Jamie Saves Our Bacon saw Jamie Oliver present a programme singing the praises of British Pork. The show looked at all aspects of the industry from comparing welfare standards with the rest of Europe to the entire journey of a British pig from birth to slaughter.
The main surprise with the programme was ITs Food Jnr declaring that the abbatoir Jamie visited was the one she spent a day at recently! They were a great bunch apparently (sausage rolls for a mid-morning snack!) so it’s nice that Jamie identified them as a example of a good abattoir. Overall we thought the programme itself was a bit disjointed. It was presented as if it was “live” but obviously a lot was pre-recorded. I saw Ray (the River Cottage Butcher) there but he didn’t appear on the show, he is on one of the website video’s though. One person missing was Jimmy Doherty from Jimmy’s Farm. I only say this as he’s based very close to the abbatoir and to where Jamie lives, you may remember that Jamie was one of the financial backers when Jimmy first started. Maybe this was a contractual problem as Jimmy is a BBC person and HJamie is Channel 4? Maybe there’s more to it…? As a side note, we were at Jimmy’s Farm at the weekend for their Farmers Market. Things still haven’t improved much, the number of stalls was still really low but, on the bright side, they had McLaren’s Pure & Natural Cheesecake in the shop again! We then popped over to The Suffolk Food Hall for a bit of a shop, there was no sign of their new TV star…!
Whilst the style of the programme wasn’t great, we did really enjoy the whole message of the show. Again, it relies on the British Public paying a little more to get quality British produce rather than imported meat which has been raised in conditions lower then the minimum allowed in the UK. Look for the Quality Pork Standard or a similar British Quality Standard like the Red Tractor.
Yesterday I cooked a Pork Shoulder like Jamie in the show. We ended up with a monster 3.5kg piece of meat so the timings were slightly different. I gave it a 30 minute blast at 220°C, then wrapped it in foil and turned the oven down to 160-170°C. 6 hours later I took off the foil and put it back in at 175°C for 1 hour. After that hour I gave it a 25 minute rest, tightly wrapped in foil, whilst I cooked some veg and made a simple gravy. It was amazing, the pork was so tender it fell off the bone and the crackling was as good as I’ve ever made. Well worth giving it a try, it’s an impressive dish to server at a dinner party and requires very little doing with it giving you more time to socialise!
Well done Jamie, the show helped get the message across although I reckon the format could do with a bit of a tweak for the next Food Fight!