Tuesday 8th March. –In the village Hall.
A demonstration and talk on curing meat was given by Jasper Aykroyd who cooked cured pork for us to sample. It was roasted at 150 Deg C for 3 hours, fat-side up so that the fat runs down and bastes the lean meat, then allowed to rest for at least half an hour. He also cooked cured bacon for us to sample.
We were shown various salts, tasted them and chose a salt to use by voting. The range of herbs he uses for curing was explained to us and a selection chosen to cure the belly piece.
The piece he cooked was a whole Back or Loin, and was par-cured with salt, muscovado sugar, and in order: Cinnamon, Corriander, Caraway, Fennel, Clove, Ginger and nutmeg.
Both that and the belly which we cured as a collective group came from Helen Browning’s Eastbrook Farm in Bishopstone. She has the largest herd of Saddlebacks in Europe, but those are breeding sows. The Boars are Large whites. Crossed, they create a pig for meat which has just a nice amount of fat and flavour, and have a mottled grey hide, which gives them their name of “Blue” pigs.
The very fatty bacon that he cooked is from a different herd owned by a friend near Fernam, and those are fluffy pigs from Hungary, called Mangaliza pigs: the preferred meat of the Viennese court in days of yore. (If you saw the programme Great British Food Revival on BBC 2 on Wednesday 16th March you would have seen the pigs which from a distance look like sheep.)