Peppered Pig, East Cowick
It’s tempting to describe the Peppered Pig as a restaurant in the middle of nowhere. Of course if you live in Goole, Snaith, Howden or East Cowick then it’s just down the road, but for many of us rural East Riding is an unknown country, perhaps the least visited corner of Yorkshire and, it has to be said, a bit of a culinary desert
So we were delighted to discover the Peppered Pig, a new build of mellow brick and exposed beams, the dream-child of husband and wife team Glen and Sam Mitchell who both gave up established careers (he a potato farmer, she a BA stewardess) to open a restaurant in the grounds of their home in East Cowick.
The 20 cover restaurant went so well that earlier this year they built a new dining room and added another 30 covers plus a bakery next door. Sam bakes while chef Jonathan Westwick (ex Wardrobe in Leeds) cooks.
Westwick describes his food as just regular cooking but he undersells himself. Our Sunday lunch was thoroughly satisfying from our starters of flouncy Yorkshire pudding, filled with a melting boudin noir, proper onion gravy and a crisp shard of Parma ham to a comforting pud of parkin with butterscotch sauce and liquorice ice cream.
The menu is a veritable meat-fest (a veggie option is offered on request): pigeon breast with goat’s cheese, poached figs and oat and pistachio crumbs, roast beef and Yorkshire pudding, lamb, venison, belly pork, pheasant and duck.
‘We normally have more fish’ Westwick explains, ‘but it all went on Saturday night, so that’s it for Sunday – you never can tell’ .
Still, no complaints when the trio of lamb comes with a brilliant parsnip croquette, roast carrot and a lamb stock gravy and the breast of pheasant has raisins in a demi glace reduction, I love that sweet/savoury combination, along with cauliflower puree and crisped Parma ham (again).
We didn’t need extra veg but we ordered them anyway. I’m glad we did. The duck fat roast potatoes and honey and butter roasted roots were as good as they sound – carrots, parsnips cooked long and slow in honey and butter and a sprig of time, with a wrinkled and rustic look and great flavour.
We checked out a couple of puddings. That lovely parkin and butterscotch and a lemon posset with lemon curd, pistachio and meringue – both excellent. More evidence that a traditional pudding, elegantly served beats all those over-done, high falutin’ desserts that grander chefs are so mesmerised by.
Midweek dinners and Saturday lunches are simpler with sandwiches (substantial ones) and lighter meals, but Westwick cooks with confidence, his pig well peppered.