Walking away from the Dumfries farmers market last Sunday I had one of those “I’ve spent faaar too much money” moments.
I always try to go, primarily because it is the place where they sell the best pies in the world. Made by Barlochan Highlanders with the most delicious highland beef, (my favorite ones are the ones with Stilton). If you ever get the opportunity; don’t hesitate.
The market has grown massively and now I try not to walk away without a caramelized onion and feta focaccia from The Earth’s Crust bakery, Patrick can, (and has) eaten one of these in a single sitting, they’re very good. I also tried a few new things this week including a jar of Galloway Chillis to experiment with and a Lancashire bomb cheese, from Choose a Cheese, which lasted about as long as the focaccia.
My main motivation for attending last week, however, was to buy something to feed my father when he came to stay the following day. I opted for a hogget joint from Annanwater organics. I’ve never cooked with hogget before, I must admit. (For those who don’t know, hogget is a lamb after it is turned a year old, but before it has become old enough to be considered mutton). I did a little reading up before I began and according to my “Meat” book (Hugh Fernley Whittingstall – very good book) it is the meat of preference for most farmers and is usually preferable to lamb for those who know the difference. Like lamb, the best results are to cook it quickly at a fairly high temperature or slowly at a lower one.
I went for a rather conventional looking roast. Cooked quickly, very similar to how I would do lamb. I had bought some garlic and rosemary from the Garrocher market gardeners on the stall opposite which I positioned strategically at points over the meat then along with some seasoning and it was ready to go.
Quite a lot of fat was produced during cooking, which was perfect to arrange my potatoes around and they roasted with a beautiful hoggety crispyness!
Once cooked the meat was delicious, it was very similar to lamb, admittedly, but with a deeper flavour, it was a little fattier but stronger tasting. Needless to say we all enjoyed it very much and I will definitely be returning to the farmers market for more!