Posts Tagged ‘Food Photography’

King of Meatopia

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I’m really chuffed to announce that I’ve just won the King of Meatopia competition at the Meatopia event in London this Saturday.

My recipe for Dirty Tomahawk Steak with the picture above clinched the win.

It was a stunning piece of steak from my friendly butcher Andrew Gordon in Aberdeen. Cooked simply on the coals, a truly beautiful 60 day dry aged piece of steak.

I’d just like to say thank you for all the support I have received from all you lovely people for encouraging me to keep doing what I do.

No doubt I will have a bourbon or two to wash all the BBQ down on saturday, so If you are there make sure you come and say hello.

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Pitt Cue Co Cookbook

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I have been trying to control my urges to buy new cookery books for a while now, because I don’t have any shelf space left for new ones, but one that I simply couldn’t resist is the new Pitt Cue Co. “The Cookbook” this was definitely right up my street, there’s been a real buzz about the Pitt Cue Co. that’s even reached out as far as Devon. They started out in a catering trailer and have gone from strength to strength with a new restaurant in Soho.

They hold all the values for food that I hold dear, best quality meat utilizing the cheaper cuts there’s a recipe here for Buffalo Pigs’ Tails, some wonderful side dishes, such as the fennel cured pork scratchings above, cocktails and shooters, such as the infamous Pickleback, Bourbon and Pickle juice above which works so well . But mainly there are some great and inspiring BBQ ideas that step out of the boundaries of most peoples idea of what BBQ food is.

The photography is pretty awesome too. All in all inspiring stuff, if you haven’t got this book yet, then you should go and get it now.

Birch Log Roast Salmon

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As an alternative to the Dirty style of cooking I’ve been using a lot recently, this style of cooking doesn’t really benefit most fish, but plank roasting, and in this case Birch Log Roasting, works extremely well, protecting the fish from the direct heat but roasting and smoking it to perfection.

I used a little sea salt and a pinch of BBQ seasoning, on the salmon fillets and placed them on a birch log that I’d rubbed with a little olive oil on the top to stop the fish sticking. I nestled the log in the coals on a medium hot BBQ, I used a Kamado Joe from Outdoor Gourmet which is ideal for this kind of cooking. With the lid closed the sweet birch smoke was able to penetrate the fish and cook it perfectly, it took about 10-12 minutes. The bottom of the log will char up and smoke, make sure you have some heavy duty oven gloves or tongs for removing the log.

I served the salmon with a flower salad, and some herby couscous.

Simple pleasures……

radishes

A cheery bunch of blushing radishes brightened my day today, halved, dipped into good sweet butter and sprinkled with coarse sea salt, nothing fancy, just lovely simple crunchy buttery salty perfection. I just wanted to share them with you, help yourself……

NDuja and Burrata Wood Fired Pizza

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Two of my favourite ingredients for a Pizza, NDuja and Burrata, NDuja is a wonderfully fiery spreadable salami from Calabria that’s loaded with chillies, this works in harmony with Burrata a mozarella style soft cheese with an oozy creamy centre and a few fresh leaves of basil, cooked for a couple of minutes in the wood fired oven that I built myself, this is a perfect combination of creaminess and spice, I’ll let the pictures do the talking if it’s ok with you?

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Dirty Tomahawk Steaks

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Well this Barbecue Season I really have gone all “Dirty” on you, here’s the pinnacle of these big joints of dry aged beef cooked straight on the coals.

I always enjoy a visit to my local Butcher  especially when he tells me he has something a bit special he’d like me to try. I’d seen the Tomahawk steaks on a previous visit and thought how they would be perfect cooked in my favourite “Dirty” style. So when he messaged me and told me he had some Tomahawks that were at least 50 day dry aged Aberdeen Angus, I knew I had to taste them. They are essentially the Ribeye Steak “Cote de Boeuf” with the full rib bone trimmed and kept long.

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Dry aging Beef, brings out the most amazing nutty, blue cheesey tastes and renders the beef as tender as you can get, and is perfect served “Bleu” with an internal temperature of 45degC, and with a salty herby crust on the outside, I really think it’s difficult to top this way of cooking a good steak.

I placed each steak straight onto the coal and brushed with a baste made from 2 cloves of garlic, 3 sprigs each of rosemary, thyme and flat leaf parsley, 3tbsp coarse rock salt, 5/6 tbsp olive oil, and a squeeze of lemon juice. Blitz these up in a blender to a bright green paste. Brush liberally onto the steaks as they cook. I cooked the steaks a few minutes each side on the coals, and then place to one side of the BBQ to smoke with the lid down for 20 minutes until they had reached the desired 45degC. Allow to rest for 10 minutes.

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I cut off thin slices, and served with a green salad, some vegetable rice and  some lovely crusty sourdough.

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Really deep flavours, that blew my guests away. This is such a simple way to cook them and I really urge you to give this method of cooking a go this BBQ season, trust me you will never look back.

Keep your eyes peeled… I have a Dirty competition coming up.

Seriously Big “Dirty” Rump Steaks

dirtyrump2You’ve probably heard me jabbering on about cooking “Dirty” style beef straight onto the coals, and thought to yourself, that sounds interesting, and I’m finding I’m cooking more and more beef like this on the BBQ this summer as I find that obtaining a prefect savoury crust is so much easier this way. And I really really urge you to give it a go this summer, as long as you have lumpwood charcoal (not briquettes) and a lid for your BBQ you can cook this. And with National Barbecue Week next week you really need to do something special.

Get your coals good and hot, so they are glowing, give them a quick blow to remove any build up of ash, and put your chunk of beef straight on the coals, the fattier cuts seem to do best, such as ribeye, sirloin or in this case 4.9kg of rump. You can also do this with a chateaubriand fillet cut, but you need to be extra cautious not to overcook it.

A few minutes a side is all it needs to sear and crust up, and sear the ends too, if the fat starts to flare up you can close the lid if you get worried.

Once it looks like the pic above on all sides, remove from the coals, place the BBQ grate back on, followed by the meat. I like to brush mine at this stage with the following mixture, 6 tbsps rock salt, 3 cloves of garlic, 2 sprigs of rosemary, 2 sprigs of thyme, and a good glug, 4/5 tbsps extra virgin olive oil, blitzed up in a spice grinder.

Place the meat on the grill indirectly, ie. not directly over the coals with some oak smoking chips, and the lid on the BBQ, cook until the internal temperature reaches 52 degC, and allow to rest for 20-30 minutes.

Serve in big slices with salad, red wine and lots of friends.

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Thai style Suki Yaki

suki3This is  a very special Thai style Suki Yaki feast. It was in a restaurant on our second date that myself and my lovely wife first tried this, and we’ve been wanting to recreate it at home since. A recent purchase has made this possible, a large cast iron fondue that sits on a hot plate, but I think it would be possible with a large pan of stock over a heat source such as a candle.

You will need to warm a couple of litres of good quality clear stock, here I used fish stock, but chicken or vegetable would work well. Add a stem of lemongrass, a couple of whole garlic cloves, 2 kaffir lime leaves, a thumbnail sized piece of ginger, a good dash each of light soy sauce, fish sauce, and lime juice. Allow the flavours to infuse in the warm stock for an hour prior to the meal and remove from the stock just before your guests arrive.

While the stock is infusing, you will need to prepare your cooking ingredients. I went for a seafood selection, scallops, tiger prawns, squid rings and monkfish. A selection of sliced vegetables, shredded chinese leaf, shitake mushrooms, beansprouts, peppers, chillies, mange tout peas and baby corn. You will also need some rice vermicelli noodles, and a selection of condiments sweet chilli sauces, finely chopped garlic, coriander, soy sauce and sesame oil.

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Then you make the guests cook for a change. Load up the stock bowl with whatever you choose and cook for a couple of minutes maximum, and transfer with a ladle into your waiting bowl with some of the stock, pile on the condiments of your choice and tuck in. It’s kind of like an oriental fondue with everyone helping themselves and constructing their own noodle bowl. If the stock starts to get low, top up with some boiling water.

It makes for a relaxing fun evening, and takes the stress out of cooking for friends.

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Italian Pork Chop with white beans

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A nice thick griddled pork chop, oozy herby cannellini beans what’s not to like here, I have always professed a love of good simple rustic cooking, nice and frugal, but using quality ingredients and packed with flavour.

I rubbed the thick pork chop with a clove of garlic, and sprinkled it with thyme and sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, and placed on a medium hot griddle pan to sear. Cooking both sides until cooked through, about 4/5 minutes a side.

I heated a tin of cannellini beans through with a chopped clove of garlic, a few sprigs of thyme and some salt and pepper, mushing with a potato masher till creamy, adding some good quality extra virgin olive oil just before serving.

Rest the meat on top of the beans so the juices enrich the beans.

 

Saturday Skirt Steak

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Dear readers, I thank you for listening to my meat fuelled ramblings, since I have been eating meat again these last few years, I have made a part of the pact to myself that I would try to understand meat more, and learn how to get the best out of the different variety of cuts that are available from a good butcher. And in understanding the cuts, learning how best to cook them.

Skirt is a much undervalued cut of steak from the  ribcage area called the plate and is a fraction of the price of the more usual cuts, and usually destined for mince or pies. It’s very lean, packed with flavour, and if treated right melt in the mouth tender. If you like you steaks cooked past medium, then I’m afraid this isn’t the cut for you as it needs to be cooked ideally rare to medium rare otherwise it will toughen right up.

To get the best flavour, go for a dry aged outdoor reared steak, you’ll need to remove the tough outer membrane, which peels away with your fingers, or ask your butcher to do this for you. This wonderful steak was dry aged Aberdeen Angus from Andrew Gordon Butchers.

Heat a griddle pan to screaming hot, it should be smoking. Season up the steaks with coarse sea salt and crushed black pepper. Cook the steaks for 2 minutes each side, and leave to rest on a warm plate, drizzle over a little extra virgin olive oil.

I served mine simply with some toasted sourdough with a little olive oil and salt and pepper, and a plain rocket salad.

Cut the steak against the grain, you should be able to see the lines of the grain easily in this steak. The deep beefy flavour is truly something to behold.

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