pukka posters

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.



  1. You know why it was a bit pink? You must have forgot to pre-heat the oven like the recipe states!

    Oh that’s brilliant. I was chatting to a friend the other day wondering if there was a dish that could be ready when you get home from work, you can start this the night before.
    I will make this for sure. Thanks.

  2. Meat looks nice, but I’m not sure about the veg. The colours clash like a German league football shirt.

  3. I’m not sure that this is the recipe that will cure my wife’s vegetarianism. But I might have to give it a try anyway. But then again, maybe a steak and kidney pukka pie would be a beter option.

  4. Wow, that looks soooo juicy and tender. I’m sure you did the swede to your own preferences (or because of the temparature of the oven?) but I would have prefered to see it roasted instead of boiled and bashed. The leeks look tasty-crunchy, too though!
    I should stop complaining, really, as you are clearly some kind of genius. I dare you to walk into a chippy dressed in lycra & cape, and say “I am the pie-man from Planet Pukka. Will you batter my saveloy?”

  5. You forgot the spuds!! All that time wiht the oven on and you didn’t do any roasties. Shame on you Fraser.
    I’m also a bit worried about all the slime on the side of the fishes tank. When did you change it’s water last?? Or maybe it’s just all steamed up and he’s a happy fish after all..

  6. Look at all that lovely yellow fat. Now where to find a cow with wings (not Linda McCartney)?

  7. I am actually, physically, juicing up at the sight of this. But then, it is nearly lunchtime.

  8. Firstly, what was the response from Pukka Pies, surely they didn’t just send 5 wank friendly posters?

    Secondly, that’s one damn good looking fish. What’s the history of him and in particular his name? Did he begin life in his humble abode with any other short memoried friends? Possibly Simon could be the main ingredient of the next dish?

  9. …that left me speechless for a few seconds.

    Blimey. Looks absolutely fanfuckingstastic. Beef looks OK too.

  10. Hmmm, I’ll have to side with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall on this one, a top rib of beef should be nicely browned on the outside and absolutely bloody in the middle, not slightly pink, twitching, just warmed, translucent, raw looking.

    Blumenthal’s recent writings on slow roasting are interesting, but only interesting, I don’t think they make for the best joints.

    How about trying HFW’s ‘fuggedaboutit’ pork shoulder from the River Cottage Meat book ? Or have you already tried this, my memory fails me.

  11. I’ve done the pork twice, and I’ve promised someone else a third. It’s a fantastic recipe. My favourite.

    Wifey: you’re right about the state of Simon’s tank. It has subsequently been cleaned.

    Simon. Yep, it’s your fish, still going strong after all these years. I don’t think he’d make much of a meal.

  12. Quite right too. If you’re going to fry him up one day you’ve got to keep him healthy.
    I had a goldfish when I was a student. Poor thing only ever got his water changed when I was drunk for some reason. I left him with a friend once while I went away, and something dreadful happened to him. So dreadful they wouldn’t tell me what had happened and hid all evidence of existence before my return.. Poor Harvey..

  13. Hi, I’ve been reading your site off and on since it was mentioned on noodlepie. Today I checked in, scrolled down, and found catsinsinks. Wow!All I have to say is, any blog-ster who comes up with a website like that deserves to be read every day.

  14. Do I suffer from ADD, or does Lost go at such a tediously slow pace, that it practically forces you to go download the series and watch it in just a few sittings?

  15. I think it’s that each episode of Lost on TV lasts 65 minutes, despite being only 40 minutes long. There’s 25 minutes of ads per show.

    It’s a disgrace, I tell you.

  16. Am I the only reader to read that CD cover as “Goatse”?

    God, I need help.

  17. hello, i dont comment here often, but i do love your site.

    anyways, after viewing your post, i sent pukka pies my own e-mail:

    hello, i have discovered your site and i am intrigued by your
    pukka pies. are any of your products available in america? and if they are not, do you ship overseas?



    her quick response:

    Dear Louis

    Thank you for your recent e-mail. Unfortunately we don’t export our products to America and have no future plans to do so.

    Kind regards

    Chrissie Beaver
    Pukka Pies Ltd


    oh well. :(

  18. Don’t worry ScaryDuck, I read it as Goatse too (or maybe we should both worry).

  19. Having just joined The Pork Pie thingy (thanks to Dermot O’Leary’s Radio 2 programme) I found your great blog. I hope it is a rumour that cows have wings, because if they ever learned to use them for flight think of the mess on our cars. But enough of the horror stories; I too think Pukka Pies are the best, having discovered them in a drunken haze in a Manchester chippy. Unfortunately I now live in Hull and I have been unable to find them here. Finally does anybody know of a good pork pie maker here in Hull or nearby….all the pies here seem to be of a rather inferior quality and this makes me wonder if pork pie making is only taken seriously west of York.

  20. Thanks for the snippet about Lost.

    How about the triangle between Kate,
    Jack and Sawyer.. who gets the girl?

  21. they r so cute i wish my cats did that!

  22. kskdlhsjlfhkjsdgf

  23. but…………………..nobody mentions the damp dog smell and the disgusting rancid taste??????????
    we got over excited with the recipe, bought the best beef from the best butcher, put it in the 50 degree oven (this saturday@ 12pm) and continued to get on with our saturday.
    for the 1st few hours the flat smelt lovely and homely and we were all as smug as!
    for the next few hours we were aware of a billtong smell, then it went from bad to worse and by the time it was 24 hours, we were not even faintly looking forward to it and baffled as to what had gone so wrong, or had it?
    we left it for 4 hours (as Heston suggests), set about making yorkshire puds, cauliflower cheese, roast potatoes and so on, now not even discussing the beef.
    we tried to carve it but to say that we gagged would be polite, to say that we were disappointed would be mild, to say that we were all standing outside, away from the beast in tears is pretty spot on.
    of course we (well 2 out of the 3 of us) tasted it, it was definitely tender and almost “pate like” in texture but the smell and rotting flesh like taste, whilst our delicate friend was retching resulted in us chucking it out and attempting to have the 1st ever vegetarian roast…without gravy too.
    all we can think is that the beef was rotten and that 50 degrees was not hot enough to cook it, but had more of a sauna effect.
    remember the smells in the 1st few hours were just as they should be.
    any thoughts on what went so terribly, terribly wrong?

  24. i made that album in your photo.