Here is a taste of the spicy taste of the talents of Steven McHugh, one of the culinary innovators featured in our Best of the West issue.
There is so much focus on butchering at Cured — a San Antonio restaurant in the historical Pearl Brewery development lauded for its charcuterie, aged meats in resting in a 9-by-11-foot glass and metal curing case behind the restaurant’s hostess station — that the butcher team has its own work shift, the overnight shift.
It’s that dedication and patience that has earned co-owner Steven McHugh (featured in our May/June issue) and his team multiple James Beard Award nominations. Cured is not only one of the best restaurants in Texas but, frankly, in the country. You can have a tart and zesty taste of it with the restaurant's recipe for apple-jalapeño pork rillettes shared below.
Click on the image above to view the slideshow.
Cured’s Apple-Jalapeño Pork Rillettes
(Yields 20 – 25 portions)
8 pounds pork butt, diced
5 apples, peeled, cored, and diced
5 jalapeños, halved and seeded.
½ cup garlic
2 quarts rendered pork fat
2 tablespoons salt
Place the pork, apples, jalapeños, and garlic in a slow cooker. Cover with pork fat. Bake at 300 degrees until tender, about 4 hours. Strain and reserve remaining pork fat.
Place cooked pork into a mixer fitted with paddle attachment. Slowly stir to break down pork. Stream in reserved fat while mixing until ⅓ has been added in. Check consistency, and continue to add fat until you reach desired consistency. Salt to taste. Serve room temperature, refrigerate to store.
Photography: (featured) David Rangel/Courtesy Cured, (slideshow) various