New openings in Brixton are fairly frequent, and there’s certainly no shortage of lovely places to eat. I have several favourites depending on the circumstances, but Naughty Piglets may have just leapt very close to the top of the list.
Having failed to get the pork cheeks required for the planned dish, and unwilling to spend any longer than necessary in a supermarket on a Saturday I grabbed a pork fillet, some Portobello mushrooms, asparagus and a trusty pinot noir and legged it as quickly as possible. Whilst it’s annoying when you specifically plan a certain dish and can’t get what you need, I quite enjoyed the little spread of ingredients (below), along with some fridge bits with which to create something passable, Ready Steady Cook style. (Although I doubt you can get more than 2 ingredients for a under fiver in London nowadays..) So I was aiming for tenderloin medallions with a Portobello, apple and bacon sauce. Too much already, so did away with the apple (will juice it later with my new juicer! Post to come). As it turned out the fridge was a bacon-free zone, but there was a bit of saucisson lurking at the back from a trip to Borough Market a couple of weeks back. In it goes.
I’m not one for noting intricate details when it comes to recipes (the reason I’ll never be a decent baker) so think of this a suggestion if you happen to have similar ingredients handy. I chopped the fillet into inch-wide medallions and fried them in butter (and a smidge of oil to stop the butter burning) on both sides until a little bit brown but still squidgy when poked.
Get them out, put the mushrooms and chopped saucisson into the juices, add a splash of red wine, another splash of chicken stock (I threw in half a cube and some boiled water), teaspoon of Dijon mustard, scrape of nutmeg and sprig of rosemary. Let it bubble for a minute then put the pork back in, cover and turn it down. Five minutes for the sauce to thicken a bit and that’s it!
I put some greens with it with a sliver of butter (it is Saturday after all), poured a fair bit more of the wine into a large glass et voila!
Not exactly Michelin worthy but pretty good for a ten minute job with mostly fridge leftovers. Probably also good with apples and cider instead of mushrooms and wine. Next time!
I’d love to be one of those people who jumped up early on a Saturday, got dressed and headed down to the market, then spent the weekend creating delicious and nutritious meals with seasonal local produce, having spent a fraction of what your average hungover zombie spends in Sainsbury’s Local on half the food.
Sadly, for reasons such as laziness, this is not to be – so a visit to Borough Market at the weekend got me disproportionately excited. It really has transformed in recent years, and is now partly housed in a swanky new building selling anything and everything food-related imaginable.
We went to get ingredients for a roast to feed my fiancé’s family, but I ended up spending an additional ridiculous sum on goose fat, goat’s cheese and mushrooms among other things. Still, sitting on the bus home with my first mulled wine of the season left me very pleased with myself!
The mushrooms became this:
A mixture of yellow chanterelles and oysters fried for a few minutes with a tiny bit of truffle oil on white buttered toast. Easy and delicious.
A couple of pumpkins became this:
I love pumpkin/squash soup, it’s so smooth and filling – cubes of a good stretchy cheese like Emmental (a la Delia) and some crispy smoked bacon (a la my mum) absolutely makes it. I’ve made it previously with a swirl of cream but it’s a bit too much – a blob of sour cream instead really compliments the sweetness of the pumpkin.
We also splashed out on a huge joint from The Ginger Pig, which was roasted medium rare and served with purple sprouting broccoli, cheesy leek gratin and huge Yorkshire puddings – heaven. Unfortunately I was so distracted by it I failed to take any pics.. but the in-laws were impressed so was all good.
So a successful trip overall! Must have wholesome Saturdays more often..