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pig AP
Hunger's Chef de Cuisine Josh Slaughter says pig is his favorite whole animal to work with. (AP Photo/file)

Hunger butchering in-house to bring unique cuts to your table

Hunger in Fremont is working out a new way to give you every tasty morsel of your favorite meat.

Chef de Cuisine Josh Slaughter sounds like the perfect guy to explain why the restaurant is undertaking in-house butchering. He tells KIRO Radio's Let's Eat it's inspiring to imagine what you can do with a whole animal.

"When you order a specific cut, you don't get the other smaller cuts that are more unique because a lot of it just goes to grind," says Slaughter. "You get to play more and do more specific things with specific cuts."

When they get an animal in, Slaughter says they try to figure out at least three to four different preparations, and make use of the whole animal. His favorite animal is a pig, which he says is incredibly versatile.

"We'll make stock out of the bone, or we'll make chicharrones out of the skin, or we'll render the fat and use (it) to sautee with," says Slaughter. "We try to use every part of the pig."

Not only do they have more room for creativity and exploration, but Slaughter says butchering in-house is actually very cost efficient as well.

"If I pay $4 a pound for an animal, if you look at the difference between say a pork butt and a pork tenderloin, you're going to pay $8 for the pork tenderloin and $3 for the pork butt. But I paid $4 for all of it across the board," says Slaughter. "I just have to have the knowledge and the ability to pull that specific cut out."

Everyone on the staff takes part, and the new effort, which they've been exploring for about five months, is an evolution, Slaughter says.

For the customer, he says, it's also an opportunity to try cuts they may not otherwise have access to.

"It's the underutilized cuts that make this so special because people don't get to experience it in the boneless, skinless chicken breast wrapped in plastic at the grocery store."

The menu at Hunger changes often with what is seasonal, but Slaughter says they typically always have a pig, and if you're interested in exploring smaller animals, those are generally served earlier in the week.

Hear KIRO Radio's Let's Eat on KIRO Radio Saturdays at 4 p.m. and Sundays at noon. Also available anytime ON DEMAND at KIRORadio.com.

Jamie Skorheim, MyNorthwest.com Editor
Whether it's floating on Green Lake, eating shrimp tacos at Agua Verde, or taking weekend drives out to the Cascades, she loves to enjoy the Pacific Northwest lifestyle as much as humanly possible.
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