Recently, Mark and I called into Wright’s Food Emporium in Llanarthne, Carmarthenshire for lunch. Mark had been before and had been dreaming about their Belly Pork Cubano sandwich ever since. Of course I had one when we went and have been yearning for another ever since. Tender pork belly, spicy sauce and a sharp pickle to balance the richness of the pork…food heaven
Anyway, a few weeks later, I was just outside of Chepstow and nipped into Hanley Farm Shop. They had some beautiful thick cut, middle white pork chops that were calling my name and so I bought some. Looking for a new idea for cooking pork chops, I turned to Simon Wright’s cookbook, The Wright Taste: Recipes and Other Stories. Having been to Y Polyn when he was a partner in it, and now to Wrights Food Emporium to eat, I knew I would find recipes that are simple, honest and would do justice to my beautiful pork chops.
The book tells the story of Simon and his wife Maryann who decided to get a glimpse of producing quality livestock, fit for a superb restaurant by rearing the meat for it themselves. And so the chapters of the cookbook are appropriately named after the animals they reared, Lamb, Chicken, Beef, Pork, Goose and some Duck. Each chapter not only gives recipes but delightful stories as well of a novice turned farmer. Simon talks about the breeds he chose to rear, buying the stock, learning how to care for them and in the end, travelling with his animals to the abattoir where they would then become quality meat for the restaurant table. Some of his stories made me laugh and others made me cry.
If you like what I call rustic honest cooking where you get the best flavour from quality produce, you will also enjoy the recipes in this book. The Lamb section has recipes such as Lamb Hot Pot, Rump of Lamb with Garlic Onion and Thyme Puree, and Chicken and Leek Cobbler. You can find very delicious and simple recipes such as Roast Chicken with Bacon and herbs. And Carpaccio of Beef.
I made the Pork Chops ‘Charcuterie’ with my middle white chops. The chops are seasoned and then seared in a pan with melted butter and oil until brown, and then placed in the oven until they are cooked through. A simple sauce is then made with finely chopped shallots and gherkins, white wine, chicken stock and Dijon mustard. If you do an internet search for “Charcuterie Sauce Recipe” you will find many recipes for this sauce which is a classic French accompaniment for pork.
If you are looking for a good read as well as lovely recipes, give this book a go.
You can find this book for sale at Simon Wrights Emporium, good local book stores, as well as on Amazon, The Wright Taste: Recipes and Other Stories