Recipe with The Hoop, Stock

Crispy pig’s head with apple and celeryAA Rosette head chef Phil Utz and his partner Michelle not only offer visitors award-winning gastro pub cuisine with a traditional pub atmosphere, they also have a fine dining a la carte restaurant on the first floor. The real ale also brings the crowds flocking especially on the summer bank holiday when it’s time for The Hoop’s annual beer festival. Another good reason to visit is the Bring Your Own Wine Night. Here Phil shares one of The Hoop’s most popular dishes.IngredientsFor the crispy pig’s head1 pig’s head (with eyes removed)2 carrots2 onions4 sprigs of thyme1/2 a bunch of sageSalt and pepper4 sticks of celery (1 for the stock)600g of bread crumbs5 egg yolks200g of flourFor the apple sauce2 Granny Smith apples200g of butterCastor sugarTo preparePlace your pig’s head and roughly chopped celery, carrot, onion and thyme into a large pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the meat starts to fall from the bone. Remove from the liquid and allow to cool. Meanwhile, strain the stock and skim off all the fat. Reduce the liquid until you have around 200mls of liquid. Chop the sage and add to the stock and season to taste.Gently remove the meat, tongue and ears, discarding all fat and sinews. You should have a nice mix of brown and white meat. Roll cling film out to about 40cms in length and do this 4 times, layering on top of each other. Use your cloth to smear over to remove any air bubbles. Then place your meat in a line about one inch from each end and roll tightly using the ends so you have a tight sausage shape. Use a knife to prick any air bubbles out and tie each end with string, then place in the fridge to set.Once firm, which should take about two hours, cut the pig’s head into six. Remove the cling film. Place each piece into the flour followed by the egg and then bread crumbs, ensuring it’s completely covered, and place back into the fridge ready for frying.To prepare your apple sauce, peel and core your apples and chop into small pieces. Heat a heavy-based pan and add your butter. Once melted, add your apple and cook gently until pulpy like a stew. Place into a food blender and blend until smooth, like a whipped cream consistency. Add sugar to your required taste. Next peel your celery and dice into 0.5cm squares.To plate, pre-heat your fryer to 180�C. Spoon some apple puree onto your plate and arrange your celery around it. Now deep-fry your breaded pig’s head for around five minutes. Serve up onto your plate immediately and enjoy.Get the tasteThe Hoop High StreetStockCM4 9BD01277 841137 www.thehoop.co.uk

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