Pork, Chicken and Cake Cooking Experiments

This weekend has been fun on the cooking experiment side of things as well as finding a new local Pork supplier, we took a visit to Ellis’s Hill Farm (wysipig) and their shop. After just intending quick look-see then I came away with a whole pork belly, a shoulder of pork and some Sausages, the belly & shoulder are in the freezer for next week and the herby pork sausages we had for tea that night and very nice they were. You can find them at Thames Valley Farmers market or on-line on the link above. Support your local farmers and traders.

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My daughter is studying Animal Management at BCA and we had a long friendly chat with the owner whilst he was feeding the pigs, it was really nice of him to take the time out to talk with us. All the animals were under cover due to the appalling weather. He spent about 30-40 minutes chatting to my daughter about farming, animal management and veterinary school. As we’ve recently found out the BTEC in Animal Management whilst being very practical it may not get accepted over traditional A-Levels for a place at vet school even with high grades, very disappointing.

Its always great to see where your food really comes from and to connect the animal to what we eat and the people were so nice and friendly as well.

Magic Custard Cake

Last week whilst wandering the web during a break I found this cool recipe for custard cake and whilst I’d found an American translation of the original Spanish recipe then with the help of Google translate it seemed worth going back to MaBels original Spanish recipe, its linked in the bottom of my Cookipedia entry. It seemed intriguing that the cake would separate itself into 3 layers whilst cooking but hey it does, neato.

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Some gratuitous shots of the rather yummy cake before it got scoffed….

Brined Roast Chicken

I’ve tried brining chicken once before and the result wasn’t so great, the final product whilst moist and tender was just too salty for my taste and not wanting to give up completely then it seemed worth giving it another try and tweaking things a little. Heston’s recipe is a little vague on the “overnight” so this time I left it until late and the chicken was in the brine for just a little over 8.5 hours and I also reduced the strength of the brine to a 5% solution as well, the final change was allow the brined chicken to sit for an hour in fresh clean water before drying and cooking to remove the salt from the skin.

The recipe says to cook your chicken to 60C internal temp with an oven temp of 90C for 3-4 hours. The recommendation from on high seems to be 75C and so I opted for 65C in the end and with my new Thermapen I was able to poke many holes and check for a minimum temp of 65C. It took a little over 3 hours to cook.

The meat was definitely cooked and more than 24 hours later we’re all still healthy so it all was OK although because its done at a lower temp then sometimes you seem to get some blood leaching from the bones and its a little disconcerting.

I have to say this time it was absolutely perfect, amazingly moist tender roast chicken, not salty at all. Best Chicken Ever!

Yum Yums

This recipe has been on my Instapaper list for quite some time now and a cold, windy weekend was just the ticket for this recipe, heavenly sticky sweet goodness 8)

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Dummy that I am when it comes to blogging didn’t remember to photograph the intermediate stages, probably because I wasn’t really intending to blog this in any great detail but then afterwards thought it would be great to add this to Cookipedia so I’ll just have to make it again to supplement the lack of photos of the actually making process. Hopefully James will say he’s OK with me transcribing his recipe onto Cookipedia.