An angel delivered these Crispy Pig Tails in my inbox just in time for Fashion Week.
It is part of Chef Josh (not John) Galliano current collection (menu) at The Libertine, a neighborhood eatery, in St Louis (Missouri).
Crispy Pig Tails
serves 4-6 people as an appetizer
5 lbs pig tails, preferably 'docked'
5 tsp baking soda
2 tsp kosher salt
1. Over a mixing bowl, rub only the skin sides of the pig tails with the baking soda. Then, sprinkle the kosher salt over the entire surfaces of the pig tails.
2. Place the pig tails in the refrigerator overnight.
3. On the next day, rinse the salt and baking soda off of the pig tails and allow to dry.
4. Preheat an oven to 200 F. Place a baking rack inside of a roasting pan, and put about 1 inch of water in the bottom of the pan. Lay the pig tails in the roasting pan, skin side up. Cover the pan with aluminum foil and place in the oven.
5. Cook for 6 to 8 hours, or until the skin can easily be pierced with your pointer finger. More water may be added to the pan to keep a steamy environment during the entire cooking time.
6. Once done, remove the pan from the oven and allow the pig tails to rest for 30 minutes. Then start separating the pig tails: 1) gently tear the skin off of the tails and lay them flat on a work surface; 2) scrape off the excess fat from the tails and discard; 3) pull the meat from the tails and reserve in a work bowl of a stand mixer; and, 4) discard the tail bones.
7) Place the work bowl with tail meat in the stand mixer. On low speed, beat the meat until it resembles rillettes.
8) Form little logs of the pig tail meat and fit them on top of the skin. Wrap the skin around the pig tail meat, then wrap in plastic wrap to make little cylinders. Refrigerate the pig tails until ready to fry.
1/3 lb gorgonzola dulce
2 Tbsp. half and half
1. In the work bowl of a stand mixer, crumble the gorgonzola. Add the half and half.
2. With the paddle attachment, mix the gorgonzola on medium speed until it doubles in size. Reserve in a small container in the refrigerator until ready to use.
Celery Seed Vinaigrette
1 Tbsp celery seeds, toasted
1/2 tsp dijon mustard
2 Tbsp cider vinegar
Splash of sherry vinegar
1/4 cup diced apples
1 tsp chopped chives
1/3 cup olive oil
salt and pepper, to taste
1. In a mixing bowl, combine the celery seed, dijon mustard, chives, and the vinegars. While using a whisk, mix the ingredients together.
2. Continue using the whisk to mix the ingredients together while slowly pouring in the olive oil. This should create an emulsified vinaigrette.
3. Meanwhile, bring a small pot of water to a boil. Cook the apples for 20 seconds, then remove them to a tray to cool slightly then add the apples to the vinaigrette.
Brown Butter Polenta
1/4 cup Anson Mills Spin Rossa Integrale Polenta
1/2 cup water
1/2 cup milk
salt and pepper, to taste
4 Tbsp. unsalted butter
1. In a medium pot, heat the milk and water over medium heat. Season with salt and pepper.
2. Once the liquids begin to almost boil, whisk in the polenta. Turn the heat down to low and simmer while constantly stirring for the first 5 minutes. Cook for about 35-45 minutes total.
3. Once the grains are tender, adjust the seasoning with more salt and pepper, if necessary. Also, brown the butter in a skillet over medium high heat, then add the browned butter to the polenta.
4. Reserve the polenta in a warm place until ready to serve.
1 clove garlic, minced
4 Tbsp unsalted butter
2 Tbsp Chipotle Tabasco Sauce
1 Tbsp. grain mustard
2 Tbsp heavy cream
8 Tbsp unsalted butter, cubed
1. Brown the first amount of butter in a medium pot. Once the butter has browned, add the minced garlic and cook for about 2 minutes.
2. Add the chipotle tabasco to the pot and cook over medium heat. Reduce the liquid by about half being careful not to scorch it.
3. Add the grain mustard and heavy cream to the pot. Once the mixture boils, turn the heat down to low, then add the butter one piece at a time while constantly whisking.
4. Once all of the butter has been added, keep the butter in a warm place until ready to serve.
1. Preheat a deep-fat fryer to 375 F.
2. Cut the pig tail cylinders into 1/2 inch medallions. Fry about 4 medallions per serving, making sure not to crowd the fryer; depending on the amount of guests, the pig tails might need to be fried in batches.
3. Fry the pig tails for 2 minutes, then remove them from the fryer while the other components are being assembled. (Leave the pig tails in the basket as they will be fried a second time.)
4. Using a spoon or a small offset spatula, spread about 2 Tbsp of the whipped gorgonzola on the base of the plate. Put a dollop of polenta in the middle of the plate. Then spoon an oval of celery seed vinaigrette around the plate.
5. Fry the pig tails for a second time, just for about 1 minute. Place the pig tails in a mixing bowl, and cover with the buffalo sauce. Toss the pig tails in the buffalo sauce to fully coat.
6. Put the pig tails on top of the polenta leaning up against each other.
7. Finally, place some sprigs of the micro celery on top of the pig tails.
(* Recipe and photo courtesy of Chef Josh Galliano of The Libertine, all rights reserved)