Home > pork, United Kingdom - London > Smithfield Meat Market and Pig Parts

Smithfield Meat Market and Pig Parts

Smithfield Market, London Smithfield Market, London

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.

Smithfield Market, London Emu eggs? Smithfield Market, London
Pig ears. Smithfield Market, London Pig trotters. Smithfield Market, London

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…

Meat in a baby buggy. Smithfield Market, London
…and baby strollers filled with bags of meat.

Preserved meats. Smithfield Market, London
Eschewed the charcuterie shops, with their beckoning hanging bundles of preserved meats, for something possibly more useful for future ministry:

Pig heads. Smithfield Market, London Smithfield Market, London

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.

Cooking a Pig's Head
Cooking a Pig's Head Cooking a Pig's Head

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.

Cooking a Pig's Head

Scored a decent amount of delicious meat in the cheeks and tongue. This could have gone into the ragù sauce for pasta

Blow torch and receipe for pig head ragu

(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.

Pig head trochon pucks with salad

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.

Deep-fried pig ears

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.

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