Wednesday, 26 October 2011

Pig in a Day...

A minor disclaimer before I start:  This post might not be best for the squeamish!

Last weekend (between auntie visiting hours) I was down in Devon on a River Cottage “Pig in a Day” course! 
I was slightly anxious when I first arrived because:
a) I didn't really know what a “Pig in a Day” course might entail,
b) I’d only managed to listen to the first half of the world cup final and,
c) I appeared to have entered an alternate reality populated entirely by Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall look-a-likes... 

Floppy unruly hair... tick; bold checked shirt... tick; body warmers and "gardening" jeans... tick; plummy accent... tick, tick, tick!

Attack of the Hugh Fearnley Whittingstalls aside, what a stormer of a day!!  We started with home cured bacon and tomato relish sandwiches in the backyard yurt...
then went on to learn how to butcher a carcass and utilise every single last piece. 
 ...and when I say every single I mean EVERY SINGLE!!  There were recipes and demonstrations for brawn (using the head and trotters), devilled kidneys, liver pate, even brain “mcnuggets”. 
We were shown how to stuff, smoke, cure, air dry, make sausages and chorizo... all interspersed with endless tastings, snacks and an enormous Sunday roast (pork naturally!).

The guys running the course were incredibly knowledgeable, relaxed and fun... I had an amazing day and would like to pass on a massive thank you to "the girls" for an awesome birthday present and Mr and Mrs T for hosting us all!!

The (very garlicy) chorizo is currently stinking out our fridge in London waiting the obligatory drying time before I can use it... I CAN’T WAIT!!

The chorizo is made using the same method as sausages. 

Rinse and soak the casings overnight in cold water.  Mince the pork and mix all the ingredients thoroughly.  Stuff the casings (for more detailed instructions see this link), twist to form individual sausages and hang in the fridge for at least one week before cooking.

Watch this space for the recipe using them, perhaps the perfect excuse for a jambalaya? Who knows...!

Cooking Chorizo: (makes 50 sausages)
8 metres hog casing
5kg pork (roughly 20% fat)
100g salt
125g smoked paprika
70g sweet paprika
15g cayenne pepper
50g fennel seeds, lightly toasted
10 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 glasses red wine

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