The Last Bite of Summer

We have been hearing this term “polar vortex” thrown around a lot recently.  I do realize it is a real weather phenomenon, but doesn’t it seem like it’s been used a little too much?  We have some pretty brutal winters around here in WNY when this term actually makes sense and has some meaning to it.  But this summer we’ve had more than our share of these alleged polar vortexes.  I know quite a few people who are a bit bitter about this summer, or lack of.  Well peeps, it is evident that Fall is making an early entry this year, and for those looking for a little comfort, I have the perfect fix for you!
One of the items added to the Brew Pub’s menu this summer is the Mex-Italian Porketta - a sultry and ultra delicious dish.  What we have here is a very worldly dish with multiple cuisine styles present.  This one has quickly become a favorite of the staff and is gaining popularity with our customer base as well.
To be honest with you, preparing the Porketta is not for the faint of heart.  Culinarily, it takes a bit of skill as far as timing everything perfectly.  And to preserve some recipe secrecy, I’m not going to give a verbatim recipe. Let’s dish out a general overview of this kitchen gem ...
First off is the pork itself.  We use a pork osso bucco (or shank), which we marinade in multiple spices including paprika and fennel seeds.  It is then char grilled and finished in the oven by braising.  Place the final porketta atop linguine pasta tossed with garlic, basil and tomatoes in an olive oil and white wine sauce. Served alongside the pasta is garden fresh asparagus with a balsamic vinegar and honey reduction.  Last but not least, on top of everything we drizzle a special emulsified sauce consisting of chipotle peppers, lots of cilantro and specialty Mexican spices.  Once this dish comes together, it is quite unique in its lightness, beauty and reminiscence of mid-summer.
As I am thinking of what beer I should pair with this dish, it comes to mind that Dan Minner is currently upholding a very strict production schedule.  Right now the main focus consists of the seasonal Fall Festival lager.  So with a dish that combines so many different national cuisines, I find it only fitting to have another nation represented with the beer pairing.  Our ode to the ancient Bavarian festival in southern Germany is actually my absolute favorite beer that we currently produce.  Every year at EBC we brew this beer for our local Fall Festival, and the reaction of the public is much the same as it was back in the day.  We use only the freshest German Hallatauer hops and Munich malts to produce this wonderfully delightful royal brew.
With all of the beautiful colors that make up this dish, paired with pint of our Fall Fest lager, you would be hard pressed to find a better dining experience anywhere in WNY.  Until next time, think warm thoughts ... we’ll be knee deep in snow before you know it!

Josh McDowell

Chef Joshua McDowell is a graduate of the Pennsylvania Institute of Culinary Arts of Pittsburgh, PA. He carries a Bachelor’s degree in Culinary Arts and has recently taken on the position of Executive Chef at the newly expanded Ellicottville Brewing Company.

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