Ever wonder what the inside of Fatted Calf’s quail stuffed with sausage and a fig looks like? Smoked? Wonder no longer.
Holy cow, or rabbit as the case may be. The Fatted Calf Newsletter just rolled in and man, do they have a full menu for this coming Saturday’s Farmer’s Market. The special this week would be Heritage Berkshire Brined and Smoked Pork Chops. These are legendary in the San Francisco Bay Area and have been for years. You’re a silly bird for not reserving yourself a few. A good method for preparing these beasts (and easy) would be to preheat your oven to 400 degrees, rack at center position. Heat up your cast iron or stainless skillet good and smoking. Install chops for maybe 2 to 3 minutes a side. I put a bacon press on each for even caramelization, but it isn’t necessary. Remove press after both sides are complete and install in to hot oven until they reach an internal temp of maybe 140 degrees. Check temp at 8 minutes, cook accordingly. Pull when ready and set on cutting board and let rest for 10 minutes. Either serve whole or sliced all pretty like. I prefer doing this versus the smoker or grill because the chops are already smoked. And giving them the searing really brings up the flavors like a rocket. Plus, if you do it right, you’ll get little bright crusty pieces! MMMmMMMM.
The sausage list is pretty huge today, Savory Pork Sausage with Greens, Basque Links and Toulouse just to mention a few. While the savory pork is quite fine, I really enjoy the peppery goodness of the Basque links. So good, so nice, so damned perfect on the grill! Ooo OoOo, MORTADELLA. Go for the mortadella if for nothing else, I do. Reading this menu is making me crazy, I gotta go eat lunch.
You go check out the menu yourself and come out to the market this Saturda at either the Ferry Building or in Berkeley. Either one will render you some wonderful choices. Take care and see you at the market!
“You have to eat them to save them” is the brash sermon preached by the spirited people at Heritage Foods (http://www.heritagefoodsusa.com/). Arriving from a history where meat equaled murder and it was the rich and not the animals that were to be eaten it struck me as somewhat comical on first encounter. But as the idea rolled around inside my head it began to take root. Why is eating a Boca Burger with its endless list of puzzling ingredients and Kraft corporation lineage morally superior to dining on the big, beautiful rabbits raised by the Pasternak Family at Devil’s Gulch Ranch in nearby Nicasio? In our capitalist society supply and demand are the only commandments so if I wanted to support small farms, preserve diversity in agriculture and promote sustainability then I’d better put my money where my morals were.
I know quite a few other recently converted meat eaters who drop by the Fatted Calf and their reactions to their newly discovered carnivorousness ranges from surprise mixed with a whisper of self-loathing (stage one) to a full blown “bring it on” embrace (full recovery/ born again zealot). Until now eating meat has been viewed as just a little bit amoral. Lurking behind every pork chop is the shadow of death. But what if it was the death of a Berkshire hog who lived a pretty sweet life roaming and rooting and feeling pretty piggy? Suddenly the shadow of death has slinked away and you are left with a warm fuzzy feeling for saving an endangered breed of swine, supporting a small farmer with his ecologically responsible methods, not to mention a damn good pork chop. Dig in and feel the righteousness.
See you at the market!
Saturday, August 5
Heritage Berkshire Brined and Smoked Pork Chops
Devil’s Gulch Rabbit Crepinettes with Roasted Shallots
Savory Pork Sausage with Greens
Mexican Style Chorizo
Pâtés, Confits & Terrines
Duck Liver Mousse
Petit Sec Aux Herbes
Other Meaty Goods