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Hog: proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak

Hog: proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak

by Gemma Harrison 13 May 2015

Great British Chefs reviews ‘Hog’ – Richard H. Turner’s cookbook dedicated to the humble pig.

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I have to admit I’m a bit of a Richard H. Turner super fan. He runs my favourite butchers, Turner and George, and is also the ‘man behind the meat’ at Hawksmoor (quite frankly the best steakhouse in London), Pitt Cue Co. (full of many piggy delights and bourbon laced cocktails) and more restaurants besides. Plus he’s bought the meat fest that is Meatopia to the UK.

Hog: proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak, is, as Turner himself describes, a ‘celebration of all things porcine’. This book really does what it says on the tin – it contains all you ever need to know about breeds and cuts, different cooking methods and dishes, and is beautifully designed to boot. It feels like the work of someone who is totally in love with pork and has put everything into making sure you’ll love it too. There are also some contributions from the likes of Fergus Henderson, Neil Rankin and Valentine Warner, and also basic recipes for master pork stock (why use chicken stock in a pork dish after all?), BBQ sauce, bacon, ham and sausages.

I was lucky enough to pick up my copy of the book from Turner himself, and I asked what recipe he would recommend for me to start with. His answer was the West African Pork and Peanut Stew (his favourite from the book), and so I picked up the meat from his shop and set about making the dish. Firstly, what completely surprised and delighted me about this and the other recipes I cooked, was how simple they were to carry out and that they didn’t require 30 ingredients, half of which I would have trouble getting hold of. I had over 50% of the ingredients at home already and the rest were easy to find in the supermarket.

The only reservation I’d had before making this dish, was that whilst I don’t mind peanuts, I’m really not a fan of peanut butter. I didn’t really fancy buying a whole jar of something I wasn’t going to eat, so I decided to buy a large bag of peanuts (you’ll need some for garnishing too) and made my own - just blitz 100g peanuts in a blender, then add a dash of oil, salt and honey to taste. A really easy dish to prepare, it’s essentially slow cooking some diced pork shoulder in a sauce; and despite my reservations about the peanut butter, it tasted great!

West African Pork and Peanut Stew
West African Pork and Peanut Stew
Albondigas Mexicanas
Albondigas Mexicanas

The next dish I attempted was the Albondigas Mexicanas. These pork meatballs have a Mexican twist provided by chipotle chilli, coriander and a squeeze of lime. Another easy recipe to work through (although they take over an hour just on cooking time), I decided to serve them with avocado and sour cream in demi brioche buns. These went down particularly well, and would be perfect for summer parties when you’re tired of the endless supply of burgers.

Last up was the Croque Monsieur (essentially a posh ham and cheese toastie), which Turner first had as a staff meal at Le Gavroche. Classic comfort food at its best, you can whip it up in a flash and enjoy by itself as a snack or with a side salad for lunch.

This cookbook is really the pork bible and I can’t wait to cook my way through the rest of it. I really hope that there are ‘Cow’, ‘Sheep’ and ‘Chicken’ books in the pipeline – I will certainly be first in the queue to buy them!

Richard H. Turner’s Hog: proper pork recipes from the snout to the squeak is published by Octopus Books.

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