Black pig Berkshire pork chops

I recently wrote here about Ottomanelli on Bleecker Street, a great old-style New York butchers. They have the pork chops pictured above, a heritage breed from Western Massachusetts, ‘black pig’ Berkshires. This is what pork was like before it became the other white meat. Look at that fat. Liz Hart and I have recently been trading pork strategies for avoiding the overcooked phenomenon, a real danger with modern lean chops – you have maybe 30 seconds after it becomes done but before it becomes dry, and pulling it out during that window can be a matter of pure luck. (See my post about pork chops with vinegar peppers.) Liz recommends brining, and I tried that, with the good old Julia Child spice marinade, and it was great. But I found with these heritage chops, no brining was necessary… nor was there need for that constant worry about hitting the 30 second window. With these well-marbled chops, the fat provides the moisture. They were amazing. And they were also $7.99 a pound. I served ’em with steamed white rice (Carolina) and boiled green beans (a little bit of Lurpak butter and some salt).

4 thoughts on “Black pig Berkshire pork chops”

  1. I sear them at high heat in a cast iron pan for 4-5 minutes on each side, deglaze with 2/3 cup of vermouth, and then steam them for another 2-4 minutes or until done.

  2. Ha, I thought “I served ‘em with steamed white rice (Carolina) and boiled green beans” was just too straighforward!

    My favourite method is to fry in butter at a moderately high heat, wrap in foil with the juice from the pan, thinly sliced apple and sage and finish off cooking in the oven.

  3. AWESOME. Ottamelli’s should be declared the official New York County bird, or song, or something– any machination to make sure they keep bringing the great stuff to those of us who (can still afford) to live or work around there.

    (File under Corporate Agriculture Still Sucks.)

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