Sunday, 12 February 2012
Ivy and Pork.
Now how's that for a headline?
First of all thank you to all who commented on my post on ivy -either on my blog or by e mail. It seems there is an awful lot of folklore surrounding ivy. As Tom says - it keeps witches away. As I was born on Hallowe'en and have always considered myself to be a bit of a witch (albeit a good one) I am not sure how to take that. But my friend, W, also points out that it flowers when there is not much pollen about, so it is a good source for the bees. Also, as it is evergreen and quite thickly spread, it does provide good cover for little birds on cold nights.
Now to the pork. As you will know if you have read my last few posts, the Aga is off awaiting a spare part and this means that my means of cooking is limited. I have an electric hob, but also a combination microwave which I have only used for microwaving things. So yesterday I got to grips with it and cooked a pork and apricot casserole on something called Combi 1. You will see the photograph above. I thought marks wise I would give it about five out of ten; the farmer gave it eight out of ten but I think he was probably being kind.
The main reason I scored it so low was nothing to do with the cooking, but to do with the taste of the pork. We rarely eat pork because each time we eat it I get the same flavour - and this applies to bacon too. I can only describe it as a faint taste of pig's urine (sorry about that). The farmer says this is because European law now forbids farmers and pig rearers to castrate boar pigs.
Now, admittedly, listening to him tell me how they used to castrate boar piglets is very barbaric and I agree it should not continue to be done in that way. But is it only me who gets this taste? I don't taste it in ham, but then I rarely cook a joint of ham myself unless for a large gathering. I find it cheaper to buy ham already sliced and from a good deli - and it tastes and smells delicious.
So, has anyone anything to add to this? Does anybody else notice the smell and the faint taste in present day pork? Does anyone know anything about this ruling? Maybe John is a good one to ask as he has just sent two pigs for slaughter. Were they gilts or boars John - I would very much like to know. And does the meat you have so far received from the abattoir smell of anything other than pig, please?