Cookies are something I have long obsessed over. I have made thousands of them. Towards the end of 2019 I was introduced to an NYC style cookie from a hipster new cookie shop that arrived in London called Creme. Setting aside that they are basically asking £40 for a packet of biscuits, they introduced me to a thicker style of cookie, still chewy like a cookie but a lot taller. I then must have baked something like 300 cookies the last three months of 2019 in an attempt to reverse-engineer the recipe.
There are lots of different ways that we can cook food, or at least, a few different ways that we apply heat to food (after all, cooking is really just the application of heat to food). The science behind what happens when you put a chicken in an oven compared to what happens when you put a steak in a pan is a bit different. The end result is broadly the same, heat energy is transferred from the energy source to the food and the food is transformed (cooked), but how the energy is transferred, and the rate at which it happens differs.
One of the big BBQ trends of 2019-2020 was caveman tomahawks also known as dirty tomahawks. This is a culmination of two trends: an increase in the popularity of tomahawk steaks and an increase in popularity of caveman or dirty steaks.
With everything going on in 2020, amidst a global pandemic, it was inevitable that Christmas was going to look a little different, and I don’t think anyone was particularly surprised when, with a week to go to the big day, the UK government put a stop to Christmas get togethers for large parts of the country.
I was going to open with the phrase I love fried chicken, but then I thought, whats the point? Surely everyone does right?
This is something that has been on my to-do list for ages. I cook pork ribs (baby backs, spare ribs etc) quite frequently, and I always think of the McDonalds faux-rib burger the McRib. I had previously tried a couple of variations - one of which, not at all remaining true to the original, being taking the ribs just past being cooked so the bones slide out real easily, cutting out a 4 bone section or so and slapping that in a bun. That was super tasty, but just the same way ribs are tasty, it didn’t really add anything to the dish and definitely wasn’t reminiscent of the original.
Rotisserie cooking is great for so many things, and this fake doner kebab is a great example. I grew up eating dodgy doner kebabs after a night out, they were always (at least in my memories) so deliciously greasy.
This isn’t so much a recipe, as I’m not really going to go over the details of smoking meat, how to setup indirect cooking and the general 101 BBQ stuff - instead I’m going to go for a whistle stop tour of the cook, as pork cheeks are not the most common cook and might seem daunting if you have never tried them before.
1. Sous vide and the Reverse Sear
Sous vide, cooking in a water bath with tight temperature controls (to within a degree of target temperature), is often used as the first step in a reverse sear approach. Whilst sous vide shines at precise and even internal cooking, it is impossible to get a nice finish on a piece of meat or vegetable using sous-vide, as it cooks at temperatures way below those needed for searing a steak, for example.