If you followed Barstool last week even a little bit then chances are you heard/saw Mintzy yelling at you through your phone about HOGSFEST, the music festival/BBQ contest we competed in last weekend under the name TEAM PORKNOY.
For those who missed his justifiably aggressive ramblings, an organization named Hogs For The Cause runs this annual event to raise money for families who are dealing with pediatric brain cancer. And this year, the event brought in a whopping $2.8 million dollars for the charity.
In short, it's a great cause that raises a ton of dough by having a good time with a shitload of wonderful people.
And although we would not have been there without Mintz's hard work and Dave's blessing, the whole trip was sponsored by the good people over at Walk-Ons, a budding sports bar empire that already has locations in over 10 states and was the site of our college basketball show surrounding Final Four weekend.
So, on behalf of TEAM PORKNOY- Mintzy, Megan Makin' Money, Chef Donny, Saint Anne, Nick Mangold, T Bob Hebert, and a handful of chefs I will mention below, we'd like to thank Dave for letting us go... Thank everyone who donated... And give a HUGE thanks to Walk-Ons for footing the bill.
The only person that does not feel compelled to thank anyone is my colon because while I was there, I ate like I had a tip on a famine.
(Here I am taking a break from my tray of bacon to eat a carnitas taco.)
HOGSFEST has dozens of booths spread out over a huge field on the campus of the University of New Orleans (Go Privateers!) that is littered with beer tents and musical stages. And each tent sells a handful of their homemade specialties to fat people walking by.
This year, TEAM PORKNOY served up 2 dishes in particular, and I am about to tell you about them now, starting with the belly…
So this bad boy was kinda cut-and-dry in the description but was anything but dry in execution.
Smoked pork belly can go either way for me… Unfortunately, sometimes you wind up getting more fat than meat, and the lack of texture from the smoke makes it a little single-note… Nothing but a soft chew.
Team Porknoy didn't do that.
Ours was properly lean and firm and seasoned with a milder jerk that had enough acid to cut through the fat but not so much heat that you shit your pants… And what heat it did pack was easily cooled by a mayo-based slaw that popped with the sweetness of mango.
And the seasoning settled on the outside of the pork like a lacquer, making it arguably the second-prettiest belly I have ever seen behind this minx…
Again… Kinda cut and dry to describe, but I couldn't stop eating it.
And then we served corn…
Tough for me to get excited about a vegetable at a BBQ festival… Particularly a vegetable that typically riddles my stool with shrapnel…
But the chefs behind this dish did so fucking much to elevate traditional Elote (Mexican street corn), that I was visibly excited while eating it.
SO this dish is a whole-hog Penang curry elote that is topped with Sriracha, cotija cheese, green onions, fresh jalapeño, crispy pigskin, and a squeeze of lime.
That's a fucking mouthful to describe… But the corn in the base of the dish is stewed in a mild coconut milk curry… It's given a drizzle of Sriracha and then a dusting of grated Cotija cheese… then they throw on a handful of the hog we smoked the night before… a little green onion… a healthy covering of chopped crispy pig skin that was ripped off the whole hog and then crisped up on a grill before being rough-chopped… a little cilantro… a couple of slices of fresh jalapeno… and a little squeeze of lime.
100% delicious, and I couldn't stop cramming it inside of me.
And I think curry sometimes has that stigma of being food that you "rent" but this was not overpowering at all. Plus, that crackling layer from the chopped pigskin was such a fucking welcome texture change that I am trying to envision a vegetable dish that wouldn't be made exponentially better with its addition.
All in all, just a masterful job by all the chefs involved with us this year in HOGSFEST… I cannot wait until next year, and, in the meantime, I highly recommend you guys visit one of their fine establishments that are scattered throughout the US including…
- Sunbird Barbecue in Longview, Texas…
- Green Street Smoked Meats in Chicago, Illinois…
- Khoi Barbecue from Montrose, Houston, TX…
- Harp Barbecue in Raytown, Missouri…
Tell them Mintz sent you.
Take a report.