You might remember The Milestone as winning the British round of Gordon Ramsay’s best restaurant 2010. The Milestone is a gastropub based in Sheffield who last year won Yorkshire pub of the year (White Rose Awards 2010) and were runners-up in The Observer food monthly 2010 awards in the best sunday lunch category. They are passionate about food and in sourcing good quality food locally where ever possible and if they can make it themselves instead of buying it they will. They even rear their own rare breed of pigs and accept local produce from local allotment keepers in exchange for bar tabs. When I was contacted and offered the chance to review their first cookbook I jumped at the chance. Firstly because I’m originally from Yorkshire and secondly because of their passion for using local ingredients and making everything they can themselves (bread, pasta, ice cream, chutney etc).
The book is first catch your pig, a phrase borrowed from Mrs Beeston. First impressions of the book were good and their passion food, locally sourced, seasonal and of good quality is evident throughout. They believe in nose to tail eating so not ever recipe will appeal to everyone (there are recipes using pigs trotters, sweetbreads, pigs head and ox tongue). Perhaps not the cookbook for vegetarians but even for those meat eaters that don’t want to cook pigs head etc there are still lots of delicious sounding dishes to try. Double eggs Benedict (with a recipe for homemade muffins), mackerel cooked in a bag with aromatics, The Milestones ploughman and Yorkshire pudding, braised shin beef and root vegetable to name just a few. The deserts section is full of stunning looking and delicious sounding desserts which I can’t imagine would fail to impress.
The book is full of stunning photos of not only all the recipes but also the pub/kitchen and their herd of pigs. The recipes are well laid out each over two pages, with clear, detailed directions and mouth watering images of the final dish. The dishes are presented on the plate impressively through out, as you would expect them to look in a gastropub. My first thought was that this cookbook was perhaps not the book for everyday cooking, perhaps more suited for cooking to impress such as dinner parties or special occasions. However once I read the recipes it was clear that many of the recipes are very straight forward to cook. In addition, the chef’s enthusiasm and passion for food is infectious and can’t fail to inspire you. After reading the book, I would certainly like to visit the pub if I’m ever near Sheffield and the website talks of a cookery school which I imagine would be very inspiring.
First catch your pig is out now. You can see sample pages from the book and order your copy on their website.
Thank you to The Milestone for sending me a copy for this review.