Wednesday, January 2, 2013

This piglet didn't make it to Market

Mr T and I have sometimes great ideas - when we met farmers Frances & Ken, we thought having a whole pig roast for New Year's Eve was the best idea we ever had - and actually it was. I had organised 2 events with Ken & Frances for Slowfood where we were walking the pig farm, saw the allotments and had the finest pig roast you can imagine. So when seeing them again, we were talking pig - and the idea came along to have a small piglet cooked in the oven.

I have never cooked a whole pig but Ken was great in giving tips and instructions. The pig was delivered on time, and we rubbed it nicely with butter and sea salt and sat it above a tray in the over at 160C for almost 5 hrs. - What came out of the oven was the most amazing looking pork you can imagine. The crackling was just perfect - the meat succulent and moist - a beauty indeed.

Beautiful Pork at its best
For the last 30 minutes, I added carrots and parsnips to the bottom of the pan and the pork fat (not as much as I expected) caressed them nicely and gave them a deeper flavour than they normally would have had. Roast potatoes were cooked separately in goose fat and if you think that is a lot of fat - nope, as the fat was left behind in the pan. As our guests arrived at different times, we also had a potato salad, stuffed mushrooms and lots more.

But the highlight was the crackling - knocking on heaven's door got a complete new meaning here. It was simply delicious :-)

The next day, we pulled some pork from the carcass and I made gravy from the roasting tray leftovers - re-heating the tray in the oven, removing the fat from the top and pouring some hot stock on top. Straining the sauce into a clean pot and reducing the gravy by a third left us with a rich silky gravy - sauteed onions and mushrooms and some spuds made a great casserole for a dark Tuesday evening :-)

Frances has started her catering business this year and can be hired to cook the pig on a spit for you - a great idea for upcoming communions and birthday parties. Their pigs are reared organically and are free range and have I mentioned totally delicious??? Give her a ring on 087 - 908 8009 (they are creating a website at the moment) for a free consultation and quote.

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