Neck Line

Collar is the new belly

Chefs, a note of thanks: Because of you, the collar has moved beyond its status as a sartorial dare, imbued with connotations of both stuffy polo matches and déclassé fist pumping.

These days, the word refers to that specific cut directly below the animal's head and is popping up (ahem) in restaurants across the country. It's about time: The collar has been long been overlooked as scrap by American eaters, despite its rich makeup.

Conversely, in many restaurants in Japan, fish collar is never thrown away. At En Japanese Brasserie in New York, tuna collar is featured along with other overlooked cuts in the restaurant's "Fish head, eel bones and beer" monthly dinner parties.

Portland's Pok Pok Noi has embraced collar since the restaurant's opening. Chef Andy Ricker turned to boar when he found trouble sourcing pork collar. Now he prefers it, as the gamier flavor can stand up to aggressive marinades and time on the grill.

In Los Angeles, chef Kris Yenbamroong uses pork collar to channel kor moo yang, a classic dish from northern Thailand, at his restaurant Night + Market. The cut, which he likens to bacon, is grilled and served with jaew, a classic condiment. We've procured his recipe for the simple salty-sweet sauce (click here to see the recipe)–which will dress up your collar far better than a tie.