I started my preview of Slopig Milwaukee at Papavero in Madison, where chef Francesco Mangano prepared a skirt steak for me from the pig (a Yorkshire/Hampshire cross) Chef Dan Fox had given him for the upcoming event. Simply prepared over potatoes with a little salsa verde, it was one of the better pieces of pork I’ve eaten. Ever. Anywhere. The meat was delicate, light, giving, tender. The flavor matched— a barely perceptible porcine sting with a rich, succulent, finish. It was readily apparent that it was from a pig raised outside of the industrial-genetic-engineering farm complex. As different as a great organic chicken from a cheap conventional one, if not more.
I’ll be using this dish as a baseline of comparison for the other heritage pork dishes this weekend: How does it fare against ‘The Mangano?’
Then last Friday I went to the Slopig popup at Great Lakes Distillery. The excitement surrounding Slopig was palpable. It was great to also be able to congratulate Guy Rehorst in person on the beautiful new tasting room. I had a little moment sitting and looking out the new big picture windows straight at Conejitos, one of my all-time favorite Milwaukee spots.
Kyle Cherek and Dan Fox did a great job of entertaining the crowd while tearing-down a Swabian hog.
Chad Vogel and Great Lakes both had punches, which they served through ice blocks.
Scott Buer was there from Bolzano meats talking about making a literal TON of heritage pork sausage. He said he had to hire help!
One of the best things about Slopig is how it is bringing the food communities of Madison and Milwaukee together. This is happening between chefs, bartenders, foodies, and even food writers. I received some great food tips from Lori and Paul Fredrich over at the blog Burp!
If you haven’t got your hot little pink Slopig ticket yet, go do it. This is one event you will not want to miss!