By Richard H Turner
Octopus Publishing, £25
Richard Turner is a self-confessed pork fanatic. The Hawksmoor executive chef and director of both Pitt Cue Co and butchers Turner and George already has two meat-based cookbooks to his name – Pitt Cue Co – The Cookbook and Hawksmoor at Home – and has now penned a third, Hog, which focuses solely on his one true meaty love, pork.
Billed as a collection of recipes from the snout to the squeak, this book not only lists every which way with pork, but it also includes features on the rise of the domesticated pig, interesting breeds and good animal husbandry. Turner even encourages budding smallholders to rear their own beasts by offering full descriptions of breeding, preparing for piglets and looking after your new arrivals, before providing advice on butchery.
If you’re not planning on growing your own, there is also advice on buying pork. Like its cooking, it seems that low and slow is the key. “Look for meat from native breeds that have been grown slowly and naturally, have been fed without the aid of hormones, and have not been pumped full of grain to fuel fast growth,” Turner advises.
Once proper pork has been sourced, there are over 150 relatively simple recipes to follow. And often when cooking with pork, it’s not the complexity of the cooking that delivers the greatest results; pork shines in its simplicity.
From the prime cuts chapter there are recipes for every kind of pork roast you might imagine, including showstoppers like whole roast suckling pig and wild boar wellington. Elsewhere, it’s the interesting accompaniments that are likely to encourage creativity, such as slow roast leg of pork with rhubarb ketchup.
There is also plenty of advice on the smoky delights of the barbecue, along with a comprehensive lists of basic recipes, including rubs, broths and sauces.
As a fellow fan of pork, this book talks to me. I might not be investing in piglets any time soon, but it’s certainly inspired me to dust off the barbecue. And in a professional kitchen if you’re after advice on what to do with any cut you can think of, look no further.
By James Stagg
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