Help me cook teh pigmeetz.
February 26, 2009 11:24 AM   Subscribe

PorkFilter: give me your recipes for our tasty piggy friends.

I'm working with some of my fellow students on a dinner party, in which we are going to try and use a pig from snout to tail. So far we've already got deep-fried ears as a crunchy pre-meal snack, and a few other recipes.

So I'm looking for two things:

1) I'm doing the cold app, which will involve a hunk o pigmeat cooked sous vide, then sliced carpaccio thin, and wrapped around a takeoff of Ferran Adria's liquid olives. The dish will be four (bite-sized) pieces, and I want to make the four kinds of 'caviar' to be four classic flavour profiles that go with pork, before we launch into the rest of the meal which will be (hopefully) a bit more inventive. I've already figured one needs to be a classic barbecue (the vinegary sort, not the thick molasses/tomato), one will be oregano/lemon/garlic (think pork souvlaki), and one apple/mustard. I'm a bit stuck on the fourth, and I'm well open to changing any of the others. So I'd love to hear your classic pork recipes from around the world, to look at the flavour profiles.

2) We're also looking for recipes that use uncommon cuts or parts of the animal. There will probably be some variation on collard greens (though not collard; whatever bitter greens are fresh at the time) using a ham hock, but we're looking at how to use some other bits. We're largely staying away from most offal, though we might do something with tongue.

Note: we will be staying away from bacon for the most part, because bacon in a meal is kind of a gimme. We're open to using lardo if we can find someone making it locally from organic free range pigs.

posted by dirtynumbangelboy to Food & Drink (29 answers total) 16 users marked this as a favorite
DNAB, wouldn't another "classic" flavour profile for pork be those of chinese cooking - Ginger/soy sauce?
posted by LN at 11:27 AM on February 26, 2009

for #1 - my favorite pork sauce involves equal part sirracha sauce and gauva paste, blended.
posted by lalalana at 11:29 AM on February 26, 2009

Another thought - Andouille sausage is made from pork butt, and lord knows there are recipes from NOLA using Andouille sausage.

Shoyu pork uses pork belly.

Try this page for some inspiration.
posted by LN at 11:34 AM on February 26, 2009

Germans are very fond of pork knuckle - roasted, I think? I've never eaten it myself.
posted by backseatpilot at 11:40 AM on February 26, 2009

Whole pig? What you want to do, good sir, is make a pritchon (pritong lechon) which is deep fried whole pig. Traditionally, with a liver sauce, but to tell you the truth liver sauce isn't that good.

If you don't have the guts to build a backyard pig frying contraption, just make a standard lechon. Ideally one of your friends is a tiny old lady who will sit next to the spit and turn it, and glare at anyone who gets too close to the pig.
posted by majick at 11:42 AM on February 26, 2009

Here are some instructions for the hog roaster. I would never pass up an opportunity to roast a whole pig.
posted by originalname37 at 11:48 AM on February 26, 2009

Response by poster: Roasting a whole pig is a fun idea, but we're looking at about 10 or 11 courses incl. apps and dessert.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2009

Pickled pigs feet - although I don't have a recipe.

My favorite pork dish though, is Porketta (and is so easy!)


* 1 tablespoon kosher salt
* 1 tablespoon fennel seed
* 1 tablespoon anise seed
* 1 bay leaf, finely crumbled
* 1 tablespoon coarsely ground black pepper
* 1 tablespoon paprika
* 3/4 tablespoon onion powder
* 1/4-1/2 tablespoon crushed hot pepper flakes
* 2 1/2-3 lbs pork roast
* 2 tablespoons olive oil
* 6-8 cloves garlic, chopped


Combine first 4 ingredients and coaresly crush with a mortar and pestle, combine with remaining seasoning ingredients.

Rub pork roast all over with olive oil, place in a large plastic storage bag.

Combine seasoning mix with garlic.

Sprinkle over roast, rub into roast with fingers.

Let the roast stand at room temp 1 hour or up to 12 hours in the refrigerator.

Heat oven to 450F degrees.

Place pork, fat-side up in a roasting pan.

Top with any loose seasonings in the plastic bag.

Roast uncovered for 10 minutes.

Reduce temp to 300F and continue roasting until internal temp reaches 155F about 1 to 1-1/2 hours.

When done, remove from oven and tent loosely with foil.

Let stand 15 minutes before carving.
posted by Sassyfras at 11:51 AM on February 26, 2009

Chinese Red Cooking is an utterly delicious way of cooking gelatin-rich parts of the pig. The primary flavor is sweet, with a hint of anise and an enormous umami punch.
posted by TungstenChef at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2009

If available, a classic to include amongst your caviars would be a small dice of unpeeled quince, with an equal weight of diced onion, the quince fried in a small quantity of ghee/sunflower oil until the flesh turns deep pink, the onion raw or fried as you prefer. A sprinkling of salt and pepper, a bit of finely-chopped chives, and a little squeeze of lemon juice.
posted by pernishus at 11:55 AM on February 26, 2009 [1 favorite]

You can get some pretty good lard down at St Lawrence market, though I've not bought it personally. I'm sure you can figure it out. Dunno if it will be organic, but it will be a sight better than a block off the shelf at Loblaws. I think Queen of Tarts may have carried it too at some point. Anyway, I'm sure you can imagine that high-end lard would go over like white on rice in Toronto.
posted by GuyZero at 11:58 AM on February 26, 2009

Pig tongue, pig feet, pig intestines... mmm. I believe pig tongue can be marinated in soy sauce and then just cooked. Not sure how those Chinese barbeque folks do it. Pig feet is a great one too. I'll have to ask my mom how to make those, but off the top of my head, they were probably stewed in some kind of sauce/soup. Now, pig intestines... you mentioned staying away from offal stuff, but if you clean intestines throughly, you can do wonders with them. Use them in thin noodle soup, or fry them up and serve with green onions.

I don't know how to prepare pig snout, but I would suspect doing the same as with pig tongue.

Oooo ooo! Pork skins. Take chunks of meat with skin and fat on, fry them up, and enjoy. Not sure how they're prepared, but I've seen them at Asian stores, and damn they're delicious.
posted by curagea at 11:59 AM on February 26, 2009

Oh yeah, TungstenChef mentioned Red Cooking. Try out Cha Shao Bao, basically pork buns. There's two kinds that I'm aware of; here's my favorite kind. This kind is commonly served as dim-sum.
posted by curagea at 12:03 PM on February 26, 2009

Oooo ooo! Pork skins. Take chunks of meat with skin and fat on, fry them up, and enjoy. Not sure how they're prepared, but I've seen them at Asian stores, and damn they're delicious.

Ah, pork rinds. I made them once with skin left over from sausage making (the guys at the Chinese grocery give me free pork fat and skins when I ask nicely). You cut them into squares, sprinkle them with kosher salt, and then bake them for an hour at 250F. Then you deep fry them until they puff up. They're quite good, but I concluded that I was better off buying them from the store. Mine weren't any better, and deep frying is a pain in the ass.

Oddly enough, when they're baking they smell just like muffins.
posted by TungstenChef at 12:07 PM on February 26, 2009

If you decide to do the tongue, you might consider serving it braised and sliced with Pecan Satsivi sauce -- either cold or hot -- both are good. here's the recipe for the sauce:

2 large onions, finely diced
2-3 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground fenugreek; alternatively, you can use a tablespoon of your favourite curry mixture for the coriander and fenugreek
2 cups toasted pecans, finely chopped
1 teaspoon instantized flour
2 cups braising liquid from the tongue (make it up with chicken stock if you don't have that much)
apple cider vinegar to taste (I like two or three tablespoons, but up to you)
salt, pepper to taste
1/2 cup freshly chopped cilantro
1/2 cup freshly chopped parsley
some toasted pecan halves and pomegranate seeds to strew over the top, along with a bit of the cilantro and parsley

Fry the onion and garlic sprinkled with the spices in the ghee until lightly browned. Stir in the chopped nuts that have been mixed with the flour, and stir for a minute or two. Gradually add the liquid ingredients, then cook down to the consistency of medium sour cream. Fold in the chopped cilantro and parsley, cook a little more until just wilted. Interleave the tongue slices with the sauce; dribble some sauce over the top; garnish with the toasted pecan halves, pomegranate seeds, and greenery.
posted by pernishus at 12:19 PM on February 26, 2009

Both Portuguese and Chinese cuisines include dishes with the surprisingly delicious combo of pork and clams.
posted by Jode at 12:25 PM on February 26, 2009

2nd ing the mock porchetta! there is a great recipe in Zuni Cafe Cookbook. pork shoulder butt is very inexpensive and the roast is SOOOOO delicious! (mr supermedusa just made this dish last night)
posted by supermedusa at 12:28 PM on February 26, 2009 is a good place to look for what to do with the "other parts".
posted by Citrus at 12:58 PM on February 26, 2009

Like backseatpilot mentions, Germans love pork, and my two favorite dishes are Schweinsaxe (Bavarian ham hocks) and SauKopf (pig head(no brains though)), which is not for the too faint of heart, but unfortunately can't put my fingers quickly on a recipe.
posted by walleeguy at 1:50 PM on February 26, 2009

Yes yes yes red cooked pork belly. Oh dear god yes.

As for "classic flavor profiles that go with pork," why not breakfast sausage? Sage, black pepper, maybe some thyme or nutmeg, and brown sugar or maple syrup.

Also, sauerkraut and onion seems more "classic" to me than pork souvlaki, but maybe that's a regional thing?
posted by nebulawindphone at 2:10 PM on February 26, 2009

The best way to cook pork sausage is with Swiss Chard. Fry the links while chopping garlic, onion and carrot. Add stems of the chard after the onions are soft and then a chopped tomato. Add home-made chicken broth if it's handy. Simmer for 15 minutes. Drain the sausages and add them to the vegetables. Rinse and chop the chard leaves and throw them in to steam 5 minutes before serving. Mmmmmm.......
posted by bonobothegreat at 2:15 PM on February 26, 2009

I recommend picking up a copy of Jane Grigson's "Charcuterie & French Pork Cookery". Not only are there recipes from head to tail, but there are also a wealth of interesting sauces, dressings, relishes and so forth. It's a very interesting read and will hopefully give you all sorts of delicious ideas.

Also, consider roasting a portion of loin in hard cider until spoon tender. Prior to roasting, detach the fat, rub with spices and salt and cook at high heat separately until crackling. Reduce the cider jus, thicken with beurre manee if required and plate up small pieces of loin with crackling on top and plenty of jus. Perhaps serve with a couple of spoonfuls of aligot and a relish. And a shot of Calvados to help digestion. It's a good dish to prepare ahead and requires minimal finishing.
posted by ninazer0 at 3:05 PM on February 26, 2009

Dirtynumbangelboy, I understand you're going to stay away from the banal bacon but....

What about dessert?

one of the best desserts I've made is : Bacon Ice Cream

1. you can google Bacon Ice Cream and go to david lebovitz's site, his is pretty good.

2. Or make mine... Rum Raisin Bacon Cinnamon Ice Cream
Borrow an electric icecream maker. Grab a vanilla ice cream recipe like,

Replace the vanilla and 1/3 c of the milk with rum. Use the rum to Marinate 1/3 c of raisins, 1/4 c cooked bacon sliced in 1/6" (very slim) cross-sectional slices, 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon, dash nutmeg. Blend with the other recipe ingredients. Put into your Ice Cream Maker, continue as per the recipe. YUM!
posted by Twist at 3:23 PM on February 26, 2009

Make some hog head cheese. Here's one recipe, but I remember helping my dad make this when I was a kid. The recipe I linked to says use a food processor, but honestly my dad and I just went through it by hand and broke apart the pile of meat'n'stuff thoroughly to make sure there aren't any bones or teeth. Also it makes for a chunkier, "meatier" hog head cheese. You can slice it up and eat it on crackers, or slap it in between two slices of bread and douse liberally with Tabasco sauce and you got yourself hog head cheese sandwich. If you don't want to go through the trouble of boiling a whole head, you can just eat the pig ears, which is also pretty nice. Here's a link for more southern porky stuff. It links directly to a fried version of hog maws (I've only had boiled), but I think maw would count as offal, so just scroll on down for other Southern porky yumness, like an ear and tail recipe and another head cheese recipe [souse]. All best enjoyed with lots of Tabasco sauce.

My dad also made pig's feet, but I need to defer to my Korean side on cooking trotters. Jokbal is fragrant, delicious, and isn't greasy like the boiled pig's feet my dad used to make. Serve it with leafy lettuce and perilla leaves along with condiments like saeujot (fermented shrimp sauce) or ssamjang (souped up Korean miso type thing, don't use miso though, there is a flavor difference. You actually want doenjang, or just buy premade ssamjang.) to make a ssam, and it's lovely. You can eat samgyupsal (simply slices of pork belly) in a ssam as well, though I prefer the simple condiment of salt, pepper and sesame oil as a ssam sauce over ssamjang for samgyupsal. Another Korean pork belly recipe to think about is doenjang sooyook, where slabs of pork belly are cooked in a really well-spiced doenjang broth. The pork belly is then sliced and served as a ssam with gutjuri (the stuff used to make kimchi, but not exactly kimchi) type veggies or actually kimchi. It's a different version of bossam, since bossam is pork steamed without any real seasoning because the seasoning comes from the condiments.

Too bad on the no offal =/. You're missing out on the spicy deliciousness of gobchang (But if you're interested, memail me and I'll get you a translated recipe).
posted by kkokkodalk at 3:39 PM on February 26, 2009

Once had sauted pork tenderloin medallions finished in a shallot, vermouth (use Noilly Prat), cream reduction with prunes that had been marinated in Armagnac. Maybe you could riff off of that.
posted by Muirwylde at 5:18 PM on February 26, 2009

For the pork tongue, perhaps a less fancy meal (it seems you're going for that) suggestion: Yakitori. A lot of yakitori places do pork tongue, too. Slice the tongue into medalions thin, perhaps quarter inch thick medalions. Slice them from the top of the tongue to the bottom, so you end up with just about inch wide circles of tongue. Thread onto bamboo skewers, and cook. Personally, I don't like the sauce used in yakitori, so I usually have them cooked with salt liberally sprinkled on the skewers.

They can be served on small dishes, two skewers to a person, a little Japanese mustard (karashi) dabbed on the plate, and next to that, a little bit of shichimin (the Japanese 7 spice chili mix).

Absolutely delicious.

You can also make ribs, of course. I tend to use garlic, basil, oregano, balsamic vinegar, sweet paprika, rosemary, salt, pepper, and honey. Lots of honey. You might supply everyone with wet naps for that. I mean, you can eat them with a knife and fork, but what's the fun?
posted by Ghidorah at 5:33 PM on February 26, 2009

Oh, I forgot (somehow). With the yakitori thing, you could also take strips of pork belly, roughly as thick as the tongue. Serve one skewer of tongue, one of pork belly (you can fit about three pieces on a single skewer), with those spices. It makes a nice appetizer. And flame grilled pork belly is something I'll ask to be included in my last meal. Of course, it might be the reason I'd be having the last meal...
posted by Ghidorah at 5:54 PM on February 26, 2009

heh, yeah Headcheese. Sounds gross, but it isn't anymore disgusting than any other sausage, really.
posted by ArgentCorvid at 8:27 PM on February 26, 2009

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