October 18, 2012

Home Cooking: Pig, Pasta, Porchetta and More

It all started with a pig leg. Well, not actually, but I figured the pig leg would get your attention. My buddy Jimmy and I had been talking for some time about doing some fall cooking; I think we work well together, having knocked out a successful stock day last year. We were able to get some time this weekend to do some cooking that resulted in a four course dinner for our regular crew on Monday night.
The pig was perhaps the centerpiece. The leg and shoulder was sourced locally from Riverview Farms. You can see Jimmy butchering about eight pounds of shoulder away from the leg on my patio table in the picture above. We then wrapped that shoulder in an eight pound slab of pork belly for a porchetta that you can see more detail on below.
We also rolled out our own dough for ravioli stuffed with duck confit I had made earlier in the week, along with roasted pumpkin and mascarpone cheese. The four course meal went a little something like this:
Green salad topped with chanterelles and ricotta and egg "ravioli."
In this preparation from the folks at Ideas in Food, the egg yolks and ricotta are buried in durum four for a couple of days until a thin skin/crust forms. This added an interesting textual and visual element to the salad. Paleos can stop reading now.
Pictured above are the duck confit, pumpkin, and mascarpone ravioli in brown butter-cherry gastrique. Not the prettiest presentation, but the ravioli were quite tasty and survived without any breaks or bursts.
Perhaps the strongest dish of the night was Jimmy's handmade pappardelle pasta with duck ragu and mascarpone quenelle. A comforting and homey dish that was rich and satisfying. Just delicious stuff. Fresh, handmade pasta can be a pain in the ass to make, but it's worth it.
The porchetta after slow roasting for several hours before being finished in a hot convection oven to crisp the skin. This was a pretty magical dish, not that it was a total success on every point, but it was right fulfilling to take a whole pig leg and shoulder to this finished product over the course of 24 hours.
As you can see in the pic above, we ended up with a bit too much fat left on the belly surrounding the shoulder. Perhaps a longer roasting time would have melted more fat off, but the skin was crisp and tasty while the shoulder stuffed inside was juicy and succulent.

As we are wont to do, we drank some wine as well. Including a pretty amazing 1968 Barolo Monfortino from Conterno. Sorry, but somebody has to drink this stuff. All-in-all it was a good way to spend a Monday evening with some good friends. We ate and drank well and learned some lessons for when we get busy on the next meal.

1 comment:

  1. Porchetta + Pasta + Wine to cap off an exquisite dinner? Count me in for that. Finding this dish in my city cannot be expected.