Remember when pork chops were juicy and delicious? When pork roasts were tender and scrumptious? Since the "health craze" that began in the 1980s, pork producers have been slimming down their animals, and I find that today's pork is often dry and tasteless compared to days of old.
But there is a rare breed of pork (Berkshire pork) that never lost its deliciousness, and it became popular with breeders in Japan while Americans were avoiding fat calories. Now, it's making a comeback with U.S. chefs, and that's a very good thing.
On a recent visit to Silo Elevated Cuisine on Austin Highway, Cider Braised Kuobuta Pork Shank ($26) was the first entree on the dinner menu. The waiter told me it was his favorite dish, so I tried it -- and I was in love! The meat was marbled, juicy, full of flavor and falling off the bone. Served with the chef's Green Chile Orzo "mac and cheese," sauteed spinach and ancho cherry sauce, it was a huge meal that had to be taken home and enjoyed again next day.
My dining partner had the evening's special rib-eye ($44), which he loved. He also liked the signature starter of Chicken Fried Oysters ($12; too much breading for me), but the pork was definitely the star of the show. Now that we know about Kuobuta pork, we will certainly look for it again. And we'll return to Silo Elevated for more great service and other discoveries from their enticing menu.
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