THE MEAT OF THINGS: THE ORIGINAL’S COQ AU VIN, PORK SHANK & SWEETBREADS

THE MEAT OF THINGS: THE ORIGINAL’S COQ AU VIN, PORK SHANK & SWEETBREADS Friday, February 18, 2011

Every so often, BJ Smith, our executive chef at The Original, ponders options for the vegans and vegetarians among us who, for either religious, moral or practical purposes, skip the meat. But, as he’ll tell you, he’s easily distracted by anything with four legs and a snout (or, in some cases, two wings and a beak).

So he hasn’t forgotten you, vegetarians. Contrary, he’s recently added veggie options to our breakfast and brunch menus, and gnocchi to our dinner menu. Our daily pasta specials always come sans meat and our housemade veggie burgers are vegan.

But for all you pigletarians out there, good news. You can find Mister Bacon in each of the following new dinner dishes now being served.

Coq Au Vin (pictured) is French for Rooster with Wine. And that’s pretty much what it is. We take half of a chicken from Draper Valley Farms, and braise it in red wine with bacon and mirepoix. Once it’s finished, we rest it atop a puree of potato, and garnish it with whole, peeled pearl onions, parsnips, celery root and carrots.

As the name implies, the meat that makes up our Tails & Trotters Milk-Braised Pork Shank comes to us from our new favorite butchers, who provide us these carefully cut shanks. With garlic and spices (again, as the name implies) we braise it in milk and serve it over a plate of creamy polenta (made with parmesan and—wait for it—bacon), garnishing it with cipollini onions, rapini and, that’s right, housemade pork rinds.

We round out our new menu items with our newest appetizer, Chicken-Fried Sweetbreads. The term sweetbread comes to us, most likely, from ye Olde English, and while it is chicken-fried, it’s not really sweet, nor is it really bread. Let’s just say it’s offal, and off’lly delicious (bwah ha ha!). And it comes with a pair of tightly spun “angel hair” hash browns and is garnished with a country gravy made of (mmm-hmmm) ham, sausage and bacon, as well as foie gras. Just remember, it’s one of the world’s oldest dishes and, clearly, one of its most enduring. So try it. It’s delicious.