On Thursday, Ian and I had the most amazing meal at one of our favourite places to eat, The Bath Brew House. We were there last weekend eating with friends and noticed a ‘Pork Scratchings and Beer Event’. I signed us up and we arrived at their private dining room upstairs.
I wasn’t too sure what to expect but it turned out to be a great night. All the guests were sat around a huge table meaning conversation was flowing. The partners of the pub were there as well as Rupert from Mr Trotter’s, one of the hosts of the evening.
Mr Trotter’s are behind a new kind of Pork Scratchings, aiming to take the good old pub pork scratching to another level. There were packets of their Great British Pork Crackling on the table upon arrival and they were delicious dipped in to some homemade apple sauce.
We were presented with an innovative 4 course menu with all dishes incorporating pork scratchings in some way. The head chef presented each dish and the head brewer on site talked us through the different beers she had chosen to match and complement each course.
Rupert also gave us a thoroughly entertaining talk on his business, the history of pork scratchings and finished with Roald Dahl poetry which I loved!
Anyway, onto the food…
We started with a soup course: celery, apple and smoked cheddar soup with a pork scratching crouton and a jug of Classic Best Bitter by James Street Brewery. The soup was sweet and hearty and the crouton added a lovely crunch. I have had several wine flights to accompany meals but this was the first time that I had tried it with beer and I have to say that with the tasting notes from the head brewer, I could really appreciate the pairings.
Next we were brought a roasted tomato, sweet potato and mozzarella stack with a balsamic glaze and pork scratching sprinkles, served with a delicious American style pale ale by Camden Town Brewery. This was a well-balanced dish and again the pork scratchings worked well. We found out that Mr Trotter’s are used in both Rick Stein and Jamie Oliver’s restaurants, crushed and sprinkled over various dishes and I am definitely going to try it next time I make a fish pie.
For our main course, we had a bowl of smoked pork chili con carne with brown rice, sour cream and some pork scratching dippers. This was matched with my favourite beer of the evening; a chocolate stout brewed by ‘Project Venus’, an all-female group of beer brewers. Again, this was lovely and had just the right amount of spice for me.
I had been wondering how pork scratchings would find their way into a pudding and I have to admit that they did it pretty well! We were served mason jars filled with stewed apples, peanut butter and raspberry jam, topped with an oat and pork scratching crumble and a scoop of vanilla ice cream. This was a great combination of sweet and savoury and I love desserts with peanut butter in!
With a few promotional packs of scratchings in my handbag(!), we headed downstairs to enjoy their beer festival. A few beers and some live music under fairy lights in the garden was a perfect end to the evening and I have to say I am definitely a pork scratching convert!