Garlic And Pork
Of the many wonderful presents I received for Christmas, perhaps my favourite was allium ampeloprasum:
Yes, that is colossal elephant garlic and each clove is the size of a whole head of ordinary garlic. A great present because it was so brilliantly unexpected. Tasty too; I roasted the cloves and mashed them with creme fraiche to make lovely pasta sauce.
That wasn’t the only food-related item in my stocking, I also received a voucher for a butchery class at The Ginger Pig. There are four options – beef, lamb, pork and sausage-making – and I think you will agree I made the right choice by selecting pork.
Borut and Perry will explain how each part of the pig is used from the bath chap (cheek) to the rolled leg, prepared ready to roast, nothing is missed including the trotters and even the brain!
The full carcass is broken down and they will show which part of the carcass is used for sausage making, where the pork pie meat comes from and by the application of salt, how the loin is converted from pork to bacon.
The evening will finish with a roasted loin of pork (porketta) feast which hopefully Borut will have got to crackle perfectly, served with wine and you will take home the loin of pork you have prepared.
Nom and indeed nom. Expect a full report in March when I actually get to attend this extremely popular class.
To prepare myself for the coming pig frenzy, I popped down to the Prince Arthur on Friday to indulge myself in slow braised pig’s cheeks and pan fried pig’s liver with honey glazed parsnips, smoked bacon and Brussels sprouts. Rib-sticking wonderfulness. I’m a fan of the Arthur, a civilised neighbourhood pub tucked away in the back streets of Hackney, but its kitchen has never been quite the match of its (older) sister pubs such as The Gun and The Empress Of India. I think that has now changed; the consensus around the table was that menu was more exciting and the execution had gone up a gear (the previous stinginess of the portions was also gone).