The post was inspired by an old cooking notebook of my Great Nan’s that my mum recently bestowed upon me, it’s full of awesome recipe cards and leaflets. I just love the language and design of these things:
A wonderful find and a treasure to keep and cook from forever more.
This post is a little bit about getting free recipe books through work (such as Tim Hayward’s Food DIY) and also getting the opportunity to meet and interview authors through work (like author of Food DIY Tim Hayward). Quite handy when you run a food blog.
As I might have already hinted, I was also asked to interview Tim Hayward for the Penguin Soundcloud channel, you can have a listen to my gushing interview technique here:
From all this gushing about free books and meeting authors, somewhere along the way we were inspired to do something delightful with meat. So a plan was hatched to try our hands at pastrami.
Buoyed along by memories of Katz’s diner in New York – we had in mind an ultimate outcome of sandwiches, pickles and either beer or root beer. Either of those beers would do. The results of this pastrami plan can be seen in pictures below, plus the resulting sandwich (with home made pickled gherkin to accompany as is only right). We cured, boiled and then BBQed this awesome piece of meat. Consensus is we’ll be doing that one again.
Brew Dog have worked with a small charcuterie company in London – the only one in London we’re told. These guys brought Picco Salumi premises in N1 off the previous owner 6 months ago and are rebranding as Cobble Lane Cured. Everywhere I can find they are referred to using the previous business name, including on Brew Dog’s own site. However, it seems they’re trying for a name change – so thought I’d mention that here.
The evening began and ended with beer and meat. Over the course of 3 hours, we slowly consumed enough beer, bread and salami to keep us going for the duration.
As part of this meat-fest, there was some cured lamb (a violin of lamb was mentioned – this had to do with how you slice the cured meat if I’ve remembered correctly) that split opinion and a pepperoni that packed a punch. The following photos show meats #2 and #3 both of which were my favourites.
The beers went from very drinkable into the slightly murky territory of 18% alcohol content – those pokier beers don’t always appeal to me. We had the Punk IPA and Dead Pony – both two of my favourite Brew Dog beers, all would go perfectly with a beer stick.
This is what’s known in the business as a beer stick
All the meat all the time – we purchased beer sticks. They’re good for fishing trips.
Along with the inevitable excitement of beer combined with awesome cured meat, it was also exciting to find out that Cobble Street Curing invite the general riff raff that is the public into their kitchens to see how the process works. Suffice to say, I know at least one bearded Canadian who will be taking them up on that offer.
Another sunny Sunday, another beer tasting on the balcony.
This time it’s a collaboration with Brew Dog and the Tate, using Lichtenstein for the bottle design.
From the bottle: brewed with rye and US hops, this is a vibrant yet refreshing take on the American pale ale style.
It’s good, hoppy. For me, it leaves a slight liquorice flavour on the back of the mouth. It’s very effervescent. I find it hard to describe the rye flavour – there is something about it that reminds me of rye breads, but it isn’t overtly rye or dark. I’ve known lots of rye beers to be darker in colour.
On a purely aesthetic note, the Lichtenstein inspired label design is awesome. On the beer itself, the first sip I thought it was too bitter for me, but the taste mellows on the second sip. Perhaps it’s the rye in it, but the flavour coats the mouth – and whilst it’s nice, I’m not sure I’d drink more than a half if out. I think maybe the rye gives it a heaviness that adds to that conclusion as well.
Once upon a time I was a vegetarian. After co-habiting with the aforementioned carnivore, I have somewhat reversed that life choice (with a few caveats). Firstly, if I’m going to eat meat I’d prefer to buy it locally, from the farmer’s market or a local veg box scheme. Secondly, I’d like it organic or at the very least free-range. Thirdly, I’d like to try and eat as much of the animal as possible – waste not.
So – vegetarian guilt aside – this weekend we BBQed a whole, organic chicken. It was tasty good.
BBQ season is well and truly upon us again, we have had three BBQs in as many weeks and the chances of this slowing look slim to none.
If you too want to make this BBQed chicken, you can do so by using the following method.
One large whole chicken or equvilent chicken pieces
Juice of a lemon
Juice of an orange
Juice of a lime plus a squeeze extra
Liberal helpings of salt and pepper
Small onion/challot grated
3 large cloves of garlic, grated
3-4 tbsp olive oil
Combine all the above ingredients.
Find a lock-and-lock container or sizeable ziplock bag that will fit your chicken.
Spatchcock your chicken or put your chicken pieces to one side.
Spatchcocked and ready to rock.
4. Marinade all chicken in the bag or Tupperware, ensuring the whole thing is well covered, for 24 hours if possible but for a minimum of 4 hours.
3 tsps of za’atar
Steenbergs is the herb supplier of choice.
Cup of cherry wood smoking chips
We’re PRO-Q-ers. No doubt.
Loading up the wood chip gadget thingie.
Soak the cherry wood smoking chips, then add to the BBQ – we use a bespoke wood chip box that sits on the grill and heats through.
Wood chip gadget thingie.
Heat the BBQ through, until the wood chips are starting to smoke.
Remove chicken from marinade (but save the juice), lay out flat and coat with za’atar and rub in until liberally coated.
Prepping the chicken for massage of spice.
Leftover marinade for basting.
Do the chicken rub.
Put chicken on BBQ, on the cooler half (if using gas, turn down one half of the grill, if coal move coals to one side – you basically want to cook over indirect heat).
Occasionally baste chicken while it’s BBQing, turning regularly.
Continue until cooked through – check in thickest part for juices to run clear.
We served with rocket, BBQed asparagus and BBQed red romano peppers. It was awesome.
Spatchcock chicken and wood chips in situ
It’s nearly done!
The finished meal complete with required BBQ char.
Tonight, the Canadian and I are at a Moshi Moshi members’ event for their new book launch, 500 Sushi. So far, the fizz is flowing and the sushi plentiful.
So far we’ve had avocado and plum, duck with chilli and onion, scallop, and some beautifully rolled maki. All the sushi has been lovely, with one small exception of the duck – the onion on this was so bitter it deflected from the taste. My favourite so far has been the scallop one, but the Canadian opted for the duck. So as you can probably tell, it’s all really rather good.
So, here’s the book:
And since the last update, we’ve been served the following and had a wonderful conversation about sustainable fishing: