Archive for September, 2012

Man V Food Steak and Chilli night

I’ve always wanted to do a Man V Food style eating challenge, so when I heard Andrew Gordon Aberdeens Fine Butcher was holding a Man V Food Steak and Chilli night, I had to be there!

6 hungry diners, including the reigning champion from the previous burger challenge had turned up with a hungry gleam in their eyes, and a hungry expectation. We knew we would be in for a good evening as the quality of Andrews steaks are legendary.

Andrew weighed up 6kg of prime Aberdeen Angus Sirloin 1kg per person, 8 steaks each…..eek, but this was only a part of the challenge,  a fragrant chilli was bubbling away and would be mounded with cheese and chunks of bread on a large platter for our delectation. Taking the total weight up to an enormous 1.8kg,  (63.5 ounces in old money).

The steaks were cooked to perfectly medium rare and were a delight as they were dry aged for a month. We all ploughed our way through the steaks, the chilli and cheese was just too much for some as well, but I managed this, but I hit the wall when it came to the bread, the “dirty carbs” were just too much, however the reigning champion was able to finish his entire platter, a much deserved winner. It was an awesome evening, with beer aplenty to wash the food down and lots of banter.

Andrew will be holding further of these wonderful events over the winter months, get involved!

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A warming autumnal salad of duck breast and black pudding.

I love this time of year, the wonderful russet colours, the scent turns from freshness to a lovely earthy smell. Also love that the rugby season starts back up, and after a brutal local derby, I just craved something warming but not too heavy, but with a hearty protein kick to soothe tired muscles, and I wanted something quick.

I knocked this warming autumnal salad up with a crispy pan fried duck breast from Pipers Farm served pink and juicy of course, a few slices of black pudding fried off in the duck fat, some crumbly feta cheese, crisp  cos lettuce, some crunchy croutons, some crunchy slices of crystal lemon cucumber from my greenhouse, a few caper berries and a drizzle of olive oil and balsamic glaze.

The flavours worked really well together, balancing out the richness of the crisp skinned duck and black pudding, and it was washed down with a much needed glass of Pinot Noir.

 

It’s ok…there’s an r in the month.

Oysters are back in season! The tradition suggests that oysters should only be eaten when there is an r in the month, and this still holds true, they definitely taste better when you haven’t been able to enjoy them for a while. We are now back in September, so it’s worth shucking a few oysters and enjoying them simply with a glass of cold fizz. Some people like a squeeze of lemon, some like tabasco and there are lots of other fancy ways to enjoy them, but for me, now these were perfection. A good oyster for me is pure essence of sea, like diving into cool water….and worth the wait.

 

Jeremiah Weed braised short rib.

First of all apologies that the pic isn’t up to my usual quality, the nights seem to be drawing in with such speed, one minute it was lovely and sunny, the next almost pitch dark. But this little recipe is a good one that I wanted to get out to you guys anyway.

I used a dry competition rub on these lovely short ribs, but use a shop bought or homemade rub too, and smoked them for 4 hours at 120 deg C. I then popped them on a deep baking tray and poured over a bottle of Jeremiah Weed Sour Mash Brew covered with foil and popped into the oven for another 2 hours to braise in the bourbon flavoured beverage.

The results were outstanding, lovely moist meat that pulled into lovely long strands, a smoky savoury bark, and the flavours from the Jeremiah Weed vanilla and spice subtly adding a lovely complexity to the meat.

What else would you drink this with but a jam jar of Sour Mash Brew.

 

Wine Safari

My very thoughtful wife recently booked me on a Wine Safari from Darts Farm as a treat. I knew the various safaris Darts put on had a great reputation so I was really looking forward to this. The Safari was to Pebblebed Vineyards a miles walk down Devons country lanes from Darts.

We were given a refreshing glass of Elderflower Fizz on arrival, and then from this point on the drinks flowed. We walked up to the vines and the instantly recognizable Pebblebed van, and were handed a glass of the sparkling rose, which was outstanding.

The host for the day Geoff Bowen introduced himself, and it was very interesting to hear he was a fellow geologist. we received a very informative explanation of how they grow the grapes and produce the wine using grapes that do best in the South West, Seyval Blanc, Rondo, Madeline Angevine and Pinot Noir.

The vines are beautiful, and it is great to see them flourishing in the rolling Devon hills. Though some of the difficulties with this very wet summer were discussed, but it’s great to hear how flexible they are in making their wines with the best crop they have.

We wandered back to the new winery which had a beautifully laid out long table in the middle, and we worked our way through a glass of Sparkling 2009, White  2011, Rose 2010 and finally the Red 2011, which for me was a particular favourite, as it reminded me of the Pinot Noirs I tasted when I was out in New Zealands South Island for my honeymoon.

There was a sumptuous spread of westcountry food put on by Darts Farm which went well with the wines, and we were further entertained with some fascinating stories from Geoff.

All in all a great value for £25, entertaining, informative, fun and most of all celebrating the wonderful produce of Devon.

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Barbecue Maple Ribs

This cracking recipe, shows you some of the tricks to get the best BBQ ribs. Have a look at my Barbecue Maple Ribs to see how I get the best out of a rack.

 

Duck Egg, Black Pudding and Arbroath Smokie Stack

I love to cook with inspiring local ingredients, most of the time this means the wonderful range of treats available in my home county of Devon, but when away working in Aberdeen, I love to search out the local treats and work out a new way of using them.

I had a lovely slice of Stornoway Black Pudding, made with lambs blood, an Arbroath Smokie, a fantastic smoky hot smoked haddock with a lovely creamy flesh, and a lovely duck egg.

I fried off the black pudding in a little rapeseed oil, with the duck egg until both were crispy on the edges (with the egg still runny of course) and then plated up with the pudding on the bottom, some flakes of the smokie, and finally the duck egg sitting proudly on top.

Cut into the egg and let the yolk ooze out through the fish and black pudding.  The rich taste of the black pudding marry well with the smoky creaminess of the smokie, and the egg simply takes this combination to a heavenly level.

Simply enjoy!

 

Jack Knight Cooks

From My Kitchen to Yours

Whisked Away Bakery

Blue sky baking

BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT

Stories from the hearth

The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms

Devon based bathroom installations

UK BBQ Review

UK BBQ Review site

The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

Cornelius Veakins

Outdoor BBQ Chef

CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

Country Skills for Modern Life

Some of the cool and useful food, craft and sustainability skills that your grandparents knew, but probably didn't teach you!

GourmetGloucestershireGirl

An exploration of all things foodie in Gloucestershire!

theshotgunchef.wordpress.com/

Hunting chef William Alldis shows you how to live off the land and create mouthwatering recipes for peanuts! Grow it, forage it, kill it, cook it and enjoy it.

Running Buffet

One man's quest to exercise enough so that he can eat all of the good things that exist in the world

The Knight of the Round Table

Musings and recipes from my kitchen to yours

Jack Knight Cooks

From My Kitchen to Yours

Whisked Away Bakery

Blue sky baking

BUTTER WOULDN'T MELT

Stories from the hearth

The BBQ World of mrdodd

Making simple food great, and great food right.

Bathrooms, Kitchens and Bedrooms

Devon based bathroom installations

UK BBQ Review

UK BBQ Review site

The Munch and Tattle

A Blog About Food (Mostly BBQ and Grill): Trying everything once and telling you all about it. Good or bad! Blogging from areas around Newport and Cardiff, South Wales.

bake affairs

Bridget`s Bakery Blog

Cornelius Veakins

Outdoor BBQ Chef

CountryWoodSmoke UK BBQ

British BBQ- All the best of UK BBQ, Cooking outdoors whatever the weather.

Country Skills for Modern Life

Some of the cool and useful food, craft and sustainability skills that your grandparents knew, but probably didn't teach you!

GourmetGloucestershireGirl

An exploration of all things foodie in Gloucestershire!

theshotgunchef.wordpress.com/

Hunting chef William Alldis shows you how to live off the land and create mouthwatering recipes for peanuts! Grow it, forage it, kill it, cook it and enjoy it.

Running Buffet

One man's quest to exercise enough so that he can eat all of the good things that exist in the world

The Knight of the Round Table

Musings and recipes from my kitchen to yours