Thursday, 17 September 2015

Blighty treats.



There's only one real disadvantage about being an ex-pat, and that's the availability of certain favourite foods.

Imagine, for example, John Gray relocating to North Korea, and being deprived of his beloved Scotch Eggs. He would be lost!

I'm a bit like that with Pork Pies. 

Luckily Lady Magnon pops off to London occasionally to do a spot of shopping, and she kindly returns with a few treats for 'he who must obey'.

This time she not only returned with a very good Sainsbury's pie, but also with some Pork Scratchings, which were a present from my friend Ms Miller of The Miller Collection (thank you again).

The pie, of course, has to be eaten at once, but I'm saving the scratchings until the desire overcomes me. THEN, they will become nectar of the gods. 



37 comments:

  1. I do miss those luxury foods of my past now that I'm states side. I might try to obey if my wife would "pop" over and pick me up some of the same.

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    Replies
    1. I've only visited the US once, and my first 'meal' was a Steak Sandwich at Miami airport. It consisted of a HUGE steak and two slices of bread (exactly the description); and cost $1.

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    2. That must have been a very long time ago. Nothing costs $1 now. I like a Philly chicken cheese steak myself and they go from around $6.00 to $15.00 and worth every penny.

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    3. It must have been around 1983.

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  2. If i shall start travelling again in the future and come to England, the first thing i shall ask for will be pork pie, just to know what you are talking about.It looks so good in the picture.

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    1. I was disapointed, as with the scotch eggs!. I think mine weren't flavoured with enough childhood memories.

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  3. Always try to find a genuine Melton Mowbray pork pie; they are the best. Neither pork pies nor scotch eggs are supposed to be gastronomic delicacies, they are simply 'picnic foods' that become a part of your life.

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  4. Now I of course do not like a Melton Mowbray pork pie prefering those made by Norfolk butchers, more moist and lots of jelly and not pink inside. Scotch eggs i don't like bought ones, only my homemade ones just like my mum used to make, but they never taste as good as hers did.

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    Replies
    1. You're just plain difficult to please. I've never heard of a Norfolk Pork pie; Lincolnshire yes. I can't remember when I last had a Scotch egg, I think they're mostly sold in Wales.

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  5. If Lady M ever comes across a Walkers pork pie (a Leics. company) you'll be in for a treat - they have the best water crust pastry ever.

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    Replies
    1. I do think that the water crust pastry is just as important as what's inside. Some of the best commercial ones I've had were 'Pork Farms'.

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  6. I remember Lady M doing this before Cro. Up here in Yorkshire they eat pork pies hot with gravy - absolutely ruins the taste in my opinion but I sometimes do one for the farmer (with mushy peas)

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    Replies
    1. I've never heard of this; do they simply heat them in the oven?

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    2. You eat pies with meat cold?? I've never heard of such a thing!

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    3. Pork Pies are always eaten cold (except, it seems, in Yorkshire).

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    4. I'm with the Weaver... hot ruins them... and the mint sauce with the mushy peas makes them even worse!!
      Must be cold... with some hot mustard to dip into!

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  7. We have something similar to scratchings here, we just call them pork rinds.

    I make a pork pie here, but I'll have to look up a recipe for a water crust since I just make a standard savoury crust.

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    Replies
    1. It's very easy to make and very malleable, but you'll probably need a small pie mould. It doesn't stand up very easily.

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    2. I happen to have two, which used to belong to a great aunt... good to know they'll be useful. =)

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  8. I would need intensive counselling

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    Replies
    1. Without a scotch egg..........i feel faint at the thought of it

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    2. John, you'd learn to make your own. That's what I've done, and just last week a new pub opened in the next town over with a British menu. Mushy peas, haggis, and Scotch eggs amongst other things (the guv is a Scotsman). I'll have to see if his Scotch eggs resemble mine.

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    3. I love Haggis... I believe I'm one in a million.

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  9. Not overly keen on pork pie, even a genuine Melton Mowbray, but love home-made scotch eggs. I've cooked them in the oven, instead of deep-fat frying. Seems a slightly healthier option, but don't suppose it is !

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    Replies
    1. My mother fried them in lard, still the best way I think.

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    2. I do think they need to be deep fried, I can't imagine them being the same in an oven.

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    3. I saw these oven baked scotch eggs on one of those BBC 2 cookery programmes a couple of years back. Made by a chef called Rachel, who lived in Paris - that's probably why they weren't deep fried !

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  10. I'm with you on the Park Farms Pie - the best commercial (big name) one available. MInd you Birds do a good one too. every Christmas Eve I would queue with my mum and a hundred others for their big pork pies for the Christmas tea table.
    David bought a good, though expensive, one at the new Gloucester Services on the M5. Brilliant butchers there, (even selling Mutton!)
    The best scotch egg I ever had was a fortnight ago when I used my own minced pork and free range eggs to make my own. Not very modest I know.

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    1. No reason to be modest about making a darned good Scotch Egg. John Gray might even invite you to stay. I lived for a while in Lilie Rd Fulham almost next door to a pork pie factory. They had a small window in one wall that would open each evening to sell pies to the locals at about half price.

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  11. Eeeeewe - pork scratchings are revolting and sometimes hairy!

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    Replies
    1. Hairy? Yes, but crispy hairy!!
      And wonderful... the hair just proves they are real...

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  12. Cro, scratchings are easy to make...
    poitrine from the boucherie...
    run a sharp knife along the white flesh just below the fat....
    doesn't matter if you get a bit of meat in the fatty rind...
    slice into the fat from the rind side...
    about 1cm strips is perfect...
    220 Centipedes oven temperature...
    lay the rind on the top oven shelf with a deep baking tray underneath to catch the lard.
    Cook until the desired crispiness is reached...
    baste with the hot lard if necessary.

    The poitrine that is left is perfect for making...
    Delia Smith's Boston Baked Beans...
    mogettes are perfect for that recipe...
    but Lady M. will have to make sure that she brings back a tin of Tate&Lyle Black Treacle and some Coleman's Mustard Powder on her next visit.

    The lard can be used for making your own hand-raised pies...
    I use the "ring" left from a tin of pineapple rings... take top and bottom off with an edge-cutting opener...
    six fit easily on a baking sheet...
    and homemade ones always taste better!

    [For a stand pie / game pie, the ring left by cutting both ends of one of those 4/5 portion Confit'd Canard tins is a good size... but retain one end to use as a loose base...
    it makes it easier to transfer to the serving plate to cool down.

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    Replies
    1. Thanks for all that Tim; a lot to ponder. When the temperature drops (even further) I'll have another go at making my own Pork Pies. I do have a pukka pie ring which is much heavier than a confit tin, although mine is much smaller. I have made my own scratchings, but they just don't taste the same. Cheers!

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    2. Cro, if the scratchings don't taste the same, you either haven't had the oven hot enough...
      or haven't added enough salt...
      or a combination of both!

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  13. I have a secret love of a pork scratching myself even though they're considered very dirty these days!

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