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How to cook a pig?!


alanbalchin
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A little summer project for when me and my brother go to France in the summer.

We have a good local butcher there, and are planning to buy a whole pig and make lots of wonderful porky things with it. We're not particularly interested in cooking it whole (though we do have a huge wood-fired oven) - we're thinking 'rillettes, hams, brawn, sausages' etc etc etc.

So - any suggestions? In particular, we're looking for authentic, old-fashioned ways of making ham (I mean of the Parma/Serrano style here)....got lots of very loose ideas on this, but really would appreciate detailed recipes - it'd be a terrible waste of a leg if it all went terribly wrong!

Many thanks - we will let you know how it goes!

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A little summer project for when me and my brother go to France in the summer.

We have a good local butcher there, and are planning to buy a whole pig and make lots of wonderful porky things with it.  We're not particularly interested in cooking it whole (though we do have a huge wood-fired oven) - we're thinking 'rillettes, hams, brawn, sausages' etc etc etc.

So - any suggestions?  In particular, we're looking for authentic, old-fashioned ways of making ham (I mean of the Parma/Serrano style here)....got lots of very loose ideas on this, but really would appreciate detailed recipes - it'd be a terrible waste of a leg if it all went terribly wrong!

Many thanks - we will let you know how it goes!

A good book to take with you is by Jane Grigson I think its called French Charcuterie and Pork cooking, although as I've lent my copy to somene I can't remember the exact Title- its got a picture of a sketched pig devided into cuts on the front.

Sorry if thats vague- late night last night! :rolleyes:

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Erica - there's no real need to quote the entirity of the message you're replying to, especially if you're posting immediately subsequent to it; people will still know what comment you're referring to :)

I can highly recommend Jane Grigson's book, which has recently (along with a couple of Elizabeth David's books and Simple French Cooking by Richard Olney) been reprinted by Grub Street in rather nice hardback. I paid about £12 for mine via Amazon.

Allan Brown

"If you're a chef on a salary, there's usually a very good reason. Never, ever, work out your hourly rate."

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Sorry- took my so long to figure out how to reply, that I gave up on anything else more complicated, though I am now going to read and inwardly digest advice pinned today!!

http://www.allium.uk.net

http://alliumfood.wordpress.com/ the alliumfood blog

"Life should not be a journey to the grave with the intention of arriving safely in an attractive and well preserved body, but rather to skid in sideways, chocolate in one hand, champagne in the other, body thoroughly used up, totally worn out and screaming - Whey hey what a ride!!!, "

Sarah Poli, Firenze, Kibworth Beauchamp

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Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall also runs one-day courses on pork butchery and charcuterie in Dorset (along with Ray the butcher, who features in the River Cottage Cookbook and Meat Book).

They're not super-cheap (I think £100-200 for the day), but sound fun. I sent my parents on one as an Xmas present; they had a whale of a time, learnt lots about sausage and ham making as well as more basic butchery, and took some great photos. The participants included a mixture of farmers (of both the hobby and the real variety) and - for want of a better word - foodies.

The course is called 'Pig in a Day' and you can book it over the internet at the River Cottage website.

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A good book to take with you is by Jane Grigson I think its called French Charcuterie and Pork cooking, although as I've lent my copy to somene I can't remember the exact Title- its got a picture of a sketched pig devided into cuts on the front.

Sorry if thats vague- late night last night! :rolleyes:

Here's some bibliographic information on the Grigson book:

Grigson, Jane. The art of charcuterie. New York, Knopf, 1968, 1967. -- xiii, 349, xvi p. illus. 22 cm. -- LCCN: 68-23952

Originally published in 1967 under title: Charcuterie & French pork cookery.

Russell J. Wong aka "rjwong"

Food and I, we go way back ...

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Don't forget about Bruce Aidell's sausage book...

I always attempt to have the ratio of my intelligence to weight ratio be greater than one. But, I am from the midwest. I am sure you can now understand my life's conundrum.

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Hey - thanks all! Brilliant advice - I've now got both the Jane Grigson book (which is just incredible - I love the way its written too, very francophile!) and Hugh Whathisnames as well. Excellent. Looks like its going to be 'brawn' (head and trotters'), rillettes, porchetta, woodfired loin, sausages, maybe chorizo.....mmm!

thanks again all. Will let you know how it goes.

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