Monday, February 14, 2011

Valentine's Day, Pork and a Heart

This is a blog in 2 parts. First is a part about what's most certainly not about a lesser cut or guts.

I just ate the best pork chop I've ever had in my life.

Knowing that today was Valentine's Day and that I'd be making myself dinner at home I sought out a good piece of meat. I stopped at The Butcher and The Larder and picked up a really nice looking pork rib chop. I prepared it simply topping it with bread crumbs that were toasted with garlic and sage and a bit of Dijon mustard. Sear it off and in the oven for 12 minutes.

Serve with some sauteed spinach and wow. Just wow. What made it so good? Well, it came from an animal that was humanely raised. Fed organically, and butchered by some guys who really know what they're doing.

As an old girlfriend's good ole boy brother in law once said "The Lord knew what he was doing when he made the pig."

OK, enough about that. It's Valentine's day. And it's all about heart. Last night was about heart for me.  I had dinner with a buddy at The Bristol. These are guys who "get it." Chef Chris Pandel and the owners John and Phillip are guys who are dedicated to serving local, seasonal fare and are dedicated to nose to tail cooking. What's that you may ask? Well, it's about eating guts. They're not afraid to serve the nasty bits because they know they can make some amazing things to eat from these things.

Take for instance this amazing beef heart dish I ate last night.

Beef heart served with roasted root vegetables, bone marrow dumplings, and roasted root vegetables. Now, if you've never had heart before, and I'd imagine there are a lot of you who haven't, you really need to give it a shot.

Surprisingly it's quite mild in flavor. It's incredibly lean, and when made properly it's crazy good. This version was simply fantastic. The bone marrow dumplings added some fattiness to the dish that paired wonderfully with the lean heart. The root veg added a bit of sweetness and it was topped with a bit of pork jus just to make it even more decadent.

So, maybe I didn't have a date for Valentine's day, but I got my Valentine Heart yesterday from some guys who really get it.

I hope you're eating well tonight.

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