Peasant Cookery's Charcuterie Board (Steve Salnikowski)
Charcuterie is what we're known for here. It's always interested us. It's as 'peasant' as you can get.
—Tristan Foucault, chef
It gives a whole new meaning to the expression 'you can't make a silk purse out of a sow's ear.' On the contrary, chef Tristan Foucault feels all parts of a pig are valuable ingredients when it comes to his charcuterie.
One of his specialties at Peasant Cookery is pig's face, more politely known by its Italian moniker, porchetta di testa, another is corned pig's tongue. Both are favourites of his two little sons when they come into the restaurant.
"Charcuterie is what we're known for here," explains Foucault. "It's always interested us. It's as 'peasant' as you can get. Other people try it, but no one goes to the lengths that we go."
At any given time, the charcuterie board might boast home-made prosciutto, which hangs for a full year, porchetta, smoked bacon, patés, chicken liver mousse, bresaola, coppa and 10 to 15 different kinds of sausages.
The pig's face is definitely the most challenging and time-consuming item, Foucault says. The meat, once removed, is cured, tied up, cooked for 72 hours, then sliced very thinly before serving.
Foucault's pork of choice is the Berkshire variety which he procures from Zinn farms. He butchers four to eight pigs every two weeks himself. "It's nice because we get to use them head to tail," he says. "I can then give my guest an amazing piece of meat because the stuff is just phenomenal. And I cut them the way I want to serve them."