Chef Laura Favela grew up in Chihuahua, Mexico, eating pork chile colorado with flour tortillas and beans.
“Pork was one of the cheapest meats,” says Favela, executive chef of Silo Modern Farmhouse at the Canyon Farms Golf Club in Lenexa.
Favela’s menu offers a variety of pork dishes, including chili-marinated pork belly tacos, a hoisin-grilled Duroc chop and Berkshire ragu pasta.
Her popular braised Berkshire pork shoulder is served with mashed potatoes and brussels sprouts: “It’s a really nice, old-school braise,” she says.
Berkshire pork is a heritage breed that offers “really tender and nice and clean meat. The color is totally different and there’s not a lot of fat,” Favela says.
She grinds any leftover trimmings into green chorizo to stud flatbread.
Berkshire pork is available at boutique butchers such as McGonigle’s, Local Pig and Broadway Butcher Shop. To sear the meat, Favela uses cornstarch instead of wheat flour for a gluten-free dish.
A sense of scale
Chef Laura Favela once broke a clog in half logging 58,000 steps in five hours.
While the executive sous chef at Aramark at Craft & Draft in Kauffman Stadium, she was frequently called on to cook at high-volume, celebrity-studded special events, including the Super Bowl and the World Series.
It was fun to watch celebrities enjoy food she had prepared. But after years of working behind the scenes at stadiums, country clubs and casinos, it was time to cast herself in a starring role.
As the executive chef for Silo Modern Farmhouse, an upscale KC Hopps restaurant located in Lenexa, Favela gets to run her own kitchen, raising the visibility of women and Hispanics in the hospitality industry.
“It was the next step to keep growing,” she says.
MIDWESTERN BERKSHIRE PORK ROAST
Makes 6 servings
2 pounds boneless Berkshire pork shoulder roast
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
¼ cup cornstarch
¼ cup vegetable oil
2 tablespoons pork base, Favela uses Minor’s brand
2 cups water
1/3 cup chopped yellow onion
1/3 cup chopped carrots
1/3 cup chopped celery
½ cup red wine
¼ cup cider vinegar
2 cups apple juice
1 bay leaf
1 sprig fresh thyme
2 teaspoons garlic puree
Cut the loin into six equal pieces then season each with salt, pepper and dust with cornstarch.
In a large ovenproof skillet set on medium heat, heat the oil to very hot, and carefully add the pork. Using tongs, sear the meat until a brown crust forms on all sides, about 2-3 minutes per side. Remove meat from skillet and place on a plate lined with paper towels. Set aside.
Mix the pork base and water and set aside.
Lower the heat and add the vegetables to the skillet. Saute vegetables until they begin to caramelize, about 15 minutes, and set aside.
Deglaze the skillet with red wine and vinegar. Reduce mixture by half, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the skillet. Set skillet aside.
In a small saucepan, add the pork base, apple juice, bay leaves, fresh thyme and roasted garlic puree. Bring mixture to a boil over high heat.
Place the reserved pork in the skillet. Scatter vegetables over meat and pour stock mixture over the top.
Cover the pan with plastic wrap and then aluminum foil. Braise the pork at 350 degrees for 3 hours, or until it registers 145 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Reserve the pan juices and reduce to half in a saucepan over low heat, about 15-20 minutes. Serve roast and vegetables with pan juices.