Thursday, 18 March 2010

In Praise of Pork

After slumming it on 70's style comfort food all week (Egg & Chips, Yummy!), we went all gastro this evening. Posh Sausage & Mash to be precise, and they don't come much posher than the gourmet sizzlers from Dickinson & Morris.

Dickinson & Morris are of course better known for their sublime, and now regionally protected Melton Mowbray Pork Pies. The humble Pork Pie is one of my specialist subjects, and in the pursuit of pie-perfection I've eaten a good few memorable, and more than a few forgettable pies. The mass-produced supermarket offerings are almost without exception pretty nasty affairs, but Dickinson & Morris are the exception which proves that getting national exposure doesn't have to mean a dumbed-down product. Even the factory made D & M Pork Pies found in some supermarkets are satisfyingly spicy and peppery, with good quality uncured meat, and pastry which walks the fine line between too soft, and crunchily overcooked. Of course the true Pork Pie connoisseur will visit the D & M shop in Melton Mowbray for the hand raised originals.

Nestled next door to the famous pie shop in Melton Mowbray is a porky bonus in the Dickinson & Morris Sausage Shop, an absolute must-visit for fans of quality bangers. The range of sausages on offer is extensive, and unlike much of the competition, they really do taste of what they're supposed to. The Toulouse are seriously garlicky, the Chilli Bean stuffed with kidney beans and uncompromisingly spicy. I love them all, but tonight we chose their Somerset Cider & Apple Sausage as an accompaniment to a bottle of Somerset Cider from the Orchard Pig people. Now that's what I call a natural combination.

I fried off the sausages with a sliced red onion, then popped the browned bangers in the oven. The pan was de-glazed with a good slosh of Cider, and a few drops of Balsamic Vinegar with cornflour to thicken. The sticky sausage residue and caramelised onions combined with the dry cider to create a rich fruity gravy. Sweet Potato Mash and Green Cabbage completed the porky pig-out.


Kath said...

I love bangers and mash, I normally use Madeira or Marsala in my onion gravy but cider sounds like a good plan next time.

Jon said...

Great to see The Orchard Pig has made it to Northamptonshire. What did you make of the Cider? I'm going to be working for Orchard Pig in a couple of weeks. Really looking forward to it and learning the intricacies of Cider making.

Do you know whether I can buy Rockingham Forest Cider anywhere in Somerset??

Karen and Mark said...

The dry I tried was a very good, largely bittersweet blend. Very much in the Somerset tradition of rich, full-bodied ciders. Personaly, I would have liked to see a bit more acidity in this cider, but that's because I have more of a West Mids taste. I particularly like the Orchard Pig branding, which is slightly quirky, but with a quality feel too.

Sadly Somerset is a little outside of our trading area. Apart from anything else, we wouldn't dare send our amateurish efforts into the heart of 'Ciderland'...

Margaret said...

I am originally from Melton Mowbray and if you are a pork pie fan you can get no finer than one from Dickinson & Morris. The shop is lovely and you can also get a lesson on how to make a pork pie if you want to.
The sausage as you say, is wonderful too.

Karen and Mark said...

When I'm feeling dynamic I make my own Pork Pies. When I'd rather not think about all that Lard in the pastry, a D&M Pie does the job.

Jon said...

Glad to hear you enjoyed The Orchard Pig. Think we're going to try hard to develop the brand and use the Pig image more. Give him a voice, or an Oink at least!

Saw this fellow Blogger bigging you two up:

Not too sure what anyone would do with that amount of Sausages!!