Last April we played a naughty, little trick. Although, it was date appropriate (1.4.14) so you’ll understand why we don’t feel the need to apologise. Whilst porcine cheese is yet to reach the counters of even the most avant garde cheesemongers*, that doesn’t mean pig and cheese isn’t a delicious, mouth- watering combination.
My other half and I tend to cut down our meat intake Monday to Friday. Its ethically better, the alternatives we conjure up are often healthier and (most notably) our bank balances appreciate it. However, there is one meaty pleasure we simply cannot abstain from, no matter how hard we try. From the crispiest of crackling on the most succulent pork, the salty, sweetness of pork belly, the satisfying bite of a proper sausage, to the undisputed King… Bacon.
This month’s blog is an ode to all things piggy; in the only way know how. With plenty of cheese of course!
Morbier: A Posh Hotdog.
My first piece of advice would be; don’t limit your sausage/bread eating opportunities to those sporadic barbeque days of summer. If, for no other reason than a smoky grill and an inexperienced cook wielding the tongs is not the best combination to ensure your banger isn’t overly blackened.
Morbier is a delicious creamy French mountain cheese with a line of corn ash running through its centre. Originally the product from two milkings (morning and evening, with ash separating the two) the sweet, smooth cheese is highly regarded as a classic.
Slice thinly atop a crispy, meaty sausage (we favoured a peppery Toulouse, although OBVIOUSLY a Lincolnshire banger would work wonderfully) and enclose with a crusty baguette. A good dollop of Dijon really ties the whole mouthful together with a kick.
Dorset Blue Vinny: Pork Cutlet
Dorset Blue Vinny is one of the most popular cheeses asked for in cheese mongers up and down the country. And it’s easy to understand why when it ticks all the boxes of a classic blue cheese. This suggestion is a fantastic way to brighten up a midweek meal. A blue cheese butter on hand can take something quite simple to a new level. Mash up cool butter (do not melt) with a rubber spatula and then crumble in the blue cheese and some chives. Roll the butter mixture into a sausage using greaseproof and then pop in the freezer. You can then slice off rounds as and when you need them. Pop on top of a grilled pork cutlet and serve with lightly sautéed green beans. Who says Wednesdays are hump days!
The Cooleeney is an Irish cheese reminiscent of a full flavoured Camembert. It has a nice mushroomy depth, whilst remaining sweet on the palate. If you’re looking for a treat, then we recommend baking this cheese in the oven with little cubes of Chorizo pushed into the top as a twist on the classic Camembert/garlic combo. For best results use the whole small chorizo (the ones with the string attached) rather than the pre-sliced variety. The smoky paprika of the Spanish cured sausage compliments the creamy cheese wonderfully. Scoop up with crusty bread and enjoy.
Kaltbach Alpine : Schnitzel
This delicious Alpine Cheese should have everyone looking forward to the upcoming winter season. Combining the meatiness of an Appenzell without the pong, the sweetness of a Gruyere and the smoothness of an Abondance, this character filled Swiss cheese is one to look out for.
Schnitzel may be a dish that has fallen out of fashion, but that doesn’t make it any less tasty. Add finely grated Kaltbach to your bread crumbs before coating a pork escalope that has been well beaten and then fry until golden. Squeeze a little fresh lemon and serve with a generous garnish of shredded flat leaf parsley. Sit it on top of very creamy mashed potatoes and serve with some fresh greens.
Petit Langres: Bacon
Petit Langres is a fruity French classic and ideally should be eaten very simply, preferably with a glass of champagne. Our suggestion, however, is truly decadent – and naughty- and perhaps a little too far! But we are not apologising. In the unlikely event you have any of this lovely cheese lurking in the back of the fridge, dice the Langres (sinful!) and completely wrap each cube in streaky bacon so that no cheese is on show. Lightly fry in a hot pan until crisp and enjoy piping hot. A perfect canapé!
*Many thanks to those who contacted us about the farmer making piggy Ricotta. The jury is still out as to whether we are brave enough to try…