cake. Place a few cans on top to weigh and press the Blood Cakes. Refrigerate and cool completely.

Lard Pie Crust: 
Place the butter and lard in a freezer for 15 minutes. When ready to use, cut both ingredients into small pieces. In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour and salt by pulsing 3-4 times. Add butter and pulse 5-6 times until the texture looks mealy. Add the lard and pulse another 3-4 times. Remove the lid of the food processor and spritz the surface of the mixture thoroughly with water. Replace lid and pulse 5 more times. Add more water and pulse again until the mixture holds together when squeezed. Place the mixture into a large zip-top bag, squeeze together until it forms a ball, then press into a rounded disk. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes.

Pie Filling: 
In a 2-quart saucepan, melt the butter over medium heat. Add the ground pork and sauté until fully cooked. Remove the pork with a slotted spoon and reserve. Add the shallot and garlic and cook for 2 minutes, stirring frequently. Add the morel mushrooms, carrots, and potatoes and sauté for a few minutes. When the vegetables are warmed through, deglaze with white wine and reduce slightly. Stir in the flour, salt and pepper until well blended. Allow the flour to cook for several minutes, as you would for a roux. Gradually add in the hot stock and cream, stirring to prevent lumps. Add back the cooked ground pork and simmer until bubbly and thickened. Taste, re-season as necessary and remove from heat. When the filling has cooled, carefully fold in the Blood Cake, making sure not to break it apart too much. 

To assemble: Preheat the oven to 375°F. Roll out the Lard Pie Crust and punch out 6½-inch circles. You can either cut slits into the crusts or punch out a decorative shape to release stream during baking. Brush one side of the crust with egg wash. Spoon the Pie Filling mixture into individual 6” x 2” ramekins and top with a circle of crust, egg wash-side down. Press the egg wash against the ramekin to form a seal. Brush egg wash on the tops of the pie crusts and bake the ramekins for 15-25 minutes until completely cooked and nicely golden brown.

To serve: Let the pies rest for 5 minutes before serving. Top with a salad of young greens, celery leaves, pea shoots and herbs, lightly dressed in olive oil and lemon juice.

Pasta al Sangue Tagliatelle, Tete de Cochon Sugo, Spring Garlic, Ricotta and Crispy Ears

(Continued from page 2)

Photo: National Pork Board
From: Chef Mary Dumont (Cultivar, Boston)

Tete de Cochon Sugo:
1 pig’s head, split
As needed, equilibrium brine with aromatics
as needed, lemon peel, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves, black peppercorn
as needed, olive oil
1½ lb. onions, sweet, small dice 
1½ lb. carrots, small dice 
1½ lb. celery, small dice 
6 garlic cloves, minced
Red wine, dry, 1 bottle
2 #10 cans San Marzano tomatoes
1 lb. butter
as needed, salt
as needed, lemon juice
1 bunch chervil, chopped

Sangue Tagliatelle:
9 cups “00” semolina flour
3 cups pig’s blood 
as needed, salt

Garnish:
2 lb. crispy pig’s ears
as needed, smoked ricotta 
as needed, lemon zest, fresh herbs, salt
as needed spring garlic, sautéed 

Tete de Cochon:
Make enough equilibrium brine to fully submerge the two halves of the pig’s head. Include lemon peel, onion, garlic, thyme, parsley, bay leaves and black peppercorn to flavor the brine. Brine the head overnight.

Preheat the oven to 325°F. Place a medium rondeau over medium heat and add olive oil to coat the bottom of the pan. Add the onions, celery, and carrot to the pan and sweat the vegetables until they start to become tender. Add the garlic and cook for another few minutes until the garlic is fragrant. Add the red wine to the pot and bring to a boil to burn off the alcohol and reduce slightly. Add the tomatoes and stir to combine. Season with salt and bring the sauce to a simmer.

Place each side of the split head into a hotel pan and cover with the sauce. Place a piece of cut parchment onto each hotel pan, pressing onto the surface of the sauce and pig’s head. Cover the hotel pans with foil to tightly seal. Place the hotel pans in the oven and braise for 3½ hours until the heads are completely fork-tender. When the heads are cool enough to handle, pick the meat and return it to the sauce, discarding the bones. Transfer the sauce to a large saucepot and hold warm.

Sangue Tagliatelle:
In a mixer outfitted with a dough hook, combine the blood and “00” semolina flour and a few pinches of salt. Mix on low speed to start until the dough begins to form, gradually increase the speed until the dough forms a ball. Cover tightly in plastic wrap and rest for at least 30 minutes. Divide the pasta into workable amounts and dust the dough and your working surface with flour to prevent sticking. Run the dough through the largest setting on a pasta machine and decrease the settings as you go, rolling the pasta thinner with each pass until you have a length of dough about 18 inches long. Book the pasta by folding it in on itself.

Rotate the dough 90° and repeat this step two more times to build lamination. Roll the pasta out to the desired thickness and length and hand-cut the pasta into ribbons. Hold the cut pasta on a parchment-lined sheet tray, dusted with flour. Keep the pasta covered to keep it from drying out.

To assemble the dish: Return the sauce to a simmer and fold in the butter, stirring to incorporate and emulsify. Taste and re-season if needed. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta in batches. Add the pasta directly to the pot of sauce, using a bit of pasta water as needed to thin and balance the sauce. Season the pasta with lemon juice and fold in chopped chervil to finish

To garnish: Plate the pasta using a large fork or tongs to swirl a tall nest. Garnish with a few spoonfuls of smoked ricotta and top with crispy pig’s ears.

Note: Crispy pig’s ears can be made by cooking the ears with a circulator set to 190°F for eight hours. Remove the ears, cool fully, pat dry, cut into strips and deep fry. 

Pâté grand-mère

(Continued from page 3)

Photo: National Pork Board
From: Chef Kris Morningstar (Terrine, Los Angeles)

Yield: Two 1-quart terrines

1 lb. bacon, thinly sliced
2½ lb. pork shoulder, cleaned, cut into 2” dice for grinding
½ lb. pork snout, braised until tender, diced for grinding
½ lb. pork backfat, slab, diced for grinding 
2 lb. pork liver, diced for grinding 
90 g. salt
6 g. tinted curing mix (Prague Powder #1)
2 Tbsp. butter
180 g. shallots, brunoise
15 g. garlic, minced
135 g. brandy
12 sprigs thyme
2 bay leaves
180 g, cream
350 g. milk
1 pan de mie loaf, crust removed, 1” dice
4 eggs, beaten
½ cup pistachios

Lay out a piece of plastic wrap that will completely cover the inside of the terrine mold, with an excess of 1 inch on all sides. Shingle thinly sliced bacon onto the plastic wrap perpendicular to the length of the terrine. Place the bacon and plastic wrap in the cooler until ready to assemble terrines.
Grind the pork shoulder, snout and backfat using a ¼-inch die. Add the liver to the ground mixture and grind again using a ⅛-inch die. Add salt and tinted curing salt and mix with a rubber spatula. Reserve cold.

Preheat oven to 325°F. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and sweat the shallot and garlic until softened and fragrant. Add thyme sprigs and bay leaves and deglaze the pan with brandy. Add cream, milk and bring to a simmer. Add the diced bread, remove from heat and steep until the mixture cools to room temperature. Remove thyme sprigs and bay leaves. Add the beaten eggs and blend the bread and cream mixture in a food processor until smooth to form a panade. Mix the panade together with the pork mixture and fold in pistachios. 

Press the shingled bacon and plastic wrap into the bottom of the terrine mold so the bacon is exposed and lines the bottom and sides of the terrine, with about an inch of exposed bacon hanging over the edge of the terrine on both sides. Pour the pork and panade mixture into the terrine and bang against a hard surface to dislodge any trapped air bubbles. Fold the exposed bacon over top (trimming if you have too much overlap) and fold over the plastic wrap to tightly enclose the terrine. Place a lid on the terrine mold and cook in a water bath for 30-40 minutes or until the internal temperature reaches 155°F

Remove the terrine from the oven and remove the lid. Use a piece of foil-covered cardboard cut to fit the internal length and width of the terrine to press against the surface of the cooked terrine. Place a few cans on top to weigh and press the terrine. Refrigerate and cool completely before serving.

To serve: Remove the plastic wrap and cut slices showing the cross section of the pate. Serve with a lightly dressed frisée salad, pickled mustard seeds and grilled
bread.

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