£25, Mitchell Beazley
Cooking the books: Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cookbook
Sunday 26 May 2013
When is a butcher not a butcher? When it’s “a cult-like phenomenon” in the Ginger Pig’s case: not my words, but those of Tom Parker Bowles on the back of this week’s book.
Prose which might sound purple – until, that is, you visit one of Yorkshire farmer Tim Wilson's exquisitely tasteful London shops, situated in exquisitely tasteful areas such as Lauriston Village, Hackney’s Trumpton, find yourself behind a top-knotted trendy discussing bacon-curing and realise that you’re buying not just marbled fat, but an urban-rural fantasy.
Accordingly, this second publication from the Pig-sty extrapolates from fine meat cuts to a full bucolic spread of recipes, from suet puddings to hedgerow gin. Your cheeks will be 30 per cent more rosy just for having it on your shelf. And, in an era building towards Jamie’s sub-nanosecond meals, it’s refreshing to find a book promoting the culinary long game: so whether or not you manage to hang your own ham for 28 days, it’s nice to know someone thinks you might.
Looking for speedier gratification, I plumped to make Ginger Pig Pork Pies, what with them being in the pantheon of British pastry products. The process was less arduous than you might imagine, provided that you and any cohabiters can cope with: a) the boots-y whiff of stewed up pigs’ trotters; and b) the gleaming sight of a bowl of trotter stock jelly. The lardy, hot-water crust pastry was as easy as you know what and, blow me if the heated-up jelly stock didn’t immediately leak out again when funnelled through a hole in the baked lid.
Yet though they looked hearty enough to star in an anachronistic Henry VIII biopic, they tasted a bit Meh-ton Mowbray: my testers thought the minced pork, nutmeg and parsley filling could have done with an extra kick, and found the pastry, made with icing sugar, too sweet – while the professional equivalent I’d bought earlier came out as “buttery” and “perfectly seasoned”. Well, no one said the quasi-artisan-aspirational lifestyle was simple, right?
To mark Tolstoy's 186th birthdaybooks
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
- 2 A bottle of wine a day is not bad for you and abstaining is worse than drinking, scientist claims
- 3 Piers Morgan attempts to save the Union by promising to go back to the US if Scotland votes 'No' to independence
- 4 Tyler, The Creator says having new U2 album automatically downloaded on his iPhone was 'like waking up with herpes'
- 5 Grandmas keep accidentally tagging themselves as Grandmaster Flash on Facebook
Lauren Bacall's last ever performance on Family Guy airs in UK tonight
Fifty Shades of Grey movie: New picture of Anastasia Steele revealed
X Factor 2014 review: Simon Cowell and Cheryl Cole clashed over Rouge Kiss
Lego breaks out of the toy box and heads for the gallery
Doctor Who, Listen, review: Possibly Steven Moffat's most terrifying episode
Daniele Watts: Django Unchained actress detained by Los Angeles police after being mistaken for a prostitute
George Galloway on Scottish independence: The political class is doing what Hitler couldn’t – destroying Britain
Scottish independence: Nationalist leader Jim Sillars threatens pro-union companies with 'day of reckoning' after independence
Scottish independence: Yes campaign feels the heat as Alex Salmond's NHS claims come under furious attack
Scottish independence: Britain faces 'constitutional crisis' at next election
£23m Birmingham cycle scheme is attacked by Tory councillor for not catering to the elderly