Last weekend was spent frolicking in Manchester on a visit to extended family. I may have left my plants to wither for five days but a 90th birthday is a special occasion. Beautiful weather and a vintage tea party prevents me from feeling too guilty about my neglect and if there is one thing that I learned on my trip is that there’s nothing like the city to highlight why I live in the country. Don’t get me wrong, Manchester is amazing and having just left Edinburgh after a four year stint I can totally see the appeal, and envisage an amazing university life there. Who doesn’t love the freedom of being able to go get a chocolate bar at 3am if the need engulfs you?! Plus the sheer variety of everything, and bulk buying.
I love bulk buying.
My extended family tends to shop at Costco thus everything in their house is jumbo size and in insane quantities. But, let me tell you I have never felt as secure as when I walked downstairs and was greeted with the sight of a 52 pack of loo roll. Now that’s comforting.
Apart from massive quantities of loo roll the trip enhanced by an abundance of over indulging and amazing food. It was a fairly successful visit, plenty of bubbly alcoholic drinks and delicious grub.
For starters on our first day The homemade burger co.( http://handmadeburger.co.uk/) presented my mouth with this bad boy.
Which was smothered…and I mean smothered in BBQ sauce and the burger itself…wait for it…was stuffed with melty delicious creamy gooey cheese. Burger heaven. Along side this legendary burger was Pulled Pork fries! Pulled Pork smothered fries! Then after this sublime meal they gave us one of the burgers free! Amazing food, amazing service. I could not have asked for a better way to start our Manchester trip.
On Party day Pulled pork was made, cooking for at least 7 hours creating the most mouth-watering scents all day. This scent was in a way a little bit of my own personal hell. After squishing myself into a pretty dress I had to wait with drooling and gaping jaws and a rumbling belly for a pork roll. Hell. but so worth it. Unfortunately I wasn’t quick enough to nab two so I had to suffice with one single glorious roll.
The recipe itself was one of those rare recipes from a magazine that actually makes it into the kitchen, ripped years ago from it’s magazines spine and stuffed in a drawer until this fateful day.
It was originally from Woman and Home and was entitled ‘Pulled pork with Fennel and Mustard.’ (It does what it says on the tin, except with more deliciousness) It calls for a large pork shoulder (3kg) to be marinated for at least two hours or over night if you have the time. Its super simple so even a gung ho hapless cook as myself can nail this recipe. The marinade is simply 2 tbsp of crushed fennel seeds, 100g dark muscovado sugar, 2tbsp wholegrain mustard, 4 garlic cloves (smushed or finely chopped), 5cm of grated ginger, 2tbsp dried mustard powder, 2tbsp groundnut oil, and 1tsp sea salt. Just slap it all together in a bowl and then massage into the top of your pork. Cover and let this sit for 2 hours or overnight in the fridge. When ready to cook whack up that oven to 200 degrees, remove cover and pour half a pint of Pale ale over your pork before cooking for 30 minutes. After this cover the pork with tin foil and turn the oven down to 120 degrees and continue to cook for 6 hours. Keep basting this bad boy. 30 minutes before you eat whack the heat back up to 200 and uncover the beast for succulent crispy skin. Rest and when ready tear with forks. So easy. Yet so delicious.
So that’s two ticks in favour of city food.
And then after a party so wild that it can only be achieved by close family, came a Sunday full sad faces and sore heads.The only way to get through the clean up was a good old dose of carb heavy food. Pub grub chilli dogs were the choice of the day, and they were oh so the right choice.
Nothing is better than meat smothered in meat on a crispy bread roll. (I’m starting to see a trend here…)
So my ultimate chilli recipe is to follow, but I do believe I have drooled enough for one post. Thus three massive ticks for food consumed in the city and I shall retire with dreams of dancing hot dogs.