I like pork. Lots of pork. There are times when a steak or chicken leg just won’t do it and a hunk of pork is needed. I was really excited when my cousin invited me to join them for Sunday lunch at a place that the name alone sounds like it would promise a lot of pork. And boy did it deliver.
The Pig, near Bath is nestled amongst beautiful countryside, with rolling hills and birdsong, is a meat haven. Don’t get me wrong there was plenty of other food on offer including vegetarian choices but when the menu looks this good then you’ll gonna want to order all the pork you can get your hands on.
All the ingredients are grown and foraged on the grounds of the hotel and anything that can’t be grown there is sourced within a 25 mile radius for a truly local fair. After settling in to the gloriously sunny conservatory looking over all that gorgeous countryside we checked out the equally gorgeous menu. Starting off with thick wedges of soft bread, lashings of flavoured and a sprinkle of beautiful home smoked salt.
Being great cousins, when it comes to sharing it’s good to be nice and friendly. Instead of individual starters we decided to share three different Piggy bites to get us in the mood for the main event. Kicking off the Piggy bites, we started with the Pork Scratchings with home made Apple Sauce. In hind sight, I shouldn’t of ordered this with what I got for my main course but you can never have enough of the shards of piggy twigs dunked into sweet and tart apple sauce. And no teeth were broken in the consumption, which can be a concern when playing scratching roulette.
Next to be fought over were the mini Chipolata Sausages with home made ketchup. They are the perfect size for you to pop in your mouth and not realise you’ve eaten a whole plate. Working so well with the tang of the ketchup. Delightful little morsels!
BUT my favourite Piggy bite was the Hock Eggs with Colman’s Dressing. Oh my these bad boys were good. So GOOD. Tender hock meat wrapped like a parcel of joy around an oozy quails egg, with a crisp jacket. So perfect. One of my favourite dishes for a long while.
All washed down of course with an Apple and Mint Juice, so refreshing on a sunny porky day.
Now on to the main event. Some people might be a bit freaked out that I ordered this dish. But if you can get over the squeamish factor you are in for a culinary treat. You see I went for the Bath Chaps, which is the lower half of the pig’s cheeks. Yes it came with teeth. But hold on before you go running to the hills! This was one of the best cooked pieces of pork I’ve ever had. Incredibly tender, flavoursome, yes with some rich fat beautiful pork. And we just take a moment to check out that crackling. The chef who prepared this is a GOD. Crisp without teeth shattering or stomach turning gelatinous but PERFECT.
An additional note, mine was a smallish portion that we saw that day. One came paraded out that must of been twice the size so get your eating trousers on! The chap comes with just a healthy portion of the sexy apple sauce, which loaded up on the pork and crackling cuts straight through the richness to not make the dish too overpowering.
The Chap didn’t come with any veggie so if you need any to get you through the meat feast that is above. I would get some of the glazed carrots on the go and the ultra sexy Crispy Tobacco Onion. (no there isn’t any nicotine in the onions!) Highly season stripes of onions fried to a crispy delight.
My cousin and her husband went for the Roasted Pork Loin with the most colossal Yorkshire pudding. Again a healthy portion but everything was cooked beautifully and the pork delicious.
With the meat defeating us, we ordered some of the Piggy Fours for a sweet treat to finish the meal with. A sweet tray of salted caramel fudge, chilli and chocolate truffle and shortbread helped to fill the gap nicely in our pudding tummy. (Yes I am aware this phrase makes me sound like Winnie the Pooh!)
With the sun out and stomachs full it was very hard to leave the beautiful surroundings but the gardens were calling out to be explored. I can’t wait to come back and try some of the other dishes. I think even a Father’s Day trip is in order…..if he’s been good!
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