29 July 2013

Barbecue Pulled Pork

As promised in my post yesterday, here is that gorgeous pulled pork with barbecue sauce recipe.

When I was in Vegas earlier this month I had the most amazing pulled pork sandwich. I've been thinking about that sandwich rather a lot ever since and what better time to try and recreate it than at my own barbecue.

I saw this recipe on a daytime cookery program. It's not quick but it is easy and the result is a incredibly succulent and tender pork with a powerful and tangy sauce - the perfect accompaniment and great for dunking!

Serves 8-10

You will need:
Approximately 2kg shoulder of pork
2 tbsp dark brown sugar
2 tsp paprika
2 tbsp sea salt
400ml apple juice

For the barbecue sauce:
250ml tomato ketchup
125ml bourbon
3 tbsp light brown sugar
2 tbsp treacle
3 tbsp cider vinegar
2 tbsp Worcester Sauce
1 tbsp soy sauce
1 tbsp Dijon mustard
1 tsp garlic powder
A pinch of paprika
A pinch of white pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 200C/180C fan assisted.

2. Mix the salt, sugar and paprika together and rub it all over the pork. Place the joint in a roasting tin and into the oven. After 25 minutes reduce the heat to 140C/120C, pour over the apple juice and bake for another 3.5 hours. Turn up the heat to 200C/180C for 5 minutes at the end if you want to brown the pork some more.

3. Remove the pork and leave it to rest for an hour covered in foil. Pull the meat apart with two forks, placing all the meat back in the roasting tin and mixing it in with all the juices left over.

4. For the sauce (which can be made up to 2 weeks ahead): bring all the ingredients to the boil in a saucepan over a medium heat, stirring occasionally. Reduce the heat and simmer until thickened - takes about 10 minutes. Serve the sauce at room temperature.

5. Place the meat on a platter and serve with the sauce, some buttered rolls and salad.

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28 July 2013

Torrential Sunshine - Mum's Birthday BBQ

With weather forecasters threatening London with heavy downpours most of yesterday afternoon, I was rather concerned that I was going to have to move my lovely Mum's birthday barbecue from the sunny garden patio inside to the kitchen. My marinated sticky chicken and burgers would have to be done in the oven. Typical!

It turns out those weathermen and women need to work a little harder. Instead of being caught in torrential rain, Alex, Mum, Len, Andrew, Sarah and I all basked in the warm sunshine all afternoon!

Summer dress weather again!

If you want it, you can find it here!

My barbecue line up consisted of the aforementioned burgers and chicken supremes, a feta and balsamic onion tart, Greek salad and pulled pork with barbecue sauce. 

Tomorrow I'm going to write up the recipe for the pulled pork because it was so delicious! I couldn't stop picking at it!

I also baked Mum a birthday cake. I knew she didn't want anything too sweet and I wanted to try something a bit different so I chose a recipe from my fellow blogger and afternoon tea aficionado, Katie.

Courgette & Lime cake.

The combination is not one any of us had tried before but it really works! The courgette gives an incredibly moist sponge and along with the tangy lime icing it was just a dream!

Check out the recipe here on her fabulous food blog Katie's Kitchen Journal. 

We had a wonderful afternoon in the garden chatting and sipping my brother's excellent wine recommendations.

Jimmy Chew had a lovely time too. He's totally back to his cute little self following his operation.

Later in the evening, after a speedy dress change, it was off to Koko in Camden with Beth for their Guilty Pleasures Beach Party.

I love Guilty Pleasures nights - the music is pretty cheesy but you're guaranteed to know almost every song they play and it's very likely you'll end up dancing all night long. Koko - which once was The Camden Palace Theatre - is a fab venue too.

You can find my little Motel dress here!

I hope you all had a lovely weekend too x

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26 July 2013

Rock Lobsta at Mahiki

Caroline             Ellie
That's it! I'm back in the saddle!

After a quiet couple of weeks post Glastonbury/Vegas and with my birthday week fast approaching, my social calendar is looking much more appealing. Lots of new restaurants and bars have opened up in London over the past couple of months and they're just crying out to be tried and tested.

First stop - Rock Lobsta.

I wore my new summer dress from Love.

As you may know from past posts, I was a huge fan of Disco Bistro (oh, those chicken wings...) and Rock Lobsta is the brain child of the same DJ turned chef, Carl Clarke. Planned as a permanent addition to Mahiki (it's in what was the large upstairs bar area) Clarke has brought lobster in a bun from the food vans of the East End to the glamour of the West End.

I've been to Mahiki many times and it tends to be a really fun night out. With an exciting cocktail menu and tropical Honolulu theme, it's one of few nightclubs in the West End that plays commercial music and doesn't take itself too seriously. The service can be a bit temperamental but as nightclubs go, it does benefit from having a mainly fun and friendly atmosphere.

The Rock Lobsta menu is a tempting mix of luxury and fast food. Delicate Cornish lobster thrown into a bap with pickles and mayo. Scallops in the shell served along side Fried Beer Cheese. I was intrigued.

Our reservation was at 6.30pm and the restaurant was pretty empty. It did get more busy later on and by the time we moved to the nightclub quite a few more tables were taken but I think the word needs to spread.

And spread I think it shall.

We decided to share the Fried Beer Cheese (how could we not?) and the Wood Grilled Scallops to start.

The fried cheese was really tasty. I'm not sure where the 'truffles' bit referred to in the menu was but these babies were gorgeous little nuggets of melted cheese in a crispy crumb coating with a fruity gooseberry sauce on top - a nice touch.

The scallops were juicy and succulent but the dish didn't excite me. They were served on a bed of apple and herbs but there wasn't anything particularly exciting in there; I was expecting something a little more punchy.

We both went for the signature Rock Lobsta Roll for our main course.

Oh yes, this was good. Not scrimping on the lobster, the lovely toasted bun was packed full of the succulent meat, crispy lettuce and tasty house mayo. They were both polished off very quickly! The chips were good too (although  not quite up to Disco Bistro's very high standards).

Cocktails delicious as usual!

We still had room to sample dessert.

We both chose the Strawberry Shortcake Sundae.

The ice cream arrived quite melted - I'm not sure if this was the intention or if it had just been left out of the freezer too long - but the dessert was still a delight with the crispy crumble creating a wonderfully textured dish. I definitely could have eaten more of it but seeing as we were heading downstairs to the club afterwards, it was probably just as well it was a bit on the small side.

Rock Lobsta is a really funky and cool addition to Mahiki. The food is good (if a little on the expensive side) and as its popularity inevitably grows, the party atmosphere of this restaurant/bar will be amazing as it attracts many pre-clubbers as well as after work diners. It's open until 11.30pm so is a great place to line the stomach before a late night of partying.

One note though: they really could do with hiring some slightly less surly waitresses!

Dinner done and we were nicely full but not stuffed to the brim. It was down to the club for another Dark 'n' Stormy cocktail and a dance!

There are a couple of rather sore heads in London town today!

Rock Lobsta
Bar Service
Waiter Service

Rock Lobsta on Urbanspoon
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