I stopped by Prohibition Taproom last Wednesday to check out the specials during Chef Val Stryjewki’s first week on the job and to talk about why, for a wondering chef, Prohibition is a fit that should last [read the interview here].
Just before leaving, Val said something that would have me coming back the next night.
“We’re doing the Pig Bomb tomorrow, night,” he says.
“What’s that,” I ask, since Val isn’t particularly known for vegan fare.
“It has braised pork belly with a trotter croquette, lettuce, mayo, pickles, cheese, chayote coleslaw, pickled tomato, and a deviled egg with pork fat,” he says with impish delight.
With that, I returned the next night to learn more.
“We’re doing a Fat Head tap takeover and their brew pub has all these giant sandwiches and I thought it would be nice as a welcome to Prohibition Taproom to do my version of the ridiculously large, kill you sandwich,” Val says when I basically ask, Jesus, why man?!
“It’s The Pig Bomb because it has both pork belly and pork feet.”
“I heard [from the bartender] you whipped the egg yolk in the deviled egg with pig fat?!”
“Yeah, it was yolk, pork fat, mustard, salt, a little chili paste, and back in the egg. I was gonna chop bacon in it but I was like, you know what….I think that’s a little too much.”
Presented with one of the more absurdist/simultaneously enticing sandwich constructions I’ve seen in awhile—a slab of pork belly sat atop the bottom bun, followed by bread and the fried, rectangular croquette, while a deviled egg lay pinned to the pickle atop the sandwich—I asked for more napkins ahead of diving into this massive paean to pork.
I smeared the yolk from the deviled egg atop the sandwich to get everything with one bite. First, there was the delicate, deeply flavorful pork belly that carried a bit of sweetness with it—the pork’s inherent fattiness enriched with a whiskey inflected stock that it braised in for six hours at 250° before sitting overnight in the stock.
“It doesn’t fall apart but yet, it’s real easy to slice. It’s very gently cooked,” Val says of his slow and low approach here.
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