When we closed the year a few years ago, I projected that food trucks would be the next big trend in food. That happened, although I didn’t care for the outcome. Whether or not that trend continues in 2012, I have a feeling that another trend is about to really catch on and I’m far more excited about it than eating really good food on the curb of a dirty street off of paper plates and plastic utensils.
Enter the world of nose to tail eating. This year on the show, we’ll be eating every part of the pig but the oink.
I feel so strongly about this trend catching on this year that I’m coming right out of the gate cooking pig ears and sharing a terrific recipe for cold pig ear salad. It’s pure gelatinous goodness that only pig ears can provide. The recipe for both the court bouillon (a staple broth for cooking the “nasty bits”) and the actual salad can be found below, complete with pictures. It comes courtesy of Jennifer McLagan and her book “Odd Bits: How to cook the rest of the animal.” If you’re interested in nose-to-tail eating and really like food porn, you can buy her book from amazon.com below.
In this episode:
• All of you in the Facebook Group make me so proud. You get it. You truly get it.
• Why the nose to tail movement makes sense
• Kim Jon Il was a foodie. Who knew?
• More Brown Than Black IPA from The Alchemist / Ninkasi / Stone Brewing
• Applebee’s parody: “Cheese on Queso on Fromage Menu”
• Chipotle CEO wants your kids to get to work so he doesn’t have to hire illegals
• In The Kitchen: Cold Pig Ear Salad
• McDonald’s in Germany pisses of Burger King
• Food Illness Mystery Solved: The FDA has been hiring state inspection agencies all this time.
Court Bouillon recipe
In a large stockpot, add the following:
5 cups water
1 carrot, peeled and sliced
1 shallot, sliced
1 stalk celery, sliced
2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
2 star anise
1 cinnamon stick
1 large sprig thyme
1 fresh bay leaf
10 black peppercorns
sea salt to taste
Bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook over medium-low heat for 20 minutes. Allow to cool, then strain. Reserve the bouillon for future use.
Cold Pig Ear Salad
Start with a couple of fresh pig ears. If you’re not into gagging or puking while you cook, have your butcher clean out the ear wax and shave them for you. Just tell him to hold the Barbasol.
Heat the bouillon to a low boil, then add a couple of pig ears.
Cover and poach the pig ears for 1 1/2 to 2 hours until the pig ears are starting to come apart. You’ll know when they’re ready. If you reach in with a pair of tongs to pick up the ears and they almost fall apart, those boys are ready to leave the sauna.
Remove the pig ears and transfer them to a board. Make a small cut at the base of the ear, the place them on a plate lined with parchment paper. Cover with another piece of parchment paper, and another plate. Place the plates in the refrigerator, then put something heavy on top of them (like a can of tomatoes or a 6-pack of beer). Leave to cool overnight.
The next day, pull the chilled ears out of the fridge and slice them into strips about 1/2 inch wide. Put into a bowl, then add:
1/4 cup peeled and finely diced carrot
1/4 cup finely diced celery, saving as many celery leaves as you can
2 tablespoons finely diced shallot
1 tablespoon capers, rinsed
Now make a mustard vinaigrette:
1 tablespoon red wine vinegar
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
whisk in 1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
salt + pepper to taste
Add the vinaigrette to the salad, dish the salad to the plates, and garnish with the celery leaves. Enjoy this crunchy, gelatinous salad.