Have you met? The Cotswold Curer

Peter Crumby, aka the Cotswold Curer, explains how family trips to France sparked an interest in cured meats and how to cook the perfect dinner recipe…

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1. What can we expect from The Cotswold Curer?…
We produce a range of salami, chorizo and pancetta, all made from locally sourced free range pork. The pork comes from different local farms, mainly Gloucester Old Spot, but we have recently made a batch with some Sandy and Blacks, which was also absolutely delicious.

2. We always think of chorizo and salamis as continental foods – it's great to have a Cotswold version! How did you get into curing your own products?
My love of cured meats comes from my annual childhood holidays to France; I absolutely loved all the different varieties of cured meats on offer and started making some of them at home. When I found myself between jobs several years ago, I decided to try and produce something commercially and the Cotswold Curer was born!

3. How do you develop new products? Are you working on anything new for this year?
Meat curing has a very long history stretching right back to the Romans and so there is a wealth of information available. So when I develop a new product I start with a traditional recipe and then refine it slowly until I get something that I am happy with. At the moment I am working on a bresaola. The beef is marinated in red wine, garlic, rosemary and thyme for a week before being rubbed down with salt and other spices to cure. The results are very promising and I look forward to sharing it with you all soon!

4. What makes your products special?
All of our products are hand made in small batches using traditional artisanal methods,  tasty rare breed pork and freshly ground herbs and spices. I hope the results speak for themselves.

5. What is your best-seller?
Our Spicy Chorizo seems to be eternally popular.

6. Which product would you encourage shoppers to try?
We always have all of our products available to taste at the farmers’ market and we would encourage people to come and have a taste and decide for themselves which is their favourite!

7. What would be a great product to buy for Easter entertaining next weekend? 
Cured meats are always useful to have in the fridge as they have a very long shelf life and are great with some fresh crusty bread and cheese. Alternatively the chorizo and pancetta can be used to make some truly mouth-watering dishes.

8. Can you give us some tips on cooking with your products?
My particular favourite at the moment is our pancetta, which never fails to add something to most dishes. If I have had a particularly long day and the dinner is ‘in the dog’ when I get home I make this quick (20 min) pasta dish:

Fry some diced pancetta in some rapeseed oil. When it has a bit of colour, add a diced onion, garlic and some chilli and sauté gently until the onions are soft. When your pasta is nearly ready, add some frozen peas to the pancetta mixture and cook for a further 3 minutes. Drain the pasta and then mix in the pancetta mixture and top with freshly grated Parmesan. A perfect dinner…