Wednesday, 22 June 2011

Porky Pies

Blogger is being a toss about uploading photos, so I will have one later. Suffice it to say that my UK bucket list is being pared down nicely.

Pork pies
gammon steak
beef and ale pie
Cornish pasties.
Yorksire pud
Eton mess

pix later

Wednesday, 1 June 2011

Language barriers

I didn't think I'd have them in Ye Olde England, but I do.

Despite the common language, nuance and colloquialisms differ quite a lot over here.

Durex is QUITE a different thing over here, than is it (or used to be) In Oz. The word 'wog' is still considered HIGHLY perjorative and 'slut' doesn't have quite the same connotations as it does back home.

Although I'll never get used to the frequent use of the word 'beaver', I will treat it like men treat fart jokes.. ALWAYS something to snigger about.

So to faggotts.

As served at Sam Weller's pub in Bath.
Faggots are a traditional dish in the UK,especially South and Mid Wales and the Midlands of England. It is made from meat off-cuts and offal, especially pork. A faggot is traditionally made from pig's heart, liver and fatty belly meat or bacon minced together, with herbs added for flavouring and sometimes bread crumbs. The mixture is shaped in the hand into balls, wrapped round with caul fat (the omentum membrane from the pig's abdomen), and baked. Another variation of faggot is Pig's fry wrapped in pig's caul: the pig's fry and boiled onions are minced (ground) together then mixed with breadcrumbs or cold boiled potatoes, seasoned with sage, mixed herbs and pepper, all beaten together and then wrapped in small pieces of caul to form a ball. These are then baked in the oven and are usually served cold.

The dish saw its greatest popularity with the rationing during World War II but has become less popular in recent years. Faggots are usually homemade and are to be found in traditional butchers' shops and market stalls.

A popular dish is "Faggots and Peas". This is a common combination in the Black Country area of the West Midlands, especially so since the 18th century industrialisation onwards, but also for hundreds of years prior. It is still common to see small butchers' shops in the area selling faggots to their own (sometimes secret) recipe for a cheap price. Commonly, the faggot consists of pork liver and heart minced, wrapped in kel, with onion and breadcrumbs. Often, the faggot should be cooked in a crock, with gravy and served with peas and mashed potato.

They are less 'liver-y' than you'd imagine, more like a wild boar mince, the liver (and I think kidneys in Sam Weller's ones) giving the moist mince a strong gamey flavour.

Nigella has a recipe:

Ingredients•½ lb pigs liver

•3oz suet

•1-2tsp sage

•4oz fresh breadcrumbs

•2 onions

•2tsp salt

•¼ tsp black pepper


Serves: 4-6 1.In a food processor firstly process the bread into breadcrumbs, then finely chop the onions and lastly process the liver, emptying each into a large mixing bowl as you go along.

2.Add the suet and seasoning and mix well together. Form into round balls about the size of a small orange and place on well oiled baking tray and cook for 30 minutes at 200oC or until firm.

3.Alternatively you can just empty the whole lot out into a well oiled roasting tin and cook for about 40 minutes or so until the mixture is firm and cooked through.

4.If you chose this option  you need to cut them into squares when they are cooked.