Butcher Dinner at Village Restaurant Lets Pork Fans Go Hog Wild

By Andrea Swalec on January 14, 2013 9:00am 

GREENWICH VILLAGE — Gourmands with a taste for charcuterie and salumi can pig out on West 10th Street Monday night — plus get a hands-on look at the origin of their favorite foods.

A guest chef at the modern American restaurant Louro, which opened at 142 W. 10th St. on Dec. 1, will show diners how to butcher a pig, and then will serve a five-course pork-centered meal.

Justin Severino, executive chef and owner of the Pittsburgh restaurant Cure, said attendees of the Whole Hog Butcher Dinner will learn to tell the difference between huge pigs raised outdoors and their scrawnier, factory farm-raised brethren.

"A natural-pastured pig grows a huge amount of back fat and its muscles become extremely marbled, and that's what good charcuterie is all about," he said.

The animals Severino, 34, opts to buy weigh upwards of 350 pounds. At about $3.20 per pound, they can cost $1,100 each.

But they're worth it, the chef said.

"On a big fatty pig, there's a really awesome fatty layer on the shoulder that you just can't buy [otherwise]. It's like bacon or pancetta," he said.

Admission to the butchering demonstration and dinner that begins at 6:30 p.m. Monday is $165 per person. People who choose to skip the educational portion of the evening pay $125 per person and can arrive at 8:30 p.m.

The animal will be slaughtered before the demonstration and that part won't be witnessed by guests.

Most of the food on the prix fixe menu — like coppa secca, blackstrap ham, Spanish chorizo and pork belly — will be prepared from meat not used in the demonstration. But Severino and Louro chef David Santos will likely serve diners pork loin from the butchered pig.

"We're going to try our hardest to serve the loin," Severino said. "We'll have a spice rub ready for it, plus garlic, olive oil, salt and pepper."

Reservations for the evening, which is part of a series of special "supper club" dinners at Louro every Monday, can be made by emailing nossamesa@louronyc.com or calling (212) 206-0606.

For the chefs, one of the most difficult parts of the evening may be lugging the pig through the door, Severino said.

"Lifting a pig is just so awkward," he said. "It's like trying to pick up 400-pound sleeping man. Just dead weight." 

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