For the past two years, I’ve missed a Christmas time tradition run by the former Burger Tuesday crowd but this year I was free to join in on the annual Christmas pig tradition. As I mentioned, the group has got together to order the whole sucking pig at the Michelin starred St John Restaurant (although Chris ended up reserving the original St John restaurant because the Spitalfields one ended up all booked out. )
We had a pretty large table to share the pig – somewhere between 12-14 people and reports from previous years implied that we wouldn’t really have any problem devouring the whole pig. I started with a Gin and Tonic as others downed some beers, and we tucked into the generous sourdough bread slices and yummy British pats of butter (not enough for the table that we ended up asking for more).
The pig comes with a set menu, or at least it did around this time. Trying to order a set of starters and desserts for such a large group is hard, let alone plan in things appropriately for the main event. Our starter was an interesting salad combining fairly raw cauliflower, broad beans, parsley and a very strong vinaigrette. Although a number found it strange, the vegetables were probably a great way to start the appetite without filling it with meat.
We consumed bottles of this nice red wine.
The pig arrived at a table just off in the near corner where we were allowed to take photos before they carved the pigs into smaller pieces for distribution. The pig flesh was soft, moist and amazingly tender. The only strange thing was that the crackling wasn’t very… crackling. It turned out to be a lot more chewy and moist than what I had hoped for.
The pig came served with a generous heaping of potatoes and cabbages. Both perfectly cooked and full of natural flavour. I’m happy to report unlike stereotypical cooking, the vegetables were not overcooked or anything like that.
Some of the people who came along in the evening, including Chris who organised the entire night. Well done!
The remains of one of the pig legs.
And some more of the Burger Tuesday crowd celebrating the annual Christmas pig.
And yes, it was quite a big table… with more people.
For dessert, they ended up serving one of the largest pies I have ever seen served.
Naturally served with custard, although they should have served more with it. They only had two small jugs of custard with it and it disappeared very quickly.
We could see the kitchen from our table. Even the use of the white board, indicating some of the changes to the dishes or the different wines on offer for the evening. Early on we could even see the suckling pig hanging around in the kitchen, just waiting to be served.
Remnants of our wine.
And finally the outside of the hotel.
A marvellous meal with some great company.
Name: St John, Restaurant
Found at: 26 St. John Street, London, EC1M 4AY