Wednesday, 16 March 2011

Eyre Brothers, Shoreditch

*Warning. Another porky post*

Eyre Brothers in Shoreditch. I’m too excited to give this place a full review as we only tried two dishes there - but I wanted to say that the two dishes we did have were outstanding. Both pork, both exceptional and balanced dishes. They were maximalist without being over the top, with punchy flavours that are expertly reigned in.

Pork and clams braised in white wine, garlic, bay with fried potatoes and coriander - Alentejo (a region in Portugal) style
A rich and fun dish - chunks of pork with the delicate clams that appear in the dish. Bursts of freshness of the sea

Grilled fore-loin of acorn-fed Iberico pig marinated with smoked paprika, thyme, garlic and patatas pobres - potatoes with green peppers, onions, garlic and white wine.
Perfectly cooked, hearty, rustic flavour through the meat.

To accompany, we drank a glass of Monastrell 2009, Bodegas Castano from Spain which was rather rich and rather fruity.

It’s rustic and stylish cooking from David Eyre, who set up original gastropub The Eagle in Clerkenwell, and his upbringing in the former Portuguese colony of Mozambique is reflected in the food, which has punchy Spanish flavours too. The room is pared down - dark African mahogany and New York clean lines. The service is impeccable. And you’ll be surrounded by a strange mixture of clientele - mostly City and creative-types. Oh and maybe a daytime TV chef having a celebratory supper.

All I can say is that I urge you to go. And I will be going again to try the pulpo - octopus Galician style, and Caldeirada - the Portuguese fish and shellfish stew.

The mains are close to £20, but each dish is very filling.

Eyre Brothers
70 Leonard Street, City of London EC2A 4QX
+44 20 7613 5346 ‎

Eyre Brothers on Urbanspoon

Thursday, 10 March 2011

6 Nations Rugby Rolls: Hot Pork with Caramelised Onions

I can’t help the porky posts. I know I’ve gushed about hot roast pork rolls here and no doubt I shall write about them again. I make no apologies, it’s an addiction.

And it is rugby-time.

Here’s a treat for the six-nations weekends. I heartily recommend doing what we did last match - the boys came on over for a rugby lunch - a help yourself DIY hot belly-pork roll with a dollop of homemade apple sauce and a thick smear of caramelised onions. Perfect with the biggest bottles of British ale you can find.

It's the caramelised onions that makes this.

I learnt the secret of these onions when I was out in the South of France learning Provencal cookery from the extremely talented Alex Mackay.

The secret was simple. Patience.

I am an instant-gratification kind of girl. I'm not keen on waiting or stirring much (which is why I’ve never made risotto), so these onions are not as faithfully caramelised as what Alex would use in a Pissaladière (this fantastic recipe is in his book Cooking in Provence).
But I do make vast amounts and keep in a sterilised jar. A sort of condiment that goes well with almost everything savoury, the onions make great friends cold with a cheese sandwich, or hot on a steak.

Hot roast pork rolls with caramelised onions

Most of this can be made in advance.

The sagey pork
Get yourself a large slab of belly pork. Score and heavily salt the fat. Preferably leave overnight, but at least for two hours.
Preheat the oven to 240C. Slice the whole layer of fat off with a sharp knife and place sage leaves onto the meat as pictured. Put the layer of fat back on top and roast for 20 minutes before reducing the heat to 200C. Roast for 40-45 minutes until crispy. Leave to rest for 10 minutes then slice thickly.

The apple sauce and onions before

The onions
While the pork is roasting, slice five mild onions. Slug a little mild olive oil and a large wedge of butter into a heavy-bottomed pan. Heat gently until foaming, and throw the onions in. Let them cook gently for at least 15 - 20 minutes and stir occasionally to avoid catching on the bottom. Add a large pinch of salt, and two teaspoons of golden caster sugar. Add a little water every now and then to moisten and make gloopy - cover occasionally if you think they look like they will dry out to steam them a little. Cook for about 15 more minutes until a gorgeous goldeny colour.

The apple sauce and onions after

The assembly
Take floury white bap bottom. Layer with butter, Tracklements English mustard (warning - hot!), apple sauce, onions. Lay on three thick slices of pork, some crackling, salad leaves and floury white bap top.

Sink your teeth into that and get ready for some prime rugby.

Thanks to British Onions for sending me a vast selection of shallots and onions. I had too much fun experimenting.

Olive Magazine's Media Must Have

Olive's Food Porn April Edition Cover

If I've been walking round with inane grin this week, it's because I'm ridiculously pleased to find out that Voracious is fabulous food magazine Olive's 'Media Must-Have' blog this month.

I'm terribly chuffed at being a 'Must Have', right next to cocktail genius Tony Conigliaro and Masterchef champ Mat Follas.

The view at page 114

So hello to any Olive readers who've dropped by this way - enjoy your browse and hope you'll come again.

Thanks Olive and to @charlythechef for choosing the blog.