Dude and I cooked a meal. I bought a pork shoulder and whole belly from Riverview Farms. Above, in perhaps my manliest photo ever (note – blow torch, chef’s knife, hack saw, and beer bottle), I butchered the shoulder. He/she will never dance again. Dude’s kids were appalled.
Taking a note from Ideas in Food, which I tend to do, I tried their seamless ravioli. Neat. It has potential, but I think they would be better fried instead of boiled. I buried egg yolks and whipped ricotta in semolina flour for three days, removed, boiled, served with warm mushroom salad with duck fat and verjus dressing, the latter purchased at Star Provisions.
Handmade ravioli with pumpkin, mascarpone, duck confit. Sauced with cherry gastrique sage brown butter.
Hank’s duck ragu with handmade pappardelle, mascarpone quenelles. Make this ragu and freeze some. Fantastic.
Belly wrapped around shoulder porchetta. I loosely followed a few recipes. I brined the shoulder and lightly cured the belly overnight. Roasted slow for hours, then blasted in a convection oven. The belly never got tender enough though, and was too thick and chewy. But the fat sauna around the perfectly cooked shoulder worked to great effect. Need to work on the method here, but I think it depends on the cuts and the size of the cuts used.
Not photographed – Rancho Gordo borlotti beans, cooked with a few Caw Caw pig’s feet. If you have not cooked a high quality heirloom bean, I recommend you order some or buy some at Star Provisions or wherever. It’s an entirely different legume. The gravy/potlikker alone is worth the effort.
Wine. The Arnoux was very good but got straight served by the 68 Monfortino. Sucks when one of my nicest bottles ($200) gets shown the door.
And my friend Michael brought his Volnay. I mean his Volnay. His name is on the bottle. That’s straight Burgundy pimp.
This meal was a lot of work, but worth it. Cooking is great. Learning and cooking better. Drinking great wine brings it home.