Bites

Stick food!

There are a few things that make this life so much better.  One of them is barbecue pork on sticks Pinoy style.  I’m going to find out how to make barbecue Grill Queen style.  Grill Queen is a small independent chain that sells barbecued meat – pork, chicken, seafood…you name it, they probably barbecue it.

I haven’t quite cracked it, but the recipe I’m tweaking is nearly there.  I’ll be posting the recipe on the blog soon.

But for tonight, I am eating something comfortingly Filipino: barbecued meat, rice and sautéed vegetables!

pork bbq Pinoy style

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Bites

Dry rub Yelly-style!

I love cooking meats low and slow.  There is a nuance of flavour that you can’t get anywhere else.  Plus, it’s one of the easiest ways of cooking.  You mix your spices for the rub, you slap it on the meat then bung the meat into an oven and (almost) forget about it.   I particularly like slow roasting pork.  I’ve tried a few rubs and I think  I think I’ve cracked the whole dry rub thing, at least for my pork.  I’m happy to share my recipe because I think it works really well.

  • 200g dark brown sugar
  • 2 tbsp paprika
  • 1 tsp garlic powder
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp onion powder
  • 2 tsp salt
  • 2 tsp coarse ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp chilli pepper

Just mix all the ingredients together.  This will be enough for at least 2 kilos of meat (pork shoulder or beef brisket work best).  Place the meat in a baking tray lined with baking parchment and then covered with foil.  I put a piece of parchment in between the foil and the meat so that the foil doesn’t stick to the meat.  Preheat your oven to 220°C.  Once the oven is heated, put in the meat.  Cook at this temperature for 20 minutes and then turn the oven down to 150ºC and cook for at least 5 hours.

Then serve with coleslaw and cheesy cornbread! Voila!

If you’re trying out my recipe, I’d love to hear from you!  I’d love to know how you got on.

Pulled pork, southern style

Bites

Salt and chilli belly pork

I used to buy salt and chilli belly pork from the supermarket prepacked.  The pork was lovely, and the flavours were simple, uncomplicated and delicious.  There is nothing more enjoyable than straightforward goodness.  I looked at the ingredients list one evening and thought I could actually make the ingredient list a bit simpler.  The taste reminded me of rotisserie pork that was readily available in the Philippines, so I started from there.  Salt and pepper were the mainstays of this lovely Filipino “fast food” option.

There are only 5 ingredients to this lovely no-fail recipe.  Of course you can change the herb of choice added (I’ve tried dill and it works!), remove the chilli and replace it with just pepper, add soy sauce instead of salt…the permutations can go on forever!  Feel free to customise this recipe according to your tastes!  The beauty of this is that you can make it ahead of time and just store it in the fridge and take it out when you’re ready to cook it.

Enjoy!

Ingredients:Salt and chilli pork belly

  • 500g pork belly strips, rind removed
  • 1 heaping teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon dried parsley
  • 1-2 teaspoons chilli flakes (depending on how spicy you want it)
  • 3-4 tablespoons vegetable oil

Directions:

  1. Mix salt, spices and oil together in ziplock lock bag (other brands of resealable bags are acceptable!).  Add the belly pork slices and marinade for at least 2 hours, even better if marinated overnight.
  2. Preheat oven to 200C.
  3. Line a baking tin with parchment paper and lay the belly pork slices.  Place in the middle of the oven.  Bake the belly pork slices for 30 minutes, turning the belly pork slices halfway.
  4. The belly pork slices will come out lovely and brown.  Cut into bite-sized chunks and serve.
  5. This is great with rice and greens — or if you’re watching carbs like me, just greens (like wilted kale or cabbage, or steamed pak choi or choi sum).

Salt and chilli pork with greens

Bites

Lamb kofta kebabs

I am certainly fond of my takeaways – even while I lived in the Philippines, takeaways were a regular occurrence in our household.  I may be wrong, but we seemed to have a better variety of takeaways available for home delivery.  One of my favourites were barbecued squid, stuffed grilled fish and spit-roasted suckling pig with amazingly crispy skin.  Yes, you phoned in and they delivered it to your home wrapped up in a banaa leaf (properly packaged in aluminum foil and a takeaway box of some fashion, of course!)!  Is it any wonder I miss Philippine food?

Tonight I made lamb kofta kebabs and paired it with roosterkoek breads using Andy Bates’ recipe.  It’s a lovely way to make one’s own takeaway-style food with the comfort of knowing exactly what’s in the food!  I’d like to share with you my recipe for the lamb kebab.  It’s my version of a kebab recipe that I found in a book called The Takeaway Secret.  I’ve modified the recipe so that it’s made up of ingredients that I’ve found in my cupboard!

Ingredients:

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 heaped teaspoon garlic powder (or 1 large clove of garlic, very finely chopped)
  • 1 medium onion finely chopped (or 2 heaped teaspooons onion powder)
  • 1 heaped teaspoon chilli flakes (or 2 red finger chilli peppers very finely chopped)
  • 1/4 teaspoon allspice
  • 1/2 teaspoon paprika
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 2 tablespoon finely chopped coriander (including stalks)
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper
  • 1 egg

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, combine all ingredients.  Mix the ingredients but try not to overwork the mince too much.  Allow to marinade for at least 2 hours, or overnight if possible.  TIP: You can adjust salt to taste, increasing or reducing the amount by half a teaspoon.  I haven’t tried this recipe using beef, but I think if you’re using beef, make sure you DON’T use lean or extra lean beef mince because you need the fat in the kebabs so that they don’t dry out.
  2. Divide the koftas into 9-12 pieces.  Shape the pieces into cigar-shaped pieces and flatten slightly.
  3. These koftas can be fried in a griddle pan or frying pan with a little oil.  My favourite way of cooking them is under a grill though, set to a medium-high heat.  Cook the kofta pieces (whether fried or grilled) for 6-8 minutes each side, or until the meat is cooked through and golden.
  4. Serve with pitta, salad and a tzatziki sauce if you like.  Will also work with hummus!

Kofta kebabs

Bites

Cooking it slow and low!

My favourite American food shows are Man vs Food and Diners, Drive-ins and Dives.  Mainly because it gives me a lot of cooking ideas.  I think these 2 shows are entirely to blame for a phase I went through over  a year ago.  Mind you, I’m really glad that I went through this phase because I learned how to cook meats using a dry rub and I have my own recipe for a dry rub now.  I also learned the benefits of cooking meats low and slow – cooking them at a low temperature (about 130°C – 150°C) very slowly (at least 5 hours!).  This is excellent proof that good (and very tasty) things come to those who are patient!

Tonight, I dusted off my dry rub recipe (which is based on the Kentucky dry rub recipe) and cooked the pork shoulder that I bought yesterday (pork shoulder cuts were 50% off so I couldn’t resist buying it–I am a willing slave to food bargains!).  The recipe below will work for meats weighing between 1.75 – 2 kilograms and will work with pork and beef.

Ingredients:SlowroastPork1

  • 2 tablespoon cornflour
  • 1-2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons paprika
  • 4 tablespoons sugar
  • 3/4 teaspoon crushed chicken bouillon cube
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon cumin

Directions:

  1. In a bowl, mix all the ingredients together.  I find that mixing it with a balloon whisk helps mix it properly and more efficiently.  Set a fifth of the powder aside to make barbecue sauce.
  2. Rub as much of the dry rub as you can onto the meat.  You can cook the meat as soon as you’ve finished rubbing the dry rub onto it, or for better flavour, leave it wrapped in cling film overnight in the fridge.
  3. Place the meat in a roasting tin and cover with foil.  Cook the meat in an oven preheated to 200°C for 15 minutes.
  4. After 15 minutes, turn down the heat to 150°C.  Cook at 150 for 4 ½ hours.  For the last 30 minutes, turn up the oven to 200°C and remove the foil and cook the meat uncovered.
  5. Allow the meat to rest covered with foil for 20-30 minutes before slicing.

SlowroastPork2