Purple Pig in Chicago

December 18, 2010 § Leave a comment

A few weeks ago, my hubby and I found ourselves in Chicago and wanting to be dazzled by dinner.  Alas we stumbled upon The Purple Pig, which was voted as one of the 10 Best Restaurants in America by Bon Apetit Magazine.  That was not for nothing.  The food was incredible!

I am a big fan of ordering many small dishes instead of one grandiose entree and this is just the place to share numerous concoctions from the kitchen (which is, by the way, visible to those sitting at the bar).

This is a place like no other — from the Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs (served with perfectly grilled crispy bread) to the Octopus with Green Beans, Fingerling Potatoes, and Salsa Verde, the menu provided a never-ending cornucopia of surprises.  From where we were seated at the bar, we saw a very large volume of Milk Braised Pork Shoulder with Mashed Potatoes plates exiting the kitchen — something I will most definitely order the next time around.

A perfectly delightful ending to our feast was the Panini con Nutella (pictured above), the name of which my husband STILL murmurs in his sleep.

What we ordered:

  • Salt-Roasted Beets with Whipped Goat Cheese & Pistachio Vinaigrette
  • Braised Baby Artichokes, Fingerling Potatoes, Asiago & Salami Toscana
  • Roasted Bone Marrow with Herbs
  • Octopus with Green Beans, Fingerling Potatoes & Salsa Verde
  • A mixed cheese plate
  • Panino con Nutella {A Sweet Sandwich filled with a Chocolate Hazelnut Spread, Marshmallow Cream & Bananas}

The Purple Pig posts a Recipe of the Month on their website, which is exciting because this month the recipe is for the Milk Braised Pork Shoulder:

Milk Braised Pork Shoulder:
1 3 to 4 lb. Pork shoulder bone removed and cut into 8 oz. Pieces
1 small bunch fresh thyme
5 bay leaves
2 onion, peeled and quarted
1 carrot, peeled and kept in large pieces
2 gallons milk
2 gallons pork stock
salt
pepper
1 rib celery, cut into 3 large pieces
Tie a piece of string around each piece of pork to maintain a nice shape while cooking. In a large pot sear off pork shoulder (season liberally first). Add vegetables and herbs after meat is browned, add liquids and bring to a boil. Season and place in a 350° oven to braise. Should take 2-3 hours.

(Mashed Potatoes)
1 1/4 lbs. Peeled russet potatoes cut into 1 1/2 inch chunks
1/4 c. warm cream
4 teaspoons butter warm
salt and pepper
Place potatoes in a large pot, add cold water to cover and season aggressively with salt. Bring to a boil and cook till potatoes are tender. Drain potatoes, mash while still hot with rest of the ingredients, season and reserve.

I can’t wait for my next visit to Chi-town!

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