BERNARDSTON, Mass. (Mass Appeal) - Brent Menke , Executive Chef at The Farm Table at Kringle Candle in Bernardston, joined us in the Mass Appeal kitchen to bring us a taste of their delicious menu .
The Farm Table at Kringle Candle
219 South Street
(413) 648 - 5200
Cider Brined Smoked Pork Chop with Rhubarb Demi Glace
For the Brine:
- 1 1/4 C. of kosher salt
- 2 C. boiling water
- 1 tbs coriander seeds
- 1 tbs juniper berry
- 1 tbs black peppercorn
- 1 whole star anise
- 1 gallon apple cider
- 1/2 C. apple cider vinegar
For the Demi Glace:
- 8 lbs. veal marrow bones, sawed into 2-inch pieces
- 6 lbs. beef marrow bones, sawed into 2-inch pieces
- 16 oz. tomato paste
- 4 C. chopped onions
- 2 C. chopped carrots
- 2 C. chopped celery
- 4 C. dry red wine
- 6 bay leaves
- 2 tbs peppercorns
- Salt and pepper
- 18 quarts of water
- 2 tbs butter
- 2 cups diced rhubarb
- 2 tsp honey
For the brine:
- In a container just large enough to hold the pork rack, add the salt, boiling water, and spices allowing the salt to dissolve and cool completely.
- Once cool add the cider, vinegar, and pork rack making sure the rack is completely submerged in the brine.
- Cover tightly and refrigerate for 5 days.
For the demi glace:
- Preheat the oven to 450 degrees F. Place the bones in a roasting pan and roast for 1 hour.
- Remove the bones from the oven and brush with the tomato paste.
- In a mixing bowl, combine the onions, carrots, and celery together. Lay the vegetables over the bones and return to the oven. Roast for 30 minutes. Remove from the oven and drain off any fat.
- Place the roasting pan on the stove and deglaze the pan with the red wine, using a wooden spoon, scraping the bottom of the pan for browned particles. Put everything into a large stockpot.
- Add the water. Bring the liquid up to a boil and reduce to a simmer. Simmer the stock for 6 hours, skimming regularly. Remove from the heat and strain through a China cap or tightly meshed strainer. In a clean pot bring the stock to a low boil and reduce until the sauce coats the back of a spoon. You should have about 5 cups of sauce at this point. (This is the amount we use in the restaurant for 3 racks of pork).
- In a large sauté pan heat the butter over high heat. When it quits foaming add the rhubarb and sauté until just soft. Add the honey and the reduced stock and there you have your sauce.
For the chops:
- Presoak apple wood chips for your smoker. Heat the smoker to 120 degrees and get a good smoke started.
- Add the rack or racks of pork and smoke for 2 hours to get a good penetration of smoke.
- Chill the pork for a couple of hours before cutting into individual chops.
- In a hot cast iron skillet add about 1 tbs grape seed or other neutral flavored oil. Add the chop and sear on both sides until you achieve some good color and place the chop in a 375 degree oven for about 5 minutes or an internal temperature of 140 degrees is reached.
- Let rest for about 4 minutes before cutting into your cider brined smoked pork chop. Serve with the Rhubarb demi glace and enjoy!
About The Farm Table at Kringle Candle:
When this sturdy Bernardston colonial house was built in 1800, the American Revolution was recently-concluded. More than two centuries later, the faithfully- renovated structure surrounding you finds itself at the dawn of a new revolution. In a world grown weary of chemicals, pesticides, genetically-modified plants, fruits and animals, increasingly-educated consumers are turning away from petroleum-fueled factory operations situated a continent away. More and more, the thinking person embraces healthy, ethically- produced local foodstuffs of every kind. As we considered the power of the burgeoning farm-to-table eating movement, we realized we had found not only a method, but a name for this enterprise. To that simple end, The Farm Table offers honest nourishment for the body and elegant respite for the soul.
Look around you. The candlelit spaces, open-hearth oven, and comforting fireplaces speak wordlessly of a quieter, simpler time in New England history. Our menu similarly speaks of a better time in culinary history. Created by executive chef Brent Menke and featuring internationally- nuanced New American cuisine, a meal taken here is truly an experience to remember. Virtually every item we serve is sourced from our very own organic farm as well as growers within a 50-mile radius of The Farm Table.
Our concept is based upon our company motto: "The Way it Used to Be." A truly good restaurant should be more than a place to feed you; it should nourish the body, educate the mind and entertain the spirit. These are our modest but steadfast goals. This old farmhouse has lived many lives in 200-plus years, but it has always been a home. And now we invite you to come and dine with us in the restaurant that has become our home: The Farm Table.
About Chef Brent Menke:
Brent has cooked professionally for nearly twenty years. Prior to joining The Farm
Table, he served as Chef aboard Paraffin, one of the finest luxury motor yachts sailing the planet today.
Here, he provides a glimpse into his philosophies on cooking.
In my opinion, fine cuisine absolutely must be ingredient-driven. Without superior raw materials to work with, the best chef is inevitably doomed to fail. And I don't like to fail, ever.
Being chef aboard Paraffin provided its own special set of challenges and rewards. Cruising to some of the most wondrous places on Earth yields one a real gastronomic bonus; access to some of the rarest, freshest ingredients of all. This provides exciting opportunities for a chef to expand his knowledge and imagination while creating new and - ideally – truly great food. Aboard Paraffin we served a well-travelled clientele that included celebrities, royalty and presidents. Consequently, we were frequently asked to create dishes. The demands could be monumental and at times, sleep was optional. No matter what, the show always went on – and with a smile. Challenging as it was, this experience gave me an astounding insight into the literal world of food at a relatively young age, and I valued every moment.
What has most shaped my career? Without question, my wife and her family. Her constant support – and time spent at the family farm in France - has taught me the critical importance of ingredients. My wife's grandmother is a formidable battleship of a woman, strong and weathered with age, and fiercely protective of her family, yet she has such a natural way with food. With eggs from the hen house, a rabbit for the pot, some carrots fresh with garden soil and peaches still warm from the tree, she produces the kind of comfort food only a lifetime of experience can provide. My wife's father taught me that if you put love both into the garden and your work, it gives you beautiful things in return, just like a family.
My philosophy on food and life comes down to a single word: respect. Respect for the ingredients, respect for those you serve, respect for those who work for you, and respect for yourself. And I do believe if you love your work, you will surely taste it.
Chef - The Farm Table