Sunday, 8 March 2015

Ecosse-oulet, Goose Eggs and Pigs Cheeks

I've previously extolled the virtues of Sunnyside Home Farm which is only a few miles away from me in Maryculter, Aberdeenshire. I was delighted to spot on their Facebook page a couple of weeks ago that they had both Goose Eggs and fresh Mangalitza pork sausages on sale. We procured three packs of the beautiful meaty, moist, gluten-free, free range sausages and the only three remaining goose eggs.
The goose eggs were huge and oh so pretty. I'm a fan of duck eggs but this was my first try of goose. Lager eggcups and huge soldiers required for these bad boys. Sometimes things are just meant to be and on a charity shop rummage I came across the hugest egg coddler I have ever seen. It had to be purchased to add to my kitchenalia collection. £8 for all three was a fantastic bargain. Egg number one was duly coddled.
The shells of the goose eggs are much harder than those of hens and require a pretty hefty thump to crack. The outside may not be the proverbial golden goose egg but the yolk contained within is most definitely pure gold.. They have a noticeably higher yolk-to-white ratio than chicken eggs and the overall flavour is rich, creamy and unctuous. Egg two filled the whole frying pan whilst egg three was scrambled to perfection.
Goose Egg
Fried Goose Egg
Now for the sausages. The first pack was simply grilled and devoured alongside egg and chips. Comfort food at its best. I decided to do something in the slow cooker with the second pack and was inspired by the Spicy theme of the Slow Cooked Challenge for March. This isn't a full on hot hot hot recipe by any means but the subtle smokiness of the paprika is truly wonderful and works really well with the pork and beans. Some jovial twitter chat about a name for the dish led to the Ecosse-oulet moniker.
Ecosse-oulet - A Slow Cooked Scottish Cassoulet

Ecosse-oulet - A Scottish Cassoulet

Ingredients
6 Large and Meaty Pork Sausages
200g Streaky Bacon
400g Tin of Fava Beans (I used Hodmedod's British Fava Beans)
395g Tin Red Kidney Beans in Chilli Sauce
1 Pork Stock Cube made up to 250ml
1 Tsp Smoked Paprika
3 Garlic Cloves, peeled and crushed.
1 Tsp Saison "All in a Stew" Slowcook Seasoning (or mixed herbs)

Method
Wrap the sausages, kilted style, in 6 rashers of the streaky bacon and place in the bottom of the slow cooker crock pot. 
Drain the fava beans and add to the slow cooker along with the kidney beans in chilli sauce, smoked paprika, crushed garlic and herbs.
Chop up the remaining bacon and add along with the stock. 
Put the lid on the slow cooker and cook on low for 8 hours.
Serve with crusty bread to soak up the juices and soured cream sprinkled with smoked paprika.

The saying goes that "you can eat all of a pig except the squeal". I was about to put this to the test. A friend had mentioned a fantastic recipe utilising pigs cheeks. These aren't the kind of thing you see in the supermarket so I asked Sharon and Kevin at Sunnyside if I could get some from their piggies. They looked absolutely amazing when I prepped them ready to be marinated and slow cooked. The fantastic marbling was a clear sign of how melt in the mouth they would ultimately be.
Pork Cheeks, Pig Cheeks
The recipe I'd been recommended was for Chinese Style Pig Cheek Baps. This came with high praise from my friend and Foodie Quine branding guru Mimi Hammill. My end dish was a rather loose interpretation of the recipe as I modified it to what I had to hand. I did however follow the advice not to scrimp on the marinating and cooking times. The quantities and ingredients and timings I used are listed below.
Slow Cooked Oriental Pork Cheeks

ORIENTAL PULLED PIGS CHEEKS 

750g Pork Cheeks (that was the weight of my 12 cheeks)
3 Tsp Lazy Ginger
1 Red Chilli, seeds removed and finely diced
2 Star Anise
5 Cloves
2 Tsp Cinnamon
2 Tbsp Soy Sauce (I used an awesome premium dark soya sauce from KWH inSingapore)
4 Tbsp Gin (Sacrilege I know but I had neither Shaoxing Wine nor Sherry!)
50g Demerara Sugar

Slow Cooked Oriental Pork Cheeks

I let my cheeks marinate overnight and they had close to 24 hours in total, cooking time was almost 5 hours and the smell emitting from the oven throughout was amazing. The meat completely fell to pieces when it came to pulling the cheeks apart. I omitted to properly read the second part of the recipe on North 19 so missed the trick of reducing the sauce. The meat was dark, sticky, melt in the mouth tender and oh so tasty. I reckon pretty much any combination of oriental spices would work well for this dish. I'll definitely be first in line for Pig Cheeks next time there are some available at Sunnyside. 

Slow Cooked Oriental Pork Cheeks


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16 comments :

  1. I am a big fan of hodmedods and like that you included them in your yummy looking Scottish Cassoulet

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    1. It was the name and the cute Hedgehog that lured me in initially but I love their products

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  2. Oh you have made me soo hungry right now Claire - totally delicous!

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    1. Thanks Camilla, they were indeed all delicious

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  3. Goodness those ingredients are amazing! Simple, but so effective. Yum!

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    1. With such quality ingredients you really don't need to do much to them

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  4. You have tempted me to try pork cheeks and this slow cooked version looks wonderfully dark, rich and delicious too. It's only breakfast time but I could definitely eat one of your baps right now!

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    1. I will definitely be trying to get hold of some more pork cheeks. They were totally melt in the mouth. Pulled Pork is a perfect breakfast IMHO!

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  5. I have eaten duck eggs but never goose – I am intrigued! The pork cheeks look wonderful too (I love cooking with ox cheeks). Thanks for linking to #CookBlogShare

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    1. If you ever spot goose eggs you must give them a try, especially if you are a yolk lover. I haven't cooked with ox cheeks, one more for the to do list!

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  6. Golly those goose eggs are gi-normous! I would love to try some. Great recipe, I like your play on words eccosse-oulet :-D

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    1. I can't take the credit for the play on words. It was the clever chaps at Hodmedod's that came up with it.

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  7. It sounds very tasty, love that you used gin in it too! :-)

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    1. It was only as a very last resort when I had exhausted every other possibility!!

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  8. Yum!! That's it, I'm coming over for dinner :D Delighted you are using your local farm shop (with Shetland connections!) so much, and thank you for linking up with the #shoplocalchallenge! :)

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    1. I'd forgotten that there were Shetland connections to Sunnyside. You are most welcome for dinner at any time Elizabeth!

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