So in my continuous effort to learn new ways to roast a whole animal I’ve discovered this. The caja china- the Chinese box. Sounds better in Espanol.
It’s a simple contraption that is very easy to set up. Took us about an hour and it was ready to go. It’s a wooden exterior with a stainless steel inner lining. It takes coals and not wood for the heat. These go on top of the box so you can adjust the heat every hour or as needed. The pig sits inside and is clamped on ether side by a cafe like device. Device sounds complicated but it’s still very simple. There is even a drop pan to catch the juices. I would love to think we could put potatoes and onions in there to cook in the juices under the pig.
So we haven’t used it yet, but I will finish this post when we do with more pics. Should be cool and a third of the work involved. The spit takes about fifteen hours including butchery and this box should only take about six. Four of which for the cooking time.
The rye miche from our first event was a strong factor in expressing our appreciation for quality. The rye miche is a mentality for old world love of technique and flavor. Focusing on flavor and nutrition. As somewhat quoted from Ashton (head baker and owner of AR fresh) says up until about 120 years ago wheat was grown in fields containing an uncontrolled percentage of different grains and grasses. Such as rye, barley, oats, flax,and grass. It was all milled together. Thus creating a flavorful and unique product. Although it was looked at less like “product” and more as life sustaining. Every town had its own fields which made each miche different.
I took a couple quick photos of his ovens. The top is a French style deck oven. So the baker is tuned into his baking by using stones to bake on. The second is an old oven built in WA. This one isn’t a deck oven but equally impressive and with much character.
So we look forward to having AR fresh bread at our future events.
Cool article on our first pig roast!Link to Full Article on Sync
I had some more pictures that helped to sum up what we were up to last Sunday. Its great looking back at these shots. Having our first event at Dunbar Urban Garden Project was the rug that tied the room together. Without having a space like this I don’t think the impact would have been the same. What projects like this are doing are inspirational to me and for the future of good food in Little Rock. So with the help of Damien, Chris and Susan from Dunbar we were even more successful. Thanks guys! And here is to the up and coming events that we are working on now!
So I have been wanting to wait for some of our photos (professional) to come back to post. But I couldn’t wait and I have some from the phone that will work great.
Butcher & Public just threw its first event featuring a whole roasted pig. The event in our eyed was epic. We used a pig from Freckle Face Farms, produce and the likes from Armstead Mountain Farm, Laughing Stock Farm, North Pulaski Organics, Little Rock Urban Farm and Loblolly Creamery. Loblolly had some delicious AR black apple cider.
We also had some great locally brewed beers from Vinos and Flyway Brewing. Both were delicious and we were excited to taste Matt Fosters American Brown Ale made with hops from Dunbar Urban Garden.
The products spoke for themselves and make us look good for using them. This is essentially what B&P is striving to be and work towards. Utilizing the rich resources that AR has to offer. Using locally sourced while animals and produce. And staying inspired by what the different seasons have to offer.
So now back to the drawing board to wok on the next event! We are really excited about this and all the ways we can make the next one better. So stayed posted for more details on the next one and for more pictures.
So to wrap it up we see a great future for Little Rock and the AR food scene. The turnout we had was overwhelming and humbling. This tells us that what B&P is working towards can be supported by the community!
Butcher & Public is an idea for bringing local farmers, ranchers, producers and their creations together for a feast and gathering. We will butcher a whole animal, gather local produce and conjure local brewers. The animal will be respected in the sense it will be used in in entirety and will bring community together. The produce and grains will be sourced from urban and local farms to reflect the seasons of AR. It will be a full meal with the obvious centerpiece of a spit roasted whole animal. The first one is a pig from Mitchell and Freckle Face Farm. It’s a reason to hang outside on a cold winter day and if nothing else an excuse to drink some brew by a fire pit. So essentially The What is just that. A gathering of like-minded, food interested people gathering to enjoy it around a fire. Seems to be The Why too.
The When? The first of these events is January — . At the moment this is a ticket free event but we are accepting gracious donations of which 100% will go back into the events to help them grow and continue to support these great people. The first one will be trial by fire and we’ll grow from there.
The Where? We are excited to say Dunbar Community Gardens have been awesome enough to let us set up for an extended day to roast a pig. So the event will kick off at 5pm. And everyone keep in mind its January in AR and the weather will do what she will. So weather permitting it will maintain this location. Because the size of the main course it wouldn’t work as well indoors and we will have to reschedule if it seems its going to storm.
So that should about do it on the details. I hope all of you can make it out for some eating and drinking with us. This is really a hope to get everyone out on a dreary winter day to enjoy a pit fire and some tasty foods and drinks.
Published by The New York Times
We love to get our hands dirty too. This article highlights what Butcher & Public is bringing back to Little Rock.Link to Full Article on New York Times
Travis McConnell, sous chef at the Capital Hotel Bar & Grill, plans to open Butcher and Public, his own brick and mortar space in Little Rock at some point down the road. At 5 p.m. Jan. 13, he’s hosting an event at the Dunbar Community Garden Project to show off his vision — a whole roasted local pig party.
The event is donations-only and not ticketed. McConnell plans to offer a full meal that’s cooked over the fire. He’ll roast a pig from Freckle Face Farms on a spit that he and his dad recently built; use produce from Little Rock Urban Farming, Armstead Farms and others, and serve beer from Diamond Bear and Vino’s. He said the menu is a reflection of his cooking philosophy: whole butchered animals and fixin’s, locally and regionally sourced.
McConnell first worked as sous chef at the Capital Bar from 2007 until 2009, before departing for Revival Bar and Kitchen in Berkley for three years. He returned to the Capital in September after vacationing Italy, where he got to spend a few days studying under Dario Cecchini, who Anthony Bourdain has called “the most famous and respected butcher in Italy and, maybe, the world.” McConnell has posted a few shots of Cecchini’s butcher shop, Antica Macelleria Cecchini, on the Butcher and Public Facebook page as an example of what he wants Butcher and Public to be.
Written by Lindsey Millar on Fri, Jan 4, 2013 at 12:18 PMLink to Full Article on Arkansas Times