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.
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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.
Have you seen pig wings elsewhere in Dallas? Have you tried them? If so, tell us what you think.