Posts tagged with meat:

Oyster Glazed Mutton Chops

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Sometimes when I’m feeling generous (and lazy), I let Kamal go trotting off to the shop by himself to buy whatever ingredients catch his eye for dinner. After one of these such trips recently, he came bouncing back through the door, clutching in his happy hands a huge pack of endles chops that had been on special offer.

"Look at ALL THESE CHOPS!" He shouted, quite delighted at his meat haul. And I too, was excited. We decided to cook them with an oyster sauce glaze - as oyster sauce was so very in vogue in our kitchen that week.

First we pounded their asses till the chops were thin and floppy, to tenderize the meat. We seasoned them just with salt, pepper, and shichimi pepper (a Japanese blend of peppers, sesame seeds and ginger. Every time we remember that we have this in our cupboard it’s a good day, this stuff adds so much flavour and punch to anything in a second!)

At this point you need to start heating up the pan - you want it smoking hot!

While it’s heating, in a small saucepan pour some good quality oyster sauce to slowly bubble and thicken. And I mean GOOD quality! We got ours from our favourite Korean supermarket (1004 Mart in Barsha), it’s called Beksul Abalone Oyster Sauce, and it tastes so goddamn rich and beautiful. It says Premium on the bottle, man!! You know what that means!!

Place the chops in the pan carefully - by now it will be going crazy from the heat, so watch out for flying fat. All they’ll need is about 3/4 minutes on each side to cook through, get a crispy char on the outside, and remain a tiny bit pink in the middle.

All we did next was pile them all on a plate, and poured the sticky oyster glaze all over them. Eat with your hands, there’s no other way. 

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An Announcement

I’M NOT A FIEND IS GOING ON TOUR!

Tomorrow I am escaping the sticks (Surrey), and heading to Bahrain for a month, hopefully squeezing in visits to Dubai and Oman. So you can expect exciting new things from I’m Not a Fiend in the next few weeks - shawarmas, Iranian meat on a stick, fresh crab, and a whole lot of fish cooked in Arabic spices. 

And best of all, I am to be reunited with my trusty photographer, Kamal! He has also hinted that a sneak preview of the latest development from Flamin’ Goods, a Turkish BBQ sauce with roasted sharon fruit, might even be in the pipeline…

Check back soon for excited rants about meats and some photos gloriously displaying said meats. 

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Bukowski Grill, Brixton, Market Row

The first time I noticed Bukowski Grill in Brixton, I was concerned. Were they just cashing in on the name of Charles Bukowski to imply that they had some kind of intangible cool factor? Would the food be horribly pretentious?? Would it be full of unbearable people???

Then I read the menu. And it was meaty. And I knew I had to give Bukowski Grill a chance. As you can see I was rewarded for this open-mindedness.

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This baby is the Reuben burger. There’s pastrami, sauerkraut, Russian dressing, Swiss cheese and gherkins. And there’s also a burger patty, which was nicely rare in the middle. The whole beautiful, salty, tangy, gooey, crispy, juicy, meaty monstrosity was held (barely) within a brioche bun, great choice.

The bun got a bit soggy towards the end, the bottom half disintegrating, but I didn’t care, this was a really good burger! Less greasy and gross than Meat Liquor, more exciting flavour than Mother Flipper, I was completely shocked! Best burger I’ve had in a long time. 

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I’m not usually a chunky chip gal, but Bukowski’s come triple-cooked in beef dripping. I mean, that just speaks for itself. They tasted like roast potatoes! 

On the right is the Cajun crayfish and prawn popcorn served with a sherry sauce, which sounds better in words than the reality turned out to be. The pieces were too small to be worthwhile, and a bit dry and flavourless. The sauce was better, tangy and sweet, a little marie-rose-esque, I just wish there was something better to dip in it.

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The hanger steak in this sandwich is marinated for eight hours in beer and spices according to the menu. It comes with chipotle salsa and coriander on toasted sourdough, and it had a really great smokey spiciness, the meat was tender (you know how hard a steak sandwich can be to navigate), but SOMETHING was lacking. I think it needed another fresh texture, other than a few coriander leaves. Not such a roaring success as the Reuben burger. 

So yes, there was the expected exposed brick walls and Americana soundtrack, but far from feeling pretentious, Bukowski Grill, being in Market Row, actually had a great atmosphere, and our waitress was super-friendly. There may have been a couple of misses on the food, but the hits (Reuben. REUBEN. REEUUUBENNN!!! Oh and beef dripping chips) more than made up for it. 

You win, Bukowski Grill. 

Bukowski Grill on Urbanspoon

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Pitt Cue Co

Feb 2012

Pitt Cue Co, 1 Newburgh Street, W1F 7RB

Pitt Cue Co, located just behind Carnaby Street, is squeezed into the tiniest space you could possibly imagine a restaurant trying to fit in.

The US-style barbecue restaurant originally made its name as a van, serving up its meaty treats to passers-by on Southbank, and as demand grew, they decided to step away from the steering wheel and into the kitchen.

The nature of a small restaurant of course is that queues are almost always inevitable. On arrival, peering through the door, I wasn’t sure if there was room for me and my fellow meat enthusiast to even stand in there without falling onto someone’s lap. But the friendly, smiling faces behind the bar welcomed us in to have a drink while we waited.

The drinks menu featured lots of bourbon, a draught beer called “Whatever”, and some cryptically named cocktails. We ordered Bloody Marys (it was lunchtime, after all), or as they’re known at Pitt Cue Co, “Hair of the Pig”, having been reassured by the proud bartender that with his secret spices and bacon-infused vodka in the mix, this would be no ordinary Bloody Mary. And indeed, the subtle hint of smokey bacon added a whole new surprising and delicious dimension. I continue to believe there’s not many things that can’t be improved with the addition of bacon.

But the big player here is the meat. Pitt Cue Co use a proper smoker to slow cook their animals, and it shows. The melt in your mouth slices of beef brisket had a beautiful pink blush, and the flesh on the St. Louis (pork) ribs came away from the bone with minimal effort or gnawing. All was slathered in a gorgeous barbecue sauce.

At one point I somehow managed to cause one of the gargantuan ribs to do a rather acrobatic flip off the table onto the floor - a gut-wrenching, heart-breaking, slow-motion moment. The giggling, judging eyes of diners sat mere centimetres away from me were the only thing that stopped me from eating it anyway. Were I at home, you know I would have done.

Every meat option comes served on a white enamel tray with a healthy serving of pickles, a big hunk of toasty bread and your choice of side. Of these sides, the Chipotle Slaw in particular was just outstanding. Somehow that smokey, meaty flavour that pervades everything at Pitt Cue Co had even worked its way into the slaw. If they sold it by the tub, I’d be bulk buying.

The Burnt-ends Mash - a little pot of mashed potato with a saucy “burnt-ends” of brisket topping - was equally drool-worthy. Once again a potentially average dish was turned up to 11 by the deep barbecue flavour infusion.

We greedily ordered smoked chicken wings (of course) as an extra side, and did not live to regret it. They were positively drenched in sauce, and juicy without being greasy.

This can be said for the whole Pitt Cue Co experience - sure, it’s a little bit of a carnivorous pig-out, but you won’t fall into a sweaty coma afterwards. It’s not just meat - it’s meat treated with dignity. The most apathetic of meat-eaters could not fail to be swayed when that white tray is placed in front of them. You can even eat with a knife and fork if you like. Just don’t judge me when I don’t.

Pic from The Guardian

Pitt Cue Co on Urbanspoon

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Meat Liquor

Dec 2011

Well it finally happened. Last week I ate at Meat Liquor. And kids… (said in the style of Ted Mosby) it was beautiful.

I don’t quite know how to describe to you how excellent it was. Just the memory of our starter… those juicy, succulent buffalo wings dipped in blue cheese sauce… I’m getting all misty-eyed and rumbly-stomached. They were probably the best buffalo wings I’ve ever had, and I try not to throw those kinds of superlatives around lightly.

I ordered the Bacon Cheeseburger, and my boyfriend, seduced by the idea of two beef patties, ordered the “Dead Hippie”, and we shared fries and onion rings

I have a tendency proclaim every new burger I eat as the best one ever. As with the superlatives, I’m trying to cut down on these bold statements. But, a week after my Bacon Cheeseburger, I still think this was a formidable contender for the title of Beth’s Best Burger.

The meat was super-juicy and soft, the bacon was smoky and crisp (but not too crisp!), the bread was soft, fresh and doughy, the cheese was melty… the whole experience rendered me speechless. The Dead Hippie was equally awe-inspiring, and the inclusion of a second beef patty was nowhere near as intimidating as it sounds.

A couple of the onion rings were a little soggy, but the ones that weren’t soggy were so addictive that I wouldn’t let it put me off ordering them again (I suggest asking for extra blue cheese dip and dipping these in it as well as the buffalo wings…).

The fries were fine, if a little standard. I know meat is the star of the show at Meat Liquor, but it would have been nice if a little more effort was put into them (a la the triple-cooked rosemary-salted fries served up at Honest Burger in Brixton Village, these are fries as fries should be).

But these are teeny tiny negatives to what was an otherwise heavenly meal, I can’t adequately describe how much I enjoyed it. I’ll put it to you this way, if I ever find myself on Death Row having to choose a final meal, I know what it’s going to be.

Also next time I hope to have enough room left in me to discover what Crack Pie is.

Meat Liquor, 74 Welbeck Street, W1G 0BA


Pics from The Telegraph and Timeout

MEATliquor on Urbanspoon

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BETH’S FIRST TAPAS EXPERIENCE

July 2011

Yeah as previously mentioned I went to my first ever tapas restaurant last week. I don’t know what I’ve been fooling around doing with my life until now.

OF COURSE I LOVED IT. Tapas and I go together like garlic and everything, i.e, excellently.

How did I not see it until now? Why have I not been running into the arms of tapas at every opportunity for years already??

Tapas is comprised of all my favourite things and flavours, including: cheese, garlic, chorizo, various fish, saltiness, paprika, lemonyness… And OF COURSE the fact that you get so many different flavours and textures and aspects is RIGHT up my street. I am after all a greedy eater, I hate boring shit like risotto and soup that’s the same all the way through.

So the restaurant that ignited the flames of my passion for tapas was Pinchito, which is close to Old Street.

We ordered a jug of the red Sangria, which came full of fresh fruit and was of course way better than like, the Lidl Sangria I’ve previously enjoyed…

It was really hard to not order everything on the menu (seriously, where’s my sugar daddy when I need him?), God I wanted it all! We wisely wittled it down to six things: marinated anchovies, octopus and chorizo with smashed potatoes, pork belly with mango sauce, hanger steak (with some kind of sauce… can’t remember what…), baby eels in garlic sauce and finally manchego cheese, which came with slices of toast, a tomato salsa sort of thing, and a little bowl of salt!

I’m going to save some time here and CUT TO THE CHASE. Everything was delicious. A revelation! And the biggest revelation within the revelation was the baby eels! I don’t know what was going on there, but it was excellent and I liked it. They were sort of noodle sized?! Like a little bowl of fishy garlicky noodles?! It blew my mind.

The pork belly was crispy and succulent! The manchego cheese was manchego cheese! The steak was smoky and tender! And you can never go wrong with marinated anchovies!

OK the only thing I would say is that it was kind of pricey. I don’t see why a dish as small as a tapas dish should be priced at £6.50 each, I can get a good big meal for that price (…some places..). Also in the octopus and chorizo dish, there was literally one piece of chorizo. That was barely identifiable as such. I still gobbled it up though, I mean it still tasted good, but disappointing.

SO TO SUMMARISE: I LOVE TAPAS. But will only be eating it on special occassions such as when other people are willing to pay for it for me.

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with an ass like that you can do what you want to do

April 2011

On my aforementioned birthday it was a given that some sort of meal in a restaurant of some variety must be had. I toyed with the idea of going to a “nice” place and feeling a little awkward the whole time I ate, like an IMPOSTER, a child who dared pretend to play grown up.

But then I thought, goddamnit, it’s my birthday, I am going to stuff my gob with meat and chips, and I am going to get sauce all over my face, and I will not be ashamed of it!

Thus I decided upon Bodean’s, an American BBQ restaurant in Soho, and arrived so hungry I was practically foaming at the mouth. Bodean’s is split into two parts - the ground floor is basically a fast food diner, while the downstairs, enticingly called the “Rib Room”, takes on the role of restaurant.

One thing we had not accounted for was the fact that the Rib Room closes after lunch at 3PM, I’m pretty sure the cheeky bastards made no mention of this on their website. We arrived at 2.15, and it was made immediately clear that: “GUYS YOU GOT JUST 15 MINUTES TO ORDER.”

This was enough to make me feel awkward about the whole affair. I felt stressed and rushed and fidgety, filled with a sudden irrational hatred for our waitress. The dark wood-panel and leather walls felt like a cave!

"You’re being weird." My boyfriend observed, quite rightly. "Can you stop it and just chill."

Luckily before I wound myself up into an irreparable state, our meat platter arrived (very quick service!)… and all was right with the world again. The waitress, who minutes before was my most hated foe, was now my meat-brandishing hero. Here’s what the meat platter, supposedly for two people, involved:

  • Lots of ribs of various sizes, all very juicy, succulent and saucy. Except the baby back ribs, these were a little chewy. But still great.
  • A big pile of pulled pork, this was especially tasty with BBQ sauce squirted all over it.
  • A black sticky mound of beef brisket, nothing wrong with this.
  • A few chicken thigh and breast pieces, obviously marinated in the obligatory BBQ sauce.
  • Some other types of unidentifiable but still delicious meats.
  • Fries, covered in a salty, slightly spicy seasoning. I COULD NOT GET ENOUGH OF THESE. It was a big bowl and I think I let my boyfriend have 3 fries. Two of which were those crispy crumbs at the bottom of the bowl.
  • Coleslaw. This let the team down a little bit, it was far too dry amidst all the other saucy delights.

We also ordered chicken wings with blue cheese dip, since that was obviously not enough food… These were possibly the highlight of the whole meal, crispy saucy skin, good meat to bone ratio with not too much of that inedible chewy shit. And as the Barefoot Contessa would say, who could say no to blue cheese dip?

The entire episode is a very meaty haze in my memory. We were animals, cavemen, gnawing on bones, conversation limited to grunts, slapping each others paws away from the best pieces. I could barely stand up to drag myself home. This was exactly what I had wanted.

It was insanely good value for money, a banquet fit for four queens. We ate half, took the rest home, and I ate it the next day hungover in bed watching Miss Marple. You can’t argue with that longevity.

Oh yeah the picture is me and my meat.

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Eating my way round Camberwell: Part Three

Jan 2011

FM Mangal

It is time for our minds to disassociate the word kebab from the disgusting bastardisation of this once great food that we now see in the chubby hands of greasy lads on their way home from Oceana every Friday night. 

FM Mangal is a Turkish restaurant and take-away that offers kebabs as God intended. Calling it a kebab shop would have entirely the wrong connotations. The meat, which seems to be marinated in some holy mixture of spices, is either freshly chargrilled on skewers in front of your hungry eyes, or sliced off the doner kebab thing. And let me tell you again, this is no bacteria-ridden fake meat doner, this is the Chanel or the McQueen of doner.

No matter what variety you get, you can guarantee it’s going to taste great, the sauces will be great, the houmous and dips will be great, the bread (smothered in their secret spice mix) will be outstanding; you’ll gobble it all like a starving hobo, whether you’re drunk or sober. 
Or at least I always do, others of you may have more decorum and self-discipline.

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Eating my way round Camberwell part two: The Chinese Edition

Dec 2010

I have thus far sampled two Chinese restaurants in Camberwell, and the difference between the two was alarming.


The red-fronted Chinese restaurant on Camberwell Church Street whose name I don’t know looks like nothing special from the outside. The menu also gives no hint at what calibre of food could be coming, with vague things listed like “Special lamb with noodles”. Which, after about ten minutes spent panicking over the detail-lacking menu, is what I chose. It was something like that anyway. What came was a BIG plate of noodles with tender lamb, peppers, onion, cabbage, tomatoes, and lots of chilli and garlic. I am a champion eater with a generally insatiable appetite, and I had enough left to take home for another meal. I am also a passionate garlic lover and this satisfied my garlic needs without any long-lasting breath effects. Everything seemed fresh and unlike many Chinese meals, didn’t make me feel like a shiny ball of grease. It was pretty spectacular.
Wuli Wuli however angered me greatly. I can no longer acknowledge its name or presence without doing an enraged fist shake, much like an outwitted movie villain. I have made the shameful error in judgement of going there twice. Now, Wuli Wuli looks like a “nice place”, with its modern black and dark wood decor, so on my first visit I anticipated something on a par with that other place. When a really really standard, boring noodle dish was put in front of me, flavoured with what can’t have been more than a little soy sauce, I was outraged! Offended, insulted by my plate of blahhhh.
I stupidly allowed my boyfriend to convince me to pay a second visit, on the premise that “we just ordered the wrong thing last time”. We rather smugly ordered items from the “Chinese style” section of the menu, teehee aren’t we sophisticated… No, my Spicy Lamb Brisket Hotpot turned out to be a bowl of fat and bones and gross chillis clearly from a jar. And the Smacked Cucumber turned out to just be lots of pieces of cucumber and garlic. The presence of garlic somehow tricked me into thinking I liked it for a while, once I realised I definitely didn’t it was too late. I brushed my teeth countless times later but the stench of garlic NEVER LEFT ME.
Please learn from my experiences and never go to Wuli Wuli, but go to the other place as much as possible. They also have a very nice waitress who complimented my watch.
EDIT: Have since discovered that the good Chinese place is called Silk Road. I have also since eaten nearly everything else on the menu there and still love it. Congrats Silk Road!
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dude i think korean food is my new favourite type of food, i mean it.

Nov 2010

Went to a Korean restaurant somewhere in Soho the other day, and I’m not going to lie, I have no idea where it was or what it was called, or really what I ate, but I liked it a lot. We were the only non-Koreans in there, which is always reassuring (I’m trying to steer clear of the sweet and sour chickens of the world), however it also meant that I would probably accidentally order something bizarre and eat it the wrong way. On top of that the chopsticks were weirdly made of a really heavy metal which there was no way my clumsy fingers could control. I had to make the embarrassing request for a fork (“hi, I’m an uncultured child”).

Being fairly nervous, I played it safe and let my companion do all the ordering. A rather plain looking beef and vegetable spicy saucy dish arrived. I ate some quite pessimistically, but it was a TASTE SENSATION. A little bit nutty, a little bit spicy. Can’t really describe my delight and love for the flavours exploding out of the meat, and the sauce was beautiful and the vegetables were perfect. Hurray!
Next came some pieces of beef and mushroom which were cooked on the little grill on our table by a waiter (what fun!), and at some point a lot of lettuce leaves materialised along with some peanut sauce. It was pretty perplexing. Thank God, he instructed us to put the beef, mushroom and sauce on the middle of a leaf and wrap it up with your hands then eat it. Needless to say I made a mess, but it was delicious again, and being sauce fiends, we got through an embarrassing number of little pots of peanut sauce.
The last dish was a big hot pot of rice and chicken and stuff with lots of chilli sauce and spices mixed in. The waiter suggested we add some to our lettuce wraps, this turned out to be some of the greatest advice I have ever received. By now I felt I was quite an expert in my lettuce-wrapping technique and was ready to step things up a gear, and it was just beautiful, I could have cried it was so good.
All this Korean food was so unlike anything I’ve ever tried before, but it was some of the tastiest food I have ever experienced on Earth, plus I didn’t feel all carbo-loaded and bloated and gross after.
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big fat burrito

Oct 2010

I always get a bit nervous when going to a new food joint for the first time. Being easily overwhelmed by new information, I will invariably meltdown at the counter. I’ve made so many rash, regrettable decisions under the judgemental eye of an impatient food server.

Chipotle, on Charing Cross Road, was the location of one of my most recent overwhelming food moments. When it comes to Mexican food, I am a hungry girl, and had already ogled a few people through the window eating gigantic burritos. I knew that one day these burritos and my stomach would meet.

Eventually the day came. But I have no idea what I ate in the burrito I got that day. Some kind of meat… a lot of rice was involved. There was an inexplicably large choice of salsas. I don’t know which I chose in the blur of the moment. There was probably some cheese… sour cream… refried beans? But this I do know – guacamole, that vital and integral ingredient came at an EXTRA CHARGE. I had to go sans-guac. At already around £7, this was no cheapo burrito snacko.

After all the confusion I was happy to be handed a burrito of monstrous proportions. I also liked the little red basket the foil-wrapped package came in, it made me feel like I was in America; I like anything that makes me feel like I’m in America.

It was huge and filling, but ultimately average in flavour, and far too much of it was just rice. Lesson learned, big burrito does not necessarily equal brilliant burrito. Spent the rest of the day in a burrito-induced haze. Walking in the shadow of the valley of the burrito. Chipotle – so much promise but merrrr… I believe there are still cheaper and better Mexican options available.

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