Thursday, December 11, 2008

The Whole Hog: DEMO

Last Thursday night, SFBU (and others!) spent hours huddled together around a butcher block in the Myles basement kitchen to watch an incredible break-down.


Master-butcher, Adam Tiberio, systematically butchered a 150-pound locally raised, Yorkshire hog from start to finish, and spoke about each cut: what parts are traditionally used, why, how. Words like "cracklings," "lardo," and "trotters" became real terms we could identify, and recognize as food. We learned that the key to using the whole hog (and using meat in this way to constitute a sustainable diet) is to be resourceful in considering which parts to prepare. Most grocery stores, for example, only sell the "easy cuts:" ribs, tenderloin, the pork chop and the pot roast. Adam's demo showed us the underrepresented bits and pieces that are available to the creative cook. They're just as easy to incorporate into soups and main dishes, just as delicious (even better!) and definitely a shame to waste.


Adam's experience with the lost art of butchery comes from several years employed in various grocery meat departments, industrial slaughterhouses, and apprenticeships with local butchers. He's seen the dark side of what goes on in the industrial food chain, and uses his informed approach to do things differently. Adam currently works at an independent butcher-shop in Goffstown, NH.


“It used to be that there were five or six butchers in every neighborhood, and by butcher I mean a guy who knew how to take a whole animal and break it down into usable cuts. These days I’d be surprised if there were five or six guys in the whole city," says Jaime Lionette, co-owner of Lionette's Market in Boston's South End. There's a disconnect between producers, processors, and consumers in our food system, and we've got to take the time to re-teach ourselves how to procure, how to prepare, and how to eat to survive.



As the demo drew to a close, attendees divvied up the meat and cooked it as part of a series of simultaneous potlucks. Pulled pork, pot roast, soup stock, head cheese, pigs feet, sausage, and lardo were all made to great success! Big ups to Robert Flynn and everyone working in the Myles kitchen for letting us use their space. Thank you thank you to James and Adam for making it all the way out to Comm. Ave. with an entire pig in tow, and also to Kenji for posting this awesome review.

1 comment:

Michelle said...

What a fantastic learning experience! Thank you for posting about it.

By the way, there's a new forum that may interest you folks at SFBU: http://www.wildlifegardeners.org/forum/index.php

Cheers!