Ginger Pig: Farmhouse Cook Book - Tim Wilson & Fran Warde
Mitchell Beazley - 2013
Photography: Kristin Peres
In the introduction Tim Wilson tells the story of Ginger Pig which is both inspirational and also really funny. I am a huge fan of the Ginger Pig shops and the Hackney branch was my usual butcher while I lived in London, so I can testify to how good their produce is.
The in-depth butchery sections may not be to everyone's tastes but it is a good reference to use when choosing what types of meat you want to buy and seeing where it came from. There are also good notes on a lot of the recipes for how to get the best cuts for each recipe and what you should be asking the butcher for. There are also lots of great tips that can be applied to recipes you already use , not just those in the Ginger Pig Farmhouse Cook Book.
The information pages that are spread among the recipes alone would make it worth buying this book. There is everything from how long to roast a joint of meat to choosing the right potatoes. The cookbook has a very holistic approach to food. The foraging and preserving sections really suit the farmhouse philosophy behind the book and make the most of all produce. There's a great balance with the choice of recipes, although unsurprisingly there are more meat dishes than anything else.
While the textured pages are beautiful it can make the text very difficult to read. The photography is classical and beautiful but it would be better to have more images overall but also a lot of the pictures were focused on the ingredients rather than the final dishes.
My favourite recipes were the Borcht Beef Casserole; the Creamy Mashed Peas; the Gooseberry Curd; the Brioche; and the Walnut and Salted Caramel Tart. However, there were very few recipes in the book that I wouldn't eat and I plan on working my way through very merrily. My least favourite section was the Savoury Baking, Pies and Puddings which seemed a little lacklustre in comparison to the others.
The combination of classic flavours and new ideas is wonderful. This is a great read and a lovely resource to use in the kitchen again and again. It will appeal both to beginners and expert cooks alike.
Disclaimer: I received a review copy of 'Ginger Pig' from Mitchell Beazley