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Hot Ingredient: A Pig's Head Will Take Your Dinner to the Next Level

It's not pretty, but the crispy skin and juicy meat will convert you
October 28, 2014
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by Megan Giller

Roasting whole animals is so 2012. Chefs and experimental diners have since moved on to other body parts, namely the noggin. Why? Well, the cheek and other face meat tastes tender and juicy, and it's fun to make tacos, sandwiches and small plates at the table while chatting with friends. Here are seven places to get heady with it.

CBD Provisions, Dallas

Family-style Mexican goes fancy at this Dallas spot in the Joule Hotel Downtown. Here, you'll find Berkshire pig-head carnitas with roasted tomatillo salsa, radishes and fresh tortillas.

The Cannibal, New York City

The hip gastropub serves half of a roasted pig’s head with salad, yogurt sauce and pita, a nice departure from traditional Mexican- and barbecue-style dishes.

Craigie on Main, Cambridge, Mass.

The milk-fed pig’s head here is fusion food at its finest: think confit-and-roasted head served with Peking pancakes, spicy pumpkin sambal and boudin noir-hoisin sauce.

Radiator Whiskey, Seattle

At this whiskey and meat haven, they up the ante with more meat. The brined-and-smoked pig’s head comes with braised tongue, roasted pork loin, deep-fried ears (like curly fries, but better), potato bread, mustard, herbed aïoli and Mama Lil’s pickled peppers. Be sure to order in advance.

David Burke Kitchen, Aspen and New York City

The confit crispy pig’s face at both locations comes with pickles, mustard and flatbread.

Maialino, New York City

Chef Nick Anderer's Italian menu boasts the testarella al maialino, a crispy suckling pig’s face served with market greens.

The Partisan, Washington, DC

The roasted pig head here comes with salsa verde, pickled peppers, arugula and — to top it off — a pig’s-ear salad.

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