The other night I attended my first “Wine & Swine” event for a lovely farm called Dingley Dell. This was held at a charming Gastropub called the Leather Bottle in Earlsfield. As a North London lady I have not frequented the area however my aversions were quickly disbanded when I arrived in Earlsfield after a quick 20 minute transfer!
This pub is well worth a visit as it is my sort of place: homely, welcoming with a large beer garden. It was also hosting one of the first Wine & Swine events which is essentially a pork fest and pairing with Aspalls apple juice/cider and Meantime Beer. Apologies for any non meat eaters out there as this was a pure Pork feast by every sense of the word.
I was a guest of a journalist friend of mine. When we entered the huge beer garden there must have been long tables and seats for around 200 people. It reminded me of the recent Jubilee street parties – very British, local, and felt like I was back in my second home Dorset.
We were greeted by the largest suckling pig I have ever laid my eyes on. It was spinning quite happily and a whole hog filled with Aspalls apple juice. The hog was being cooked and marinated (using mustard, white wine, cider and some tuna extract) by one of the top chefs Mark Poynton patron of Alimentum in Cambridge.
We were then shown to our table which was the special “tree house” and here we were ruling the roost. We had access to the local farmer who actually was given a pig to chop up. It was more of a “masterclass” I could barely watch!
However the courses followed and these were 6 courses each paired with Aspalls Cider or Meantime Ale/Beer. The significance of this was to promote local produce and Meantime from Greenwich is no exception.
Each course was delicious and my companion and myself were in the treehouse with others.
The menu was as follows:
Starter – The Whole Hog Board – prepared by Chris Knights and Stephen Bushnell
Air dried pork leg, crispy pig’s ears, potted brawn, mini hot dogs, black putting trotter fritters, Gooseberry Chutney, purple basil jam and Young’s Beer Bread
Paired with Aspall’s Premier Cru
Apple Smoked Pig Cheeks – Paul Sowden
Potted smoked pig’s cheeks, mead jelly and pea puree
Paired with Meantime Wheat Beer
Low and Slow Pulled Pork Shoulder – Ben Goldsmith
Sweet and tender pork shoulder, slow cooked garlic, rosemary, black pepper, fennel and oregano (cooked over charcoal and hickory wood)
Paired with Aspall’s Premier Cru
Hog Spit – Mark Poynton
Whole hog filled with Aspalls Apple juice
Paired with Aspalls Premier Cru
World Championship St Louis Pork Ribs – Andy Annat
Lip smackin’ 5 hour cherry smoked pork ribs with barbeque and black treacle glaze served with smoked plant pot bread
Paired with Meantime London Pale Ale
Dessert – Sunday Brunch – Chris Knights and Stephen Bushnell
French toast with marmalade, maple cured bacon, Leather Bottle pears (from the garden) and cornflake ice cream
Paired with Aspalls Perronelle’s Blush
I have never felt so full on pork ever! However it was the tastiest and most divine pork meal I have ever had. Simply outstanding and not one to miss.
There are plans to host more as word is catching on and the PR company Roche Communications are busy dealing with the next event.
Do go and visit the Leather Bottle near Earlsfield Station and please do go to the next Wine and Swine event but remember not to eat for a day prior and you certainly won’t eat for the next day or two.
Happy dining and until next time!
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