Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Pig Cooking with a Passion For Pork

I first came to hear about this book because I follow Duncan Baird Publishing on Twitter. They had a giveaway of a handful of copies, but alas I was not one of them. Still, being the inquisitive (obsessed!) cookbook collector that I am, I had a look online and loved the sound of the book, and pre-ordered it myself. Pig Cooking with a Passion For Pork by Johnnie Mountain 2012 Duncan Baird Publishing.

Johnnie Mountain is the chef from The English Pig in the City of London, and he has, unsurprisingly, a real love and passion for pork. Pork is one of my hubby’s favourites so I’m always looking for new and exciting ways to cook it. I’ve tried a new recipe most weeks since I started cooking from this book, and some have been cooked again as well. Johnnie bridges the gap between chef and home cook seamlessly and brilliantly. This is a fabulous book.

It is illustrated with gorgeous pictures and there are loads of ‘Show-me-how’ video links for your smart phone or tablet if you have either of these. I don’t and still love this book, but I can see that it would be a definite bonus to be able to be shown techniques for example to see how to stuff and tie a loin of pork or how to make fresh chorizo sausages. There is also a website address to be able to look the videos up online as well.

So what’s in the book? Well chapters are:* Introduction * Home Favourites * Cured, Dried, Preserved & Smoked * Spicy & Aromatic * Slow-Cooked * and *Accompaniments*.
I have made a number of recipes from it and have many more marked to try, how about Pork Medallions with Brandy soaked Prunes, Pancetta and Pea Risotto, Mexican Chilli, Filipino Sweet and Sour Pork (ribs), Eight-Hour Roast Shoulder of Pork, Lemongrass and Ginger Stir Fry Pork, Pork Dim Sum, Spicy Pork Meatloaf, Sausages in Spiced Apple Relish or Indonesian Curried Pork with Coconut Rice? I would like to try them all and many more besides.

Here are the dishes I’ve cooked for supper so far.

Pork Meatballs
These were lovely. Well flavoured, and not too heavy. I served them here with mash, but pasta is the obvious pairing. Super easy and you don’t have to brown the meatballs, and they cook in the oven with the sauce, so no last minute faffing. I used a bottle of bought passata.

Pork Stroganoff
One for when you want a creamy not too palate challenging dish.

Paella with Chorizo & Prawns
A good version of this classic dish. I used shelled prawns as that is what we prefer.

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy
Now you are probably thinking I’ve burned the sausages! They were not as dark in real life, neither was the gravy, but I couldn’t get a decent shot, and I don’t prink with my pictures to make them look false or different. I had to include this here though because this is a fabulous version of toad in the hole and the gravy was really amazing, such depth of flavour! In case you have not had ‘toad’ before the toad in question is in fact sausages in a Yorkshire pudding batter!

Pancetta Mac & Cheese
Pasta and cheese is always a good combo, and the crisped pancetta cubes just makes it better. It’s not in fact macaroni here, but I picked up the bag thinking it was, and wasn’t going to waste it! It is quite saucy when it goes into the oven, but has just the right amount of sauce when it is ready to serve.

Pork and Mushroom Stir Fry
A bit of effort needed for this one, but a great saucy stir fry is what you’ll end up with for your supper.

If you like to cook or eat pork, this is a must have for your collection. I was really impressed with the book, its layout, pictures, easy to follow recipes but above all the great food. I’ll be cooking something from it weekly for the foreseeable future too.

Next Up: Greedy Girl's Cookbook