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Thursday, 18 August 2016

"You mentioned a 'hand of pork' what is this? I didn't know pigs have hands."

Ah yes from the title enquiry I appreciate butchery terms do have some odd names outside of the business. A hand of pork is from the slightly leaner area just below the fatty shoulder where the hock (chunky bit before the actual trotter) is. A lot of English butchers sell it at around £3-5 a kilo so it is a really good buy. Although pork is generally one of the cheaper types of meat to buy I would still contest that this particular cut is an utter winner in the taste stakes. The minor downside is that you may possibly be required to purchase the whole joint but is only going to cost you around £9 max minus the hock. Much cheaper than the leg joint and in my opinion much tastier and less dry at the final part of the cooking. Stew up some cooking apples and add a small amount of cinnamon or nutmeg to taste. Brown sugar also helps accentuate the sweetness of the apples too.

Any road up, buying the pork on the bone is generally cheaper and with a bit of skill and a sharp knife it isn't that difficult to take the bone out. Even if you make a real bad job of it (without cutting yourself) you will be proud of your inner butcher. Stringing it up requires slightly more patience.

A hand of pork fresh from the local butcher.

Hand of pork boned and rolled and accompanied by voyeur cooking apples.

Some whole spices added. Half a dozen cloves, star anise and a piece of Cinnamon bark.

After three hours in the oven gas mark 7. 210 degrees C. Smells fab.

Roast hand of pork. Gratin Dauphinois and home made Bramley apples sauce.

If you love French recipes the best book on the market is definitely this one. It is the best selling French cookbook in the word and now in English. This is where I got my inspiration for my accompanying Gratin Dauphinois.

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