07 May 2014

Ginger Pig Meat AND Farmhouse

Today is a Ginger Pig twofer. 

Once upon a time, Tim Wilson, antiques dealer and house refurbisher found a lovely little farm.  There were ducks in the pond, chickens under foot, cows in the pasture and though the farm needed much work, Tim was smitten.  Once he owned the farm he returned to find no duck, just and ugly mud hole and a hovel of a house.  In that moment, he realized that what made the farm special was the livestock living there.

He went to work on the house and added ducks and pigs and chickens.  Then more pigs and cattle and soon he was breeding animals, and soon he outgrew the little farm, so he got more land.  Instead of antiques he was now selling meat at the farmers market and before long, he had a beautiful butcher shop called the ginger pig.

Many restaurants started telling their customer that their meat was from the Ginger Pig.Often, the butcher was more famous than the chef.  Who knew better how to cook this famous meat than Tim Wilson.  His first book, Ginger Pig Meat Book, was filled with meats including pork, lamb, beef, and venison. There is poultry of all kinds from partridge to chicken to duck to guinea fowl.  There is even pie, but it's not apple.

The Ginger Pig beef bourguignon pie

For the filling:
1.3kg (3lb) chuck steak, cut into 2cm (3/4 in) dice
350g (12oz) cooked dry-cured bacon, diced
200g (7oz) button mushrooms, chopped
1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
1 small garlic clove, crushed then peeled
1 tbsp soy sauce, preferably Kikkoman
350ml (12fl oz) red wine
2 tbsp cornflour
leaves of 4 sprigs of flat-leaf parsley, roughly chopped

For the suet pastry:
700g (1lb 9oz) plain flour
350g (12oz) suet
½ tsp salt

For assembly:
25g (10oz) lard, melted
1 tbsp plain flour
1 egg, beaten


Method
1. Preheat the oven to 180°C/350F/gas mark 4. Place the beef and bacon in a roasting tin and brown in the oven for 15 minutes, then stir and cook for 15 minutes more. Add the mushrooms, onion, garlic, soy sauce and wine. Cover with baking parchment, pushing it down to touch the ingredients, seal with foil, and cook for 1½ hours.

2. Drain off all the liquid into a saucepan. Blend the cornflour with a little water and mix into the cooking juices, then place on the heat and stir until boiling and thickened. Return the liquid to the meat, add the parsley, mix, and leave to cool completely.

3. Place the flour, salt and suet in a food processor and blitz. Transfer to a mixing bowl, add 300 milliliters (1/2 pint) water and mix until smooth. If making individual pies, divide the dough into eight balls, four weighing 185 (6 1/2oz) grams and four weighing 115 grams (4oz). If making one large pie, divide it into two balls, one 740 (1lb 10oz) grams and the other 460 (1lb) grams.

4.  Preheat the oven to 190°C/350F/gas mark 5. Brush the inside of the tin or tins thoroughly with lard, then dust lightly with flour. Roll out the larger pastry balls and use to line the tin or tins. Divide the filling between them. Brush the pastry edges generously with egg, roll out the smaller pastry balls and place on top, pushing the edges together. Trim off the excess with a knife and crimp around the edge. Brush with egg, and decorate with pastry trimmings, if you like. Cook for 50 minutes. Leave to cool for five minutes, then turn out of the tins and enjoy hot or cold.

For his next book, Wilson decided to broaden his horizons and published Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cook Book.   This time the pie is gooseberry.  There are jams and marmalades, some veggies and bread, but once again, Wilson sticks to what he knows -- meat.
  Pulled Spicy Pork

2kgs (4lb 8oz) boned shoulder of pork (roughly half a whole shoulder)

For the spicy rub
2 tsp smoked paprika
2 tsp onion granules or flakes
2 tsp garlic salt
1-2 tsp chilli flakes
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp ground cumin
2 tsp English mustard powder
1 tsp freshly ground black pepper
4 tbsp red wine vinegar
4 tbsp brown sugar

1. Place all the rub ingredients into a large bowl and mix well. Add the pork, rub the spicy mixture all over it, then cover and marinate in the fridge for 24 hours, turning and basting occasionally.

2.  Preheat the oven to 170 C/320F /gas mark 3. Place the marinated pork in a small roasting tin, spoon over some of the marinade and cover with foil. Place in the oven for two hours. Reduce the heat to 150 C /300F/ gas mark 2, turn and baste the pork, cover with the foil again and cook for a further 2 hours.

3. Remove the foil and drain the cooking juices into a sauce pan. Increase the heat to 170 C/325F /gas mark 3, return the meet to the oven, uncovered, and brown for 20 minutes. When cooked, cover with foil and allow to rest for 15 minutes.

4. Meanwhile, skim off and discard the excess fat from the cooking juices, then place the pan over low heat to warm them through.

5. Once the pork is rested, peel off the skin and tear the meat into shreds using two forks. It should be so well cooked that falls apart easily. Pour the warm juices over the meet and serve and in ciabatta rolls or on top of a crunchy salad consisting of bean sprouts, iceberg lettuce, chopped carrots, cucumber and red peppers all tossed in lime juice.

We have been eating a lot of gluten lately, so we ventured out to add more protein.  Seriously you have to love a guy who cooks pulled pork for nearly 3 hours and suggests you serve it in a salad.  That is definitely our  kind of salad. We can't think of a better place to look for tempting meat-centric cooking ideas than in the duo from Ginger Pig.

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