The New York Times published an article about pig wings yesterday -- a morsel derived from the small fibula bone in a pig's hind shank. The cut, formerly left attached to a ham, has received new attention after the marketing attempts of a few pork producers have spun the pork as a bar snack.
Processors slowly cook the small bone so the meat recedes to one end. What's left is a sort of porcine lollipop, complete with a handle that makes the morsels perfect for dipping. Names like pig wings, carnitas pops and the "Eskimo Pies of pork on a stick" have shown up on bar menus across the country -- including in Dallas.
The Libertine Bar on Greenville Avenue has been selling the bar snacks since they opened. I called owner Simon McDonald to find out his "hog wings" ended up on the menu.
"The supplier suggested them and we thought we could offer a kind of a high-end chicken wing," McDonald told me. The shanks arrive pre-cooked from Farmland Foods, a subsidiary of Smithfield Foods (we wrote about Smithfield and their gestation crating here). The kitchen then deep fries the shanks to crisp them up a bit before dousing them in a buffalo chicken wing sauce kicked up with poblano peppers and other spices. A side of Giardinia pickles and blue cheese finished the plate.
I tried Libertine's hog wings late this summer and found them to be strangely appealing. The meat itself is a little lifeless, but the sauces and sides they employ invigorate the shank.
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Have you seen pig wings elsewhere in Dallas? Have you tried them? If so, tell us what you think.