The Lucky Pig

by Amy Sherman
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LuckyPigI am somewhat obsessed with a dish called the Lucky Pig, it’s served at Solbar in Calistoga and I order it almost every time I dine there. It’s basically tender roast pork served with a lot of other goodies—sesame pancakes, peanuts, jalapeños, herbs and lettuce, sauces, and even a little noodle salad.

SolBar is a Michelin star restaurant at the Solage resort, but it’s got an approachable menu that has both healthy light options as well as more indulgent food and the staff couldn’t be nicer or more accommodating. Speaking of accommodating, to order the Lucky Pig I have to cajole other diners at my table to share it with me. The size of the roast pork shoulder varies, but it’s quite a lot of food. I also have to convince someone to go to Calistoga with me and since it’s about an hour and half drive, !’ve been working on my own version of it to enjoy at home.

I’ve simplified the recipe quite a bit. In my opinion there are only a few elements that are really crucial, specifically the roast pork, sesame pancakes, pineapple pickles and lime wedges. You can see the original recipe from Chef Brandon Sharp as well as a scaled back version from The Mad Priest, I referred to both in creating my own recipe. It would be great for a dinner party, just be sure to start the day before. And by all means do try the original version next time you're in Calistoga. Note: The dish is on the lounge menu, but the restaurant happily serves it in the main dining room to anyone who requests it.

The Lucky Pig
Serves about 4- 6

Roast pork
Sesame pancakes
Pineapple pickles
Roasted salted (or unsalted) peanuts
Sliced scallions

Butter lettuce leaves
Lime wedges
Jalapeño slices
Fresh basil, cilantro, and mint leaves
Peanut sauce
Sriracha sauce, optional

Serve the roast pork hot, and the rest of the ingredients cool or at room temperature. Allow each guest to "roll their own" little pork stuffed pancakes with as many of the garnishes as they like.

Roast pork:
4 lbs (more or less) boneless pork shoulder
Kosher salt
10 cloves unpeeled garlic

Cut the pork into 2 pieces, pat dry, score the fat and and salt liberally on all sides. Place on a plate and let refrigerate uncovered, for 8 hours or overnight.

Preheat oven to 300 degrees F. Heat a Dutch oven and sear the pork on all sides until brown. This will take about 15 minutes. Place the garlic cloves in the Dutch oven with the pork, cover and roast for about 3 hours or until very tender. I start checking it after 2 hours.

Sesame pancakes:
1/2 cup all-purpose flour
1/2 cup bread flour
1 teaspoon Kosher salt
5 Tablespoons butter, melted and cooled
1 Tablespoon sesame oil
5 eggs
1 1/4 cups milk
2 teaspoons black sesame seeds

Blend all the ingredients except the sesame seeds, until smooth. Add the sesame seeds and transfer the mixture to the refrigerator to rest for up to 8 hours. Heat an 8 inch non-stick pan and make the crepes using about 2 Tablespoons of batter, be sure to stir the batter so each crepe has plenty of sesame seeds.

Pineapple pickles:
3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon sugar
1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon sriracha sauce
20 ounce can pineapple, drained

Whisk together the apple cider vinegar, sugar, salt and sriracha sauce in a bowl. Add the pineapple and let marinate in a covered container in the refrigerator for 8 hours.

Enjoy!

 

Amy Sherman is a San Francisco–based writer, recipe developer, restaurant reviewer and all around culinary enthusiast. She blogs for Epicurious , Bay Area Bites and Cooking with Amy .   

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