A couple of weeks ago we went to an event named Dinner Deconstructed. Hosted by Silversmith Brewery in Virgil, ON, the night featured a butchery demonstration by Jamie Waldron, and a five course meal by Jonny and Layal from the Jonny Blonde food truck. The twist was that the butchery demonstration was done on half of a Berkshire pig provided by Keystone farms, with the other half being cooked by Jonny Blonde for the meal. Add a pint of beer from Silversmith, and a couple of pounds of Berkshire pork to take home after, and for $50, you’ve got some serious value.
My wife got me tickets to this for my birthday, and we met up there with our friend Che, from the pro BBQ team Taurus BBQ. The brewery was built out of an old church, and was really nicely done. The main room of the church became the bar/dining room, with an addition on the side added for the brewery itself.
The night started with the butchery demonstration. Jamie had a big table set up in the middle of the dining room with the half pig on it where everyone could get a good view of everything.
Jamie broke down the entire side, first into primal cuts, and then into individual cuts. All throughout the process he gave excellent step-by-step instructions, with detailed explanations of how and why he made each cut. It was really educational, and I picked up some tips that I will use in my own butchery. I also picked up a copy of Jamie’s book, the Home Butchering Handbook, which I look forward to using this fall to break down a half pig from Keystone on my own.
Towards the end of the butchery lesson, the food started. We started off with a selection of unique breads and condiments, including pickled onions, grainy mustard, a spicy aioli/mayo, and caramelized onions (I think, my memory is fuzzy on this one). These were served with thin slices of roasted pork done with 3 different brines: thyme, rosemary, and sage, as well as some tasty pork rillettes.
Next up was some pulled pork, done with a home-made BBQ sauce, on a skillet fried bun, topped with chicharrones (pork rinds), and hickory sticks. The sauce had a great taste, and the toppings added a nice crunch and texture contrast.
Then came a stuffed pork loin, filled with a mix of ricotta, mushrooms, and parmesan. This was perfectly cooked, and the filling was really delicious.
A pork satay came next, with a very tasty peanut sauce.
Finally, my favourite of the night. A home-made flat bread pizza, topped with a currant demi glace, arugula, and pork belly confit. I was really happy when Layal came by with seconds of this one.
After dinner, Matt was nice enough to give us a tour of the brewery area and an explanation of their process. I tried a couple of Silversmith’s beers during the night: a Black Lager, and a Breakfast Wheat Beer. Both were excellent.
Just before leaving, we picked up our Berkshire pork, which had been all portioned out and packaged by Jamie while we were eating. We got a really nice bone-in loin chop, and a piece of belly. I pan fried the chop, and cured the belly and smoked it over hickory to make Berkshire bacon. Both were great, and I’m looking forward to getting a side of pork from Keystone farms this fall. You really can taste the difference between Berkshire pork and conventional pork – especially in the fat. It’s got almost a nutty flavour to it – hard to explain, but really delicious.
The night was great. Definitely an awesome value for the $50 ticket price, and they were already talking about doing other events in the future in the same style. We would definitely attend again, and would recommend it to anyone we know.