Smithfield Meat Market and Pig Parts
The Assistant Chef and I headed to Smithfield Meat Market early one cold cold morning. The temperature was so low, our noses were hard-pressed to detect the scent of blood in the air.
The sight of animal body parts nonchalantly piled into boxes in chillers, however, was a bit of a challenge to us two ex-pescetarians. And as we trundled along, we had to hop out of the way of trolleys stacked high with carcasses…
a cheap pig part that i might need to know how to use in case of being short of funds and/or in a country / missionary situation where no part of an animal can be wasted. This pig’s head cost £2.50 though i might have gotten it free-of-charge with the right connections.
Borrowed a pot off the Local Outreach Minister and ransacked the house fridge for bits of left-over veggies. Bunged the lot in with a generous amount of salt and gave the head a nice hot barely bubbling soak for a few hours.
There’s nothing like looking your meal in the face to remember where meat comes from.
It would be inconsistent to go into raptures about bacon sandwiches yet be grossed out by the head of the pig that gave you that bit of tasty flesh – either reject meat altogether or embrace all parts of the animal who died to give that meat. Am pretty convinced by Genesis 9:3 (“Every moving thing that lives shall be food for you. And as I gave you the green plants, I give you everything.”) that we can enjoy animal meat as God’s good gift to us.
Scored a decent amount of delicious meat in the cheeks and tongue. This could have gone into the ragù sauce for pasta
(the Building Manager, more excited about the possibilities of the head than I, printed out this BBC recipe and lent me his blowtorch), but decided to try to do a Momofuku Pig’s Head Torchon instead.
Surprisingly dark meat rendered tender by all that fatty goodness, held together by collagen, breaded with panko and then deep-fried. In the Momofuku recipe (according to other far prettier attempts), the pork pucks have pickled cherries and a Japanese mayo-mustard-vinegar mix for company. Having none of these things, the ponzu sauce leftover from a recent hotpot attempt made for a good stand-in.
Sliced and deep-fried the pig ears – they were chewy and cartilagey. Might be good for a bar snack to accompany beer, just like pork crackling.