Beer Braised Pork Shoulder with Red Cabbage, Carrot & Apple Slaw

Today is the spring equinox so the official tilt towards the sun has begun, welcome it in with a pig pickin'.

Although it's not quite BBQ weather there's always the possibility of cooking BBQ style; indirect heat for a long long timePork shoulder known as Boston Butt in the states  is the perfect cut for pulled pork and the original barbecued meat. It's well marbled so the layers of fat stop it drying out during the long cook and make it easy to shred. The soft baps absorb the meat juices and the sweetness of the apple in the slaw keeps things fresh. Using yogurt in slaw rather than mayo means you avoid that greasy aftertaste.

serves: 4  
prep time: 30 minutes
Cooking time: 6 hours 

What you need?

3 tbsp of flour
salt & pepper
1.5 kg pork shoulder

for the rub
2 tbsp of toasted cumin seeds (ground)
1 tbsp Cajun pepper
1 tbsp chili pepper
1 tablas garlic powder
2 tbsp oregano
2 tbsp of brown sugar

to braise
1 large white onion (grated)
4 cloves of garlic (crushed)

2 bay leaves
2 bottle of beer
1 cup of coffee

for the slaw
3 carrots (grated)
1/2 red cabbage (finely shredded)
1 pink lady apple (sliced into matchsticks)
300ml Greek yogurt
1 tbsp cumin seeds (toasted & ground)
1/2 red chili (finely chopped)
1 clove garlic
Juice of 1-2 limes

+ some Belfast baps to serve

What to do?
Get a pan on the heat on high. Add some oil and a little butter. Roll the meat in the seasoned flour. Brown on all sides for 10 minutes total. Remove from pan and rub the rub into the meat. Get a large high sided dish on the heat. Add some butter, add the onion. Cook for 2 mins. Add the meet + other braising ingredients. Cover and cook for 5-6 hours at gas mark 3. Combine the slaw ingredients. Adjust lime and salt to taste. Using 2 forks shred the meat and allow to soak up braising juices. Serve with Belfast Baps.


Lemon Drizzle Cake

Lemons - the saviours of throat infections. If I'm ever feeling peaky, my first response is honey and lemon. Whether this combination cures or I now associate the smell of lemons with healing; when I bake a lemon drizzle cake it feels medicinal. Lemon drizzle cake should be sticky and sour. The vegetable oil rather than butter makes the cake really light and by going heavy on the lemon zest you get a sorbet tang after each bite. If you like it a little sweeter some lemon drizzle icing on top wouldn't hurt.

What you need?
2 large unwaxed lemons (zested + juiced)
2 eggs
50ml Coconut oil
75ml Groundnut oil
125g self raising flour
100g ground almonds
1 tsp vanilla extract
175g Castor sugar
2 tblsp sour cream

For the drizzle
2 large unwaxed lemons (zested + juiced)
100g Castor sugar

What to do?
Butter cake tin. Pre heat oven to 180degrees. Combine flour, lemon zest and almonds. In separate bowl whisk eggs, add vanilla, add oils, add sugar. Add lemon juice. Add sour cream to wet mix. Combine mixes. Bake at 180 degrees for 35minutes. In jug, mix drizzle ingredients. Remove from cake tin and allow to cool slightly on wire tray. With a fork or skewer, poke all over, so you have little holes everywhere. Pour over the drizzle. Allow to cool.


The Boiler Shop Steamer: Go for the food, stay for the music, stick around for beer

The number of new street food traders joining the Nationwide Caters Association has increased by 100% this year, traders are hungry to be affiliated with the scene. 

Newcastle Upon Tyne's monthly Boiler Shop Steamer, set in a restored locomotive and rocket workshop brings food vendors, espressotini guys, craft beer sellers and a gin palace off the street (or out of the shop) and under it's cover.

The Ouseburn Coffee company's Frangelico kick of hazelnut to their espressotini is killer. Papa Ganush make their own flatbread and fill them with spicy lemon chicken, charred from the griddle or fluffy on the inside crunchy on the outside packed with flavour falafels. (Excited to hear they are planning to open up shop in Grainger market soon).  Longhorns BBQ Smokehouse who have permanent residence down on Mosley street are smoking locally sourced meat in brioche buns.  There are pizza options, surf and turf, Asian sticky buns, foot long hotdogs. The choice is good.

The venue was rammed most of the afternoon. So for a table get there early or stake one out. It's unusual to get a market that brings these elements of food, music and alcohol into such accord. You go for the food, then the atmosphere is humming with tunes so you sta, you end up sticking around till late so you can drink beavertown beers and wylam ale.

It's on the first Friday and Saturday of the month and free before 4pm on Saturdays (£5 after). You bring cash, buy tokens and exchange tokens for food. 1 token is £2 and food prices vary, most dishes are around 2-4 tokens. Alcohol options take cash.

THE NEXT STEAMER WILL BE 3RD / 4TH / 5TH APRIL to celebrate being 1 year old they will open an extra day. Details below.

Friday 3rd April 5.30pm – 12.00midnight
Saturday 4th April 12.00midday – 12.00midnight
Sunday 5th April 4.00pm – Late (Tickets £12 or £10 Early Bird)


Cooking with Kids: Soda Bread

Anyone who grew up in Northern Ireland knows soda bread and those growing up here at the moment are no exception. The bread is made to be cooked and eaten straight away - the little wait time is great for child friendly cooking. Being able to make and eat something recognisable is quite an accomplishment for most, but especially so if your 3. Mix, roll, flatten, griddle.

What you need? (for 4 farls)

240g of soda bread flour (plain flour, cream of tartar, bicarbonate of soda)
1/4 pint of buttermilk (or 50/50 yogurt and full fat milk)
1 tsp salt

What to do?

Mix flour and salt. Make a well in the flour. Gradually add the milk. Mix until you have a soft dough ball. Roll out and flatten to about 1 inch think, divide into 4 farls (quarters). Griddle on high heat until cooked.


White Carrot and Coconut Soup

Winter hasn't quite gone and wantings for warm soup are lingering on. Carrots are quite hardy and can pretty much be grown year round. White (or golden) carrots are slightly sweeter without the same earthiness as the orange or purple. They're ideal with spice. Frying the curry paste in a little oil first brings out it's fragrance. Have with nan bread.

What do I need?
8 golden carrots (peeled and diced)
1 medium white onion (diced)
1 thumb sized piece of fresh ginger
2 cloves of garlic
1 fresh red chilli
1 tblsp cumin seeds (toasted and ground)
1 tbsp of garam masala powder
2 tblsp of curry paste
handful of fresh coriander
600ml chicken stalk
1 400ml tin of coconut milk
handful of fresh coriander

What to do?
Fry onion in large pot for 5 mins. Add the garlic, carrot, chilli, ginger. Cook for 5 minutes. Add the spices and a little more oil. After 2 minutes add the stalk. Cook for 10 minutes. Heat the curry paste with a little oil in seperate pan, add the coconut milk bring to simmer. Add to soup. Cook for 10 minutes. Blend. Sieve. Serve with fresh coriander.


Annaghmore Mushrooms on Toast

Mushrooms are moreish. This somewhat unnameable taste has robustness and meatiness that savoury alone can't cover. Japanese biochemist Kikunae Ikeda isolated this flavour and named it Unami. On his mission to recreate it he gave the world MSG. Mushrooms make their own glutamate hit. Annaghmore baby portobellos are almost sweet, a treat if you are able to get them. Dry frying heightens the mushroom taste, it also gives them a lovely nutty colour, some salt, a little oil and you'll be eating in less than 5 minutes. 

What you need? (for 2)
5-6 mushrooms thinly sliced
Rapeseed oil
Handful of fresh parsley
Crusty bread sliced.

Put griddle pan on highest heat and allow to get hot. Slice and toast bread. Add mushrooms to pan. They will steam and spit a little. Turn them. Cook for 3-4 minutes. Add salt and drizzle of oil. Butter toast, add mushrooms and parsley.


Poached Eggs, Hollandaise Sauce & Cripy Proscuitto

Somewhere along the way eggs got a bad rep. Cholesterol and heart disease with their yolk association had led to the eggsclusion of them from diets or rec-egg-mendations of only one or two a week.  More recent research suggests that you can actually eat up to 2 or 3 a day. They are nutrient dense and perfect with hollandaise sauce. Delia's Hollandaise is my go to, it's creamy and blender friendly. Add an extra squeeze of lemon juice to make it a little sharper. (Breakfast for 1)

What do you need?

2 eggs 
1 English muffin (toasted)
2 slices of proscuitto (pan fried for 2 minutes)

Hollandaise (adapted from Delia)
2 egg yolks
2 tbsp lemon juice (+extra squeeze during blending)
2 tbsp white wine vinegar
100g butter

Boil salted water. Crack eggs into 2 ramekins. Add eggs to boiling water, reduce to simmer and cover with lid, poach for 4 minutes. Lay paper towels on work surface (to drain eggs on when cooked). For sauce; blends eggs w/ salt and pepper. In a saucepan heat lemon juice and vinegar to simmer. Add to eggs. In saucepan heat butter until it foams. Turn blender on, slowly add butter in gentle trickle. Drain poached eggs and plate up.