Posts Tagged ‘vest berries’

Pork Heart Pizza Pie

One of the most underused items in the porcine library of protein is the pork heart. Rich in iron, vitamin c and that irresistible mild offal flavor. This is one of those proteins that you have two choices while cooking; really fast or really slow. I chose the slow method and knocked this pie into the bleachers at Flavor Field!

My local pork heart was obtained by my friend Rich Blazer of Harmony Hollow Farms here in Athens.


I trimmed these hearts and tossed them with fresh garlic cloves and extra virgin olive oil. Then I packed them in foil and threw them into my bread oven that was cooling down from Jacob Seidels baguette baking regime here at Avalanche. The temperature was 275 and cooled on down to 250  for four hours. After taking the foil out, I let it rest for another hour on the counter. The result was a beautiful, tender heart with the infused nuance of garlic.


I decided that this heart would benefit from the smokey, umami laden goat feta from my friends at Integration Acres. I took chunks of this almost a month ago and coated them in High Desert bee pollen then wrapped them in Hokkaido kombu that was re-hydrated in dashi.


The result is fee-nom! The salt from the kombu and dashi had crystallized and the bee pollen lent a sharp medium sweetness to the salty feta whose texture broke down with a smokey mouth feel as I bit down. This was gonna be perfect on a pigs heart pie!


So, I formed a dough from my Easy Dough Recipe and pre-heated an oven to 485 degrees. I laid the feta and some sharp (12 month old) Belgium Bruge Prestige cheese (above, left),  that I had been aging for six months extra for an ultimate taste of tang.


 I then took some fatty Red Waddle pig cheeks from Neil Perin at Arcadian Acres and cured them with salt and tad bit of maple sugar for four days then rubbed it with my secret spices smoked them over sassafras. This was sliced thin along with a few slices of La Quercia lardo.


I chopped some of the last great heirloom tomatoes from my friend at Vest Berries that he picked green and ripened in house. tomatoes with cilantro, one teaspoon of extra virgin olive oil and a pinch of sea salt the drizzled this sauce on top of the heart, cheeses, and guanciale, (That’s right Chumly, some pizza sauces are better served on top!) I did use some slivers of the tomato on top also.


It was time for baking so I placed a few Castelvetrano olive halves on the pie to impress the meaty heart with some Sicilian saltiness. Then I tossed the pizza in the oven. (not literally.)


When hot, I rubbed the thinly sliced lardo all across the piping crust for a great slick pork crunch on the cornicione!

The Killer Black Trumpet Pizza


This pizza is awesome! Enough said!

Taking advantage of the very wet season here in Ohio, I obtained some very nice black trumpet mushrooms from Dave, (my shroom connection). These mushrooms look a little raggedy but have one of the best mushroom tastes ever, probably why they call it the poor mans truffle. I paired it with some baby Corolla potatoes from Rich Organic farms, some excellent Swiss Chard from Gibson Ridge Farm, fresh goat chevre from Integration Acres and a juicy tomato from Vest Berries, some La Quercia guanciale, (cured pork jowl), and a few chunks of intense Brugge Prestige cheese from Belgium. It’s an aged Gouda only produced in the month of May and aged for at least 18 months. Perfect!

Lets make this bad boy:

Pre-heat oven to 485 degrees with a heavy upturned cookie sheet on the middle shelf

Using a seven ounce dough ball from the Easy Dough Recipe on this blog. Set aside to proof.

Cook the potatoes in boiling water until fork tender then remove and cool. Cut them in half and scoop out the middle to eat then and there. Cut the ribs out of the chard, (I do this and eat them as well.) Slice guanciale very thin and reserve for topping. Roll up the chard and slice thinly.

Cut the tomato in quarters and cut the middle out, leaving only the meaty wall. Eat the rest. Slice the wall thinly in julienne. Toss the cooked potato with two tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil and place one piece of Brugge Prestige cheese in each potato well followed by a small piece of guanciale. Place on foil and toss in the already-hot oven for 7 minutes. Take out to cool. (This will cook again.)

Take the dough ball and form into an 11-12 inch disc. Splash about a tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil on the crust to enhance the flavor of the chard and block the dough from unnecessary wetness from the greens cooking. Top the chard with the chevre and the Brugge Prestige, then the mushrooms then the tomato and the potato and cook for 12 to 15 minutes. After the pizza comes out of the oven just lay the guanciale around the pizza. The thin strips will melt in heavenly coordination with the other ingredients.

I hope you enjoy this great pizza with your friends…or even your enemies…which will turn out to be your friends if they eat this!