Posts Tagged: pork

Jun 10

Getting piggy with it


I’m a long-time lover of the much maligned pork scratching. An abused pub snack, done well these are the party snack of choice. You’ll find good versions in gastro-pubs up and down the country – the perfect accompaniment to all manner of drinks, but preferably best with a good pint of real beer like one of my favourites, Black Sheep.

Making them at home is, frankly, a doddle. This recipe comes from my great friend Simon Majumdar’s new book, Eating for Britain – a must-read for anyone interested in British food and its heritage, history and origins. He procured it from his chef pal Andrew Porter in York.

He says: “It is impossible to eat just one scratching. It’s an addiction I am in no hurry to be cured of.”

Click here for Andrew Porter’s Pork Scratchings from Eating for Britain by Simon Majumdar

Oct 09

Snack attack – the Katsu sandwich


Katsu or Tonkatsu is a Japanese method of cooking cuts of meat by dipping them in flour, egg and Panko breadcrumbs and deep frying them.

It’s as good as it sounds, and the Japanese serve it either with Miso soup or cut into slices in a sandwich made with the fluffiest white bread, pointed cabbage, mustard mayonnaise and a Japanese version of brown sauce (normally labelled Tonkatsu sauce) – perfect food for a TV dinner.

I have various spots in London that I head to for my favourite dishes, and Tsuru Sushi in Southwark – near the city’s famous foodie spot Borough Market – is high up on the list. They have perfected the art of Katsu and I recently managed to wangle their method.

The Katsu sandwich

Step 1
Choose your meat – pork shoulder or loin, chicken thigh or breast (or vegetables) – and cut to 1.5cm thickness. If using a chicken thigh simply remove the skin and bone.

Step 2
Coat the meat in flour (remove excess by slapping gently), then egg, then dip into panko breadcrumbs and coat evenly. The bigger the breadcrumbs, the crisper the katsu.

Step 3
Heat oil until a cube of bread browns in about 30 seconds to a minute. Fry the meat 2 minutes. Take out and rest for 1 minute. Fry for further 2 minutes. This resting ensures a crispy coating and perfectly cooked, juicy meat.

Step 4
Slice the katsu diagonally and arrange evenly on a slice of thick, fluffy white bread (the lighter the bread, the bigger the contrast in texture with the katsu, the better the sandwich).

Then drizzle tonkatsu sauce over the katsu, add a big handful of very thinly sliced pointed cabbage on top and then drizzle with mustard mayonnaise (recipe below) and make the sandwich.

Tsuru Mustard Mayo
•    100ml Japanese mayo (use normal mayo if you can’t find this)
•    20ml good English mustard
•    5ml lemon juice


Combine ingredients.

May 09

Taking it slow – ten hour roast pork


Patience is a virtue and no more so is this evident than in a ten-hour roast. This recipe is both tantalising and torturous. It’s a gem. I’m a huge fan of slow-cooking, braising or roasting on a very low temperature. It requires patience, the ability to wait and not pick, not turn the oven up and just leave things, as your house fills with the most incredible of aromas.

This kind of cooking is normally associated with winter months; casseroles and stews, perked up with root vegetables and served with great mounds of buttery mash. Slow-roasting, though, is perfectly suited to the warmer times too. Swap the potatoes for flat breads or pitta, pulling meat from bone and loading the breads up with pickled chillies, yogurt and salads. This ten-hour pork is’definitely one for the weekend as you’ll need to get it in the oven first thing. You’ll wish you could bottle up the scent too – rich and delicious and more-ish.

The sauce that accompanies this is one they serve at the Gaucho restaurants in London. It was taught to me by my great friend Ryan. It’s a slightly fiery sauce usually served with prawns but it’s also perfect for a barbecue or with a joint like this. Use a larger joint to leave lots of leftovers – perfect for topping pizzas, folding through pasta sauces or salads, or for a fantastic sandwich filling.

Because of the low cooking temperature and the fat in the meat, it won’t dry out during the cooking process

Ten-hour roast pork with a red pepper sauce

Ingredients (serves 6-8)

•    2kg piece of rolled boned pork shoulder or leg, skin on
•    Glass of white wine or water

For the sauce

•    2 red pepper
•    6 tomatoes
•    2 red onion
•    Juice of 2 oranges
•    Tabasco, to taste


Make the sauce the day before to save time. Cut the peppers into strips and deseed. Add these to a roasting tray along with the halved tomatoes and quartered red onions. Drizzle with a little olive oil and roast at 180 °C for around 30-40 minutes until tinged with black at the edges. Add them to a blender once cooled slightly with the juice of the oranges, salt and pepper and blitz. The amount of Tabasco you add is up to you. A few drops for a very mild heat, to plenty if you are a fire-eater. Set aside and cover until you are ready to use. It will keep in the fridge for a few days.

For the pork, pre-heat the oven to 230 °C. Place the pork on a roasting tray and cook for half an hour before turning the heat down to 130 °C. After 8 hours add a glass of wine or water to the tray.

After 10 hours, remove the pork from the oven. Pre-heat your grill and place the pork under this for a few minutes to crisp up the crackling. Remove the pork from the grill when the skin starts to puff and crisp.

Serve the pork with the sauce and flatbreads or pitta and salad on the side.

Apr 09

Black pudding patties to celebrate St George’s Day


With St George’s Day upon us it only seems right to celebrate with something delicious and English. We have so much fantastic produce on our fair shores it seems criminal not to shout about it. We have incredible regional and national dishes, spectacular beef, lamb, rare breed pork, farmer’s markets and, judging by the 50 best restaurants, some of the world’s finest fine dining.

Black pudding is about as classically British as you can get. There are versions the world over but it’s fair to say we have mastered the art. There are arguments as to its origins, but little argument as to where to find the best ones.

The best comes from Bury in Lancashire and popular opinion holds it that those from The Real Lancashire Black Pudding Company are among the best around.

If you are a little perturbed by the idea of eating a blood sausage, the ones from Bury  are the ones to try – a rich, crumbly, dense black pudding, and in my opinion, a fine example of the art. And added to the very English recipe below, the Lancastrian lovelies are showcased to great effect.

Pork, black pudding and apple patties

Ingredients (Serves 2)

•    200g minced pork, preferably free-range or organic
•    50g cox apple or similar tart variety
•    75g black pudding
•    8 sage leaves
•    25g butter, for frying


Place the pork in a bowl. Crumble in the black pudding, leaving it in quite large chunks, about 1cm across. Grate in the apple without peeling it. Finely slice the sage leaves and add these along with the apple to the pork mixture. Season well and form into four equal sized patties. Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and fry for 4-5 mins on each side until golden brown.

Mar 09

A celebration of the pie


st1\:*{behavior:url(#ieooui) }

In case you are still sadly unaware, this week is British pie week ( – celebration of the humble delight which runs from March 2-8.


A pie in my mind is quintessentially British. First referenced in literary works of 800 years ago, they remain a key element of the UK’s culinary tradition.


While originally designed to protect the contents, these days pastry has become an art form in itself. A flaky layer of puff pastry covering a creamy chicken pie studded with gleaming peas is a thing of beauty. While a well-made shortcrust over a filling of slowly braised beef, carrots and mushrooms can be equally divine.


My first thought at mention of a pie is a savoury one, but I love tart, sharp-tasting fruits like bramley apples, coxes, plums, damsons and rhubarb. And a pie without a lid is a tart. But is a tart a pie?


I’d like to think so, otherwise we’d be missing out on a glorious range of culinary ideas. A good apple pie should be sharp, coupled with a crisp, sweet pastry and a good spoonful of silky clotted cream. The only way to improve on such a thing might be the addition of a few blackberries. Then, bursting at the seams, it should be eaten while your fingers are still stained purple from picking them.

The pinnacle of pie-making, though, is a much more regal thing – the pork pie.


A hot-water pastry crust encases a dense, meaty, fat-speckled filling surrounded by a layer of unctuous jelly. The jelly is the divider. Some can’t stand its texture, others adore the wobbly, gelatinous layer.


Historically, the pie was invented as a means of transporting meat for men on the hunt; the crust designed to withstand a bashing around while kept in the pocket. Fact or fable, who knows! Who cares, when they taste as good as they do?

Featuring WPMU Bloglist Widget by YD WordPress Developer