On Sunday evening we were delighted to watch Paul Hollywood’s Pies & Puds - Episode 20.
Paul used our pancetta for one of his recipes and filmed the work, from source to plate, that we and our local suppliers do to produce our English charcuterie from our smokehouse here in Dorset.
The programme first aired in 2013, and it was wonderful to look back to the day the show came to Dorset and visited us at a local food festival where we had a stall. We sold out that day and were pleased to be able to introduce many new customers to our locally produced salamis, pancetta, chorizo and other cured meats.
We were also invited to sit with Paul in the studio kitchen while he cooked up a new Italian and Spanish inspired recipe for Rabbit and Pancetta Pot Pies - a great use for our pancetta.
Paul enthusiastically suggested that our charcuterie and pancetta rivals the very best that the traditional producers of Italy, France and Spain have to offer. A proud moment.
Local Free Range Pigs
The crew also filmed with one of our suppliers, Sam Holloway from Locke Farm (www.samspigs.co.uk).
For the perfect fat to meat ratio for our pancetta, we use Sam’s rare breed Oxford Sandy and Black pigs. The pigs are left to roam free snuffling out tasty treats such as chestnuts and acorns.
"If it is free range, it tends to be happier meat that you are dealing with." explained Karen.
Sam rears the pigs for considerably longer than if they were for pork or bacon. The longer rearing time produces the perfect mix of fat marbling within the meat. For our charcuterie, the pigs are kept for 2 - 3 months longer than for pork or bacon pigs.
In our Dorset smokehouse
We were also filmed in the smokehouse at our own farm at Uphall Farmhouse, in Rampisham, Dorset. It was a great opportunity to give a full overview of the process as we hand smoke our salamis, chorizo, wild game and pancetta.
David is particularly proud of our award winning pancetta. Made from the belly of the pig with the skin off, a secret blend of herbs, spices and curing salt is rubbed in and it takes about 2 weeks for the meat to absorb all the flavours. It’s then left to ferment and mature over months.
As the meat air dries, it hardens and it’s the humidity that makes the difference as to how it cures. In the Italian mountains the humidity is just right, but in the UK, we use special temperature and humidity controlled rooms that maintain the perfect conditions for the meat to cure correctly.
After Paul and David chatted through some of our charcuterie, David recommended using the pancetta with the rabbit in his pie recipe. Our pancetta has the perfect mix of meat and fat to complement the rabbit.
As Paul prepared the pie filling, he noticed how well the pancetta melted in the pan. David explained that the fat changes consistency throughout the fermentation process, making it render down becoming soft - a pleasure to cook with!
Paul prepared the filling with classic ingredients such as fennel, onion, cream and seasoning with a touch of parsley for added freshness.
To make the pie yourselves, here’s a link to the BBC recipe.
Do you have any favourite recipes? Why not let us know on our Facebook page?
Why not visit our online shop to explore our artisan British charcuterie?
Visit Sam’s website to read more about his woodland reared pigs.