Here it is, part 3 of the epic series, A Day at Newman Farm. Maybe this isn’t as eagerly awaited as the new version of Dallas that has hit the airwaves, but I was more excited about this dinner than I was to watch the show. If you are to busy to read and look at a lot of pictures, here are the short versions.
A lot of chef’s get together and cook a large quantity of excellent meat. Later, that meat is served with other good dishes. The crowd roars in approval. Those that must go home then hit the road. It was good.
-Cliff’s Notes version
Prepared and eaten with love
A day at Newman
That’s right, this was such a fun experience that it caused me to break out in haiku.
Men, Fire, Meat
There were a lot of cooks in the ol outdoor kitchen at Newman Farm, and they were all needed. Michael, Trevor, Ryan, and Aaron from the Andrew Michael and Hog and Hominy teams were in full effect. Sean from L’ecole Culinaire was up in there, and there were a few others doing serious work as well. Unfortunately this blogger forgot to use his notebook to write everything down…
First up was to prep beautiful pig for cooking by getting it up in the rack and injecting a mixture of oil and herbs into the body. This will add some flavor and keep additional moisture in the meat. Next they put the pig in this China Box, belly up, and roast it for about four hours. You maintain temperature by adding coals every hour or so to keep the heat consistent.
Basically, Mark Newman said that this thing is the best tool for roasting a pig that is out there.
While this was going on, the guys built an Argentinian style lean-to setup to cook up a lamb over an open flame.
It is all about the distance to the fire to regulate the temperature, which they wanted to keep somewhere around 150 (or something like that).
The guys (Ryan from AM and Trevor from Hog and Hominy) added some rabbits to the roasting rack as well.
Lamb is getting close. Pig is on the way out.
Pro tip: When you flip the pig for the last bit in the box, cross hatch some slices in the back skin, so that the fat will come out and crisp the skin.
Pig is ready for carving. If you look closely at the back leg, you can really see that thick layer of fat that gives the Newman Berkshire some of that extra flavor. In addition to the pigs getting a lot of exercise and better developing muscles and getting more oxygen to those muscles, the animal also has an incredible layer of fat that adds so much flavor in cooking or works well on its own.
While the big cuts were getting ready to get carved, the guys through some of the freshly butchered jowel on the grill. (See the butchering demo from part 2 for a refresher). Jowel is also called “face bacon,” thus it is delicious. Look for it on one of the pizzas at Hog and Hominy!
It was all a pretty incredible experience. It was just like your normal backyard cookout, with smoke, cold beers, and friends. For this one, the cooking just happened to take all day and was done by a bunch of real pros.
Mark, Chris, and Rita got us all together to say thanks to everyone for coming and thanks to everyone that helped put this thing together. It was really cool of them to invite us all out to their place to see how it is done and then to just have a great meal!
Rabbit, Lamb, pork, some pork cracklins, an excellent sweet potato from Dodson Farm, bread from Sweet Grass, and nice piece of sweet corn. This is how it is done.
This is the sweetest sweet potato of all time. That might possibly be hyperbole, but it might not be.
Cake made by the Peadbody’s pastry chef!
Some Memphians (not me!) brought a bunch of pie from Muddy’s to share. Did I find it strange that I drove 3 hours to have a piece of K’s pie? No.
From Farm to Fork
Now at the end of a massive three-part post on Newman Farm, I can sum it all up in three words. GO NEXT YEAR. See you there!