Winter menus usually feature comfort foods, rich in flavour and often invoking memories of mom’s or grandma’s kitchen. Going beyond nachos and wings is necessary nowadays for pubs in this city to differentiate themselves, and encourage patrons to grab a seat there over the establishment just down the street. We chatted with the people behind the food at three pubs, and it is heartening to note that the chefs are all trained as cooks and have their trade qualification papers.
Smoked Chuck or Short Ribs 2.5 kg chuck flat, cleaned and cut in 5 cm (2 in) cubes or 3 Kg bone-in short ribs
Pig and Duke For a celebration of all things porcine, try out the Pig & Duke at 1321 12th Ave SW. One of the few downtown locations with ample parking, you walk in to a space that is all pub, with dark wood everywhere and a comfortable ambiance. Owners, Stephen and Joanne Lowden take pride in being part of the Connaught neighbourhood, treating regular customers as family. There is always a promotion, whether their riff on a holiday dinner, golf tournaments or sports excursions. The meatloaf is one of the signature dishes here that can definitely satisfy two average appetites. Chef Evan Robertson is happy to point out, “We butcher our own pigs and almost all the menu is made from scratch. We support local farmers and buy fresh!” The philosophy is to ‘keep the customers happy and looking forward to something’. Daily specials keep things interesting, with 28-day aged prime rib on Saturday. ”It’s worth the time and expense to dry-age prime rib,” Robertson points out. With over 80 brews, 25 beers on tap, half of them craft, and constantly evolving, you can
enjoy a different brew almost every day of the year. Here’s the chef’s recipe for smoked short ribs or chuck flats. They are fork tender, with a subtle smoke and hint of sweetness evident because salt is not a prominent addition. The plate is finished with ample fresh root vegetables, making a satisfying and hearty meal. If you’re using bone-in short ribs, buy an extra 500 grams. For most of us who do not have a smoker, substitute half the paprika with smoked paprika. This is a two-day process that feeds 8 generously. You can also pan-smoke the meat for 30 to 45 minutes, using your BBQ outside.
Rub Combine 2 Tbs (30 mL) each paprika, salt and dry parsley. Add ½ tsp (2.5 mL) each brown sugar, garlic powder, onion powder, dry oregano, ground black pepper and mustard powder. Braising liquid 1/3 cup (85 mL) mesquite seasoning salt 2 cups (500 mL) amber ale 2 cups (500 mL) house made BBQ sauce (see our July ‘13 issue or culinairemagazine.ca) 8 cups (2 L) brown veal or beef stock
1. Coat the meat with the dry rub, and marinate overnight in the fridge. 2. Smoke the meat at 200° F for 2 hours (or cook in the oven if using smoked paprika)
Pig and Duke is a celebration of all things porcine
3. Bring the braising liquid to a boil and
pour over the meat. Cover the pan with foil and bake at 300° F for 3 to 4 hours or until fork tender.
4. Remove the meat and reserve. Strain
and reduce the braising liquid by 2/3 to use as sauce. 19
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