July 31, 2011


Last Saturday at the Pearl Farmers Market El Monty Chef Quealy set about the task of deboning a pig head, live and in color and assisted by the smooth sounds of emcee Owner Chad Carey. The lush crowd was five rows deep seated and three rows deep standing, and the Charles & Charles Rosé flowed freely to those with nothing on the daily docket.

After all was said and done the case of wine had been drunk and nothing was left on the skull but teeth and eyeballs. Admirable accomplishments both, completed in less than an hour and all before 10:30a. Once the meat was removed Quealy rubbed it in salt and spice and wrapped it around the tongue, trussed it, portioned it, and sous-vide low and slow... real slow, for what would ultimately be 48 hrs.

Mark from South Texas Heritage Pork, based just up the road near Floresville, donated the head and ran us through what got him into business: "Wanted better options," he said... "A better product for my family." Not, I'd imagine, entirely dissimilar to what gets most of these independent operations started. But keeping them going is up to us, and since the best way to preserve is to consume, here's a list of restaurants that enable the consumption...

Each of Jason Dady's, Luke San Antonio, and of course the Monterey.



GSV JR said...

Mind-boggling as to how greatly food attitudes in this country have changed in the last 10 years. A crowd of folks for an al fresco demo on pig head deboning? Who woulda thunk...

This preparation is called "bath chaps" btw. An old English recipe.

Amatourist said...

leave it to the Brits to go to all that trouble and then serve it up cold. it'll be interesting to see whether this offal obsession has staying power.
on another protein-related note... I was down in Lockhart a few weeks back to scratch a BBQ itch. Had lunch at Smitty's Market (Black's will have to be next) and got a few shots that I'll try to put some words to.

GSV JR said...

Bath chaps tastes a lot like mmmm headcheese, which is also served cold (unless you're Mario Batali), likely because of its high fat content. Put some fire on it and you'll need a big ol bowl.

Congealed fatty meat aint for everyone, but man it's good when done the right way.

Lockhart must have a lot of heart attack related deaths. No way I could live within 100 mi of there.