• Summit Trends
  • This year's Pork Summit spurred trends that blogger Susan Russo thinks you should keep your eye on.
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Susan Russo is a cookbook author, freelance writer, and recipe developer living in beautiful San Diego. She's the voice behind the popular food blogs, "Food Blogga" and "Pork, Knife and Spoon," where you’ll find her musings on food and life, original recipes and photography. She’s authored two cookbooks, is a regular contributor to NPR’s “Kitchen Window,” and has been published in magazines such as Cooking Light and Edible San Diego.

Susan joined us at Pork Summit 2012, and brought with her a passion for food and a keen culinary perspective. We asked her for the top trends from the educational weekend, and these were her takeways.
Chef-Led Cooking Classes
More restaurants are offering chef-led cooking classes especially for popular practices including sausage and bacon making. Restaurants recognize that consumers can’t get enough of charcuterie plates so they’re feeding that hunger with interactive classes on how to make cured meats like salumis as well as a variety of cooked sausages. While I was at the Pork Summit 2012, I made sausage, which I hadn’t done in over 30 years, and was delighted to see how much I enjoyed (and missed) it. I believe the closer consumers can get to their food — including squishing cold meat into slippery sausage casings — the deeper their understanding and appreciation of food will be. And that will benefit restaurateurs and diners alike.

Nose-to-Tail Dining
The trend of nose-to-tail dining continues to expand with environmentally and cost conscious chefs and restaurateurs using all parts of the animal — feet, heart, brain, blood, skin — thereby reducing waste and supporting sustainability. While I was at the Pork Summit, I spoke with chefs who are finding creative ways to utilize all parts of the pig such as: making blood sausage, using the bones for broths and rendering the fat to use for frying food. In addition to the more familiar pig’s trotters and pork belly, consumers can expect to see more daring dishes at restaurants such as roasted pig’s head, grilled pig’s ears, braised pork cheeks, bbq pig’s tail and even fried pig’s brain.

House-Made Sausages and Charcuterie
Drying and curing meats and stuffing sausages used to be done behind closed doors. Not anymore. Restaurants from coast-to-coast are proudly displaying their meat curing rooms and even inviting diners to get up close and personal with hanging salumis like soppressata. After speaking with over a dozen chefs at the Pork Summit 2012, I’m happy to report that the art of artisanal charcuterie is going strong. From small cellars and back-of-the-house curing rooms, ambitious chefs are making dry-cured salamis, coppas and soppressata as well as artisanal products like bacon jam.
Communal Dinners 
Recognizing that eating is an inherently social act, progressive restaurateurs across the country are embracing communal seating and family-style service. I especially like what Chef Chad Colby of Pizzeria Mozza in Los Angeles is doing: He hosts monthly “whole hog” communal dinners in which diners partake in a multi-course, family-style meal featuring a whole hog. This intimate experience allows diners to truly experience a family meal while being afforded the opportunity to talk with the chefs who prepared it. That’s what breaking bread is all about.
Whole Animal Butchery
While the local-food movement continues to grow, more chefs, such as Adam Sappington of Portland, Oregon’s The Country Cat, are taking it a step further. They’re choosing to purchase entire animals, raised naturally and locally, to butcher in-house and to use all of the animal parts in the restaurant’s dishes. Consumers will benefit in many ways: they’ll be able to learn about the animal’s history, learn about different cuts of meat, support the local economy and expand their palate by trying unusual dishes featuring “odd bits” of the animal such as feet, skin and organs. At the Pork Summit 2012 in Napa Valley, Sappington deftly demonstrated how to “break down” or butcher a pig's head and how to make scrapple stuffed pig’s head pancetta. Watching him de-face a pig, stuff it and cook it was simultaneously disturbing and thrilling. Had I not seen the entire preparation, I might not have been as amenable to eating stuffed pig’s head. But I did. And I liked it. It tasted a whole lot like bacon. And who doesn’t like bacon?

Pork Summit 2012

  • The Best Of...
  • Held in beautiful St. Helena, California, this year's Summit has been one of the most inspiring yet.
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On April 27 - 29, The National Pork Board hosted the Pork Summit 2012 at the Culinary Institute of America's Greystone Campus in St. Helena, CA. State and regional Taste of Elegance winners won a trip to this exclusive educational weekend. Once in Napa, they rubbed elbows with acclaimed chefs, wine experts and the foodservice industry’s top media editors.

The National Pork Board’s Director of Foodservice Marketing, Stephen Gerike, welcomed guests on the first evening at the Rudd Center for Professional Wine Studies, on the beautiful Greystone campus. After introductions, Tannin Management wine expert, Rebecca Chapa, and CIA Chef Instructor Bill Briwa, led a wine and pork-pairing seminar, featuring wines from local Napa Valley Vintners.
After the pairing class, guests were invited to the Culinary Institute’s herb terrace for a welcome reception. The menu for the evening was vast and set the tone for the amazing weekend ahead. Passed hors d’oeuvres included prosciutto wrapped asparagus served with lemon aioli, steamed pork shui mai with a cilantro mint sauce, cornmeal blini with quail eggs and bacon, and pork and raisin empanadas with guajillo chili salsa. Highlights from the CIA student-manned stations included a fig port jam, prosciutto and goat cheese grilled pizza, pork belly yakitori with kaffir-lime chili chicharrones, a pork meatball bahn mi with picked vegetables and sriracha mayo, and carnitas tacos served with three salsas. Everyone went home happy and full.
With a focus on education, Saturday’s events kicked off with a Pork 101 class taught by Gerike. Attendees learned about the pork industry from farm to fork, including breeds, production, animal care, quality and meat science, and were then given a pork quality demonstration and tasting. In addition to Gerike’s presentation, Chef Briwa taught a segment on the art and science of brining and curing. After the advanced education, guests were treated to a Scandinavian smorrebrod lunch prepared by Chef Lars Kronmark in the CIA’s third floor teaching kitchen.
Pork cooking method chef demonstrations and tasting were the post-lunch activity. CIA Chef Instructor Kronmark enlightened the audience with a demonstration on fresh sausage making from grinding and seasoning, to encasing the meat. Chef Chad Colby, of Mozza in Los Angeles, demonstrated his technique for curing guanciale and then walked everyone through the preparation of a perfect bucatini dish, Bucatini alla Amatriciana, featuring the cured jowl.
Next up was Chef Jason Alley of Richmond, Virginia’s Comfort and Pasture restaurants, who gave everyone a true taste of the South with his demonstration. Chef Alley discussed the difference between salt cured and sugar cured country hams and his house cured city ham. He then prepared a sugar cured ham steak with red-eye gravy. Chef Alley also shared his special recipe for pimento cheese and whipped up a Southern classic, bread and butter pickles. Chef Adam Sappington of the Country Cat Dinnerhouse and Bar in Portland, Oregon impressed everyone with his butchery skills, making scrapple stuffed pig’s face pancetta.
Lastly, Southeast Asian expert, Chef Robert Danhi, educated the group on the vast use of pork in Southeast Asian cuisine by demonstrating Chiang Mai Laab Moo. The traditional Thai dish included pork heart, kidney, liver, blood, skin and ground pork, all stir fried and served on a cabbage leaf with fresh herb table salad. After Chef Danhi’s demo, guests sampled all of the chef’s amazing dishes. Since everything was so delicious, folks came back for seconds and thirds.

Following some free time in Napa Valley after the chef demonstrations, guests arrived at Hourglass Winery’s Blueline Vineyard. As they took in the truly stunning vineyard view, they also noticed a waft of roasting pork. They quickly made their way up to the fire pit, where amid the beautiful vineyard setting, Chef Justin Brunson, of Denver’s Masterpiece Deli and Denver Bacon Company, and his team prepared a very special dinner for the evening that included a pig cooking asadadore style over an open fire – a sight to be seen.

Chef Brunson opened the night with Hog Island Oysters on the half shell, roasted pork collar with peas two ways, pork liver mousse crostini with berry wine jam, smoke pork rillettes and blood sausage with foie gras torchon and caramelized rhubarb. Rebecca Chapa was on hand to pair beers and white wines to highlight the evening’s appetizers.

When the sun set on Hourglass, the group of 75 people headed uphill to the vineyard caves for dinner. The Vintner, Jeff Smith, welcomed everyone with glasses of his remarkable wines. As guests enjoyed the Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot, Chef Brunson began sending out his family-style dinner. Brunson’s menu featured the perfectly crispy asadadore roasted pig prepared over the fire pit, and also served a pork lover’s dream; his “super royal” choucroute platter, with five types of sausage, smoked ham hocks and smoked belly on cabbage with apples and onions. The sides that accompanied these porcine dishes were wood roasted potatoes and plancha roasted local spring vegetables of mushrooms, ramps, peas, asparagus and green onions, with bagna cauda and sauce romesco. A beautiful and fresh local greens salad with verjus vinaigrette from the winer, joined the other dishes, and a dessert of strawberries on sweet biscuits with whipped cream and local cheeses completed the dinner. All of the guests in attendance had a magical evening, and no one left hungry.

Sunday was everyone’s day to get into the kitchen. After breakfast at the CIA, Gerike gave a fabrication demo on both domestic and export market styles of butchery. Then, all of the guests headed to the third floor teaching kitchen for a market basket exhibition, to test all the techniques learned throughout the weekend. Chefs Alley, Brunson, Colby, Danhi and Sappington led teams of chefs and foodservice media editors. Each team was given a half hog to break down and include in their dishes. With three hours to cook, each team had to prepare three dishes: a breakfast sandwich, a vegetable entrée with pork as a main ingredient, and a fresh sausage dish. All teams rose to the challenge and served up some impressive dishes.
After all the hard work in the kitchen, everyone sat down to one last meal at the CIA. The weekend was coming to a close, and as guests were free to explore more of Napa Valley on Sunday evening, most attendees departed on Monday- all knowing quite a bit more about pork then when they arrived.

Chef Feature

  • Chef Jeff Osaka
  • Denver Chef, Jeff Osaka, took the crown at his state’s Taste of Elegance, and then joined us at Pork Summit 2012.
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Chef Jeff Osaka has garnered praise from both peers and critics alike for his confident and enthusiastic career. For nearly 20 years, the Los Angeles native traveled up and down the West coast, serving under high profile chefs, and manning the stoves in such acclaimed restaurants as One Market in San Francisco, Pinot Bistro in L.A. and Wolfgang Puck’s Chinois in Las Vegas. Jeff’s desire to expand his culinary repertoire has landed him in the Mile High City, where he is the owner and Executive Chef of Twelve Restaurant. In early 2012, Osaka won the Taste of Elegance in Colorado, and was crowned with an exclusive pass to the Pork Summit 2012 in Napa Valley, California.

We caught up with Jeff and asked him about where he’s been, and why he couldn’t get enough at Pork Summit 2012.


NPB : First and foremost, congratulations on winning the Taste of Elegance competition! Tell us about how you decided to enter the competition and your winning dish.
Chef : Thank you! I was fortunate enough to receive an invite to compete in the Taste of Elegance, CO. The dish I prepared was a 12-hour roasted pork shoulder with mascarpone polenta and a smoked ham hock-mushroom broth.
NPB: How did you decide on the dish that helped you take the crown?
Chef: I’ve always been a fan of the value cuts of pork, and pork shoulder has such great balance of muscle to fat ratio, it works well with slower cooking methods. Add more pork (ham hocks), mushrooms for more earthiness, and because you can’t have too much fat, I accompanied it with a creamy polenta flavored with mascarpone cheese.
NPB: Your restaurant, Twelve Restaurant, is located in the heart of the Mile-High City, though you're a Los Angeles native. Tell us about your career and how you ended up in Denver?
Chef: The short story…I met a girl, a Denver native, in Los Angeles. She wanted to move back home, and I have a lot of friends in Denver who told me I should open a restaurant out here. So fast forward 4 years, we have since gotten married, Twelve Restaurant is 3 ½ years old, and to top it off, we now have a 9 month old daughter named Alex. Denver is such a great city for a change in lifestyle, plenty of healthy living, and you have about 10 million less people to bump into than you would in L.A.
NPB: Throughout your career you’ve worked with acclaimed chefs from all over the world. What culinary ideal have you carried with you throughout your journey?
Chef: This year marks my 20th year behind the stoves, and I would say I learned a lot of my ideals early on. I was exposed to the “farm to table” movement in its infancy stage. One of the first restaurants I worked at had a personal relationship with several farmers. They would request special produce to be grown just for them. I’d get excited every time something came through our back door.
NPB: Your prize for winning Taste Of Elegance was an invitation to attend the Pork Summit 2012 in Napa Valley, California. What were your expectations for the event? 
Chef: Honestly my expectations were not very high; I thought I’d be stuck in workshops and seminars all day long. I lived in Napa many years ago, so all I wanted to do was visit with friends, drink some wine, and dine around. However, right from the beginning, I was pleasantly surprised. From the wine seminar, the demos by four talented chefs, dinner cooked by a good friend in a winery cave, and the final day in the kitchen with everyone…What a great experience and privilege to be a part of such a memorable weekend!
NPB: It’s not everyday that you get first hand pork demonstrations from chefs like Robert Danhi, Chad Colby, Jason Alley and Adam Sappington. Did the demonstrations spur any new menu ideas? If so, what?
Chef: Not so much menu ideas, but renewed belief of cooking. Each chef brought something different to the table. Robert’s knowledge of Southeast Asian food was amazing, Chad creating such a complex dish with such simplicity, Jason’s personal twist on Southern classics, and Adam’s true “whole hog” philosophy.
NPB: For folks who don’t know much about Pork Summit, it’s an event jam-packed with education, skill building exercises and non-stop fun. What was your favorite part of the weekend and why?
Chef: I couldn’t single out one specific event over the weekend. I think the combination of them all is what made the weekend. Without one, the others may have not made sense, but combined it was a complete package.
NPB: Tell us three things you walked away from Pork Summit knowing, that you didn’t know before.
Chef: I actually didn’t know a few things regarding the production of pigs. From the gestation period, the ideal weight for slaughter, the crossbreeding of hogs and sows, to what PH is ideal for a finished product!
NPB: If you had the chance, would you want to attend Pork Summit again?
Chef: Without hesitation!
NPB: What are your top 5 places to eat pork in your city?
Chef: When I do find time to eat out…
  • Ba Le - For banh mi sandwiches they have a BBQ'd pork sandwich that’s awesome, and it’s only 3 bucks!
  • Table 6 – When it’s on the menu, they have a pork belly dish with pickled watermelon rind and a spicy hoisin, one order might not be enough.
  • Fruition – Their version of pasta carbonara; housemade cavatelli, cured pork belly, six-minute egg, cacao pecora broth
  • Cholon Bistro – Their version of soup dumplings (xiaolongbao), they make a French onion soup filling. You pop one into your mouth and they burst with flavor.
  • Star Kitchen – Just had dim sum there this morning…shumai, cha siu bao, potstickers, and more...

Cooking Techniques

  • Sausage Making 101
  • Learn a first hand technique from one of the CIA's best, Lars Kronmark.
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Basic Checklist for Making Fresh Pork Sausage
  • Clean, sanitize and chill all equipment to be used. Place it in the freezer or ice water.
  • Weigh and prepare ingredients (meat, fat, water spices).
  • Pre-mix and blend any dry or wet ingredients prior to working with the meat.
  • Prepare your casings prior to grinding and blending your meat. Choose the proper size for the sausage you are making. 
  • Keep meat cold at all times. Below 38 degrees F unless making an emulsion and the recipe states otherwise.
  • When proteins get above 38 degrees F, they will begin to denature and the sausage will never hold moisture.
  • Test sample, adjust seasoning if necessary before stuffing.
  • Portion into links if desired.
  • Finish the processing; Fresh (refrigerate); Cooked (poach, shock, refrigerate)
  • Smoked as recipe requires.

Sausage Production Facts
Fat Ratio: 25-30% fat in most fresh, pork sausage products.
Fresh boneless shoulder from market hogs: primal cuts and trim can be used.
Ice Water: used to make sausage cohesive, can be substituted with wine or broth in specific recipes.
Basic Steps for Making Fresh Pork Sausage
Sanitize and chill all equipment.
Prepare lean and fat by trimming and cubing. Weigh out what you need. Keep the meat chilled at all times.
Mix seasonings together. Mix thoroughly with meat in some cases some cases this may be after the meat has been ground.
Pass meat through proper size grinder plate required for the recipe, keep chilled (meat can be fed into the feed tube with your hand); use speed # 3 on Hobart mixer for grinding chill.
Place mixture in mixer if large amount (more than 8 -10 pounds) if less use your hands.
Using the paddle, mix on speed #1 for 60 seconds. Meat should have a sticky consistency.
Cook a small amount of mixture to taste and check binding. Adjust seasoning if necessary.
Process into desired sausage product.

Progressive Grinding
Grinding meat through a chilled meat grinder, starting with the largest die first, then progressing to smaller and smaller holed dies. It is very important to chill the meat between grindings.
 New York-Style Spicy Hot Italian Sausage

Yield: 4 pounds
3 lbs, Pork butt
3/4 lbs, Pork back fat
2 Tbsp, Sambuca or anise-flavored liqueur
2 Tbsp, Anise or fennel seeds
1 Tbsp, garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp, red pepper flakes
4 tsp, Kosher salt,
2 tsp, fresh, ground black pepper
1 tsp, ground cayenne pepper
1/4 cup, water
Medium hog casings

Combine all the ingredients in a large bowl. Grind everything through a 3/8-inch plate.
Moisten the mixture with water, then squeeze and knead until everything is thoroughly
mixed. Stuff into medium hog casings, and tie into 5-inch links.
Italian Sweet Fennel Sausage
Yield: 4 pounds
3 lb, pork butt
3/4 lb, pork back fat
1/2 cup, dry white wine
4 each, garlic cloves, minced
2 Tbsp, fennel seed
1 Tbsp, fresh ground pepper
4 tsp, Kosher salt
1 tsp, oregano, dried
1/8 tsp, allspice, ground
Medium hog casings (optional)

Grind the pork and back fat together through a 3/8-inch plate. In a large bowl, combine the pork and fat with the wine, garlic, fennel, black pepper, salt, oregano, and allspice. Mix well with your hands. Stuff into casings or shape into patties.


  • Jason Alley's
  • Ham, Cheese, and Pickles
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Ham, Cheese, and Pickles


Pimento Cheese

5 pounds Cheddar cheese, medium sharp, shredded
3 cups mayonnaise, preferably Dukes
4 large red bell peppers, roasted, peeled, seeded, small diced
1/2 bunch tarragon, minced
1/2 small red onion, minced
1 TBL Texas Pete hot sauce
1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

Bread and Butter Pickles

10 pounds cucumbers, pickling or Kirby, sliced 1/8” thick
2 cups kosher salt
3 quarts cider vinegar
1 1/2 gallons sugar, granulated
2 small yellow onions, sliced 1/8” thick
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 oz wt celery seed
3 sticks cinnamon
1/4 cup mustard seed

Wet Cured Ham

5 g fennel seed
5 g celery seed
10 g coriander
10 g caraway seed
90 g sel rose
560 g kosher salt
679.5 g brown sugar
1 liter apple juice
5 liters water
2 apples, cored


Cooking Directions

Pimento Cheese Procedure:
  1. In mixing bowl, combine all ingredients
  2. With plastic spatula, mix to thoroughly combine.

Bread and Butter Pickles Procedure:

  1. In a mixed solution of the 2 cups kosher salt to 1 1/2 gallons of water, soak the sliced cucumbers overnight in the refrigerator
  2. After 24 hours, drain and thoroughly rinse the cucumbers, and set in a colander to drain
  3. In large rondeau, combine all of the remaining ingredients and bring to boil
  4. When the brine has come to a boil, add the cucumbers and return to a simmer
  5. Remove the pickles from the heat and allow to cool completely before refrigerating

Wet Cured Ham Procedure:

  1. In large sauce pot, combine all ingredients except ham and bring to boil and cook for 20 seconds
  2. Remove from heat and let steep for 1 hour
  3. Strain and cool to room temperature
  4. In appropriate container, pour mixture over ham and weight down so ham stays submerged
  5. Flip ham daily in the cure for 21 days
  6. Remove from brine soak in cold water for 1 hour
  7. Over Applewood chips, smoke the ham at 300ºF until the ham reaches an internal temperature of 155ºF
  8. Allow the ham to cool on a rack and refrigerate

Serving Suggestions

Serve with crackers or crudités.
  • Adam Sappington's
  • Country Cat Scrapple
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The Country Cats Scrapple


2 onions, large dice
4 carrots, peeled, large dice
4 stalks celery, peeled, large dice
1 bunch fresh thyme, stemmed, chopped
1/2 gallon rendered duck fat
1 pint farina cornmeal
1 teaspoon juniper berry powder
2 TBL kosher salt
1 TBL black pepper, ground
1/8 cup brown sugar


Cooking Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 275ºF
  2. In a large mixing bowl, combine all ingredients, except farina. Mix until well incorporated.
  3. In a medium saucepan, melt the duck fat. Set aside.
  4. In a large roasting pan, add ingredients then pour the duck fat over everything and press down to submerge. Cover with a piece of parchment paper or foil
  5. Bake for 2 1/2 hours or until everything is fork tender. Once everything is cooked, remove all ingredients from the duck fat (Reserve duck fat and freeze for another use)
  6. Put all ingredients into a medium sized stock pot.
  7. Place stock pot over medium heat. Using a wooden spoon, stir vigorously to break up the meat and vegetables to turn them into a chunky paste.
  8. Continue stirring and slowly add the farina to create a continuous stream.
  9. Stir the meat/vegetable mixture for about 15 minutes until it begins to pull away from the sides almost forming a ball.
  10. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.


  1. Grease and line loaf pan with plastic wrap so there is about 2-3 inches of wrap hanging over the side of the pan. 
  2. Transfer meat mixture into the greased pan and spread evenly.
  3. Mixture should come to the top of the pan. Wrap top of the scrapple with overhanging plastic wrap and refrigerate for 24 hours.

Serving Suggestions

  • Robert Danhi's
  • Laab Moo Lanna
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Laab Moo Lanna


Spice Paste

2 teaspoons coriander seed, pan roasted deep brown
1 teaspoon cumin seed, pan roasted deep brown
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns, lightly pan roasted
2 pieces long pepper, lightly pan roasted
1/2 teaspoon fennel seed, lightly pan roasted
1 slice galangal, (or 1 teaspoon. ground), dried
10 dried red chilies, open fire roasted until “lightly burnt” to yield “black chilies”(save 3 for garnish)
1 teaspoon Thai shrimp paste, “gkapi,” roasted
4-6 fresh galangal, thin slices

Fresh Aromatics

2 stalks lemon grass, sliced very thinly and fried until golden brown
1/2 cup scallions, (green onions), chopped
1/2 cup mint, roughly chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, roughly chopped
1/4 cup sawleaf herb, roughly chopped

Pork Components

2 fl oz water

Cooking Pork

2 TBL neutral oil
Pork Mixture , from above
2 fl oz water
2 TBL fish sauce
As needed salt


Reserved fried pork offal
1/4 cup fried sliced shallots
Reserved fresh aromatics , (scallions, mint, cilantro, saw leaf herb)
Reserved fried chiles

Table Salad

1/4 head green cabbage, cut into a few wedges
1 small cucumber, random bite size pieces
Sprigs and whole leaves of cilantro, mint, saw leaf herbs


Cooking Directions

Spice Paste Procedure:
  1. Pound or grind cooled roasted spices and dried galangal
  2. Add chilies and pound or grind finely
  3. Add shrimp paste and fresh galangal pound or grind until you have a spice paste

(Fresh Aromatics note: half mixed to be cooked with meat, and other half used for garnish raw)

Pork Components Procedure:
  1. Divide offal in two. Boil half for 3-5 minutes, drain water, rinse with cool water
  2. Drain well, cover and set aside to combine with chopped raw meat
  3. Deep-fry other half until semi-crispy and deep brown. Set aside for garnish
  4. Rough chop pork meat and fat, then mince with two knives until it pieces are no larger than ¼”
  5. Add pork blood and mixed well to combine
  6. In a large bowl, combine water with spice paste until smooth
  7. Stir in chopped pork and offal and mix until incorporated
  8. Mix in half of fried lemongrass, fried garlic and chopped herbs (mint, cilantro and saw leaf).
Cooking Pork Procedure:
  1. In wok over high heat, add oil, spice enriched pork mixture and cook until fully cooked
  2. Add water and mix until well combined, then stir in fish sauce
  3. Taste and adjust seasoning with fish sauce and salt.

Serving Suggestions

Final Presentation:
Cooked pork mixture
Table Salad

Arrange cooked pork in bowl, distribute with reserved offal, then fried shallots, sprinkle with fresh aromatics and finally garnish with whole fried chilies. Serve with plate of green cabbage, cucumbers and herbs for nibbling as you eat the salad
  • Chad Colby's
  • Bucatini Alla Amatriciana
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Bucatini Alla Amatriciana


1 red onion, peeled cut in half and into large pieces
1 TBL extra virgin olive oil, good quality
To taste salt and pepper
2 ripe tomatoes, oven roasted
1 teaspoon tomato paste
8 oz wt Passato Sauce
2 TBL parsley, picked and washed
As needed chunk of Pecorino cheese

Guanciale Cure

3 pounds salt
1 pound brown sugar
1 1/2 cups chili flake
1 cups peppercorns
1 cups black pepper, ground
2 oz wt TCM or P1


8 fl oz extra virgin olive oil
2 each #10 cans San Marzano tomatoes
1 TBL sugar, granulated
1 teaspoon chili flakes
1 teaspoon black pepper, ground
1 teaspoon kosher salt, OR sea salt


Cooking Directions

  1. In large stock pot, bring 6 quarts of water to a boil and add 2 tablespoons of salt. The water should be as salty as “soup that you would send back for being too salty”
  2. In a cool 12” to 14” sauté pan, in a single layer place Guanciale slices and red onion and cook over medium low heat until you hear it start to sizzle
  3. Then add 1 TBL extra-virgin olive oil to the pan and cook until most of the fat has been rendered from the Guanciale, turning occasionally as needed
  4. Put the pasta in the water and stir for one minute until it is ready to cook on its own 
  5. Remove the Guanciale to a plate lined with paper towels and discard half the fat
  6. Return the Guanciale to the pan with the onions and chili flakes and cook over medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until the onions and Guanciale are light golden brown
  7. Season with salt and pepper, add Passato Sauce, oven roasted tomatoes and tomato paste, reduce the heat, and simmer for 10 minutes
  8. Cook the bucatini until al dente, approximately 6 minutes. The pasta should be firm enough to have some “chew” but not so firm that it sticks in your molars. Drain the pasta, reserving some of the pasta water, and add pasta to the simmering sauce
  9. Add parsley leaves, increase the heat to high and toss vigorously to coat the pasta completely with the sauce. Add pasta water if the mixture is too dry.
  10. Divide the pasta among four warmed pasta bowls and top with freshly grated Pecorino cheese and serve immediately
Guanciale Cure Procedure:
  1. In mixing bowl, add all ingredients and mix well to combine
  2. Rub fresh, trimmed jowls liberally with the curing mixture
  3. Set in a clean container in refrigeration, turning regularly, for 14 days
  4. Move jowls to a refrigerator rack to dry cure for an additional 21 days before cooking

Passato Procedure:
  1. In a 3-quart saucepan, heat olive oil over medium heat
  2. Add the tomatoes, crushing them with your hands as you add them and their juice and bring to a boil, stirring often 
  3. Lower the heat and simmer for 30 minutes until as thick as hot cereal
  4. Season with salt, pepper, sugar and chili flakes
  5. This sauce holds 1 week in the refrigerator or up to 6 months in the freezer.

Serving Suggestions

Menuing Information

  • Taste of Elegance Winners
  • These are the dishes that got some Taste of Elegance winners their ticket to Summit.
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Caged Pork Collar Confit with a Pork Truffle Sponge Cake

Ian Ramirez, Calvin College
Holland, Michigan


Pork Collar Confit
2 lb. trimmed pork collar in 2 inch pieces
2 cups bacon drippings
2 sprigs, fresh rosemary
6 sprigs, thyme
2 Tbsp, rough chopped garlic
Smoked sea salt

Rub pork with smoked sea salt and pepper. Place in vacuum bag with rosemary, thyme, garlic and bacon fat. Place in water bath of a constant 180ºF for 7 hours. Remove from bag and sear pork in cast iron skillet. Place pork in 2 inch pan. Strain fat from bag and discard garlic, rosemary, and thyme. Reserve bacon fat and add to pan with pork. Place in a 225 degree oven for an additional 2 hours. Remove from grease and pat dry with a towel. Chill in refrigerator. Remove from Fridge and clean connective tissue and any extra fat. Reheat in a 375ºF oven until crisp. Serve with demi glace, vegetables and starch.

Pork Truffle Sponge Cake
4, egg whites
1, egg yolk
1 Tbsp, flour
3 slices, of thick cut cooked bacon
¼ tsp, canned black truffles
1 tsp, brown sugar
Salt and pepper
24 grams, N20 (3 cartridges)

Blend all ingredients in a food processor or blender very well. Pour through a fine mesh strainer into a cream whipper. Add N20 and chill for 1 hour. In a microwave safe paper cup, puncture small slits in the bottom and sides with a knife about a ¼ inch in length. Only fill cup half way with mixture (it will double in size). Put in microwave on high for 60 seconds. Remove and let cool for about 30 seconds. Take a scissors and gently cut the cup out around the sponge cake. From here you can bake, fry or just serve it how it sits. This recipe can be served various ways with many different ingredients and flavors.

1 Sheet of puff pastry dough
Egg wash

Roll out puff pastry dough very thin. Cut small irregular holes throughout the pastry and drape on oven safe cubed or domed object and brush with egg wash. Bake at 375ºF until golden brown. Gently remove from oven safe cube or dome and place on plate over pork.

Black Pepper Seared Pork Tenderloin “Wyoming” with Wild Mushroom Cognac Demi Cream/Swiss Rosti Potatoes and Seasonal Vegetables

Chef Jonathan Kraft, Highland Springs Country Club
Springfield, Missouri


2 ea. Pork Tenderloins- Prime Section (Head and Tail removed*)
Approximately 24 oz. each, trimmed of silver skin…reserve ends* (16 oz.) for forcemeat-diced
and ice cold.
2 oz. Clarified Butter- for searing “Prime Tenderloins”

1 lb. tenderloin head and tail*…diced and chilled
4 oz. pecan smoked bacon, diced and ice cold
12 oz. baby spinach, washed thoroughly-blanched, pressed to remove liquid, then chilled
6 cloves, garlic, roasted in olive oil for 25 min. at 350°F convection oven- till light golden brown and
tender, cooled, then chopped
1 egg, whisked
1 cup, fresh white bread crumbs
4 oz. 40% cream
¼ cup, fresh finely chopped parsley
1 oz. fennel seed, toasted and coarse ground
1 Tbsp, black pepper, ground 
1 tsp, Kosher salt
8 oz. pork caul fat (2- 6in x 10 in “sheets”)- for wrapping “Prime Section” with Fennel Spinach
Roasted Garlic Pecan Bacon Farci
Season pork tenderloins with black pepper then heat olive oil in a large nonstick sauté pan over high heat and sear tenderloins until golden brown, then cool. Grind head and tails with pecan bacon, spinach and fennel seed. Combine with egg, breadcrumbs, parsley and salt. Surround seared tenderloins with even layer of farci and wrap with caul fat. Place on roasting rack and place in 350°F convection oven for 15 to 20 minutes until internal temperature of 135°F (medium). Rest for 5 minutes and slice ¼ inch slices to be fanned out on top of wild mushroom cream.

Wild Mushroom Cognac Demi Cream
2 oz. butter
8 oz. wild mushrooms
2 each shallot, finely minced
4 oz. Cognac- flambéed to deglaze searing pan
8 oz. demi glace
8 oz. 40% heavy cream
1 sprig, fresh thyme*
½ sprig, Fresh rosemary*
*added during simmering to add essence- then removed
Season lightly with Kosher salt to taste
2 Tbsp, fresh chives –sprinkle garnish

Pork Belly Shiitake Pie with Chestnuts, Apples and Roasted Grapes

Chef Patrick Wilson, Churchill’s
Columbia, Missouri


Pie Dough
2 ½ lb. AP flour
½ lb. chestnut flour
2 lb. whole butter, cubed
16 oz. ice cold water
2 tsp, salt

Combine dry ingredients and sift into a bowl then place under refrigeration until cool. Cut whole butter into cubes and while cold begin incorporating into the dry ingredients using “cut-in” method with a bench scraper on a cool countertop (preferably marble). Continue cutting in butter until the flour has taken on a coarse granular appearance. Next, create a well in the middle of your flour/butter mixture and begin slowly adding the ice cold water until you can form a ball of dough. Be careful not to overwork the dough, if you do the butter will become too warm and smear causing a tough crust as opposed to the light flaky crust which is desired. Wrap your dough ball in plastic and place in the cooler to chill.

Pork Braise
2 lb. pork belly, skin off
2 qt. apple cider
½ cup, brandy
1 cup, sweet white wine
1 cup, leek, chopped
2 carrots, chopped
2 stalks celery, chopped
10, garlic cloves
2, bay leaves
1 Tbsp, whole black peppercorns
1, clove

Preheat oven to 300°F. In a large thick bottom pot, heat a small amount of olive oil until smoking hot. Place the belly in the pan and sear on high heat until caramelized on both sides. Add all other ingredients and bring to a slow simmer. Cover pot with a lid or foil and place in oven for two hours or until fork tender. Let belly cool in the braising liquid before attempting to remove. If the belly is hot and you try and take it out you risk it falling apart on you. When cool, remove the belly from liquid and reserve the braising liquid. Strain braising liquid through a sieve and reduce to a viscous consistency thicker than syrup. Cube belly into half inch cubes and set aside.

Pie Filling
2 Tbsp, whole butter
2 tsp, salt
1 tsp, black pepper
1 lb. Shiitake mushrooms, sliced
8 oz. purple pearl onions, cut in half
½ cup, leeks, sliced
1, celery root, cubed
3, garlic cloves, minced
¼ cup, chestnut flour
Remainder of Braising Liquid Reduction
Cubed belly

In a very hot skillet, sauté celery root and mushrooms in butter allowing them both to caramelize. Add minced garlic and take off heat to cool. Warm braising liquid just until melted so that you can easily incorporate all other ingredients. Let mixture chill in refrigerator while rolling out pie crust.

Place cold filling into the cold crusts and top with pie dough sheet or lattice. Preheat oven to 400°F and take pies directly from refrigerator and put into the oven on a sheet tray in case they ooze over the sides. Bake approximately 35 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from oven and let sit for 10 minutes then serve.


Thai Style Pork with Braised Cheeks 

Chef Ryan Hembree, Trail Ride
Baltic, South Dakota


Ingredient for the cheeks
4 ea. whole cheeks
2 Tbsp, oil
2 Tbsp, sugar
1 Tbsp, Shao Xing wine
1" fresh ginger, peeled and sliced
2, dried chili pods
2, pods star anise
2 Tbsp, light soy sauce
1 dash mushroom soy sauce
1 stick cinnamon
Salt & Sugar to taste

Pre-heat oven to 325ºF.
Pre-heat a heavy bottom braising pan over med-high heat. Add oil when the pan is hot. Season the cheeks with salt & pepper. Melt the sugar in the oil and caramelize then brown the cheeks in the oil and sugar mixture, turning frequently to brown all sides. After the cheeks have a nice color, add the remainder of the ingredients and water or pork stock and bring to a boil Once the stock comes to a boil – cover the pan with foil and a lid. Place into the 325ºF oven . Continue to cook until the pork is very tender. This should take between 2- 2 ½ hours. Set aside the cheek and keep warm for plating.

Ingredient for the ears
4  ea. whole ears
2 Tbsp, oil
2 cups, mirepoix
Pork stock or water to cover
Cornstarch or flour for dusting
Garlic powder
Onion powder

Pre-heat oven to 325ºF.
Submerge the ears into boiling water for about 3 minutes before starting the braise.
Pre-heat a heavy bottom braising pan over med-high heat. Add oil when the pan is hot then brown the ears in the oil, turning frequently to brown all sides. After the ears have a nice color, add the mirepoix and caramelize. Then add the water or pork stock and bring to a boil Once the stock comes to a boil – cover the pan with foil and a lid. Place into the 32ºF oven. Continue to cook until the pork is very tender. This should take between 2- 2 ½ hours. After the ears are cooled slice into thin strips and dust with onion & garlic powder and either cornstarch or flour. These will be fried and tossed with the following sauce for plating.

Ingredient for the sauce
4 Tbsp, fish sauce
4 Tbsp, tamarind pulp
1/3 cup, sugar
Hot pepper powder to taste

Melt the first 3 ingredients together until the sugar is dissolved. Then add the pepper powder to taste. Adjust the sauce to your taste.

Ingredients for the egg
4 large eggs
White pepper to taste
Dash of mushroom soy sauce
Drop of egg shade

Whip eggs with the other ingredients and scramble.

Ingredients for the daikon relish
1/2 cup, shredded daikon
1/4 cup, shredded carrot
1 or 2, fresh red chili
Salt, sugar & vinegar to taste

Add fresh bean sprouts, daikon slaw, fresh mint & cilantro for plating.

Pork Praline with Butternut Squash Puree, Salted Rillettes with Winter Truffles

Chef Tim Kovacs, Basil's Restaurant
St. Paul, Minnesota


4 cups, raw apple cider
3 cups, dry Merlot wine
2 Tbsp, turbinado sugar
2 Tbsp, minced fresh rosemary leaves
1 Tbsp, juniper berries
1 Tbsp, black peppercorns
1 1/2 tsp, Kosher salt
5, garlic cloves
4, green cardamom pods
3, cinnamon sticks
2 lb. boneless pork loin
1/2 cup, candied pecans (recipe follows)
Clarified butter

To make marinade, in medium stockpot, combine all ingredients except pork, pecans and butter; bring to a simmer. Cook over low heat 10 minutes to develop flavors. Cool.
Meanwhile, trim fat from pork loin and remove silver skin. Carefully cut pork loin in half lengthwise, then in half again to make 4 equal pieces, each about 1” in diameter. With fork or jaccarding needles, tenderize pork to create path for marinade. In large container, combine pork and marinade; cover. Refrigerate 24 hours.

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Drain pork; discard marinade. With small knife, cut small pocket down length of each piece pork. Carefully stuff pockets with pecans. In large ovenproof skillet, sear stuffed pork loin in clarified butter until golden brown on all sides. Transfer to oven; bake 5-7 minutes or until internal temperature of pork is 148ºF. Let stand 5 minutes before slicing.

Candied Pecans
These pecans can also be sprinkled over salads and desserts.
1 lb. pecans
3/4 cup, sugar
2 tsp, ground ginger
1 tsp, Kosher salt
1 tsp, ground nutmeg
1 tsp, ground cinnamon
1/2 tsp, ground coriander
1/2 tsp, ground cloves

Heat oven to 350ºF.
In large pot of boiling water, blanch pecans 5 minutes; drain well.
In large bowl, mix remaining ingredients. Stir in warm pecans. Transfer to sheet pan. Bake 12 minutes or until seasonings are caramelized onto pecans. Remove from oven. Cool to serve.

Butternut Squash Puree
Serve alongside Pork Praline
1 (1 1/2-lb), butternut squash
1/2 cu,p butter, softened
1/2 cup, packed brown sugar
2 tsp, pepper
1 tsp, Kosher salt
4 cups, pork or chicken stock, divided
1 cup, medium dice yellow onion
1 slice, Neuske bacon, cut into small dice
1/2 cup, apple cider
1/2 tsp, ground red pepper (cayenne)
1/2 tsp, ground cumin

Heat oven to 350ºF.
Cut squash in half lengthwise with French knife; clean and remove seeds. Rub insides of squash with butter; sprinkle with brown sugar, black pepper and salt. Place squash flesh-side-down in roasting pan. Add 2 cups stock, the onion and bacon; cover with aluminum foil. Bake 50-65 minutes or until squash is softened and caramelized.
Spoon squash flesh into large bowl. Carefully strain pan drippings into bowl. Add remaining 2 cups stock, the cider, cayenne and cumin; blend with burr mixer until smooth.
In small saucepan, cook squash over low heat, adding stock as needed, until desired consistency. Adjust seasoning as desired.

Salted Pork Rillette
Serve with Winter Truffle Salad and sheep’s milk Brie cheese accompanied by grilled baguette and lemon-chive aïoli.
1/2 cup, Kosher salt
1/2 cup, packed brown sugar
1/2 cup, minced fresh tarragon leaves, divided
1/2 cup, minced fresh rosemary leaves, divided
1/2 cup, minced fresh chives, divided
2 Tbsp, freshly cracked black pepper
2 racks, pork back ribs
2 cups, unsalted skinless pork fat or lard
2 cups, rendered duck fat
1/2 cup, rendered bacon fat (bacon drippings)

In bowl, mix salt, brown sugar, 1/4 cup each tarragon, rosemary and chives and the black pepper. Rub spice mixture into meat of pork ribs, covering top and bottom. Refrigerate 8-10 hour to cure.
Lightly rinse excess salt and sugar from cured ribs; cut into 2-bone pieces. In medium saucepan, combine ribs, fats and remaining 1/4 cup tarragon, rosemary and chives. Slowly poach in 212ºF fat, keeping ribs submerged, 3 hours. Cool ribs in fat. Remove meat from bones. Chop pork coarsely; pack meat into ring mold. Pour 1 Tbsp poaching oil over molded pork. Let stand 1 hour. Unmold to serve.

Winter Truffle Salad
Serve alongside Salted Pork Rillette
1 fresh bulk, burgundy truffle
2 tsp, white truffle oil
1, shallot
1 cup, snow peas
1 cup, diced Fuji or Honeycrisp apple
Juice of 1 lemon
Sea salt to taste

Soak truffle in slightly warm salt water solution about 10 minutes. Slice truffle with truffle slicer to just under 1/8”. In small skillet, heat oil. Add truffle and shallot; sauté gently until tender.
In bowl, toss together snow peas, apple, truffle and shallot. Season with lemon juice and salt.

Apple Cider and Cranberry Gastrique
Drizzle over Salted Pork Rillette
4 cup, apple cider
1 cup, fresh cranberries
1 1/2 Tbsp, black peppercorns
1 Tbsp, balsamic vinegar
3, star anise pods
2 Tbsp, honey

In small nonreactive stainless pot (do not use aluminum), combine all ingredients except honey; bring to a simmer. Reduce over medium heat 10 minutes. Stir in honey. Blend with small burr mixer; strain. Cook 10 minutes longer or until slightly thickened and reduced to slightly more than 1/2 cup. Cool to thicken further.

What's Happening

  • Flavor Summit
  • April 19-21, 2012 at CIA Greystone
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The National Pork Board was a sponsor of the 2012 Greystone Flavor Summit, co-presented by The Culinary Institute of America at Greystone, and Food Arts Magazine. Held on April 19 - 21, at the CIA Greystone campus in St. Helena, CA, the Flavor Summit brought together a select group of top food and beverage executives, corporate and executive chefs, and other experts in American foodservice and hospitality, to explore, discuss, and taste their way through a stimulating, critical set of flavor and related kitchen and dining management issues. Two members of the Pork Foodservice Marketing team attended the educational event. The Pork Board sponsored a break out session focusing on in-house curing of pork and the art of pickling, taught by Chicago Chef Jared Van Camp of Old Town Social and Nellcote. In addition to the break out session, the Pork Board provided delicious pork dishes at Saturday's Scandinavian smorrebord lunch as well as the closing reception.
  • NRA
  • May 6-8, 2012 in Chicago
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Three National Pork Board Marketing folks were on hand that 2012 National Restaurant Association Show in Chicago May 5-8, 2012. They met with customers and packer/processors as well as attended industry events. Chef Carl Shelton of Chicago’s Boka Restaurant represented the Pork Board at the Food Arts Magazine, Share Our Strength Championship BBQ, and served up pistachio and chili marinated pork loin with yellow gazpacho, grilled melon and toasted pistachios to guests.
  • NAMP COP Training
  • June 12-14, 2012 at Texas A&M
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The National Pork Board is a sponsor of the NAMP Center of the Plate training course held June 12-14, 2012 at Texas A&M’s meat science school in College Station, TX. The course demonstrates the breakdown of full carcasses of beef, pork, lamb, and veal into the cuts commonly sold in retail and foodservice, that are featured in the NAMP Meat Buyer’s Guide. Class participants learn about industry standards, purchasing options, factors affecting variations of quality, how value can be determined, and the latest cuts being merchandised in the industry.

National Pork Board Director of Foodservice Marketing, Stephen Gerike, and Marketing Manager David Bottagaro will be on site to teach the pork section of the class.
  • Food & Wine Classic
  • June 15-17, 2012 at Aspen
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National Pork Board representatives will be onsite at the Food & Wine Classic at Aspen June 15 – 17, 2012. In addition to attending various weekend events, The Pork Board is the title sponsor of the s’Wine at the Mine party, held by Infinite Monkey Theorem Winery at the Smuggler’s Mine. Denver Chef, Justin Brunson and his team of chefs, will be cooking up some delicious pork dishes to go with wine maker, Ben Parson’s, IMT wines. If you are going to be in town, let us know!