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Sunday's are for smoking (on the Bbq)

Dear fellow foodies, I hope all is well and that we are getting geared up for summer and the end(ish) of lockdown after the bank holiday. We’ve had a topsy-turvy few weeks, a weekend away and a few too many trips to St. Georges, but all is well and I am looking forward to cooking some top BBQ this weekend.

Over the bank holiday we went to the Forest of Dean for a nice break away from the big smoke, the city that is not my BBQ! One of my favourite things about going away is getting a chance to visit local butchers, and David Sheppards Family Butcher in the small market town of Coleford didn’t disappoint! Loading up on great quality local produce we had some absolute BBQ feasts with friends, and bought back a couple of treats for the freezer! (what trip to Gloucestershire would be complete without bringing home some west country Faggots!?). Having remembered to bring my smoking tube and box of wood chips, we were able to give everything a dose’o’smoke on the gas BBQ that we had on our deck. Over the weekend we managed to hit all the most important food groups of pork, beef and chicken. The Pork Belly was given a quick rub in some spices that I’d pre-mixed and once cooked was luscious and meaty. The pork was divine, with the fats rendering throughout the meat, for some soft pliable meat that was ridiculously easy eating and was made short work of!

It also gave us the opportunity to try our a few new recipes, which I’ve decided to roll out with this weekend’s cook. A simply grilled chicken was served with another regional BBQ sauce, this time mustard based South Carolina style, which, unsurprisingly, had much more depth and flavour that a bottle that I once bought in Lidl (probably bought out of surprise that it was there in the first place!) A piece of beef brisket was rubbed in a coffee-based spices, boosting the natural flavours of the meat, and doused with a citrusy-honey glaze prior to serving. This was met with great gusto, with second helpings galore all round. The balance between umami, sweet and a touch of sour was wonderful and made it ever so more-ish. You kept on finding yourself saying, “just a wee bit more”, even though you knew you probably shouldn’t! The other dish that we got to try out, and also went down very well with the herd of Guinea Pigs, was a Macaroni Pasta Salad. Most of us probably think of a pasta salad as a bowl full of stodge covered in a cloying layer of uninspiring mayo, and whilst it contained carby macaroni and the mayo, we upped our game to make this classic bbq side a bit more special. The mayo was combined with sour-cream to help vary the flavour profile of the dressing, and boosted with a mix of classic bbq spices. Some texture was added with some finely cut celery and red onion, and finally some pickles to cut across the rest of the dressing. I only managed to get a small amount of this, as by the time I got to loading my plate up the gang were already on to their second helpings!

There were lots of happy tums, that looked like apples in a water barrel, soaking in the hot tub afterwards! We’ll be cooking the brisket and the pasta this weekend, alongside our signature Pulled Pork with North Carolina BBQ Sauce, other favourite, Boston Baked Beans, and for the first time this year our summer Succotash.

Please do pre-order ASAP as we will need to get the meat on Friday and we don’t want to disappoint! This also will be our last “Tooting take-out” cook for the next couple of weeks as we have some pre-booked parties over the next couple of weeks. If you’d like us to help with yours please do get in contact.

Thank you for your support and I hope cook for you soon, Rich


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