Saturday 29 April 2017

Slow Cooker Pulled Pork

We have just bought a new slow cooked for the van so I am keen to put it to the test and there is possibly no better alternative evaluation recipe to the classic pulled pork. Making it in the slow cooker is so easy but one tip is, whatever you do, do not be tempted to eat it at the end of the day. Pulled meat is far better left in the fridge overnight in a tub full of its cooking juices, simply warm through the next day and serve. I promise you by doing this the meat will be much juicer and tastier. Serve it up in a bun of choice with the classic combo of coleslaw and BBQ sauce. Please see The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce recipe here, and a Creamy Coleslaw here.


3kg Boned and rolled pork shoulder
1x Onion, grated
2x Garlic cloves, crushed
500ml Chicken stock
2tbsp Granulated sugar
1tbsp French's American mustard
1tbsp Chipotle paste
1tbsp Apricot jam
3tbsp Cider vinegar
1/2tbsp Worcestershire sauce
2tsp Smoked sea salt
1tsp Ground black pepper


1. Season the pork all over then brown in a frying pan on all sides. Remove any strings and place in the slow cooker.
2. Add all the remaining ingredients to the slow cooker then cook on low all day.
3. Shred the pork with two forks then store it in its cooking liquor in a tub in the fridge overnight.
4. The next day heat through gently on the hob, in the oven or in the microwave, it doesn't matter which method you use, it will be delicious.

Creamy Coleslaw

Coleslaw is definitely one of those dishes that is a million times better homemade than any shop bought. I tend to make it different every time by varying the ingredients depending on what I have in the fridge and store cupboard on the day. This one has a bit of sour cream in to give it some indulgence, and with cider vinegar and mustard it's also got a twang to it too. The recipe below is just what I made today, next time it will be completely different, maybe I'll use red cabbage, fennel, shallots, peppers, beetroot, apples, spring onions, salad cream, aioli, horseradish, yoghurt, parsley, mint, coriander.. the combinations are endless but one thing is for sure, they're all worth a try at least once.


Red Onion
White Cabbage
Green Cabbage
Sour Cream
Lemon Juice
French's American Mustard
Celery Seeds
Cider Vinegar


Slice up the veg then combine with the remaining ingredients to taste.

Friday 28 April 2017

The Best Homemade BBQ Sauce

My good friend Criggybarbar over at has come across this fantastic BBQ sauce recipe and I guarantee that once you have made it shop bought sauce will never cut the mustard again. Criggy sourced the sauce from the book "Hog" by Richard H Turner and Richard states the recipe should keep on evolving so I made a few changes myself (purely because I couldn't get all the ingredients). I also halved the measures as I didn't want to make so much this time, my quantities below make 750ml. Give it a go, I dare you, you won't regret it.


For the spice mix:
1tsp Fennel seeds
1tsp Cumin seeds
1tsp Coriander seeds
1tsp Celery seeds
1tsp Black peppercorns.

For the sauce:
1x White onions, grated
2x Garlic cloves, grated
25ml Veg oil
125ml Apple juice
125ml Malt vinegar (Criggy uses cider vinegar but I had a vat of malt to use up)
1x Apple, cored, peeled and grated
25g Smoked Maldon sea salt flakes
50g Chipotle paste (Waitrose do it here)
125ml Maple syrup
125ml French's American mustard
210g Pomegranate molasses (also from Waitrose)
125g Apricot jam
1/2 Can chopped tomatoes


1. For the spice mix put all the ingredients in to a large dry saucepan and toast until you can smell the lovely pungent flavours.
2. Add the onions, garlic and oil to the toasted spices and cook on medium heat for 10 minutes or more until the onions are really soft. Add the apple juice and vinegar and simmer until reduced by a third. (Criggy uses a chopstick like a dipstick to gauge the amount of reduction). Add the remaining ingredients and bring to a simmer for 10 minutes.
3. Blitz the sauce in a blender, then pass through a fine sieve and funnel into sterilised  jars.

Crispy Bacon and Scrambled Egg on Polenta with Sausage Gravy

This Easter we took the kids on a once in a lifetime trip to Florida and it was so good we're now hoping it wont be 'once' in a lifetime. The American food certainly was interesting, one day for breakfast at Egg City I had their City Mush, which was grits with cheese, sausage gravy, scrambled eggs and bacon. Now I just had to try and replicate it back at home, or even better in the van, but as we cannot get grits easily I've replaced them with polenta, which is probably the closest substitution. 'Sausage gravy?' I hear you ask, yep its a gravy made from sausages but don't knock it until you've tried it. I think this is great alternative breakfast, even if it is a bit unusual for us Brits.

(serves 1)

Polenta (about a handful)
Grated cheddar cheese (about a handful)
1x Blob of butter
Salt and pepper

2x Sausages
1tbsp Flour
1x Glass of milk
1x Blob of butter
Salt and pepper

2x Eggs
2x Bacon rashers


1. Start with the sausage gravy by removing the skins and chop the meat into small pieces.
2. Put them in a pan on medium heat with a blob of butter and gently brown all over.
3. Reduce the heat then add the flour and mix well. The flour is mixing with the fat to kind of form a roux.
4. Pour in the milk and stir continuously. You will have to judge the amount of milk needed by eye but it should form a really thick gravy after about 10 minutes. Season to taste.
5. Now the polenta is pretty easy and you can follow the packet instructions or just put a handful of polenta into a pan with double the amount of water and bring to a simmer for about 10 minutes. Stir frequently and when its thickened add the butter and cheese and allow to melt. Season to taste.
6. Fry the bacon in a frying pan until crispy then set aside but keep the fat in the pan.
7. Scrambled eggs are easily done in the microwave in about a minute but they're also delicious cooked in the leftover bacon fat. Mix together your eggs then pour into the frying pan with the fat on a medium-low heat, stir constantly until done to your scrambled liking.
8. All that's left to do now is plate up! Pour the cheesey polenta into a bowl and top with the sausage gravy then the eggs and finally the crispy bacon. Enjoy..