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Fergus Henderson's "Nose to Tail" Cookbook


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I'm getting confused. I keep reading about "photos" but there are none in my copy of the book (I rec'd it from amazon a few weeks ago), just line drawing illustrations--quite nice ones, to be sure.

Actually, I'm franticlly searching for trotters and unsmoked bacon. I'm planning on making his bean and bacon dish this weekend (I think the attracting feature of the recipe was Fergus' suggestion that one "serve with much red wine"). The trotters shouldn't be a problem, but I'm not so sure about "unsmoked, streaky bacon". I imagine I could substitute panchetta or ventreche, but I think the real thing is less cured and dry, more like pickled porkbelly. Anyone care to comment...?

Oh, also planning on making the trotter and pheasant pie soon. Mmmm!

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I'm getting confused. I keep reading about "photos" but there are none in my copy of the book (I rec'd it from amazon a few weeks ago), just line drawing illustrations--quite nice ones, to be sure.

Actually, I'm franticlly searching for trotters and unsmoked bacon. I'm planning on making his bean and bacon dish this weekend (I think the attracting feature of the recipe was Fergus' suggestion that one "serve with much red wine"). The trotters shouldn't be a problem, but I'm not so sure about "unsmoked, streaky bacon". I imagine I could substitute panchetta or ventreche, but I think the real thing is less cured and dry, more like pickled porkbelly. Anyone care to comment...?

Oh, also planning on making the trotter and pheasant pie soon. Mmmm!

By unsmoked streaky bacon, I would think he means fresh pork belly. But I could be wrong. I just got my copy today and cannot wait to go home and start flipping through it, with or without the pics.

Elie

E. Nassar
Houston, TX

My Blog
contact: enassar(AT)gmail(DOT)com

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Just received the book. The writing style looks witty and entertaining as well as informative. I'm looking forward to a book signing and four-course lunch prepared from recipes in the book on April 14 in Los Angeles at the Getty Center. The phone number for information and reservations is (310) 440-6810.

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The cover seems to be the same porker as Jane Grigson's Charcuterie and French Pork Cookery (the classic pig book in my book). That's one popular, good-looking pig. I take it Henderson's book has more than just pig in it. The squirrels in the Botanic Gardens better watch out... :raz:

Yes, and I've seen that pig elsewhere, too. He (she?) really gets around. Probably out of a -- OH! just looked through the Dover book I have and there it is, on page 85! Ever so much more handsome than the one just above it, or in the upper right-hand corner (rather surly, that one). So it's a public-domain pig. :wink:

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Yes, and I've seen that pig elsewhere, too. He (she?) really gets around. Probably out of a -- OH! just looked through the Dover book I have and there it is, on page 85! Ever so much more handsome than the one just above it, or in the upper right-hand corner (rather surly, that one). So it's a public-domain pig. :wink:

Yup, and a highly popular one at that. I believe you'll find him in at least one other book you own :wink: , along with several other PD critters from those useful Dover collections.... More than one, if you have the paperback edition of Serious Pig.

As Charlotte once said, that is "SOME PIG."

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Went to hear Fergus speak yesterday as part of his book tour at the San Francisco Sur La Table (which is at the San Francisco Ferry Building Marketplace) His whole tour schedule is posted on this site http://www.harpercollins.com/catalog/book_...isbn=0060585366

He was very entertaining, so I went ahead and blogged about it at on my site Cooking with Amy

http://cookingwithamy.blogspot.com/

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Was just about to make the bread starter from "The Whole Beast" which calls for 1 quart of warm water. Now, in the UK, a(n Imperial) pint is 20 ounces. I would assume that a UK quart would be 40 ounces. Was that taken into consideration in the editing for the US publication? Suzanne? Are you there? Help! Anyone?

edited to say that I just answered my own question. I cut the recipe in half: 7 cups of bread flour (38.5 oz) and 1 pint of water. I used a 16 oz pint and that was definitely not enough moisture so added the additional 4 oz of water. So, in case anyone else makes this, definitely use an imperial pint or quart.

Edited by kitwilliams (log)

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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I swear I posted this in this thread previously. Was it removed for some reason?

:blink:

But again, Chef Fergus and an assistant was at my school yesterday afternoon here in Chicago, for a demo and book signing. I attended, as did about 40 other students and guests.

He demo'd the Crispy Pig's Tails and served them with a parsley salad. He intended to demo the Roasted Bone Marrow as well, but my school was unable to get the middle marrow that he wanted.

So we just ate the pig's tails, which are making me hungry to remember. They were fantastic--Uber-Pork if you will. Fatty, and crispy, and pork-y, all at the same time.

He mentioned that the pig's tails here in Chicago were "lopped" by the butchers, so we should all ask our butchers for "unlopped" tails here in the U.S.

Chef Fergus was quite funny and he said that this was the first time he had ever demo'd to a roomful of culinary students.

Would be curious to know what happened to my original posts? I swear they were here on this thread.

Noise is music. All else is food.

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In addition to my cry for help in the previous post, I met Fergus at Ciudad this week. They (the restaurant: Mary Sue Milliken and Susan Feniger) did a great job on the nibbles to go along with our wine and/or Mojitos. Beef hearts (good flavor but the chewiness factor is a problem with me), lamb tongue on endive (delicious), mussels and celery with dill and capers - oh so refreshing - cheese and chutney on crackers...I know I'm forgetting something. Anyway, it was lots of fun. And now I want to make bread and befriend a butcher so as to get veal marrow bones on a more than regular basis! Anyone who hasn't been to St John must make the trek. Aside from the amazing food, I was overwhelmed by the space. Oh to live in a place with old and oddly shaped architecture whose character can be perfectly accentuated with a clean coat of paint and not much else. I would love to be a baker in that back corner beyond the bar. What an awesome place to work. Perfect.

NeroW: I just noticed another thread similar to this which was started last year sometime...perhaps you posted it there?

kit

"I'm bringing pastry back"

Weebl

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The measurements are U.S., although you could be correct about the water in the bread. To be honest, I don't remember whether it started out imperial or metric.

Whichever, I can understand your problem with the bread -- flours are different, humidity is different, so that can happen with any recipe, converted or not. The dessert and baking recipes are not the book's strongest suit, IMO. But I'm glad you got the bread to work.

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We ate the boiled belly with lentils last night. Lots of Homer-esque drooling noises around the table, as it was incredibly good.

The pork belly brined for 10 days (about 1/2:quart, salt:water, with sugar, clove, juniper, peppercorn, and bay leaf...but results not at all salty), then simmered 3 hrs with aromatics. Henderson's "quite dour" lentils are anything but...sweat leek, onion, garlic, and carrot, then cook lentils with herbs, finish with good olive oil.

The combination had even some slightly squeamish diners (at the fatty belly, that is) cleaning their plates.

Jim

olive oil + salt

Real Good Food

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nose to Tail has been an inspiration. My husband (main chef around our house) has been stunned and amazed to come home to several "new" and tasty meals. My thanks to you, Tony, for bringing it to my attention!

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  • 2 weeks later...

Very nice writeup on the book by Russ Parsons in today's LA Times Food Section Foodies Go Hog Wild. There's even an eGullet mention.

The book is indeed making a splash

"I have never seen so much pre-publication response to any book I've ever published," says Halpern. "It's a different kind of buzz, kind of a secret buzz. It's a book that so many people say they never would look at, but word spread among serious food people so quickly. Every time I went out for dinner, I took a bound galley to the chef. Every one of them knew what it was and couldn't believe they'd gotten a copy of it.

"I said from the beginning that it will start with the chefs, then go to the serious food people, then it will eventually get to people who would ordinarily turn away from it but will now have to have it on their tables to show how hip they are."

Chad

Chad Ward

An Edge in the Kitchen

William Morrow Cookbooks

www.chadwrites.com

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I walked by Kitchen Arts & Letters (the cookbook shop in NYC) the other day -- they have copies of the book in the window.

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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Russ Parsons in today's LA Times

It is a salty, crisp, meaty pork bomb, and it is a dish you'd never find in almost any other cookbook.

This is the kind of recipe review that any cook book author would be satisfied with.

Russ's whole description of the pork belly process makes you want to run out and buy some of the stuff. In fact, that's just what I plan on doing.

Brooks Hamaker, aka "Mayhaw Man"

There's a train everyday, leaving either way...

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This review, and story about FH, by Mike Thomas was published in today's Chicago Sun Times.

Over the years, Henderson has increasingly emerged as St. John's public face, garnering plaudits aplenty for bravely going where few, if any, of his culinary contemporaries have gone before. At least, not with his degree of purism and commitment. "If you get nervous or frightened of your ingredients, they'll misbehave," he has said. "The ingredients know what you're thinking."

=R=

"Hey, hey, careful man! There's a beverage here!" --The Dude, The Big Lebowski

LTHForum.com -- The definitive Chicago-based culinary chat site

ronnie_suburban 'at' yahoo.com

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  • 5 months later...

For reasons that aren’t entirely clear, Mrs Busboy and I developed a craving for pig’s tail last weekend and pulled our woefully underutilized “Nose to Tail Eating” off the cookbook shelf and looked up Fergus’ recipe for this cheap – if off-putting to some – porcine delicacy.

We hunted up a butcher’s stall that offered fresh tails at DC’s Eastern Market and stashed the tails in the ‘fridge, pointlessly lobbying the children to join us in the feast-to-be and, by chance, hunting up this video on the Internet.

In the video, Fergus himself walks the viewer through the magic that is Crispy Pig’s Tails, whilst an interviewer – insensitive even by my standards – queries him about Parkinson’s and some gangly junkie-ass assistant whisks mustard into the eggs and does a little behind-the-line minuet with Chef Henderson.

The video also gives the recipe for those who want get a feel for “variety meats” and such-like before dashing out to buy the whole book. Or for the cheapskates among you.

The pig’s tails held up fine for four days in the fridge, but displaying them to the kids was the final blow to any hope that they’d join us in eating them.

gallery_7296_388_1100880187.jpg

Almost had second thoughts at this point.

Mrs. Busboy – Stephanie, who did virtually all the cooking and deserves all the credit -- assembled the ingredients. We were fortunate to have on hand homemade chicken stock; given its importance to the recipe I’d be very hesitant to substitute store-bought, especially canned. There seemed to be a dearth of English mustard at the store, so we reconstituted some dried Coleman’s. Based on the can, it is apparently the condiment of choice in the House of Windsor, “by appointment of Her Majesty the Queen.” I guess you can’t get more English than that.

gallery_7296_388_1100880577.jpg

The supporting cast.

Rounding up the ingredients is by far the most difficult part of the whole process. It’s an alarmingly simple recipe: a long simmer “low & slow” with the stock and the “happy herbs,” a cooling off period, then bread, fry and bake. This is food that can be cooked while drinking -- there’s barely ten minutes’ work in the whole thing.

gallery_7296_388_1100880540.jpg

They shouldn't actually be this brown at this point, but this is a forgiving dish.

Ten very well spent minutes. We were half-worried that the result would be a chew-toy on a bone, but braising had rendered the skin to insignificance behind the crispy breadcrumbs, and there was a good deal more meat than we expected. It’s very rich, comparable to pork belly, but with a meatier flavor and a slightly different texture. Two were plenty for Stephanie, I made it through three. The peppery, bitter cress was a good foil, braised greens would work, too and help make the non-Atkinsonians among us feel better about eating fried porkfat for dinner.

gallery_7296_388_1100880495.jpg

That's good eatin'. Thanks, Fergus (and piggies)!

One eccentricity in the recipe, an eccentricity many of Henderson’s recipe’s share, is that there is no salt called for at all. Though we threw a little salt and pepper into the breading, I think in our next effort, Stephanie and I will add some either to the braising step or the “resting” step, in hopes of insinuating a little into the meat itself.

We would also roast the curly little delicacies longer. Though the crumbs were browned, the fat didn’t quite get that caramelized edge that, on roast pork products says: “cooked just right.”

Edited by Busboy (log)
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I'm on the pavement

Thinking about the government.

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That's a damn impressive looking stove you've got yourself there. I must say, raw pig tails may be the most phalic looking piece of meat I have seen in a while. The end result though, looks wonderful. Sigh.

What did you do with the leftovers? Find a way to sneak it into the kids lunch?

True Heroism is remarkably sober, very undramatic.

It is not the urge to surpass all others at whatever cost,

but the urge to serve others at whatever cost. -Arthur Ashe

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Busboy thanks so much for your photos, and the link to UKTV food video.

I have the Fergus Henderson's book Nose to Tail. I met him in Chicago and have made a few items but not - the crispy pigs tails. Seeing Fergus make them and your photos I just might have to make a batch - maybe for the holidays.

Bonus video of Tony - too, ..... but who is the guy making the pears?

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Thanks for the lowdown on pigs tail. Thats one of the dishes that has been calling my name, since I recieved my book. I'll have to start looking for some tails soon.

Back in October, my husband was invited to the publisher's party in London for Bourdain's new book, and Furgus Henderson was also there with 'Nose to Tail'. It was held at St. John's, and according to the hubby, was actually quite a fun party. I was extremely jealous that he got to go, and I was stuck in new york, but he did come back with signed copies of both books for me, so all is forgiven.

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My wife and I had the good fortune to be in the front row for his Guild of Food Writers demo three nights ago, which included the pig tails. They were delicious; could have benefitted from a slightly longer cooking, but demos are always a bit rushed.

I found the grilled, marinated calf's heart rather tough, its chewability largely dependant on the thinness of the slices. I'm very fond of heart, but prefer a long slow braize which gradually turns resistance to succulence.

We'll be back to St John yet again next Saturday night. Quick, Watson, the game's afoot!

John Whiting, London

Whitings Writings

Top Google/MSN hit for Paris Bistros

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Am I the only one who thinks these look like amputated fingers? :hmmm:

"Some people see a sheet of seaweed and want to be wrapped in it. I want to see it around a piece of fish."-- William Grimes

"People are bastard-coated bastards, with bastard filling." - Dr. Cox on Scrubs

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