Today I received a package from Pukka Pies containing not one, but FIVE (count ’em) posters advertising their delicious provisions, every one laminated with a sensible wipe-clean plastic coating and featuring a sturdy adhesive patch in each corner. This, ladies and gentlemen, is how you do customer service. Here are my favourites:
It’s not all been puff-pastry excitement round here, however. I also made Heston Blumenthal’s slow-cooked roast wing rib of beef. As with much of Heston’s output, the recipe combines great theatrics (you need a blowtorch) with innovative thinking (you cook the meat for twenty hours at a very low temperature).
Here’s the source material. As you can see, I’ve placed the joint next to Gorse’s west-country classic, ‘Let The Gorse Be With You‘, so you get a true idea as to the size of my meat.
Next up, it’s time to flame the fucker. Heston recommends a quick hit using a professional welders’ blowtorch, but as I’ve only got the much weedier chefs’ variety, I use that and spend several minutes browning the beast. Apologies for the shaky nature of the picture, but it’s not easy to seal a joint in this fashion whilst taking a photograph, especially when you’re dealing with a 1400°C flame. Attentive readers may notice Simon, my albino goldfish, keeping a careful eye on the situation from his tank in the background.
And into the oven it goes. I’m able to watch episodes five to 24 of Lost while the meat is cooking, and can reveal (if you want to read a spoiler, highlight the next sentence) that the capsule Locke and Boone find covers a vertical tunnel leading down to who-knows-where, and that’s where series one ends. Boone himself dies in Episode 20 after making a distress call from the cockpit of a crashed drug-smuggler’s plane. So there.
And here we have it. Cooking at such a low temperature (just 70°C) means that all the juices are retained in the meat – there’s no evaporation, no liquid escapes at all, and therefore there’s no gravy.
It carves beautifully, and pretty soon a couple of slices find their way to one of my more attractive plates, where they nestle gently next to some baby leeks and a healthy dollop of carrot and swede mash. The meat is still slightly pink, but succulent and quite delicious, with none of that drab-grey toughness that afflicts many lesser roasts.