Monday, January 28, 2008

The Notorious C.U.T.

When we got our Mangalitsa pigs cut and wrapped recently. Tom and Larry Ellestad of Vern's Moses Lake Meats gave me a lot of tips on how to cut the pigs. Larry Ellestad pointed out that due to the pigs being so young, we'd better leave a strip of belly on the ribs.

That's a known problem with Mangalitsa pigs: they mature slowly, so the bellies of young pigs are small and quite fatty - there's almost nothing there.

I didn't really understand Larry's suggestion - because I imagined he meant to cut along the ribs somehow, which, as the picture shows, he didn't:

They labeled this cut "spareribs." It might as well be named "belly" - as there's more belly on there than ribs.

Larry's cut is very smart. The ribs contribute a lot of flavor, and the rib meat is wonderful. Serious foodies who've bought this cut are already very happy - like this one.

One thing I like about this is that this is the first American interpretation of Mangalitsa. In Austria, they like to do fancy butchery, with minimum use of the bandsaw. Larry's cut (through the ribs) is made possible by liberal use of the bandsaw.

I just saw today that Rebekah Denn (Seattle Post-Intelligencer) cooked up her spareribs - and she's got a glowing report, along with a very nice photograph of the dish, which looks really "cave man" with the ribs poking out. Here's her photo:

I'm wondering what to call this cut, and am soliciting suggestions. "Spareribs" doesn't do it justice. Its got belly, fat and ribs. This cut "goes to 11." Around the home, we call this the "Notorious C.U.T." - but we are looking for a more apt term. If you have a suggestion, please leave it in a comment.


Get Paid For EVERY Blog Visitor - Ask Me How... said...

Mmmmmmm.... Delicious!

boberica said...

Rebekkah is absolutely right in her article, that piece feeds three. I'm excited to use some more tonite in a fideos dish with prawns and cod. I braised mine (2 pounds) all at once, and froze most of it in small portions to cook with in different recipes. I'm sure it will go a long way. I really think this will be a super marketable cut, very soon Heath.
Something that's great about this mangalitsa fat, is the way it makes you feel, nay, doesn't make you feel. Usually when I partake of the belly, It feels like a ton of bricks. This was not the case with the wooly one, maybe its the MUFA, or the low melting point, but for as rich as it is, It didn't give me the Thanksgiving day need for a nap.

derekslager said...

How about "Bamm-Bamm Belly" ... ?

I think this cut is more popular in Europe, where pork belly recipes tend to specify whether or not bones are attached.

Anonymous said...

The dish Looks delicious!!!!!! to bad i dont eat Ribs often..

Anonymous said...

I'm a vegan, but if I wasn't I'd sure like to order me up some yummy pork of yours.

Good luck to all y'all ... and God Bless!

Nick said...

Bone-in pork belly, perhaps? Looks delicious in any case.

Magdavia REX said...

:( piggies

Maryam. said...

that is disgusting. how do you people kill these poor pigs for your pure pleasure?

Heath said...

Boberica - don't forget the jowl.

I think it would be hilarious if the Food Network did an Iron Chef where Mangalitsa belly or Mangalitsa jowl was the surprise ingredient.

boberica said...

Battle Mangalitsa!!!
I regret not buying any jowl, and will definitely purchase some next time around, either bacon or raw.
Just for the record, these mangalitsa are absolutely the cutest piglets. It would be horrible to raise these hogs for anything other than pure pleasure.

Anonymous said...


Mama Joy said...

oh my i'm getting hungry.:)

Sonika said...

Mmmmmmm.... Delicious! I am feeling hungry.......Yum Yum

The Patriot said...

Are you part of the revolution?

Anonymous said...

"The picket fence of death."

woodpecker said...

How about "Fat Belly Ribs"

They do look amazing

darkman said...


Dave said...

I made a mistake looking at this at lunch time.

Greenpa said...

How about - Slow Ribs

jp said...

Why not call it what it is: Fat BellyRibs - now, gotta go order some of the bacon from Planet Organics; our delivery is on Weds.!

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Anonymous said...

The cut looks like a rail car, on the train tracks...belly rail or belly car? rib rail? hmmm...
-Jim Papadopoulos