Pork and butterbean curry

Ground cumin, coriander, paprika, black pepper and turmeric, with cumin seeds, mustard seed and black onion seeds, roasted in a heavy pan then fried in oil for a minute. Sliced onions and red peppers, fried until soft in the curried oil. Smoked pork cubes and butter beans added, freidd for a couple of minutes, then added pork stock. Simmered for 20 minutes until thickened. Finished with a few chopped fresh French beans

Hog roast

To raise funds for the Asselby Jubilee Fund, the village had a Hog Roast at our neighbours’ house, with live music and a bar and piles of home-cooked food.

For the hogroast, we used a 54kg local pig, scored, massaged with oil and lemon juice, seasoned with salt, then roasted slowly on an industrial-scale motorised spit over an open timber fire for 8 hours.  Using an infra-red thermometer, I kept the skin at about 100-110C after an initial scorching. After 4 hours, checked internal temp of the flanks, hams and shoulder and adjusted the fires to even out the cooking and get the internal temp to about 73C.

After 6 hours, squeezed a few lemons over the carcase and strewed with a bit more salt and a lot of chopped rosemary and thyme.  Every 15 mins after that, added two large handfuls of oak shavings to the fire along with a few sprigs of rosemary.

Finished off for the last half hour by raising the fire and burning dry oak, chopped into sticks and given plenty of air to get a long flame to crisp the crackling.  20 minutes before serving, removed the fire and wrapped the pig in foil to rest.

Getting the skin at a constant temp seemed to work really well, the meat was juicy and the texture excellent.

Pork fillet with ginger and red pepper

Slices of pork fillet, seasoned and sprinkled with chopped fresh thyme, then fried hot in light oil until nicely browned on both sides.  Served on a bed of sliced red onions, red peppers, root ginger matchsticks, crushed garlic and chopped sage, sauteed with a little olive oil.

Seasonal touch, nice pile of local asparagus, simply steamed.

Slow-roast belly pork

Belly pork, rubbed with salt, roasted at 230C for ten mins, then covered and turned down to 120C for three hours.  Seasoned with fresh black pepper, ground cumin and nutmeg and laid on a bed of rosemary. Roasted under cover for another hour and a half at 130C, then uncovered and chacked up to 230C for a fifteen minute sizzle.  Rested for fifteen minutes under a bit of foil before carving.  Served with carrots, mashed with tarragon butter, peas and creamed potatoes with chopped parsley.

Pork and ginger

Pork medallions, cut into batons, fried hot for a few minutes until browned. Onions and sweet peppers sauteed in a little olive oil, with lots of shredded chopped ginger root and chopped mushrooms.  Added the pork, some green olives, paprika, black pepper and a little pork stock, cooked in a covered pan for 15 minutes.  Served with arborio risotto rice, simmered until sticky. Added a splash of cream and some butter to the rice to make it velvery and rich


Tomatoes, scattered with loads of garlic, thyme and oregano mixed with breadcrumbs, then drizzled with olive oil and baked in a hot oven for 30 mins until the topping was crunchy.  Strips of hand-sliced smoked bacon, seared in a very hot pan. Chopped mushrooms, sauteed in butter until nicely browned, then finished with black pepper and a splash of cream. Now.  Those micro-chips.  They are tiny, about an inch long and thinner than a pencil, twice-cooked as usual, then drained and rolled on kitchen paper. Four tiny new potatoes between two.  This still counts as diet food, doesn’t it?

Faggots with roast aubergine and tomato

One of my freshly-made salamis fell off the hook in the pantry and exploded somewhat.  I scraped the shattered roadkill remains off the floor and formed the edible bits into faggots. After frying gently for 15 minutes until nicely browned, the faggots were spicy and meaty and generally gorgeous.  Served with steamed fresh purple sprouting broccoli, chopped carrots and roasted aubergine and cherry tomato with herbs and garlic.

Now I realise that this dish contravenes the “five-second rule” that says all food remains edible for a maximum of five seconds once it hits the floor, but it was at least partially protected by the tough condom-like beef intestine casing.  I also realise that the mice have been pretty active in that part of the pantry, as evidenced by the regular kill rate of the traps, but there were no actual mouse droppings stuck to the salami, so I decided it was safe enough…. Damned delicious it was anyway.


Caroline found some proper huge-sized beef intestine sausage casings on the internet, so we made 8 pounds of salami. with fresh local pork.  This time, we rolled them in wood ash to help preserve them in the warmer weather.