The body fell from Lawrence’s shoulder onto the block with a depressing thud, it had already seen the blade postmortem, it was halved ‘North to South’*, head removed and feet already boiling down in a large grey vat…………
Lawrence handed me the knife and told me to familiarise myself with its weight, feel and temper. I took it from him….. hilt down and blade up…what I considered the proper way a knife would be held when disposing of a body.
“Wrong road round lad”
I looked at the old butcher, hair jet black and 50’s greaser styled, face plump and well fed, Mutton-Chops fuzzy, running from ear to jowl. He took the knife and flipped it blade down and hilt up in my hand….serial killer style.
“This is a boning knife, you’re going to need strength and precision if you want to separate this animal into its main parts boyo – stab and pull” – Lawrence illustrated the narrative with his own clenched fist stabbing and raking several times in mid-air.
We had left the Kitchen early, straight after lunch and headed down the coast to our pork supplier Lawrence Smythe for a few hours butchering pork for the weekend insanity. He was a cranky old bugger still stuck in 1957, his butcher’s shop had a giant black and white Eddie Cochran print hanging on the wall and nothing but Little Richard and Chuck Berry would be played in his back rooms where his porkers were deftly deconstructed and Chefs like Tony and me would indulge our lust for blood and gore.
I went to work on one half of the Pig, Tony the other whilst Chef smoked Reds with Lawrence at the back door and talked about why Ritchie Valens was a twat (sic)..it was late June and I had been back in the Kitchen for just over a month….I was very much at home…..for now.
“Hey Rocky*, you ever see Tomahawks”
Tony had dissected the pig in under 30 minutes, Shoulder, Ham, Loin, Belly all lay like an Air-Fix kit pre-assembly on the bench and he was proudly holding up 2 giant Pork Chops by their rib-bones that indeed looked like Native American throwing axes.
“Bloody Hell Tone, what the hell are they”
I’d never seen anything so impressive – giant chops that would not have looked outta place on the Flintstones
“These are Brooklyn-cut Tomahawks Rocky. Ya see the Doodles* know how to do it, you order a Tomahawk in a joint in Brooklyn and get anything under 2 inches thick you are within your rights to kick up a stink…what we get here at home is a fucking sin! lets get ’em on the board for the weekend…..we need a really good fucking cider though mate”!
We carved out about 25 2+inch thick tomahawks for the Friday night special swung into the city and ‘secured’ some hooched Armagh Cider and turned a days Pig-Diggin’* into a seriously profitable evening for the Kitchen.
This is my favorite way with ‘big’ Pork – a double cook, pan to oven with sticky Parnsip and sweet cider.
*Head to Tail
*My Kitchen name
*Americans – mostly East Coast
*because that what it became know as
♠ Tomahawk pork, sticky parsnips, fennel tops & baby carrots♣
Prep time: 2 mins ♦ Cook Time: 25 minutes ♦ Total time about 30 minutes ♦ Serves 2
♣WHAT YOU NEED♥
Two tomahawk Pork Chops – get you butcher to cut these 2.5 inches thick
1 full parsnip – diced
Top quality medium-sweet Cider
Fennel tops – roughly chopped
♠HOW YOU DO IT♥
Wash and trim the carrots, then cook in plenty of salted boiling water for about 3 minutes total. Remove immediately and transfer to a bowl of heavily iced water.
The carrots are double cooked (well, cooked once then brought up to temperature) so the inced water is critical.
Next season the pork really well with salt flakes and cracked black pepper.
Get a wide frying pan on the heat and add in a little rapeseed oil until it begins to smoke. With kitchen tongs place both chops together with the fat side aligned the set into the hit pan and hold with tongs. This method gets the pork fat rendering quickly.
When the fat has taken on some colour then flip the chop chops face down into the pan on both side and colour well.
When nicely coloured remove the chops to a plate and add in the diced parsnip and cook in the pork fat for about 3 minutes then knock off the heat.
Next, bring the chops back into the pan, add the Pale Ale and sling the lot into a preheated oven at 180c for 25 minutes. After 20 minutes you can add the carrots to the pan, coat with juices, scatter over the chopped fennel tops and simply warm through.
Serve the whole lot right from the pan with some fat, fluffy new boiled spuds……your own…..obviously!!
Fancy a Beer? Forget about it – get this down ye!
MAC IVORS MEDIUM CIDER