Swine and Cheese

A passion for Pigs and Food

Archive for the ‘sausages’ tag

The Wolseley, London

without comments

During our February half term trip to London, in another attempt to engulf our two teenage daughters with much needed culture away from facebooking, twittering etc…we arranged a few outings. Whilst there Neale and I obviously couldn’t resist the opportunity to try out what must be one of London’s best loved restaurants, The Wolseley on Piccadilly. The building itself was commissioned by Wolseley Motors in 1921 as a showroom for their cars, and amazingly only became a restaurant in 2003, although you would think the restaurant had been going for years.

On entering the Wolseley it was just as if we’d stepped onto the set of the first class restaurant on Titanic. Wonderful, opulent art deco furnishings in black and ivory in a vast dining room with soft, atmospheric lighting making all the silverware glint. We had gone at 5.30pm for a pre-theatre supper and the place was buzzing, every table full. The menu was a delight and quite eclectic with very traditional English rubbing shoulders with very traditional French and Jewish dishes. Luckily for us Laura and Lucy are adventurous eaters and will happily try anything which has always been such a relief. I remember Laura aged nine months shovelling anchovies, olives and garlic cloves down her neck at one Spanish restaurant in her clip-on chair with the waiters looking on amazed. Not bad for a gringo! Visiting children at our home either ate what was put in front of them or went hungry. I’m afraid I can’t be doing with fussy eaters; allergies – yes, perfectly understandable but over pampered kids and indulgent parents – NO! Anyway I digress.

My starter of quail’s eggs with Hollandaise was superb as was Laura’s and Neale’s steak tartare, and Lucy’s eggs Benedict. On to the exquisite grilled calf’s liver, moules with frites, Toulouse sausages and lentils (almost as good as my recipe!) and Wolseley hamburger. Fab – all of it. Before I get criticised we weren’t allowed to take photos in the restaurant so sadly I can’t show you how wonderful the food looked.

To cap an excellent day we saw the Warhorse at the New London theatre. Do go if you get the chance. We were told by the couple we stayed with that we would almost certainly cry. Having taken this on board I exercised diversion therapy when the heavy scene came at the end however Neale was obviously in the moment and had three of the cast sniggering at his highly visible (we were 2nd row), heaving sobbing! Hilarious. The puppetry was awesome so it was very easy to get right into the story and it was incredibly moving. The play was based on Michael Morpurgo’s book about a boy’s friendship with a horse. Mind blowing to think that 1,000,000 horses went to France during the First World War and only 60,000 made it back.

Share

Written by Sarah

February 22nd, 2010 at 2:30 pm

Berkshire, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pork

with one comment

If you are easily upset then look away now! I realise I never reported back about the taste of the finished product aka Tallulah, Lola and Oinky, our Berkshire, Tamworth and Gloucester Old Spot pigs respectively. Incidentally I have just posted a picture of the deerhound who took a keen interest in Tallulah in the Pig Diary (“Tallulah’s first suitor” episode). I’ve got to admit that it took about a month after their slaughter before I felt like eating any of them. From the image of how they returned from the abattoir you’ll see why I was a little upset especially as it was still obvious who was who. I remember when I was working at the Malton Bacon Factory back in the eighties I started working in the lairage for the first month and as a result I couldn’t eat any pork for that month. It was the association with a living animal that makes it so hard, and especially when you’ve got to know them so well. As before it was bacon that got me back on track again!

From L to R: Tallulah, Oinky and Lola

From L to R: Tallulah, Oinky and Lola

The overriding issue with all three animals has been the enormous amount of fat. How they had enough muscle to support themselves I do not know but Neale and I realise that we severely messed up with the balanced feeding programme. I suspect it was all those treacle puddings. With our next batch of pigs we will be much stricter with what we give them. All three types have tasted delicious but as we still haven’t compared them side by side it is difficult to say, hand on heart, which of the three has the best flavour. Glyn, our Dukeshill butcher, whose opinion I value highly particularly enjoyed the Tamworth shoulder joint we gave him saying it was one of the best pieces of pork he had tasted. Considering he has been in the pig trade for 45 years it must be good. One of the things I’ve noticed with all three types is the skin crackles exceptionally well. Also the fat has that lovely slight yellow tinge to it and every cut has been meltingly tender.

The faggots Neale and Glyn produced using their hearts and livers and lungs (lights as they are known in the trade) and the caul fat were absolutely delicious. They produced about 72 faggots from the three pigs based on our Dukeshill recipe. Neale and Glyn also produced sausages using the intestines, minced pork and fat, chorizo and flitches of bacon (which we have now hanging in our larder) and dry cured several of the legs resulting in delicious York ham. We were also left with numerous joints and chops, belly, tenderloin, ribs, kidneys, trotters. Not one bit of each pig was wasted, we felt we owed them that much with the exception of the heads and obviously the blood as we weren’t present at the killing. Neale really didn’t like seeing the heads of his three pigs bobbing up and down in the curing brine looking up at him, it was too much to bear so the brawn never got made! Hugh Fearnley-Whittingshall would be horrified with us.

A Tallulah/Berkshire flitch

A Tallulah/Berkshire flitch

At the moment I’m trying out several recipes to use up the pork so I will report back on those in due course but I do think that for a superior flavour, when it comes to unalduterated pork, free range, rare breeds such as ours take some beating. Less so with dry cured hams and sausages etc. where the subtle flavour is masked by the salt in the case of the ham and seasoning in the case of the sausages. In fact the commercial breeds of pig are better suited for the dry cured hams we make at Dukeshill in terms of conformity. I know we would get numerous complaints about the fattiness of the hams if we were to use these breeds (even when fed correctly!) and as I’ve just said the flavour differences would be indistinguishable.

Share

Written by Sarah

January 24th, 2010 at 1:58 pm

London visit

without comments

My company Dukeshill supplies most of the well known food halls in London with our hams, sausages, bacon and steamed puddings so we go there quite often to visit the buyers and do demonstrations in store and just to generally check out the competition/current vogues/markets etc.. On a recent visit we were lucky enough to be doing York ham sampling during a charity event in Piccadilly in aid of cancer research. The evening was really fun with lots of celebrities, although Neale and I are useless when it comes to recognising them, and the customers were delightful. The store looked fabulous and in fact they had spent a small fortune supplying the delicious canapes and champagne which were in ample supply. The guest speaker was Ronnie Corbett, who being vertically challenged had to speak from the top of the staircase! Sadler Wells ballet performed as did some talent show person who again neither Neale or I had heard of but no doubt is making Simon Cowell even richer (one of the benefits of living in the sticks!). We eventually finished around 10pm so staggered off into Soho feeling ravenous and thirsty. Our first stop was Bourne & Hollingsworth, a small basement room/bar which is like entering “Aunty Doris’s” front parlour. Absolutely charming venue with a brilliant DJ, lively 20-30 something crowd and yummy cocktails. Neale managed to blag our way into the private party by telling the doorman that he was related to the Hollingsworth of Bourne & Hollingsworth, which incidentally he is. We finally ended up in a lovely Tapas bar called Barrafina only after Neale had been propositioned by a transvestite (he had been walking too fast so was several yards ahead of me – serves him right) in front of five bouncers who found it hilarious especially when Neale declared he was with me and the trannie remarked “are you sure?”. I’d forgotten how good tapas can be especially as a late night snack accompanied by light beer or cocktails.

Share

Written by Sarah

December 17th, 2009 at 5:39 pm

Six Foot Cumberland Cartwheel

without comments

bbq-2

Cumberland Cartwheel

Dukeshill have just launched what must be the largest available sausage, the amazing six foot Cumberland Cartwheel.

New for this summer and in particular for the BBQ season they have used their Cumberland sausage recipe using outdoor reared British pork, herbs and black pepper filled into a natural sheeps casing to produce a meaty and exceedingly tasty sausage.

The six foot sausage is curled and the resulting diameter is approximately 10″ which fits perfectly on a BBQ grill or in a large frying pan. No more fiddling around to retrieve sausages from the coals!

The Cumberland Cartwheel feeds 4-6 people and weighs 1kg and is available exclusively from Dukeshill.

Share

Written by sarahh7282

May 13th, 2009 at 11:59 am

Posted in News

Tagged with , , , ,

Tucked up in bed at last

without comments

There's no place like home

There's no place like home

After several weeks of fine weather it has finally rained. I can only imagine Tallulah’s, Lola’s and Oinky’s surprise as they felt drops landing on them in the middle of the night in their huddle by the fence. Consequently Tallulah, the Berkshire, gave in and made the sensible decision to retreat to the comparative luxury of a dry, snuggly pig arc closely followed by Lola and Oinky who I suspect had wanted to be in there all along. Pig psychology! Just as well, I was thinking of converting the arc into another henhouse. It was nearly as exciting as Christmas morning for me and Neale when we crept out to their bit of field to find them cuddled up inside. They looked really sweet and despite us calling them with food they didn’t want to know. I think pigs skip the toddler stage and do mainly the teenage stage grunting, eating for England and sleeping.

Oinky collapses again

Oinky collapses again

Rather sweetly Lola and Oinky are very keen on having their back scratched. Oinky, the Gloucester old Spot, appears to have peeling sunburnt pink skin which is especially noticeable around the back of his ears, or it may just be incredibly bad dandruff. Lola just looks as if she’s got bad dandruff. They both arch their backs in ecstasy when scratched. In fact Oinky loves being rubbed so much he collapses onto the ground with all four limbs stretched out front and back. I haven’t managed to take a decent photo of this yet as it’s rather difficult scratching and snapping at the same time but my best efforts are below.

A very muddy Otto!

A very muddy Otto!

They’ve also been making friends this week. Tom, our new neighbour, has just bought the very pretty but semi-derelict cottage next door. He used to be a gamekeeper and has two incredibly well behaved labradors who he walks several times a day around the fields next to ours. He is also a dog trainer and still gives lessons so I’m seriously thinking about sending our rather mouthy Jack Russell, Otto, to him. Otto is the sweetest most complex dog I know but he does have issues mainly with any intruders and that includes anything and anyone coming within eyeshot of the place! Quite useful in some ways and incredibly annoying in others. Oh and he’s intensely jealous. Strangely enough neither Otto or Sydney our labrador have quite worked out what the pigs are or for. If only they knew pigs = sausages! By the way their favourites are the Pork sausages from Dukeshill!!

Share

Written by sarahh7282

April 26th, 2009 at 9:56 pm