When a nose to tail butcher meets a crafter who loves to bake, their kitchen always smells divine. Material Lust was lucky enough to get invited to dinner made by The Butcher and The Baker. On the menu, pork butt braised in milk with sour cream corn bread.
An artist and butcher, Jake Levin got his training a year ago at Fleisher’s Meats in Kingston, NY while balancing an MFA at Bard. Butchering quickly became an art form on its own.
Jake knew he didn’t like working in the ‘art world’ and wanted to work with food – “I wanted to do something that helped change the way people ate and farmed. I like having a job where I use my hands. And I love meat. I was first exposed to the idea by Tom Mylan of Williamsburg’s – The Meat Hook, who told me about Fleisher’s Meats in Kingston. I like the physicality of it, and the versatility of it. I also love helping people learn about sustainable meat, and also to give them access to it, which helps support small farmers.”
Pork Butt Braised in Milk
- 2-3 lbs boneless pork with cross-hatched skin
- 1 quart of milk (non-homogenized or raw if you can get it)
- 5 whole peppercorns
- 5 juniper berries
- grated nutmeg (optional)
Place a heavy dutch oven (either cast iron or enamel) on a burner with high heat. Add a couple of tablespoons each of butter and olive oil. When the butter stops foaming put in the pork, skin side down, browning it on all sides, a few minutes per side. When the pork is browned pour in two cups of milk. If you want you can also throw in a few bay-leaves, five whole peppercorns, five juniper berries and some grated nutmeg. Bring the milk to a simmer, then turn the heat all the way down and cover with the lid slightly ajar. Check the pork every now and then, turning it onto each side occasionally. After about an hour or so the milk should be curdled and turned into a nutty brown sauce. At this point add another cup of milk, bring to a simmer again then turn the heat to low and cover completely. Let it cook for another two hours, checking it occasionally, adding milk if all of the liquid is gone, and turning the butt. When the pork is tender and falling apart, take it out and put it in a baking dish or an all-metal pan and put it under the broiler, skin side up. Cook until the skin is crisped golden brown. Meanwhile, bring the sauce to a boil adding a few tablespoons of water. Serve the pork covered in the sauce.
As for the Baker, Silka Glanzman was the girl who made all the birthday cakes – “I always enjoy baking more when I know there will be company. It’s just escalated from there. Baking is really meditative for me and I love the science. Whatever you put in the oven comes out completely different. There’s a lot of suspense, which I love, but of course also gives me anxiety. My favorite thing to bake is an apple pie with a lattice crust. Classic and beautiful.”
- 1 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 cup yellow cornmeal
- 2 tablespoons granulated sugar
- 2 teaspoons baking powder
- 1 teaspoon dried aleppo flakes
- 1/2 teaspoon table salt
- 1 large egg, lightly beaten
- 1 cup sour cream
- 1/3 cup buttermilk
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
Preheat the oven to 400 °F. Generously butter a 9×5-inch loaf pan, or coat it with a nonstick spray.
Whisk flour, cornmeal, sugar, baking powder, aleppo and salt together in a large bowl. In a smaller bowl, whisk together the egg, sour cream, buttermilk and olive oil. Stir the wet ingredients into the dry ones, mixing until just barely combined. Spread the batter in your prepared pan and bake for 22 to 25 minutes. A toothpick inserted into the center should come out clean.
Now for a little giveaway – get a piece of Headwest Design, perfect for any Butcher or Baker on their next trip to the green market.
Sacramento Street and Material Lust are giving away a tote set made from vintage linens with two small drawn string bags by Headwest Design. To enter:
- Tell us what farmers market vegetable or fruit you love picking up for Sunday night dinners.
Also be sure to check out their adorable Etsy shop. Giveaway ends on September 30th. Good luck everyone!