Yes, that is a whole pig! Tuesday night we joined chefs Scott Pampuch of Corner Table & Mike Phillips of Green Ox Meats for a Whole Hog Dinner at The Local in Minneapolis. These are two men who know their away around a pig (heck, they actually butchered one in a local Williams Sonoma a few weekend ago) so, we knew we were in for something good.
It was a cold, blustery night so we were happy to be ushered into a cozy private room & served a Rush River Unforgiven Amber Ale while pondering over the menu.
The first course was one we used to go to Mike's former restaurant, Craftsman, specifically to have, a lovely charcuterie platter. It was all wonderful but we especially enjoyed the terrine, wild mushroom salami & rillettes (must make terrine & rillettes at home).
The second course was a Charcroute Garni. Once again everything was great but the pork pie made with all head meat covered in a lard crust was sublime. There is talk of adding it to the menu at The Local & its sister restaurants & we vote a very loud yes.
Next, we were presented with the entrée (even though we were stuffed already), a whole pig panchetta. The pig had been cooked for 7 hours in a large pizza oven. It was certainly tasty but we loved the fist two course so much it had a hard time living up to them.
Finally, dessert, even if had porky goodness in it. A parsnip cake was topped with a crispy bacon toffee & served with a walnut beet ice cream. Even the cream creme anglaise had been infused with pork flavor buy have ham bones seeped in it.
To top it off each course was paired with a Rush River beer from Wisconsin. The beers work beautifully with the pork. I'm a big fan of their Lost Arrow Porter & it was perfect with the charcuterie. Their Winter Warmer, which is just in stores now, was really interesting with flavors of orange, cardamon & other spices. I asked if I was tasting it right & was surprised to hear that even though it has those flavors no spices or flavorings have been added to it at all. With dessert we were treat to the Nevermore Chocolate Oatmeal Stout which had just been bottled for the first time that morning. It is an amazing beer with such an outstanding chocolate/coffee flavor, it'll be perfect in front of the fire & should be in stores in the next week. We headed back out into the cold feeling a lot warmer & a lot fuller!
Finally, we have the winner in our Figgy Giveaway - Ranee of Arabian Knits. Congrats Ranee & thanks to everyone who entered.
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