Friday, October 28, 2011
Pork Fat Rules!
I've been seeing more and more offal type meat selections showing up in the meat section of my local grocery store- items like beef heart, marrow bones, tripe, beef or pork neck bones, shanks, oxtails, pigs feet, and even chicken feet. It also seems that a lot more people are buying up these less expensive cuts of meat- in fact, I've been eyeing up the $2 packs of pork trimmings for some time now, but you practically have to fight people off to get your hands on one if you shop during busier hours.
Given the uncertain economic climate these days, it should come as no surprise that meats that would normally sit on the shelves untouched are gaining popularity. This is, in part, thanks to the fact that everyone is cutting costs any and every way they can. I also chalk it up to the influence of the celebrity chef phenomenon- more people are aware that the stuff most people throw out is not only inexpensive, but also packed full of flavor even more so than the so-called luxury cuts of meat. Perhaps the television personalities, such as Chris Cosentino (a.k.a. @offalchris on twitter), have done us all a valuable public service by showing us that offal can offer cost effective menu options that, with a little skill, care, and technique, can easily rival, or even outdo the so-called "good" cuts of meat.
What will I do with my generous pile of pork fat... I don't know yet, maybe cure for a a few hours as if it were a pancetta, then slice it into ribbons and saute it as part of a pasta dish? Maybe I'm onto something here...