Recap: Swine and Dine at OTTO Food & Drink

Last week, a January winter storm couldn’t keep a plethora of diners away from OTTO Food & Drink, which played host to Alberta Pork‘s first Swine and Dine of 2019. Chef Steven Furgiuele, creator of FUGE at OTTO, along with his culinary team served up a four-course meal featuring Stonepost Farms pork from appetizer to dessert to a packed house.

Owner Ed Donszelmann professes that at his Norwood neighbourhood pub, ‘there is no pomp and ceremony at Otto Food and Drink, just good food, craft beer, a carefully considered wine list, and friendly staff.

When I asked Chef Furgiuele why he wanted to host a Swine and Dine at OTTO he shared that he felt it just made sense – he wanted to share a pork-packed menu featuring the comfort food that OTTO is known for. Steve explained that while there are a variety of sausage options at OTTO, pork is the backbone of the menu. He also forged a relationship with Becky and John Doherty of Stonepost Farms at the 124 Grand Market, and was eager to showcase their Berkshire pork (as well as teach his crew how to break down an entire pig). Prior to our first course, guests learned first hand about their journey as first-generation farmers from Becky, who was on hand to also experience the wonderful meal Steve created with pork from her farm. 

1st Course – 14 Hour Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini

Our first course of the evening was inspired by Chef Furgiuele’s love of using Louisiana Grills’ products to smoke different cuts of meat -14 Hour Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini. Steve knew he wanted to serve a light crostini with Bonjour Bakery sourdough to start, so he paired smoked pork picnic cuts with acidic notes from pink lady apples, pomegranate, and arugula. 

 

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

2nd Course – Cotechino Salsiccia

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

Steve explained that Cotechino is an Italian dish typically served on New Year’s Eve. The large sausage, made from the leg of the pig, is often served with lentils, which symbolize coins, and are inspired to bring money for the coming year. For our second course, Steve used warm spices, some of the skin, as well as a heavier fat content to create his large-diameter sausage. He swapped out the lentils for Gold Forest Grains farro, and accented the dish with preserved lemon, Franciacorta sparkling wine, and a parsley salsa verde (that I would easily buy by the jar).

 

3rd Course – Cena Della Domenica

Our main course was on par with the hearty servings of sausages OTTO and FUGE are known for. Steve’s childhood Cena Della Domenica, or Sunday dinners, were the inspiration for the entire meal, especially our family-style main course.

Growing up, Steve’s father bought cases of Pecorino Crotonese from Italy, stacking the family cold room with wheels of cheese. While he hated rapini growing up, his palate has adjusted to enjoy the bitter veg, and he chuckles at how rapini, or broccoli rabe, has become a more popular/trendy vegetable.

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom
Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

The Pecorino Crotonese & rapini salsiccia sausage was smothered in more cheese as well as a smoked tomato-pork sugo (rich tomato sauce with pulled pork) and served alongside a lemon-broccoli salad, roasted parsnip with hazelnut picada, and Bonjour Bakery parisienne bread.

4th Course – Zeppole

Photo courtesy of Cindy @letsomnom

A zeppole is an Italian doughnut or fritter usually topped with powdered sugar. Chef Furgiuele decided to make his version 100 % gluten free – huge thanks from this gluten-free girl. Steve shared that his father used to talk about when they would slaughter pigs back in Italy, and they would take the blood and mix it with cocoa to be dipped with bread sticks. Swine and dine challenges chefs to incorporate Alberta pork from appetizer to dessert, and Steve’s serving of sanguinaccio dolce – an Italian pudding made from pig’s blood made creamy and sweetened with chocolate, was a first for many of us in the room.

Chef Steve gets ready to pour the pork blood for his sanguinaccio dolce sauce

The sauce tasted similar to Nutella, and had chef Furgiuele not told the room we were going to dip our donuts in blood, I don’t think anyone would have been able to distinguish the flavour. I love being able to try new things, so I applaud Steve for pushing the culinary boundaries with a room full of adventurous diners.


When I spoke with Steve about the meal he was very proud that his team used every piece of the Stonepost Farms pig for OTTO’s Swine and Dine dinner. It may have been cold outside, but the vibe inside OTTO was filled with the warmth of hearty food and shared among good company. 

One thing is for sure, Alberta pork sausages are always on the menu at OTTO Food & Drink. Chef Furgiuele is always coming up with new sausage and pork creations – stop by OTTO for a sip and a bite:

 

 

 

 

 

 

OTTO Food & Drink
11405 95 St, Edmonton, AB T5G 1L3
(780) 477-6244

HOURS
Everyday 4:30 p.m.–10 p.m.
Happy Hour 4:30-6 p.m. Daily

 

Swine and Dine at Otto Food & Drink January 31, 2019

Have you been in Swine and Dine withdrawal? Well get ready to kick-start the new year with a healthy dose of Alberta pork. We are excited to announce that Alberta Pork is kicking off our 2019 season of Swine and Dine with chef Steven Furgiuele of Otto Food and Drink in Edmonton.

On Thursday, January 31, 2019, chef Furgiuele (who has transitioned his incredible Fuge Meats sausage skills exclusively to Otto) will be sharing his passion for pork with this four-course meal, featuring Stonepost Farms’ Alberta Pork from appetizer to dessert:

Smoked ‘Apple Butter’ Pork Crostini
pink lady apple, pomegranate, arugula, potato sourdough

Cotechino Salsiccia
farro, soffritto, preserved lemon, franciacorta

Cena Della Domenica
rapini & crotonese salsiccia, smoked tomato-pork sugo, roasted parsnip, hazelnut picada, fresh bread

Zeppole
gluten-free fritters, sanguinaccio dolce

 

Don’t let the Italian terms on the menu confuse you (chef Furgiuele will explain all at dinner). Chef Furgiuele tells us he wanted to share a no-fuss, comfort food menu that will feature a big main-course family-style affair of delicious foods. Tickets are $55 which includes the meal, gratuities and tax. This one is sure to sell out; seating is limited.


Swine and Dine at Otto Food & Drink
Thursday, January 31, 2019, at 6 pm
11405 95 St, Edmonton, AB T5G 1L3
$55 (including tax and gratuities)
Tickets available on eventbrite

 

Swine and Dine at Bündok April 18

Save the date! Chef Ryan Hotchkiss will be hosting the next Swine and Dine dinner at his restaurant Bündok on Wednesday April 18, 2018. The five-course menu will be $60 and feature Alberta Pork from appetizer to dessert.

Bündok, which was recently named one of the top new restaurants in Edmonton by Avenue Magazine, is a great addition to the downtown Edmonton dining scene. This event is sure to sell out, so if you have a passion for pork,  contact the restaurant directly at 780 420 0192 or info@bundokyeg.com to book your space.

Swine and Dine at Bündok
Wednesday, April 18, 2018
7:30 pm
$75, Seating is limited (call 780 420 0192)

Local Brew Pub Cooks up Pork for PTSD Event

Richard Spilsted and his son, Patrick co-operate their restaurant/pub Beer Factory Inc. out of St. Albert, AB. I was fortunate enough to have had the pleasure of meeting these fine gentlemen who volunteered to feed us at a Charity event up by Edson this past weekend known as Got Your Six. GY6 is a yearly rifle shooting event that supports those whom suffer from PTSD. A very worthy cause, please check it out.

These talented chefs cooked up a back country style BBQ whole pork dinner accompanied with all the fixin’s for the competitors, military & first responders at the event.

 

In addition this fabulous meal, Patrick was kind enough to share with me some of the simple ingredients he uses in his pork rub. So if you plan to barbecue some Alberta pork, try adding these spices.

HOW TO SPICE UP YOUR BBQ PORK…
Paprika
Black pepper
Garlic powder
Onion powder
Ground up Italian seasoning
No salt or sugar because it dries out the meat

Barbecue for approximately 5 – 1/2 hours at 160-200 degrees.

Alberta pork

Alberta pork

As you can see from my photos, this pork was well prepared and perfectly tender and juicy. The seasoning I felt was just right, enough to enhance the flavour of the meat itself. Also offered was an in- house BBQ sauce that was simply fantastic. I found it to have a touch of sweetness, just enough to compliment the savouriness of the spiced pork. I was told there were a few other secret ingredients that may involve their own special brew. For this, you will need to go pay them a visit… which I would highly recommend.

We were also treated to an assortment of delicious fresh salads (pictured below) and corn on the cob. A feast I am certain everyone would agree, was amazing. I may have gone back for seconds… possibly even thirds!

 

Pork Dinner Alberta Pork First responders

Beer Factory Inc.  is located in St. Albert, AB. where they offer craft beer, a full menu and catering services. You can find these guys on Twitter and on Facebook. If your in the Edmonton – St. Albert area, be sure to check them out.

Thanks again guys for such a fantastic meal!