Nose to tail eating right now is an underground foodie trend. Culinary adventurers love food that shocks and thrills them- while being exceptionally tasty at the same time. Those who practise nose to tail eating focus on the fact that the whole animal should be consumed, and not just the ‘popular’ cuts. For example some of the popular cuts of pork that are used in North America are tenderloin, ribs and chops. Some of the cuts that are not normally served up include tail, snout and hooves.
Although this kind of dinning might be unconventional for us here in North America, for many cultures and many different countries this is part of everyday life. For example in Japan it is very common to eat pork jowl, or cheek meat. In fact, many of our Canadian pork cuts that are not popular here are exported to other countries as there is only a very small market for these cuts here. In many countries Canadian pork is viewed as very high quality and according to some, it tastes better! We should be proud to supply such a great product.
Fitting sustainability into the mix, eating nose to tail is an economical way of eating. Eating these cuts supports the idea that you should not waste any part of the animal- this idea is important in many different cultures but seems to be undervalued in North America. Nose to tail dinning is a way to excite any culinary explorer, and right in our own back yard. Not only will you get an adventure- you might also get a new favourite dish! As an appropriate way to end this post I am going to leave you with a tail recipe from the Good Food Channel.
Crispy pig tails
Prep time: 1 hr
Cook time: 3 hrs 20 min
8 pig’s tails, long
2 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
2 carrots, peeled and roughly chopped
2 sticks celery
1 handfuls mixed fresh herbs
3 bay leaves
10 black peppercorns
1 head garlic
1 lemon, zest
0.5 bottles red wine
1 litres chicken stock
2 Tbsp English mustard
4 eggs, whisked together
450 g seasoned flour
225 g white breadcrumbs, fine
30 g butter
1. Set the oven to 360˚F (180˚C)
2. Place the tails in an oven dish with the vegetables, herbs, bay leaves peppercorns, garlic, lemon zest, and wine, and cover with the stock.
3. Cover with kitchen foil and cook for three hours. The tails are done when a finger can easily pinch through the flesh. Remove from the oven and leave to cool in the stock, but remove the tails before it turns to jelly and drain any excess liquid off them.
4. Place the tails in the fridge for an hour or so until cold and firm.
5. Set the oven to 395˚F (200˚C). Mix together the mustard and eggs and have ready three bowls, one for the flour, the egg and mustard, and the breadcrumbs.
6. Dust the tails with flour, dip them in the egg mixture and then roll them in the breadcrumbs so that they are well covered. You must do this just before you cook them, otherwise the crumbs will go soggy.
7. Using a large ovenproof frying pan or hot roasting tray, add the butter, and heat until sizzling. Add the tails and roll them around so that they are coated in the butter. Be careful as they can split at this point.
8. Roast for 20 minutes, turning half way through the cooking time. Serve hot with your choice of sides.