The pork shank at Chez Billy in Petworth is a Flintstone-sized piece of meat that’s brined and braised before being served.
Jaleo: multiple D.C. metro locations; jaleo.com. Average entree: $13 to $20 ($$). Check locations for times.
The Pig: Face Bacon and Barbecue Pig Tails
Going all nose-to-tail has never been easier, thanks to The Pig.
Chef Mike Bonk, who moved to the porkatorium after keeping Capitol Hill types well-fed at Sonoma, brought over one new addition that’s quickly become a fan favorite: face bacon.
Bonk cures the entire jowl for 24 hours, smokes the heavenly hog for an hour, slow roasts it for another six hours, and cools, slices and then flash-sears the whole bit before saucing it up with maple syrup and bracing mustard.
“We sell a lot of face bacon,” he said of the delectable slab of pure decadence.
The barbecue pig tails were an inherited dish, but one that continues to fare well.
We loved the combination of fiery hot barbecue sauce and pungent cambozola cheese — a high-end buffalo wing for the swine-chasing set.
Still, Bonk sees room for improvement. He plans to tweak the pig tails with a Vietnamese-style caramel sauce he’s been playing with for some time. The new flavor could hit the menu as early as this weekend.
The Pig: 1320 14th St. NW; 202-290-2821; thepigdc.com. Average entree: $13 to $20 ($$). Open for lunch Friday, dinner daily, brunch Saturday and Sunday.
Red Apron Butchery: Porkstrami
Pork sandwiches are nothing new.
But pushing the envelope on new pork products is what Red Apron chef/founder Nathan Anda does for a living.
The charcuterie master brines his Berkshire pork for up to two weeks in a combination of cloves, juniper, coriander and other proprietary herbs. He then smokes and steams the piggy before slapping it into a cottony sub roll pre-packed with tangy house-made sauerkraut seasoned with fatty scraps of bacon. Add in the brazen whole grain mustard, and you’ve got a mouthful of awesome you won’t soon forget.
And Anda’s not done yet. He’s working on a line of breakfast sandwiches for the forthcoming D Street Northwest location.
Red Apron Butchery: multiple D.C. metro locations; redapronbutchery.com. Average entree: under $12 ($). Check locations for times.