All posts tagged: pork

The Smoking Goat, Soho

So, here’s another gem, this time in Soho. Nestled between any number of guitar and musical instrument shops that stretch the whole length of Denmark Street is the entirely unassuming Smoking Goat. The ‘Goat describes itself as “Thai Barbecue” but it is as far from the usual fare that this implies as I’ve seen. Moreover, they specialise in using rare-breed British meat. Again, with much owed to Thai street food, (the guys behind this place travelled extensively in the northern regions of Thailand) this amazing food has transitioned perfectly. The Smoking Goat is small with around 20 covers at the front (if you include eating at the bar) and some more space at the rear (10 maybe?). The food is to die for, honestly, the flavours, textures and execution were just fabulous. Like The Oystermen in Covent Garden and, indeed, Rok in Shoreditch, I love the intimacy of these little places, each having a distinctive vibe and located in interesting places and characterful old buildings. I am pretty much done with stuffy formality and reverence when I’m …

Adam Handling’s Frog in E1

As you may know (check out my blog post from 2015) I have been a fan of the lovely Adam Handling since the evening before the first airing of Masterchef, the Professionals (in which he featured) when I tweeted my view that he looked like a winner (he didn’t win, but still emerged the star of the show). The FWD would almost certainly dispute that I am a fan, and would probably suggest I am more of a rather embarrassing, aging groupie, with an inappropriate crush on a late 20 something year old chef… and this is probably fair.  We first ate Adam’s food at the Caxton and it was amazing even then, and we tried again when he opened the Frog last year but events intervened and we couldn’t make it. However, last week we rocked up to the rather cool The Frog in Spitalfields.  It feels like a pop-up but isn’t. It’s not what you’d necessarily expect  – after the slightly stuffy formality of the Caxton – with it’s graffiti-style logo and scribbled billet doux to Adam (and his food) on the walls. It’s kind …

Spare me your side of despair. Sunday Lunch in Shelford.

The Earl of Chesterfield in Shelford is an odd sort of pub. For a start it doesn’t look like a pub, it looks like a house with bits added. Secondly, it has had an odd couple of years, being a pub then closing then being bought by the village as a community owned asset and then latterly by a partnership that includes the ex England cricketer Chris Board. It is a fairly popular place – particularly good for dog walking and horse-riding types who can get straight to the door from the surrounding fields and down a quick half before ambling, or trotting, off. But how is its Sunday Lunch? I wish you hadn’t asked, because I really, really wanted to like this odd little place. I’ll keep it brief. Service was fine, although there seemed to be too many staff for the number of customers and we were asked perhaps 5 times by different people if wanted a bottle of wine with our meal – even while we examined the wine menu. One poor …

My day out with the “Snobby Butcher”

Sharing a version of my Great Food Club article on one of Nottingham’s most famous (possibly infamous) Butchers.. “So, what have you got on today, mum?” “Well, I am going to have breakfast with a Master Butcher and then meet his pigs.” “Cool, see ya.” That was kind of how my day with the award-winning Johnny Pusztai, the Master Butcher of Nottingham’s Mansfield Road, started. You know how sometimes you come across a place and you think “how come I never knew how amazing this was?” That was how I felt when I stepped inside the unprepossessing J.T. Beedham’s (Johnny’s butcher’s shop) on a damp January morning. Beedham’s, has been selling quality meats on the Mansfield Road in Sherwood since 1884, and the small shopfront nestled between cafes, pubs, healthfood shops and delis is the front for an Aladdin’s cave of butchery, smoking, curing and drying that makes the most of all the nooks, crannies, cellars and yard of this turn-of-the-century building. You need to visit somewhere like Beedham’s to remind yourself what real butchers …

Zaap, Nottingham, and a Pandanus first

Zaap, Nottingham’s latest Thai Street-Food style restaurant offering has appeared on Bromley Place next to Oaks. I ate there a few weeks ago, so sorry for the delay in getting this post up….. I am not sure what to make of Bromley Place yet, it is a nice little open space, but what do you do with it, right next to the busy and unrelenting traffic of Maid Marian Way? are the restaurants going to have tables out there? (which they would have in any other European country without a doubt). Anyway, it is currently a bit of an odd space.      Zaap is bold and brash (in a good way) and when we arrived for lunch, pretty busy (you can’t book in advance). Like, Thaikhun, another Thai Street Food place recently opened in the newly developing Victoria Centre food court, Zaap is styled to put you in mind of the busy, colourful streets of Bangkok and it does it pretty well, I think. It is a huge space, probably with slightly fewer more intimate areas to eat …

6 Hour Roasted Pork with best-ever crackling

Slow Roasted Pork, with the best ever crackling! Oh so simple and so luxurious, melt in the mouth meat, with a kick. I served this with bead rolls, homemade coleslaw and a drizzle made from the meat juices left in the roasting dish, fresh chopped red chillies, crushed garlic and a slug of red wine. Mixed together and gently heated to infuse. This beautiful piece of pork was boned shoulder (many recipes suggest bone in is more juicy, but to be honest this couldn’t have been sweeter or juicier and the crackling was to die for). I rubbed the skin (already scored and sliced through by the Butcher) with olive oil, salt and pepper, generous amounts of smoked paprika and probably a tablespoon of cayenne pepper, after massaging this well into the skin and all around the meat, I sprinkled a generous couple of tablespoons of Demerara sugar onto the crackling. Pop in the oven (set at its highest heat  – 230C for me – and then immediately turn it down to 150C) leave to …