Because of the diverse nature of the many different restaurants and chefs Brian Henry has worked under he is highly proficient at a wide range of cuisines.

Brian’s cooking is seasonal, inventive and smart, but in no way unapproachable or fussy. When he is coaxed out of the kitchen and starts talking about food, his passion and knowledge are instantly recognizable.

"Chef Brian Henry cooked a series of delicious appetizers for us as we sat around a table in the kitchen". Thanks

Tony Aspler, Wine writer

“Chef Brian Henry puts one hundred percent of his energy into going all the way.”

Birgit Moenke, Editor Stir Media Read More Reviews

Gastronomically yours,

High on the Hog

The North American meat industry took off in the late 1700’s as millions of expatriates immigrated to the New World. Pigs were the primary source of domesticated meat at this time as they were easily processed into foods that could be stored for long periods of time before the invention of refrigeration and refrigerated shipping cars.

It was around this time that the phrase “Living high on the hog” became a way of defining one’s social status with reference to what cuts of pork they dined on. As the loins and hams were praised as finer cuts for their tenderness and naturally became more highly valued.

The less expensive cuts were processed into salt pork, sausages and lard which could be held for extended periods of time without refrigeration. Other cuts like “pork butts” were often packed in brine filled barrels for storage and shipping. Even though the name pork butt might conjure up images as to where this cut is taken from the pigs anatomy; the butt, is taken from the upper shoulder area above the front leg of the pig. They became known as pork “butts” because the barrels that these cuts were commonly packed in were known as butts hence the names pork barrels and/or pork butts.

Butts are a tough cut of pork as it contains a significant amount of connective tissue due to the muscle groups harvested from this area connect to the neck, shoulder blade and upper leg which is why Butts are best braised or ground into sausages.

. Pork cuts like the butt are rarely imported from great distances so most of the pork found in grocery stores is raised in Ontario. Call ahead to any of our local butchers and get a butt to use in the following recipe for braised butt. Be aware that this recipe is a two day process to make with little work involved. You just need to be patient and let it cook. It is perfect for weekends and the recipe can be adapted to use in a slow cooker.

Apple Ginger Braised Butt

Ingredients:

1 boneless pork shoulder approx. 5 lbs.

1 tbsp. kosher salt

1 tsp. ground black pepper

1 pound shallots peeled

1 head of garlic, cloves separated and peeled

2 apples, peeled, quartered, cored

3 cups chicken stock or water

2 cups apple cider

1 cup of ginger beer

3 sprigs rosemary

Method:

Rub your butt with salt and pepper. Tie your butt with butcher twine in ½ inch sections to form a compact tube. Let your tied butt rest at room temperature for an hour.

Place your butt in a large roasting pan and arrange shallots, garlic, and apples around your butt. Pour in the broth, cider, and ginger beer. On the stove top bring the mixture to a boil over high heat. Cover the roasting pan with a lid or foil and transfer pan to a preheated oven at 300°f.

Allow your butt to cook for 4 hours. Remove pan from oven and let the meat cool in braising liquid for 2 hours. Transfer pan to refrigerator to sit overnight.

An hour before dinner time, place your butt on a cutting board. Strain the braising liquid through to remove all fats and solids which can be discarded.

Remove twine from the pork and slice it in ½ “thick slices. Return the now sliced butt to the roasting pan and cover with ½ of the strained braising liquid. Re-cover tightly with foil and bake the sliced pork in a preheated 350°f oven for 20-25 minutes.

Pour remaining braising liquid into a sauce pot and bring it to a boil over medium-high heat and reduce the liquid by half to be reserved as sauce. Remove butt from oven and arrange slices on a platter. Pour the reduced sauce over your butt and serve immediately. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Yields: 6-8 portions.

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