The review you're about to read (or skim) is something I've tried to make as unbiased as possible, however, as you are probably a...
The review you're about to read (or skim) is something I've tried to make as unbiased as possible, however, as you are probably aware, Grey's Fine Foods sent me the Sucking pig and Bere aran Cider for free. However they haven't paid me to write this, and so all the brilliant and witty opinions are my own. As if you needed proof this isn't a paid for post, there is some truly shocking drunken photography in here. It's brilliantly bad. So, let's get started!
Grey's Fine Foods: "Hey Emma, do you want some free food and alcohol?"
Me: "Yes, yes I do."
Me: "Hey family & friends, do you want to help me eat this free food?"
Family & friends: "Yes, yes we do... wait wasn't there alcohol too?"
Let's not beat around the bush, as a blogger I get offered the occasional free thing to review. I mostly turn down things (especially if they try to tell me what to write or try to tame my 'colourful' language) but when the opportunity to sample a giant piece of pig and some cider came my way, I was hesitant to turn it down.
However, there is only two of us in this house, and so I decided to share it out with some food-loving family and friends as well as cook it up for myself. They even took some pictures for me. Which I'm now grateful for because my photography was influenced by half a bottle of the strongest cider (drank on an empty stomach) that I've ever tasted.
Yes, yes I could blame the awful lighting in my house as well as drinking quite a large glass of the cider beforehand, it's not even the quality of the photos... it's the fantastic styling skills of tipsy Emma.
Let's count the number of things wrong with this photo.
1. As you can probably judge by the cork and corkscrew, I'd already opened up the cider.
2. Oh look a hair band
3. And a receipt.
4. And £5.25 just peaking out from behind the plate there.
It looks like I'm trying to bribe you into liking this post, and for £5.25 how can you resist?
I was previously warned that my meat would be turning up frozen in a special ice box. My special ice box didn't fit in the works freezer so as the pork slowly defrosted, I hurriedly called a few friends and family and asked if they'd like a cut of it that day.
It was quite a large bit of meat, but still, I cut it four ways and gave it to them to do with what they wanted.
So the cider [link here]. It was a traditionally made cider (read, bits of apple floating in it, and incredibly potent) but I liked it. It was quite dry, so we had a pint of it, made some sauce and I also took the rest of it to a party (and never saw it again)
SIMPLE SMOKED GARLIC, PESTO & CIDER SAUCE
The roasting joint [link here] was large enough for me to split into four. As it says on it's website, it is tradionally farmed. Quote "Unlike many of the commercially reared animals that you will find elsewhere, our suckling pigs are always kept with their mothers. This is the only farming method that stays true to the traditional practices from which the name suckling pig was derived."
The thing with suckling pig is that it tends to be a very fatty joint, but this makes the meat incredibly tender and gives you a good amount of crackling. However, if fatty meat tends to be something you avoid, you will find yourself cutting off a lot of bits here.
The meat as a whole was lovely, and exactly as described. We served ours up with some slow cooked winter squash, lettuce and the sauce.
My Auntie Bee, Auntie Doreen and Uncle Brian roasted it up and had it in their sandwiches for lunch the next day. She texted me the next day with "I have just had my sandwich and I have to say the meat was delicious! Thanks for thinking of us!"
The Randalls roasted it up (not to mention provided the much better quality photography for this post) and served with traditional roast fare.
Okay, let's Pro / con this bad boy.
- They offered next day delivery.
- Came in good packaging. The ice box kept everything cold and safe whilst I was at work.
- Goods were exactly as described on the website.
- Meat was high quality.
- Sizeable joint of suckling pig for the price offered.
- Reared using natural farming methods.
- My house smelled amazing whilst it was cooking.
- These joints are quite expensive. Not an everyday purchase for a mid-week meal, but definitely for something a little more special.
- Was fatty, but as we said earlier, that's not unusual for this kind of joint.
- The cider is mostly responsible for this:
So would I recommend?Personally, even though the meat was lovely, the joints are expensive and not something I would probably buy for myself. Their official recipe for the joint [is here] if you'd like to see what can be done with it.
However, the company as a whole were really friendly (I don't think they were just doing it for a good review, as a rule, you can tell) plus they were helpful when I had questions about the farming or suggestions for the meat. I had a peruse through their website, and the hampers and other drinks look pretty good. The paella starter kit is a personal favourite.
So for lovers of Spanish foods, with a little bit of money to spend on the good stuff, this is perfect for you. If you're interested, (or that £5.25 has you thinking you wouldn't mind taking a look at what else Grey's has to offer) their website is: www.greysfinefoods.com