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Posts tagged ‘easter ham’

Does Heritage Pork Make a Better Ham?

We can confidently say that heritage breed pork tastes better. It offers a nuanced, deeper flavor and more succulent meat than commodity pork. It tends to be darker in color – not dry and pale like the “other white meat” that is widely available. Did you know that the USDA lowered the minimum cooking temperature for pork to 145 degrees back in 2011? You may be overcooking those chops!

Pork Chops

Berkshire pork chops

Due to more diversity in farming and demand from the public, the rich, marbled fat and tasty meat of heritage pigs is certainly becoming more appreciated by connoisseurs. At D’Artagnan we celebrate the Berkshire hog and sell plenty of cuts like pork loin, racks, chops and tenderloin. We encourage you to taste it and compare to the pork you’ve had in the past.

But heritage breeds sometimes offer up the tastiest pork when they are crossed; a characteristic like large size combines with a distinct trait like fine-marbled fat to produce a meaty hind leg ideal for making ham. We take these heritage breed pork legs and smoke them with real applewood chips, not fake flavorings, and season them with maple and brown sugar and salt, to create a slightly sweet, but still savory ham.

Fully cooked, our applewood smoked heritage ham is an easy solution for a holiday dinner—all you need to do is heat and slice. But a glaze will put the finishing touch on your ham, and make the presentation a bit more dramatic. We have several recipes to choose from. Choose bone-in ham for large groups, leftovers and tableside carving.

And the very same heritage pork can be enjoyed in our boneless ham. Prepared the same way, it offers a lot of flavor in a smaller package, as well as ease of slicing.

orange_glazed_ham_recipe

Spiced orange marmalade glazed ham

And for a small gathering, or just day-to-day use, we offer a boneless petite ham that weighs in at just 1.5 to 3 pounds. It’s perfect for slicing and slathering with Dijon mustard for a juicy ham sandwich. Ham goes well with eggs (just ask Dr. Seuss!), whether in an omelet or diced for a quiche. Chopped and added to egg or potato salad, this lightly-smoked ham is a great addition. Find ways to incorporate it in your favorite dishes.

Boneless heritage ham

Boneless heritage ham

And let us see what you’re cooking. Share pictures on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram – be sure to tag us @dartagnanfoods so we can see your kitchen victories!

Wines for your Easter Feast

As the sommelier for per se, in New York City, Anani Lawson is responsible for selecting wines for some of the world’s most discriminating palates. He also runs the wine education program for the restaurant’s world class staff. And before per se, Anani worked at The French Laundry for nine years!

Anani Lawson, Sommelier at Per Se

For someone with such a prestigious position (and service record), Anani is one of the nicest, most genuine people we know. His passion for wine and food is apparent in everything he does and his joie de vivre is infectious! His warm, service-driven, straight-forward approach gives guests a feeling of accesibility, which is why we asked him to create some convivial pairings for our Easter menu. These are his suggestions…

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Appetizers

Truffle Butter Gougères

Pierre Gimonnet, Cuis, Premier Cru MV

Anani says: “Ethereal, floral in style, notes of acacia and a little nut, this certainly has plenty of character. The palate is very feminine, starting off quite soft and pillowy, but then revealing a sharp mousse in the background and a good acid backbone. This wine is rounded and very harmonious.”

Schramsberg, “Blanc de Blancs,” Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “It displays tart green apples, pineapple and lemongrass, with a honeyed nutty edge. Tropical and tangy on the palate, with layers of lemon cream, pineapple and buttery toast, it finishes with a hint of sweetness but plenty of acidity.”

Deviled Quail Eggs Three Ways:

Bacon & Thyme, Porcini & Parmesan, Caviar & Crème Fraiche

Schloss Gobelsburg, Grüner Veltliner, “Steinsetz,” Kamptal 2010

Anani says: “Is the classical full-bodied Grüner Veltliner with mineral flavours and the typical spicy element as well as natural acidity.”

Domaine Weinbach, Riesling, “Cuvée Ste. Catherine-Linedit,” Schlossberg, Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “This Riesling offers powdered sugar on the nose, even some cinnamon toast. Very spicy vanilla bean and white chocolate. Powerful fruit, very candied; sweet yet racy acids. Fantastic balance. Sweet and sour lemon confit on the finish.”

Jermann, Pinot Grigio, Friuli-Venezia-Giulia 2009

Anani says: “An intense straw yellow colour with a faint tinge of old rose. Beautifully pure, elegant, floral Pinot Grigio. The bouquet is full and fruity. A touch of almonds and vanilla, a hint of fruit and spice on the palate, a smooth and dry full-bodied white which is particularly harmonious and accessible.”

Asparagus Tartlets with Jambon de Bayonne

 Merry Edwards, Sauvignon Blanc, Russian River Valley 2010

Anani says: “The aroma is floral and mouth¬watering, layered with ripe melon, peach and subtle mineral highlights. In the mouth, it is rich and seamlessly well balanced, kicking in a hint of grapefruit, citrus and pear on the lingering finish.”

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The Main Event

Menu #1: Lamb Loin with Leeks and Truffle Honey Vinaigrette, Duck Fat Roasted New Potatoes, Roasted Hen-of-the-Woods Mushrooms, Bibb Salad with Peas & Radish, Lemon Vinaigrette

Kaizen, Grenache, Sonoma County 2009

Anani says: “The aromatics are layered with blackberry, roasted meat, bittersweet chocolate, gunflint, and lavender. The sweet blackberry entry opens to more dark chocolate, blueberry, black pepper, soft earthy  minerality mouth-filling tannins.”

Ciacci Piccolomini d’Aragona Brunello di Montalcino 2006

Anani says: “The bouquet is intense, fruit-forward, spicy and floral with hints of red berry fruits enriched by delicate spicy notes. Warm, soft and very well balanced on the palate; structured with soft tannins and long aftertaste.”

Ramey, Cabernet Sauvignon, Napa Valley 2007

Anani says: “This cabernet boasts a dense purple color as well as a big, sweet bouquet of blueberry and black currant fruit intertwined with licorice, bay leaf, cedar and fruitcake notes. It’s full-bodied and opulent.”

Menu #2: Glazed Applewood Smoked Heritage Ham, Yukon Gold Potato Gratin with Morels, French Green Beans with Citrus Butter and Tarragon, Duck Fat Biscuits

Albert Boxler, Pinot Gris “Brand,” Grand Cru 2008

Anani says: “Color: bright; Nose: complex; Acidity: crisp; Overall: elegant; great wine….honeysuckle, mango, floral….. superb wine…”

Patz & Hall, Pinot Noir “Hyde Vineyard,” Carneros 2009

Anani says: “Seductive aromas of cherry, kirsch and bittersweet chocolate, segue to red fruit flavors of raspberry, cranberry and framboise, with hints of char and cocoa in this Pinot. The 07 vintage is big and rich with a palate of soft, coating tannins, while still displaying elegant acid balance and a vibrant charm.”