Thursday, October 17, 2013

Harlem butcher

Rico Cirignano, Harlem Shambles

I ran around yesterday. In pursuit of pigs. Having given up the Upper West Side as LOST in terms of butchers, I came back home, checked on a recommendation from a friend, and then hoofed it on foot (...er, cloven hoof) eleven blocks south and a couple of long blocks over, and  found my pork belly at last at what will be our new butcher shop, post Brooklyn: Harlem Shambles. They source meat locally (as much as I loved Paisanos, they usually did not).

I came home with ma belly and a picnic shoulder, and they cooked last night with fennel seeds and lemon and the last of Frank's garlic. We ate a small portion-for-two at the stone table in The Fishbowl again, with a man sitting out on a fire escape opposite laughing like a hyena. For a long time. Until someone called him in and told him to shut up. Perhaps it was very funny. Candles, dinner. I don't know. 

Today, having cooked forever and cooled,  the pork will be shredded and turned into potted pig, aka rillettes, and this evening taken by Zipcar, with fresh-pickled mustard and warm brown bread, to the Wythe Hotel in Williamsburg, where my publishers are hosting a party for 250 (gulp): a Brooklyn Bash - for four Brooklyn-born books, mine included. 


In the middle of our move a social engagement with lots of prep has made our unpacking and organizing grind to a halt, and, if I could find the damn things - there are moments when I would throw all my toys out of the cot and onto 127th Street.

But, we have a butcher. It's no small thing.
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