Living in London makes BBQ-ing particularly hard. So few people have decent outdoor space, so unless you’re going to use a disposable in the park, you’re going to struggle. The fact that the weather hasn’t exactly been playing ball so far this summer hasn’t really helped that either, but hey. I’ve already posted a seriously good Veggie Pulled ‘Pork’ recipe if you’re interested in something else you can do on your stove top. I’ve been meaning to try my hand at oven BBQ for a while, but never really have the excuse. I’ve wanted to do some form of Sriracha Pork Ribs for a long while, but with about 95% of butchers near where I live not even stocking pork it can make things quite tricky too. Even the local supermarket only had some fairly poor pre-packaged ribs.
It’s national vegetarian week! I have a lot of vegetarian and vegan friends, in fact I’m half way through another meat free month myself, and one of the big nitpicks is often how a lot of meat focused restaurants hardly make an effort, using the excuse “but there isn’t anything suitable” or “you really want another veggie chilli, right?” instead of trying something a bit different. This recipe would sit nicely on the menu at any of the major BBQ places across the UK, or even at a number of Mexican ones. There are in fact a couple of places that do entirely veggie and vegan Mexican where Pulled Jackfruit is a staple.
As I’ve mentioned a few times lately, I recently moved into a new place in Bow. I decided to try and take advantage of the good weather we’ve been having as well as the shared garden we have out the back of our flats. I decided to have a few friends over for a BBQ/Housewarming/Gin party. I stocked up on Meat from Turner & George (I got a voucher after their event lately and you can read about that here) and my friend Erica (I’m Being Erica) came round a couple of hours beforehand so she could make some poached chicken and summer rolls (or at least the bits she could do one handed since she broke her pinky and they stuck it in a cast). I also made a pretty good Summer Berry Pie but I got a bit drunk and forgot to photograph it, what you gonna do aye?
So it’s my first recipe of the new year. And well, I’m branching out a little. There is zero peanut butter for one (SHOCK! HORROR!) and it’s a savoury bake. I do savoury baking a fair bit, but usually it doesn’t make the blog. Simply because it tends to be eaten fresh or donated. I was given a few recipe books for Christmas and wanted to try a few things out. This was inspired by one of them, but not actually from that book. I had a full two weeks off over Christmas and the last Sunday before I returned to work my parents suggested a family meal at my sister’s in York. I taught my mother how to make my Maple and Mustard Pulled Pork last summer while we were on holiday in Scotland and she decided to do that. I thought this was the perfect opportunity to try my hand at Brioche buns. I’ve made plenty of bread, but it’s usually fairly heavy and involved cheese or some form of wholemeal.
These didn’t provide as much of a challenge as I had expected and came out nearly perfect. Something which I’m pleased about for a first attempt. They were light, glazed appropriately and were the perfect match for the pork. The only snag was that they were already a day old at this point, but they refreshed nicely in the oven.
This was also the first run out for my “cups” which I got for Christmas. So if I’m feeling particularly lazy, I may not convert to grams if I’ve used an American recipe (like this time, sorry guys!). I also apologise for the lack of good pictures. Things are a bit up in the air at the moment, so I just winged it a bit. I’ll make them again and re-shoot soon.
I’m going to be posting much more savoury things this year, as well as few more “lifestyle” type posts, so sorry in advance if you’re only here for the food. You may get a few more inane rambles as well.
- 1 cup warm water
- 3 tablespoons warm milk
- 2 teaspoons active dry yeast
- 2½ tablespoons sugar
- 2 large eggs
- 3 cups bread flour
- ⅓ cup all-purpose flour
- 1½ teaspoons salt
- 2½ tablespoons unsalted butter, softened.
- In a glass cup, combine the warm water, milk, sugar and yeast. Leave this to stand for about 5 minutes until it’s foaming. Beat one of the eggs separately.
- Using a stand mixer, or your hands if you don’t have one, mix the butter, flours and salt. Do this until it’s a breadcrumb like texture. If using the mixer this could take several minutes.
- Beat in the yeast mixture (making sure you get all the sugar if it hasn’t dissolved) and the egg. Do this on a medium speed for several minutes until a soft dough has formed.
- Shape the dough in to a ball, grease the inside of the bowl and return the dough. Cover with a damp cloth and place in a warm place. Leave to rise somewhere warm until it’s doubled in size. This could be anywhere between 1-3 hours. Do this based on size, rather than time.
- Line a baking tray with a baking sheet. Divide the in to 8 equal portions. Use a scale to make sure they are equal.
- To shape them , roll into a ball and flatten gently against a lightly floured surface. Make a cage shape with your hand against the surface with the dough inside. Move around in a circular motion until the buns have shaped well.
- Arrange on the tray, relatively well spaced. Allow to rise for another 1-2 hours in a warm place.
- While they are rising preheat the oven to 205°C(185°C Fan).
- Make the egg wash by beating the egg and adding a splash of water. Using a pastry brush, brush a small amount over the top of each bun.
- Add another tray underneath the oven shelf with a small amount of water in it. This will create steam to help the buns keep moist. Place the baking tray on the shelf and bake for 15-20 minutes.
Well, it’s time for my second post from my trip to Devon last week. I’d intended to get this up last week but unfortunately life got in the way and I just completely ran out of time. That should mean you have a double recipe week now though.
Now, you’ve already seen my quick, if lackluster write up on arriving in Hope Cove and presenting my friend with is cake. If not, you can read that here. Day two dawned with the unexpected joy of the sun poking it’s head out. It had been overcast the day before and I’d not had high hopes for the Sunday weather. Out of nowhere the British summer decided to momentarily revive itself. I grabbed a cup of tea and headed down to sit by the sea and enjoy not being in Leeds. I was in charge of the evening’s food and had opted for a Maple and Mustard Pulled Pork. It’s perfect for a largish group and great for an occasion like this as you can just stick it in the oven and come back to it about 6-7 hours later.
After a fairly lazy morning I took out the meat (which I’d prepared the night before) and stuck it in the oven at about 12. After this we were free to do anything until the evening. We opted to head up onto the headland and prepare an area for a campfire to have later that night, before coming back down to the flat and doing a nice afternoon session of centurion in the sunshine.
After that came sea-kayaking, which I’d have to say, probably isn’t the best thing to do after you’ve done a full game of centurion. We capsized, but no one died so it’s fine, right?
The evening was spent stuffing out faces with the pulled pork, which was sided by Isobel’s sweet potato wedges, homemade garlic bread and some creamed corn. After filling our bellies we headed up to the campfire spot, where we all proceeded to fall asleep next to the fire (too much food and a packed day didn’t really do much for our energy levels). All in all it was a great way to round the weekend off.
This recipe is great because it doesn’t require a slow cooker, or for the pork to be completely submerged in liquid, which means that all you need is a standard roasting tin, rather than a slow cooker or pot. It still falls apart amazingly and the sauce it creates is beautiful.
- 200g sea salt
- 300g light muscovado sugar
- 2kg/4lb 8oz piece pork shoulder
- 100ml maple syrup
- 100g wholegrain mustard
- 2 tbsp English mustard powder
- Mix the sea salt and 200g of the sugar in a large food bag, add the pork and coat it well. (If you don’t have a bag, rub over the pork in a dish and cover with cling film.) Leave in the fridge overnight.
- The next day, remove the pork and wipe down the meat with kitchen paper. Heat oven to 140C/120C fan/gas 1. Mix the remaining sugar, the maple syrup, mustards and some ground pepper. Rub half the mixture over the pork and sit it on a rack in a roasting tin. Roast for 6 hrs.
- Spoon the remaining maple mixture over the pork and roast for 1 hour more.
- Rest the meat for 30 minute on a plate loosely covered with foil. To serve, tear the pork into big fat chunks and, after skimming the surface, spoon over any juices from the tin.