By : | 0 Comments | On : May 17, 2016 | Category : Book Review

Preparing, Curing and Cooking All That’s Possible From a Pig

by Phil Vickery and Simon Boddy

This celebration of the world’s favorite meat showcases its fantastic versatility. Acclaimed chef Phil Vickery and award-winning butcher Simon Boddy are extremely knowledgeable of the pork industry, and they truly understand the integrity of safekeeping good pork taste, whether it is through embracing the variety of breeds and their unique flavors or through the different cooking methods. Chapters cover Shoulder & Ribs, Belly, Loin & Tenderloin, Ham, Bacon, Sausages and Odd Bits (offal), and the recipes and techniques needed to make everything from dry-cured ham, chorizo and salami to bratwurst, smoked pig cheek pancetta and hot dogs. The 100 international recipes hail from the USA, Spain, Italy, Germany, Hungary, France and India, among others, and explore the cooking and preserving of pork around the globe. The dishes range from the traditional Velvet Pork Tenderloin with Peppers & Garlic to the more unusual Twice-Cooked Trotters with Mango Chutney Glaze. Additionally, the cookbook emphasizes that no part of the pig should go to waste for even the odd bits produce recipes of delicacy like the Warm Liver Parfait with Crunchy Rye Topping. For those interested in pig farming, the two experts, who have first-hand experience, talk about the rearing of pigs in a stress- free environment, their feeding regimes, and the best diets to produce flavorsome meat. PORK is a cookbook that shares the secrets on preparing, cooking and translating pork into an eclectic range of flavors.

TSG Review

Everything Pork and how to make it.

I followed these recipes exactly as written.

Hot bacon, roasted garlic & watercress saladBacon Salad

Just a few simple ingredients make an amazing dish. Bacon, new potatoes, tones of garlic still in it’s skin, and greens. I kinda liked the roasted skin on garlic, never had it that way, but it was more difficult to eat because you had to de-skin it as you ate the meal.  Although easy to make and very tasty there were a couple draw backs to this dish. Nowhere in the recipe do they ask you to drain the bacon grease, so it turned out quite greasy. I drained it on my own afterward because it was just too much. My guess is the writer just assumes you know to do this step but that doesn’t help new cooks just getting started. To try this recipe from the book yourself, click the button below.
Hot Bacon, Roasted Garlic & Watercress Recipe



Juicy pork cutlets with warm winter coleslaw

Brining the cutlet definitely makes it more juicy. Pan searing the meat deepens the flavor and adding all that to the bright and crisp coleslaw makes this well rounded dish something to make over and over again.

Nuremberg Brat

IMG_7449For my first time as a sausage maker this was as good as anything I have ever had in Germany. I made four amazing brats. Of course I should have had at least twelve of the things but my lack of sausage making skills, knowledge, and a sucky hand crank grinder I bought influenced the outcome. This book doesn’t go into a lot of depth on the actual production of these more specialized pIMG_7451rocesses like sausage making and drying meat. It just gives you the recipes for them. In my case, I think I had some sliver skin that clogged my grinder. Second, I should have purchased an electric and not a hand grinder. Also, my grinder did not have the 1/4 inch plate size the recipe suggested so I used the closest one that was a bit smaller and that might have made it more difficult to grind. Even though this tasted better than any brat I have a had in the states I’m not sure all the work and clean up I did was worth it. Maybe this should be in my “buy-instead-of-making-column-because-it’s-just-not-worth-it.” Right between buffalo wings and liver and onions.IMG_7457

I ended up making beer brats with a couple as well as just sauteing them in butter and serving them on a bun like the book recommends. (That was the better of the two)


Brine Curing Ham

I attempted to brine my own ham hocks by using the recipe from the book and it didn’t turn out very well. It all started just fine until the ends of the bones started going neon green. Was really weird and looked gross, my Butcher told me I shouldn’t eat them and to throw them out. I let him do it for me from then on. He’s really good at it.

Baked Brown Sugar Glazed Ham Hocks with Cloves, Tamarind & English Mustard


Had some serious issues getting here but the recipe is sound and very tasty. Perhaps this is one of those recipes that takes it a bit to far but I don’t have a lot of experience with ham hocks except for the smoked ones you put in ham and beans just to add flavor. This on the other hand is made for eating. Since I had a terrible result with the aforementioned salt brined ham hocks, I enlisted the help of my awesome butcher and he did a 7 day brine for me at the store. Even then, part of the process is rinsing the brine off for a day, then boiling the meat with veggies the next day, then storing the meat in the boiling liquid in the fridge overnight. THEN, the next day, you can finally roast it and eat it.  So, after a total of ten days I was finally eating a very tasty ham hock with a sweet tamarind glaze, mashed potatoes with spicy English mustard on the side. All very good, not sure if it needed to take ten days to make-but what do I know.

For Easter we used the same glaze for the recipe on our spiral sliced ham and it was astounding. Best ham glaze ever. It has English mustard, tamarind, brown sugar, and hard cider to name a few of the ingredients. Use this glaze on any pork related stuff!

Toad in the Hole with Onion Gravy

Never made anything like this before. The epitome of comfort food, this is a traditional English meal. The spicy  sausages cooks in a batter that inflates in the oven like a souffle but tastes like a light biscuit. Then you top it off with an onion gravy that resembles an onion soup more than a gravy. The dough does a great job of sopping up that gravy. I used pork andouille sausages but you can use what ever kind you like.



The meal recipes were all very good, but I did have some trouble with brined ham. Not sure if it was my fault or the books so I will give the author the benefit of the doubt. Everything was so delicious. I have not seen a cook book that shows you how to make your own ham, salami, and hot dogs, along with recipes using those parts as ingredients. If you want to get into this you will need some specialized equipment but it can be done and I’m sure with practice you can start making some pretty good cured meats. If you just want to make meals and store buy the ingredients instead, its good for that too! Try the Hot Bacon, Roasted Garlic & Watercress Salad here!


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