Project porcine was activated this weekend. On Thursday, the call came that my special-ordered cut of pork was "ready." And by ready, I think the Miller Farm rep meant "slaughtered"; further suggested by the assurance that they picked out a "pretty" one and that it (the pig) had been "eatin' grass just last Wednesday!" Mmmm....Fresh!
The piece of piggy in question was a 14.5 pound slab of pork side meat - pork belly. Complete with skin and other details that make it fairly obvious that this was a girl piggy, it was a daunting slab of meat.
Knowing that such a hunk of animal requires sharing, I began bugging my friend Garth about my special order a couple of weeks ago. I knew that Garth, having both formal culinary training, as well as child-care needs, would want to plan accordingly for such a celebration of porcine delights.
I knew that Garth had captured the spirit of the event when he questioned the proposed menu in an e-mail discussion: "...you're forgetting the rillette...what the hell is wrong with you!" Indeed.
We had an eclectic, yet adventurous group of eight attend the actual dinner which consisted of a loosely-connected group of Bozemanites, who had all pretty much run into each other at one event or another. All were fully on board the pork train - as well as displaying varying levels of oenophilic tendencies.
This event, clearly about the Pig, had a supporting wine theme of "barnyard" or as the French say: animale! Several Rhones were on tap, as well a couple of Languedocs and even a stray Italian. Expect a complete wine update in a forthcoming post...
Enough background, here was the menu:
Cola-braised pork belly mini-tostadas with red-chili crema fresca and diced cabbage
Rillette (mentioned above - thanks to Garth)
Home made sausage (also by Garth, and deliciously garlicky)
Roast pork belly with a sweet-onion puree
Mesclun salad (you know, veg-i-ta-bles?), oh, but with a poached egg on top, of course...
For dessert: goat cheese with walnuts and honey served with whole-wheat biscuits; as well as a few stray brownies and a orange-chocolate sauce.
All of this pork does come at a cost - which confirms a bit of discussion from last night:
Pork hangovers ARE possible.