“I would do anything for Pulled Pork…..”

There has been a bit of a theme to the blogs so far….. not me showing off, although I’m sure Lorna and Holly would argue differently, but that most of the food takes a bit of time. Good things are worth the wait though; the perfect girl, great coffee and of course food.

As the offers for Core training start to role in, friends keep tweeting and one destination bought back some memories. As part of medical training, Birmingham graduates are placed out in Hereford. This placement is famous because every Thursday all the doctors, nurses and students go out to a club and at the end, get take away. This is not itself remarkable but the take away is in the club and has the background of a massive shoulder of pulled pork. Rumour has it that one night a final year, a little worse for wear, managed to find herself company for the night simply based on that poster.

So, with all the depressing end of life chats I seem to be having whilst on call in resus I thought  I would remind myself of better times and make some pulled pork. It’s going to take a while though.

Pulled Pork

Pulled Pork is made with a relatively fatty cut of meat, the shoulder , but is cooked low and slow which results in its delicious taste. You can get it from the supermarket, however the butcher is worth a visit first…………….

Although the meat has bags of flavour, adding a rub helps bring this out and can be used to add the smokey flavour you would get from a professional bbq joint.

Ingredients

  • Shoulder of pork
  • Pimenton
  • Celery salt
  • Mustard Seeds
  • Garlic Pepper
  • Onion Salt
  • Thyme
  • Crushed chillies
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Black pepper
  • Garlic, celery, onion and carrots

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Ok, first start with the meat! Its going to take a  while so get started about 2 days before you want this.

Make the rub by combining all the dry ingredients together in a pestle and mortar (which also releases some of the stress from work). It works out best with 2 tablespoons of salt and sugar and 1 tea spoon of each of the other herbs and spices.

Butterfly the joint to get the rub deep inside. This also allows it to start drawing out the water and letting the flavours in.

Once you’ve worked the rub in, its a waiting game. Weight the meat down with something heavy. I used all the large weights left over from my gran…….it totals about 5lbs. Now pop it in the fridge and go to bed. It’s going to take all night……………

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Once you’ve liberated the deliciously seasoned meat from the fridge it’s rather simple to cook. Roughly chop the carrots, celery, onions and garlic and place at the bottom of a heavy roasting tray or Le Creuset. The one I use here is nicknamed Bertha, given by a gynae consultant one party, but that’s another story. Position the meat on top and then slowly roast on a low heat (~120) for about 8hrs or until when you put 2 forks in, you can pull the pork apart with ease.

Brioche Buns

Making the pulled pork is the simple bit. But what do you have it with?! You could have it on the waffles from the last blog, on top of a burger or even just with some rice. However, I really like the soft pillowy texture of war, brioche buns…..

Ingredients

  • 1lb Strong Flour (Allinson – I need a sponsorship for the amount I use)
  • 4oz sugar
  • 6oz butter
  • 5 eggs
  • 120ml milk
  • Yeast
  • Salt

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The dough is made in the same method initially to the waffle dough. With the flour, salt & sugar, yeast and milk & egg combined and kneaded for 5 mins to produce a soft elastic dough before the butter is added. This mess is then kneaded for a further 5 mins.

Following this, the dough is left to proof overnight in a cool place. This results in a dough more workable and full of air. It tends to spread more than regular bread dough so having something to help it keep its shape during the second proof is advisable. I used poaching rings and divided the dough into 6 rolls.

After the dough has been allowed to rise again, simply glaze with a beaten egg and cook in a hot oven (~200) until golden brown.

And enjoy……… Well, nearly…….

BBQ sauce

It seemed a bit of a shame to just put ketchup on the pork. BBQ sauce is about as American as Pulled Pork or Moonshine in my mind, so I thought some might round this dish off.

It’s relatively simple, just combine all the ingredients in a pan and simmer slowly till you have reached the thickness of sauce you want. Its based on Ketchup, but what’s life without moonshine…………

Ingredient 

  • Ketchup (1 small bottle)
  • 1 tbs Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1tbs molasses
  • 1tbs light muscovado sugar
  • 2 shots cider vinegar
  • 1 shot Moonshine
  • 5 drops “liquid smoke” – Tesco sell it in the American items
  • Garlic salt and pepper
  • Celery Salt
  • Mustard

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Dinner Time……..?!

Well its about time to eat, but first just a few wedges to go with the pulled pork.

The good thing about having a tea room is that you always have a few jacket potatoes left over. They are simple to turn into wedges; just cut and fry in some veggie oil with rosemary and garlic.

Now we can eat……….. I wonder if that girl ever got her pork x

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P.s if you look hard enough you’ll find the Easter Eggs 😉

Are you going to stay the night………. I’ll make waffles

I’ve never had to worry about making breakfast in the morning……….. Mostly because double espressos are a food group of their own, surely? Personally I like to think that if 80s bankers could keep sharp on just 6 espressos, it should excite the neurones on even the longest ward rounds.

Problems come into play, however, when you add company into the mix. So, waffles to the rescue?  Well partly, but its not a food for morning afters if you want to make it from scratch. I can’t imagine anyone’s managed to use the chat up line “Come back to mine, I can make brioche dough and then in the morning, waffles’ But perhaps I missed a trick!

Thats literally how long this takes; prep the night before and you can have waffles in the morning.

 

Brioche Waffles

Liege waffles, based on brioche dough, are wonderful things. Light and fluffy with a crisp shell, they make a delicious breakfast whilst still warm from the stove. I went for a simple topping of mascarpone and a raspberry coulie, but anything goes……..

As I eluded to before, this requires some forward planning. Its not complex or time consuming but the brioche dough needs overnight to slowly proof somewhere cool.

Ingredients

  • 8oz Strong flour (again Allinsons)
  • 2oz sugar
  • 3oz butter
  • 2 eggs
  • 60ml milk
  • Yeast
  • Pinch of salt

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The dough is made in 2 stages. Firstly combine the flour, sugar, salt and yeast with the milk and eggs to form a smooth dough. Knead for around 5mins, again the kitchenaid being used to full effect here! Then the butter is combine and again the dough kneaded for a further 5mins to produce a silky dough. After this you just have to find a way to occupy yourself overnight whilst it proofs – I find reading scientific papers works wonders.

 

Having woken well ‘rested’, its time to make waffles. First the dough is gently teased out of the bowl and then divided into 4. The iron then needs oiling and placing on the heat, I’ve used the aga but anything should work (?campfire anyone)……….

Cooking really couldn’t be simpler! Just cook for around 2 mins each side, having a cheeky  peek after you’ve flipped the iron to see if its golden 😉

The question is what to top it with………

Raspberry Coulis

I love raspberry coulis. It’s intensely fruity but if done right has just a hint of sharpness which adds wonders to a dish. I decided to use up some of my jam sugar to add a stiffness to the coulis.

Ingredients

  • 1 punt fresh Raspberries
  • 1 shot lemon juice
  • 2 table spoons jam sugar

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Cook on a low heat till the fruit has reduced, this usually takes about 15 mins but you can always up the heat if you want a thicker syrup. What results will contain lots of seeds and I’m not a great fan, so I passed it through a sieve. Following this, return to the heat until the desired consistency is obtained. When ready, put into a jar and use as desired……. It won’t remain long as it’s a bit addictive.

Breakfast

So it’s Sunday and that means tea room day before ED on Monday (Dr vs Baker – tough). The best thing about Sunday is the family is all about, so great to have breakfast together. I think you can work out the rest……….

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An old school teacher of mine is a fantastic  jazz musician – waffles, chicken and jazz one night soon 😉 x

When Focaccia went a bit far………..

Holly, an old friend, recently made focaccia and although I hate to admit it, the bread looked amazing. It got me reminiscing about nduja, a spicy salami with bags of flavour but is a bit mythical in the fact that it’s hard to find. In fact I’ve been searching for it longer than I’ve known the girl that inspired this dish………….. But I finally tracked some down at a fantastic local Italian stall, it’s well worth a visit.

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The question was really how best to use it; warm focaccia topped with nduja and goats cheese? Pizza? Pasta? In the end I went for chicken and nduja filled ravioli with a tomato and basil sauce and a chunk of warm focaccia to mop up the saucy goodness. The theory was that the spicy nduja would compliment the chicken to create something akin to Chicken Arrabiata.

Following a double espresso I got cracking; the caffeine was needed to revive me following the CST interview the day before.

First I started with the focaccia as it requires time to proof, then the pasta dough, sauce and filling. It’s a bit time consuming, however well worth it in the end, I hope……..

Focaccia

So this is where it all started……… I really love this bread, it’s great if you have friends coming over and just want to chill and catch up. Served with balsamic & oil plus olives it allows wine and gossip to flow.

Ingredients 

  • 1lb strong white bread flour (I use Allinsons)
  • Yeast
  • 6oz Olive Oil
  • 12oz water
  • Salt

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With the yeast it’s worth noting you can use dried, but if you ask at most supermarket bakery’s they will sell (or in some cases give) you live yeast. I find it works better, no idea why.

To make the focaccia simply combine the flour, yeast, salt, about 2oz of the oil and the water to produce a wet and silky dough and then kneed for about 10 mins. I’m lazy so just used a dough hook in the Kitchenaid (a present to myself for completing my first year as a doctor).

 

Its then just a waiting game, around an hour or until its doubled in size (great time for wine or paperwork or both). Its best to proof in a large square or rectangle container to help with the shape. That way you don’t knock too much air out. When its proofed, gently divide the dough in 2 and stretch out to produce the focaccia. Its then back to proofing (1hr), this time on an oiled tray.

Before you commit the focaccia to the oven, don’t forget to vent some anger by prodding a few holes through the dough and also add whatever you want to the top. I went for garlic and rosemary here, but caramelised red onions would be perfect too. Then drizzle the top with more oil. Bake at around 220 (in my case the top of an aga) for around 15 mins and finish on the base for another 5 to give it a wonderful crispness. No soggy bottoms here!!

Ravioli

Whilst the dough is on its first proof get cracking with making the pasta dough as it needs an hour to rest before use. I love making fresh pasta, its simple but fun and can be interactive if you are making dinner for friends, children or someone special………..

Ingredients

  • 4oz ’00’ flour (another find from my Italian stall)
  • 1 egg
  • olive oil
  • salt

Filling: Nduja, cooked chicken, white wine, balsamic vinegar, salt, pepper or anything you fancy

Much like the focaccia bread, its simply a case of combining the ingredients and kneading for 10 mins. Following this, the dough is left to rest in the fridge for 1 hour before being rolled to form the ravioli.

Whilst the dough rests you can make the filling. I decided on chicken and nduja with a dash of balsamic and white wine. The idea was to create a ravioli filling akin to Chicken Arrabiata but with a bit more passion and interest.

Pulse the filling in a blender to form a rough pate and divided into walnut sized balls. This was then formed into the ravioli by folding the rolled sheets of pasta over the filling with a bit of water to seal. Ideally you want to try and remove the air from round the filling, I found an egg cup worked well and I finally got to use my pasta edger (called a waste of money by my girlfriend!!)

Roasted Garlic and Pepper sauce

I had originally intended to just make a simple sauce, just reducing down some tomatoes and garlic with a dash of lemon to give a fresh lift. However I roasted some garlic and peppers a few days ago and thought I ought to use these as well.

Much like any sauce you start with a simple base of onions, carrots and celery sweated off over a low heat in olive oil. Follow this by the roasted peppers and garlic. When it’s all soft, add in the passata, tomatoes, basil and seasoning.

Its basically time after this, simmering gently on low heat letting the flavours mature. I love my Le Creuset for this! They retain heat for long periods of time and transfer it slowly to the sauce inside. I must admit they are expensive, but they last forever. I still use one I was bought when I was 12 and could barely see over the top of the Aga.

Dinner Time

This has to be the best of all, when you finally get to relax and eat. Its best with wine, candles (cheers Jo M) and friends. Not really much more I can say here so I’ll just leave you to enjoy………. The question is what to cook next. I’m thinking something more simple, beans on toast perhaps x

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