Pork from happy pigs tastes better. It really does!
That was certainly the case for the feast of Dingley Dell pork served up at the Leather Bottle, during one of their Flying Visits.
The pub’s huge garden was decked out in bunting, with rows of picnic tables laid out ready for eager pork eaters to take their seats. We were in one of the chalet huts towards one side of the garden, from where we could look out over the main dining area. The BBQ and kitchen were set up near the top of the garden.
We watched a butchery demonstration from a very charming and experienced butcher, who deftly broke down a side of pig. There were short introductory talks by Dingley Dell’s Mark Hayward, who told us about his farm, his pigs and his pork. We enjoyed live entertainment from Suffolk band The Broadside Boys during the evening.
Here are some images from the event, followed by the menu.
Whole Hog Board: potted brawn, crispy pigs ears, black pudding trotter fritters and mini hot dogs served with gooseberry chutney and purple basil jam – cooked by Stephen Bushnell and Chris Knights of Youngs Pubs.
Apple smoked pig cheeks with mead jelly and pea puree – cooked by Paul Sowden of The Elk Bar in Fulham.
The three mains, to come next, were served with a selection of sides including fantastic sweet potato fries, a root coleslaw and a green salad with heritage tomatoes.
Whole spitted hog, brined with Aspall’s apple juice and cider, then rubbed, marinated, mopped and sauced – cooked by Mark Poynton from Alimentum.
18 hr cooked pulled pork shoulder cooked with herbs and infused with hickory – cooked by Mark Poynton from Alimentum.
St Louis pork ribs cherry smoked with a BBQ and black treacle glaze served with individual terracotta pot bread – cooked by 3 times British BBQ champion and 5 times World finalist Andy Annat.
There was also a pork inspired dessert from Stephen and Chris, which I missed as I had a long journey home.
Meantime and Aspall’s provided drinks matches for each course, though I can’t comment on these as I stuck to soft drinks.
My favourites were the mini hot dogs, black pudding trotter fritters and potted brawn from the whole hog board, and the pork ribs and the sweet potato fries from the mains. I also liked the smoked pig cheeks with mead jelly and pea puree better than most on our table, though I agreed with others that serving it in a half pint mug made it impossible to eat easily, resulting in a first few mouthfuls of (unnecessarily copious) leaves, then the pea puree and finally the cheeks and jelly. I did like the combination of cheeks, jelly and peas but would rather have been given them on a regular plate.
This feast was priced at just £25 per person, and given that it included matching drinks throughout, I think that’s a terrific deal. I also really liked the pub itself, though we spent little time inside. For those living locally, I’d imagine it’s a lovely place for drinks or dinner.
Many thanks to the Leather Bottle and Saffron Powell (from We Love Food) for additional images.
Kavey Eats attended Dingley Dell’s Flying Visit as a guest.