We were super thrilled to host The Whole Hog in collaboration with The Five Points Brewing Co on the evening of 14th May. The premise was pretty straightforward - to team up with our most local brewery and celebrate good food and good beer over the course of an indulgent evening of feasting - and that’s precisely what happened...
Our head chef Will Dee put together a five course menu that used a whole range of cuts of pork, and each course was accompanied by one of Five Points’ beautifully crafted beers. The event kicked off with ice cold bottles of Five Points Pale being dished out as the first course of the evening hoved in to view. Large bowls of the fluffiest, crispiest pork scratchings were distributed, each one with a smaller bowl with a dill mustard dip. These were no ordinary pork scratchings but quaver-light, puffed up curls of porky magic, lightly dusted with smoked paprika. A crackling start to the event!
With everyone’s mouths full of crispy pig skin bites (and praise for them) - Matt, our resident beer curator stood on a chair to properly welcome the events guests before handing over to Will who, true to form, kept his introduction to proceedings short and to the point: “This event is about honouring the free-range, pasture-fed pigs we get from small farms in Yorkshire. Eat the shit out of it!”
Next up Ed Mason, owner and director of Five Points, introduced himself and the brewery - the closest to The Prince and definitely one of our favourite of London’s fairly new breweries. As well as the classic Five Points Pale, IPA and Hook Island Red, Ed revealed we’d also be sampling Old Greg’s Barley Wine and a seasonal London Smoke Imperial Porter.
The rest of the event took place in the upstairs event room, with the second course featuring a hugely impressive board of home-cured charcuterie. Will had prepared finely sliced Coppa, melt-in-the-mouth Lonza and Guanciale, Porchetta and meatier slices of Fennel Salami, The Devil’s Salami and Crespone Salami - and a small bowl of n’duja to spread on slices of freshly baked sourdough. This frankly awesome sausage fest was accompanied by Old Greg’s Barley Wine - featuring Challenger, Target and East Kent Goldings hops and clocking in at a merry-making 8.5%.
The third course was blood cake (a black pudding cooked in a cake tin, rather than in a sausage casing) with Tropea Onions from the same region of Southern Italy as the spicy, spreadable cured N’duja sausage. The onions were sweet and slightly caramelised, the blood cake served on a smear of apple sauce with a hint of cinnamon. The plate lasted a few seconds before being washed down with a bottle of Five Points Hook Island Red - a hoppy but refreshing delight.
Next up was an off-menu surprise - panko crumbed pigs tails served with a dipping sauce. As ever with an offal dish, it was met with a little trepidation, but with the beer now taking glorious effect, everyone had fun before the most theatrical of the evening’s dishes hoved in to view - plates of roasted and crispy pigs heads - each with a massive carving fork sticking out of it - and bowls of pig-fat roasties and plates of stuffed pigs trotters. Show stopper alert! Bottles of Five Points classic IPA arrived just as guests tucked into the pigs heads to reveal soft sweet cheek meat. The trotters were sliced to reveal the soft stuffing of chicken breast, sweetbread, egg white, cream and seasoning. So… damn… good…
And for any guests still able to eat and drink more - the evening’s final course comprised a doughnut (cooked in pig fat, naturally) stuffed with a spent grain custard. The savouriness of the doughnut and the malty taste of the custard was an absolute treat and a great way to round off the evening - with a glass of Five Points’ London Smoke Porter with it’s punchy chocolate and coffee flavours.
Despite the vast quantities of beer consumed over the course of the evening, The Whole Hog will be a night for us to remember at The Prince with a huge amount of pride - for many a year!