Slagel pork collar

I didn’t know what the hell a pork collar was. I just told Rob Levitt I needed a big chunk of meat, something I could braise all day in a chipotle-roasted tomatillo salsa, a la Bayless. And it should feed 13 people. “Pork collar,” he said. “Come and take a look.”

In December, when I wrote about Levitt and his plans to open Chicago’s first all-local, humanely raised, whole-animal butcher shop, he knew he was going to have to be a salesman and a teacher, convincing customers to try new and unusual cuts of meat, and showing them how to cook them.

He’s developed a visual pitch. When I arrived at the Butcher & Larder on its third day in business, he lined up right-hand man and former Mado sous chef Chris Turner in front of the counter, spun him around, and carved imaginary blade marks down one side of his spine. That, he explained, was where the collar came from.