An Open Letter to New York City

Dear New York City,

Hello. I hope this letter finds you well. I'll be direct, because I know you're busy: we get it. It's fucking hard to live in you sometimes. But please, for the sake of the sanity of all of us, warm. UP.

The problem is that you gave us one glorious weekend of sunshine and spring temperatures and then took it away. This, above all things, really, really hurt our feelings. It's lucky for you there is an indoor farmer's market near to me on Sundays. Otherwise, I might go crazy and start threatening to move to the south. For now, I'll occupy myself by roasting pork. But, this is a mere diversion, so please get your shit together. XOXO: Rebecca.

Now, about that pork.

Oh, sorry - squeamish vegetarians, please close your eyes.

Mangalitsa and I decided to give it another go this week. This time, with a neck roast. Now, here's what with the neck roast, guys - it's the cut of pork that capicollo comes from. I mean, that is really all I need to know when someone is selling me a piece of meat, right? This time, I got some explicit directions from the man selling me the meat on how he likes to cook it: rolled in salt and pepper, seared until super brown and carmelized, then finished in a 375 degree oven until medium. YEAH, that's right, MEDIUM. The way you can eat pork that comes from a really, really happy place.

I tossed some olive-oiled fingerlings and king oyster mushrooms in a buttered dish with a few sprigs of savory, salt and pepper, dotted with butter (OBVIOUSLY) and poured a little puddle of white wine in the bottom. I covered this for 20 minutes to steam, then removed the cover and let them roast in all that buttery, winey goodness. You guys, this part was good.

I still nervously paced back and forth in front of the oven the entire time the pork cooked. I tested it with the meat thermometer, oh, eight times? I was a complete lunatic. At the end of the day, the cooking technique on this guy was similar to how you'd cook a 1.5 pound beef roast. Gently, carefully and not all the way. And I'm happy to report, I didn't forget how to cook meat.

I've been running around for the last two days saying, "You guys, it tastes like beef!" But, even that is not really fair. It does, kind of. In the way that beef is juicy, salty and irony. But this is unmistakably pork, completely devoid of the dry pastiness that sometimes accompanies a pork roast you have to - well - cook all the way. Being able to leave this at medium and not have your guts seriously regret it is one of its greatest selling points. Maybe someday all meat will be this way. Until then, I'll stick with mangalitsa.


  1. See, here's the thing. I don't agree on the 375 roasting temp. I like a temp more around 300, for a long time. Till the internal temp is around 175 - 180 - cause that really melts the fat and collagen. And then I like to let it rest for an hour!

    I dig the heavy salt, pepper, whatever rub and let it sit overnight in the fridge...almost like brining the meat. Even "regular" pork tastes good this way!

  2. Oh, and by the way, you really complain about the weather a lot. xoxo.