June, 2016

May, 2016

April, 2016

  • The six rules of barbecuing

    28 April, 2016 The six rules of barbecuing

    Even the best cooks can be stumped when it comes to cooking to perfection over coals. We ask Ben Tish to tell us the six most important rules of barbecuing so we can grill with confidence over the long weekend.
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November, 2015

October, 2015

September, 2015

August, 2015

July, 2015

  • Eat like an Italian

    20 July, 2015 Eat like an Italian

    If you’ve ever been on holiday to Italy, like us, you’ve probably eaten classic pizzas, pastas and risottos until you’re fit to burst. While sticking with what you know isn’t always a bad thing, delve a little deeper and you’ll find the true heart of the region; eating cotoletta in Milan, beans in Florence and artichokes in Campania will open up a whole new world of Italian cooking. We spoke to three Air B’n’B hosts about the food of their region, must-eats while you’re there, and asked about the best-kept secrets when it comes to eating out.
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  • Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    06 July, 2015 Michelin Stars in Your Eyes

    With so many Michelin-starred chefs on the site, we challenged Cooked writer Imogen Corke to test her mettle on some of the trickier recipes. This week, she cooks Atul Kochhar’s cod in nilgiri korma gravy from his latest cookbook, Benares.
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May, 2015

  • Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    22 May, 2015 Q&A with Rosie Birkett

    We ask our authors ten questions about their life long love of food. This week, we speak to Rosie Birkett, author of A Lot on her Plate, about roast dinners, tuna tacos, and why you should never run your finger through hot caramel.
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  • The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    01 May, 2015 The Lunchbox Edit: Spring Greens

    Each week, we take some of our favourite recipes and give them a little tweak to make perfect packed lunches.
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Southern barbecue basics with Hang Fire Smokehouse

Eve O'Sullivan
01 June, 2016

We're thrilled to welcome Samantha Evans and Shauna Guinn's debut cookbook, Hang Fire, to the Cooked library. Packed with lip-smacking recipes from their USA road trip, we asked them to talk us through the basics of barbecue cooking.

A lot of people probably don't realise there are subtle differences in barbecue styles between the Southern states. Can you explain a few of them?

Traditionally, Texas and the Carolinas choose different animals and wood to smoke them with. Texas is all about the beef, from the brisket to the beef ribs and Texas Hot Guts (beef sausage). Post oak, pecan and mesquite tend to be the smoking wood of choice, all robust, strong-flavoured woods that can stand shoulder to shoulder with their grain fed beef. By contrast the humble pig is the what's considered real barbecue in the Carolinas. Whole pigs cooked in cinder block pits, doused with a pepper vinegar mop sauce or boston butt (pork shoulder) mixed with a sweet mustard sauce are all de rigueur further east. Smoking woods favoured tend to be fruit woods like peach, apple, cherry or nutty woods like hickory. However for the record, we've had excellent beef barbecue in Asheville, North Carolina and fantastic pork barbecue in Houston!

What's your favourite cut of meat to cook with?

That's a tricky one, and it depends on which of us you ask. My favourite cut are short ribs, grilled off the bone or slow and low on the bone. I just love the intense beef flavour, so rich and buttery. Shauna absolutely loves smoked lamb, from the ribs to shoulder to leg. Lamb has such a robust flavour that you can get really experimental with the smoking woods, such as orange, mesquite and whisky barrel chunks.

What's the most popular order at Hang Fire?

As we predicted last year, brisket is the new pulled pork. We sell so little pulled pork that we've taken it off as a barbecue plate. Brisket on the other hand, we can't smoke enough. We go through around 30-40kgs a night. Considering it's not the only thing on our menu, that's a ton of prime bovine folks are getting through! If you’re a barbecue novice and want to try it at home, our advice is always to start with chicken. The Mai Thai chicken thighs are satisfyingly simple, as is our Yard Bird recipe.

You spent months travelling around the southern states; what’s been the trickiest recipe to recreate at home?

Brisket, again. It's really hard to find UK farmers that are willing to increase the grain feed finishing cattle, not only does it have major cost implications, but the market for this is narrow at the moment even if it was viable. What a longer grain feed time would offer is a fatter cow, greater marbling throughout and ultimately a tastier cow to barbecue. In the US, most cattle are grain fed which makes a tasty, fatty brisket.

What would be your perfect barbecue menu?

It would be St Louis ribs with blackberry BBQ sauce, Texas-style brisket, Swansea jack and cheese, some red beans and rice, a ton of pickles, a meaty Bloody Mary to wash it down with and a piece of pumpkin pie to finish!

Feeling inspired? Then cook from the book

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