Chef Jesse Morrison & a trio of dishes during YEG Pork Week at The Common
Our last stop during our Saturday night pork crawl had me very excited. The Common’s new location is hopping with the hip after work crowd, and on Saturday nights the venue really gets moving with a DJ.
Thankfully Chef Jesse Morrison keeps the kitchen open until 11 p.m. so you can chow down and groove at the same time.
Chef Morrison’s menu features some very unique dishes using a variety of pork cuts, so I knew he would come up with something extra special for YEG Pork Week… and he did not disappoint.
Serving up an absolute bargain, Chef Morrison created a three course menu at The Common for $30 or available as individual plates. All of the tables were taken so we found a lovely bartender to take our order at the bar.
First up was a steaming bowl of Chinese braised pork belly in a dashi broth with mona mushrooms, crab tortellini’s and poached quails eggs. Honestly it was a hilarious dish to be served standing up at the bar next to patrons jockeying for a spot at the bar (trying to catch the barman’s attention). But once the smell of Asian pork soup our neighbours, I think they were jealous. It was a very unique dish for pork week, full of flavour, different textures and colours, and a great aroma.
Next up was the Pork three ways – braised shoulder, tempura rillette, sous vide tenderloin served with Farmers market root vegetables and Madeira jus. Thankfully when our pork-filled plate arrived, we eyed up some patrons leaving a table near us. We got there the same time as two guys who were kind enough to share the space so we could sit down with them to enjoy our feast.
Of course we shared, and Kim and our new friends enjoyed the tempura rillette, not gluten friendly, which left me very envious. Continuing with the Asian theme from the starter, Kim said the smooth rillette within a crispy tempura coating was a delicious bite with a very unique texture.
The sous-vide pork was a new textures for me. Sous-vide is a method of cooking food sealed in airtight plastic bags in a water bath for longer than normal textures. The result was a super tender serving of pork tenderloin which I enjoyed dipping in the Madeira jus.
Saving the best bite for last, my favourite was the braised shoulder. Featured as the centre of the dish, the slow-cooked braised shoulder was rich in flavour and melted in my mouth.
Finally, for dessert, Kim and our new table friends had to provide me with feedback on the dessert, Bacon & rhubarb jelly doughnuts, double cream pink pepper tuille. The presentation was fantastic, and the three of them seemed to enjoy ripping apart this dessert. A bacon doughnut sounds like a wonderful combination of salty goodness and sweet wrapped in a pastry, and not surprising, the plate was basically licked clean.
Chef Morrison certainly thought outside the box when creating his features for pork week. I thought it was an absolute bargain for copious amounts of pork served in a number of unique ways. Thank you Jesse… and thank you for having a passion for pork!