Outdoor weddings are a fantastic option for couples looking to put their individual stamp on the big day and offer a perfect opportunity to take inspiration from the best of the season’s produce.
As specialists in creative outdoor cooking techniques, The Tickled Pig love using home-grown and home-reared produce to create an element of theatre for guests to enjoy, so here’s some fab ways to bring food back into the field.
Based on an ancient Maori cooking technique, the lamb Hangi is a spectacular and very unusual method of cooking for a wedding party. Marinated pieces of lamb are wrapped in muslin and buried in the ground with hot rocks that have been heated to an extreme temperature in a fire pit built alongside the meat. The cooking process takes many hours and provides a great talking point for guests during the day, with anticipation building towards the Digging Up Dinner moment, which is a real crowd puller.
Once unwrapped, the slow cooked lamb just falls apart and can be served to the table on platters or plated up with seasonal vegetables picked from our garden. Tickled Pig often finish the lamb with balsamic shallots, a drizzle of local honey and a tiny sprinkling of lavender. It is then served with bowls of freshly dug new potatoes and a fresh pea and mint salad.
The Hot Smoker
Resembling an old steam engine, the hand built American style smoker can cook food for large numbers in any setting. Tickled Pig dry rub a beef brisket, marinade it for 48 hours, then hot smoke it for 12 hours, before it is braised in Guinness for a further 12 hours. This process ensures that the brisket melts in the mouth, with a flavour reminiscent of the Deep South. They like to serve this with a crunchy homemade slaw, with apple and lime.
The Flying Pig
Restaurant quality food in a field is an experience to savour, so after years of being asked to undertake weddings in more and more unusual settings, we decided to build a full professional kitchen on wheels. Totally self-sufficient and able to function as well in a field as it can in the grounds of a stately home, The Flying Pig creates an elegant 3 course meal whatever the location.
With lots of courses to enjoy and wedding cake to follow, light desserts are a great way to go, so the Earl Grey panna cotta is always a big hit, often served with shortbread and steeped berries.
Hog Cooked Over Oak
This is another sure-fire crowd pleaser and a great focal point for a rustic outdoor wedding. One of the home-reared rare breed pigs cooked to perfection over an oak fire. Unlike a common or garden hog roast on a gas spit, this technique looks amazing and adds a delicious smoky flavour to the meat.
A Mediterranean medley is a great choice for a wedding buffet, packed with beautiful colour and flavour. The delicious home-reared and home-cured charcuterie is often the star of the show, surrounded with generous helpings of Tickled Pig’s own sundried tomatoes, pickled veg, incredible olives, homemade breads, oils and cheeses. This is perfect for an evening buffet, as it provides a visual feast for your guests and can be kept going over the evening as people work up an appetite on the dance floor.
Vintage tea is perfect for a small and intimate rural wedding, with beautiful homemade cakes, delicate finger sandwiches and a traditional cream tea, all served on mismatched vintage china.
The Great British BBQ
The Great British BBQ should not be underestimated and can be spectacular when using home-reared, home-grown and locally sourced produce. The salads picked from the garden are full of delicious and unusual leaves and edible flowers, perfectly complementing the sausages made from their own rare breed pigs, the most delicious homemade burgers and locally caught fish and shellfish. This is such a laid back catering option for a wedding and makes for a very relaxed and congenial atmosphere.
Has this tickled your taste buds? See more yummy outside catering ideas from The Tickled Pig right here!