Dingley Dell Flying Visit to the Leather Bottle:
OK, so I got this one so wrong! Another of my rather reluctant blogging nights out that turned into a real feast. I went along to the Leather Bottle on Garrett Lane for what I thought was going to be a bit of a barbecue and a beer…it turned out to be rather bigger and better than your average barbecue. Read on…and then keep your eyes peeled for an event near you!
The Leather Bottle has a large beer garden, complete with beach huts (yes really) where eight to ten people can sit in comfort, whatever the British Weather decides to do. Most of the garden was set up with long trestle tables – a few of us up in the beach huts. I spotted a friend – eager to get started with some food – she’d actually judged the event better than me and arrived hungry! But first we got an introduction to Dingley Dell and their ideas about pig farming.
This video is a nice insight into the principle behind the farm…there is a theory that meat from happy animals tastes better. And even if it didn’t why on earth would anyone want animals to suffer…?
Now, I have to say, the sentimental part of me finds it very difficult to reconcile happy pigs with those who have met their fate…even though I cook with meat and eat it (a lot), and I have no problem at the butcher, I can’t quite deal with happy pigs one minute and very dead ones the next. But the butchery lesson WAS interesting and once the food started to arrive all my sentimental concerns just vanished.
What I thought WAS the whole hog (e.g. everything we were going to be eating) turned out to be a starter…
My favourite bit of pig from the board was the black pudding trotter fritters…but, everything was delicious. I think I happily ate two or three of the hot dogs…and a couple of fritters..and thought that was it…I think my least favourite was the apple smoked pigs cheeks – I’m not sure if that was because of the idea of happy smiling pigs cheeks…or, just that the kilner jar contained rather a complicated mix of smoked pigs cheek, mead jelly and pea puree.
More food kept arriving. I’ve been yearning for Pulled Pork ever since that evening. The Low and Slow Pulled Pork by Ben Goldsmith was melting, fragrant and everything I thought pulled pork should be…
While we ate, we were watching the hog roast…and yearning. Who wouldn’t?
And there were a whole row of smokers, fired up and working on the world champion St Louis Pork Ribs, which even I enjoyed (I’m not a great fan of fatty meat)
Throughout the evening we were served a mixture of matching ciders and beers. I really did like the Aspalls Premier Cru, which was served in champagne flutes, so I kept drinking that(!) See, even if I go to a Barbecue I aim for a champagne lifestyle;) It tasted like an apple, slightly rough champagne.
The evening was hosted by the Leather Bottle – who have fabulous facilities for this kind of event. The little beach huts can be hired if you want an outdoors party but are not quite sure of the weather. And, the whole evening, including matched beers and ciders was priced at £25. A real snip for an insight into happy pigs and something of a porcine feast. So, if you spot Dingley Dell Flying near you, well, GO. The next one on the Dingley Dell Website is in Nottingham
Disclaimer: I was a guest of the event organisers but under no obligation to write a review.