A Year of Practiculture
Rohan Anderson & Kate Berry

Around mid-autumn I tend to stop eating the fresh corn and start to snap-freeze it in bags for winter. In the following cool months, when food can be a bit dull at times, I reckon corn can be a sure heart-warmer. When you bite into a feed of corn in midwinter, it has a way of reminding you of warmer days. That sweet burst of corn is pretty powerful! While the corn is fresh in autumn, though, I love to cook this meal – and it has to be done right, over the hot coals of an outside fire (if your council will let you). Well, look, sure you can cook it inside, or even on a barbecue, but it just feels like more fun sitting around a crackling fire on a late afternoon. When the sun drops and the cool night air of autumn sneaks in, there’s nothing like the hot corn and chilli rub straight from a warm fire. It may be obvious by now that I’m partial to a bit of the hot stuff, so if you’re shy of chilli heat, discard the seeds. I know it’s hilarious that I’m using smoked pimentón – again! – but this buttery rub just has that Mexican vibe about it: smoky and hot. Hola!

Get the heat up on the fire for at least an hour before you want to cook. This makes a good base of hot coals and provides constant heat for cooking.

PS: I stole this recipe from Kate. Thanks, beautiful.


Quantity Ingredient
6-8 garden-fresh corncobs, unpeeled
pecorino, grated, to serve

The butter rub

Quantity Ingredient
50-100g butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
1 tablespoon smoked pimenton
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
2 jalapeno chillies, finely chopped
salt, to taste


  1. Soak the whole unpeeled corncobs in cold water for about 30 minutes. This gets some moisture into the outer leaves so that when the corncobs sit above the flames the kernels inside will steam and cook.
  2. When the fire has been going for a while and has a good body of hot coals, place the corn on a grill over the flames. Cook for about 10 minutes, turning regularly to cook evenly on all sides.
  3. While the corn cooks, mix all the ingredients for the butter rub in a bowl and leave just next to the fire, so that some of the heat starts gently melting the butter. Once the butter has melted, stir all the ingredients together well to make a sauce.
  4. To finish off the corn, remove it from the fire and peel back all the leaves to expose the kernels. Put them back on the fire for about 5 minutes to get a bit of colour on those beautiful corncobs, then serve each one up with a spoonful of buttery rub smudged all over and topped with plenty of pecorino.
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