Mike Phillips's Three Sons Meats charcuterie: 50 Favorite Dishes, no. 11
A perfect pile of beautifully cured meats
It seems every restaurant is now required to have a chef with a pig part tattooed on them and a charcuterie platter on the menu. There was a time in the not too distant past when salumi was in short supply. A little neighborhood joint in Longfellow called the Craftsman (again, back when that neighborhood was short on hip spots) had a chef that worked wonders with prepared meats. Mike Phillips has gone on to build a career based on using everything but the squeal, and on a couple of rare occasions we can still taste the beautiful flavors he makes.
Phillips has built a commercial business, but it's not always easy for us regular eaters to gain access to his beautiful meats. A few times a year he'll pop up: teaching classes on butchery or bringing his delicious meats to a farm dinner. Last summer he provided huge plates of cured meats for Outstanding in the Field, the national roving picnic. The event was held at Little Foot Farms, a pig farm so pristine that you can't smell a thing beyond the berries and grass growing there. Happy little piglets bounded around in their pens, while the adult animals would nap, snort, and occasionally make a little afternoon delight for all the dinner party guests to view.
The entire meal was filled with farm-fresh dishes, packed with all the bounty of a lush growing season. Guests were seated at a long and winding table, covered with white cloth. Stacks of fresh pickled vegetables looked like glass-contained jewels. It was hard to compete with the surroundings, but the world melted away with one bite of that beautiful meat. Prosciutto shaved as thin as lace; salty, pink meat wrapped in a creamy fat that melted on the tongue. Flaky rich bread cradled the pâtés en croûte, the ultra-rich meat nestled within. Zesty coppa, seemingly colored by the nearby Indian paintbrush wildflowers. It was a decadent delight. Each bite of his charcuterie erases the memory of other preserved meats. It's an art that celebrates the animal who gave its life for our eating pleasure. Mike Phillips is a meat maestro, building flavors, creating sensations and making the world a better place through his particular brand of artistry.
(Follow Kitchen in the Market for upcoming cooking classes with Mike Phillips.)
50 Favorite Dishes
No. 50:Somos Peru's crema volteada
No. 49:Northbound Smokehouse & Brewpub's waffle battered chicken sandwich
No. 48: Namaste Cafe's bison mamacha
MidNord's Argentinian empanadas
Krungthep's Thai sausage
Eat Shop's shrimp salad
Icehouse's savory eclair
Cajun 2 Geaux's beignets
A Cupcake Social's dulce de leche cupcake
French Hen's Creole biscuits and gravy
The Gray House's cabbage and cava salad
Foxy Falafel's curry falafel
Republic's ricotta fritters
Meritage's matzo ball soup
Butcher & the Boar's lobster grilled cheese
Sushi Fix's tuna poke
George & the Dragon's Asian hangover
AZ Canteen's Cabrito burger No. 32: Nightingale's scallops with almond gazpacho No. 31: Cafe Racer's pork plate No. 30: World Street Kitchen's soft serve No. 29: The Lynn on Bryant's baba rhum No. 28: Fika's pork belly and poached egg No. 27: The Kenwood's pancakes with black walnut butter No. 26: Blackbird's spicy peanut noodles No. 25: Sonora's shrimp caramelo No. 24: Mona's marrow on toast No. 23: Smack Shack's lobster guacamole No. 22: Neato's Burgers duck fat French fries No. 20: Birdhouse's sweet pea pate No. 19: Mojo Monkey's cake doughnut No. 18: Parka's ham & pickle tots No. 17: Blue Door Longfellow's baked and loaded blucy No. 16: Ipotle's spicy dosa No. 15: Grand Szechuan's Chengdu Dumpling No. 14: Birchwood Cafe's key lime pie No. 13: Dandelion Kitchen's braised beef sandwich No. 12: The Left-Handed Cook's 21-Spice Fried Chicken
Get the Food & Drink Newsletter
Our weekly guide to Minneapolis & St. Paul dining includes food news and reviews, as well as dining events and interviews with chefs and restaurant owners.