It's going to be hot this weekend so prepare for some al fresco fire cooking. Make yourselves a jar of dry rub ready for your beef. Spice blends, or dry rubs are rubbed into meat before cooking. Some say that salt should not be included in a rub as meat should be dry brined by rubbing in salt a day in advance, in order for the salt to penetrate the meat. The spices in a rub do not tend to penetrate the meat but will help form the delicious spicy crust (or bark). However as we are all so short of time in our busy lives, I make an all in one rub, mixing the salt into the rub and leaving it on the meat overnight in the fridge. Sugar is a matter of taste and needed to help caramelise the crust. I use just a little on beef. Experiment with your own spice blends and store in an airtight jar. Use on a whole joint of rib eye or sirloin for a real treat.
- Cooked on a high heat over the fire creates a good bark but still pink in the middle
- I had a joint of very lean sirloin which I rubbed and left for 24hrs
- Making the rub in a mini blender is easy
Here's a recipe for for our deliciously creamy ranch dip which is the perfect accompaniment to our southern fried chicken or for spooning onto a barbecued beef steak. It's good to serve as a dip with celery sticks, carrot batons and cucumber too. It's quick and easy to make and doesn't require exact measurements if you're in a hurry. Use any soft and creamy blue cheese for the dip with a more crumbly cheese to fold in for texture. You can thin it with a little milk if you fancy using it to dress a salad.
- Add all the ingredients except for the crumbly cheese into a bowl
- until as smooth as you fancy
- crumble more cheese in and leave chunky or blitz a little more
All was revealed last week when I was invited to a 'Secret Garden' barbecue at Bildeston Crown and discovered the beautiful walled garden, tucked away at the back of the inn. You can book it exclusively for yourself and up to sixteen people for an al fresco meal. It has access through a gate from the car park or via the new very cosy lounge and Champagne bar (more about that another time). It's cook your own on the inset grills which run down the centre of the table, allowing you to barbecue delicious meats and vegetables yourself without having to move. Chef and owner Chris Lee is on hand to make sure no one goes hungry or burns anything they shouldn't. Ice buckets fill the gaps where there's no grill ensuring that the wine is as perfectly chilled as the guests. With delightful service from Hayley and the young, professional team at Bildeston Crown we enjoyed glasses of refreshing chilled rose and were delivered superb side salads, hot side dishes, dips and sauces to accompany the Red Poll steaks, homemade beef burgers, chicken kebabs and marinated pork. We cooked our meat on the grills, slowly grazing away well into the afternoon. If you fancy your own al fresco feast speak to Chris or Hayley who will tailor a menu for you. Prices start at £30 a head and I'll put my money on the cute little courtyard working well in the winter months too. Braziers, patio heaters, hot grills, vin chaud, raclette, Pierre-chaude and fondue ...just an idea.
- the inset grills, fired up and ready
- it was easy to reach the grills from our comfy chairs
- we cooked our own beef burgers
- just some of the hot side dishes
- drum roll .. as the food starts to arrive ... what will we be cooking?
- delicious side dishes kept on coming, including the Bildeston classic lobster Caesar salad
- thick cut Red Poll steaks were beautifully tender
- vegetable kebabs were delicious too
- chilled rose wine, ready and waiting
Oh yes they can! This was one of the nicest things at Meatopia with larger portions and a beautiful hot-sauce pineapple relish and so we had more than one. But of course we are biased - we are half Caribbean!
Well they chose the right name for this! As suffolkfoodie had complimentary tickets we went to take a look at Meatopia at London's Tobacco Dock, and taste everything of course. At £5 a go for small portions it was hard on the pocket but once we had fought our way through the smokers, the smoking barbecues and the hacking of bones we found the most exciting thing there...whole Somerset goats wrapped in chicken wire on the outdoor fire pit ... and a very long queue for the roast ox which was going to be at least another four hours according to the woman basting it every few minutes. Great delicious tasting food - but now all I really want is some lentils.
- Cutting up the goat meat
- Goat wrap with chili
- marrow bone and curry sauce
- the ox roast...
- still going...
- smoked pig cheek with foie gras
- spatchocok chicken and mustard sauce
- the Tobacco Dock
One of my best meals this week. Chinese Pork and Halloumi Cheese, cooked on the washing machine drum barbeque at the AlsYaGal scrap heap caff.
Look at this for a bonfire! We cooked curry in our potjie pots, enough to feed 30 people
Wow! Suffolkfoodie has found the perfect burger - in Great Yarmouth. YES! Great Yarmouth... We followed our noses tthrough the wood smoke to the The Barking Smack, next door to The Hippodrome. We also followed our ears, as we loved the sound of the Roots Reggae that gave the terrace bbq shack a relaxed and laid back feel. The burgers were proper, juicy patties, cooked to your liking and there were real ales too, including Blonde Ash. Here is the Carnivore Burger. Well done to Mark, not only an excellent burger, but happy and helpful service too!