21 Jul 2016
GLORIOUS HOG ROAST
Mouth melting tender pork that has basted in all the cooking juices served with crispy crackling in a light floury buttered bun stuffed with apple and sage stuffing and apple and quince sauce.
This is my first hog roast, as much as I would have loved to cook this beauty over a open log fire it was not for my family and friends so I hired a Hog Master Oven and I was able to guarantee controlled perfection, but watch this space as I will be attempting some Gaucho Cow Boy Cooking soon. The Hog Master Oven was brilliant and all I have to do was turn on the gas and leave alone for 10 hours, something I found difficult !!!
Prep Time 30 minutes scoring the skin / Cooking Alone Time 10 hours
The Hog Roast
50kg Whole Pig
100 fresh soft buns
6 packs soft butter
2 kg organic breadcrumbs
60 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
2 tsp fresh thyme
2 diced onions
1 tbsp coconut or olive oil
1 tsp sea salt
1 tsp black pepper
1/2 tsp white pepper
1 ltr hot apple juice
250g butter grated
Apple and Quince Sauce
2 kg apples
1 kg quince
Cooking the hog, well it really does look after itself, the main effort is scoring the skin, then place the hog in to the roasting tray in the hog master, turn the gas cooking temp to the lowest setting, rub the skin with lots of sea salt and that's it, don't be tempted to baste while cooking as this will affect the crispness of the crackling.
All the cooking juices will collect in the pan and when it comes time to serve, first slice off the crackling and place on a serving tray, then using just a pair of tongs pull off the meat down into the cooking juices and then just serve from there, keep the gas on as this will keep the pork hot while you serve, within half an hour all was gone!
Heat a non stick pan, add the oil and onions and soften remove in to a large bowl, place the rest of the dry ingredients and butter in to the bowl and mix well, start to add some of the apple juice and bring the stuffing together you want a moist stuffing but firm enough for you to be able to form into a large sausage approx 4 inches in diameter, wrap in tinfoil and twist the ends like a giant cracker, this will need to go in the Hog Master one and a half hours before the end of cooking time.
Apple and Quince Sauce
Peel and roughly dice the apples and quince place in a deep pan, sprinkle over the sugar and add a cup of water, bring to a just simmer and cook until soft and some of the sauce is pulpy but still has soft chunks for texture. That's it...
I like to make things really simple and easy so that you can enjoy the party as well as giving your guests a brilliant time, there is no need for stress, feeding 10 or 100 people is just a mathematics equation. I placed a serving table at 90 degrees from the Hog Master oven, on this I placed a large chopping board if needed for the crackling, then three serving trays, one for stuffing, one for crackling and one for the pork, next to this a basket full of the pre buttered rolls and a smaller basket of un buttered rolls, plates, each layered stacked with a napkin in between next to this and on the guests side a giant bowl of the apple quince sauce with a few spoons for them to help themselves.
I took a plate and napkin, placed the bun on the plate and filled with pork and whatever the guest wanted mostly stuffing and crackling, then gave this to the guest and they helped themselves to apple sauce, a really lovely way to serve a hungry crowd.
This has probably been the most accidental way to learn how to feed a crowd of up to 100 with almost Zero effort, a first for me :-)
15 Jul 2016
THESE ARE THE MOST GORGEOUS AWESOME LITTLE PIES ON THE PLANET...
Slow braised grass feed chuck steak with a mira paw of vegetables, roasted beef bone stock reduction and old fashioned Doom Bar Ale left to do their stuff in the oven for around six hours, then left for a further day to rest and improve their flavours. You could serve this with buttery mashed potato as my Nan always did and a healthier option but if you want to make this even better then stuff the filling into my gorgeous old fashioned hand raised short crust pastry and lovingly bake until crisp and golden, then just enjoy the gorgeousness you have braised and baked...
Have fun and be rustic it's really all about the flavour! In fact the best pies are where the gravy seeps out and caramelise on the outside of some of the pastry, these are truly the tastiest pies :-)
Make these as mini pies, a pie slice or as a large sharing family size pie. I often make the pie filling and pastry a day or three before, then as it is just sitting in the fridge it is a quick assembly when required for a fabulous dinner or snacks.
Prep Time Pastry 10 minutes / Pie Filling 10 minutes / Cooking Time 6 hours
Making the Pie 15 minutes / Cooking 45 minutes
(makes 1 large pie or 24 mini pies)
450g plain flour
110g lard cubed
100g butter grated
5g sea salt
160ml cold water
1 beaten egg for glaze
The Pie Filling
1kg diced chuck steak
2 tbsp coconut oil or olive oil
2 carrots finely diced
1 leek finely diced
1 onion finely diced
1 celery finely diced
500ml beef stock
2 bottles real ale
1 bay leaf
2 sprigs of thyme
sea salt & black pepper
pinch cayenne pepper
1 tsp red current jelly optional
First I like to get the braised chuck steak underway, pre heat your oven to 160 degrees C / 300 F, then in a large pan, place a dollop of coconut oil, you can use any oil, this is just my preference, gently soften the onions, carrots, celery and leeks for around 20 minutes remove from the pan and leave to one side, add more oil then the beef and sear until all sides are browned, add back the onion, carrot leek and celery mix and all the other ingredients, bring to a almost simmer and skim off any froth and discard, then place on a lid and pop in the oven for 4-6 hours until the meat is still in shape but will just melt and fall apart with a hint of pressure, take out of the oven and leave to cool on the side, then I like to pop in the fridge until needed at this point, this helps to develop and deepen the flavours of the beef, but you do not have to do this.
THE PASTRY (BEST EVER)
This pastry recipe was given to me by a lady in Cornwall who is famous for making Cornish Pasty's and boy oh boy this pastry is the bee's knee's...
Place the flour in a large bowl, add the diced lard, grated butter and salt cut through roughly, any lumps are great in the finished pastry as when they cook they add a puff in the pastry quality. Add the water and mix for a few seconds, you do not want a formed mass, then only just bring the dough together to form a ball, wrap in grease proof paper and leave in the fridge for a minimum of one hour or until needed, you can freeze this dough and use when required.
TO ASSEMBLE YOUR PIE
You kinda of already know what your doing now! Roll out your chilled pastry and line your baking tin, fill with the chilled braised beef and the brush with a egg wash and bake for 45 minutes at 180 degrees F / 350 C, then enjoy enjoy enjoy.