ORIGINAL MEATS: PORK ‘N’ BEANS Friday, May 20, 2011

We think it’s safe to say that Portland’s spring has finally sprung, which means the time for camping is now—whether you’re a Portlander who takes to the forests to explore Oregon’s mountains and streams, or one of the urban campers who fill our city’s hotels to take in our roses, parades and our omnibus of festivals.

To honor this season of exterior explorations, The Original‘s crowned our new Spring Menu with a colorfully dazzling dish inspired by campers, fit for Vikings, but ultimately made for the gastronome in us all.

We call it Pork ‘n’ Beans.

As you can see by the accompanying photo though, this is not a simple case of a kitchen playfully variating on a theme. The name might wink at you, but this plate is serious stuff—we’re talking pork shank here, sourced from Carlton Farms, roasted with preserved Meyer lemons and served on the bone.

The shank is then artfully arranged atop of casserole of Corona beans and spicy pickled peppers (sweet cherry, piri piri and piparra), and served in a broth of shaved fennel, garlic confit, charred vegetables and (wait for it…) bacon.

Then it’s finished with a garnish of housemade cracklins (pork rinds) and drizzled with an oil made from chiles de árbol.

So, if you wish, you can choose to eat our Pork ‘n’ Beans like a Viking—using just your fingers and your teeth—but the more sophisticated eater will find that this shank is so tender that you can cut it from the bone using but a spoon.