A great hit this winter has been our bubbling cauldron of hot chocolate. We were first asked to make hot chocolate for a Bonfire night party in London. And in true Deli Truck style we researched and tasted and researched some more to make the most extraordinary Hot Chocolate you could imagine. We used a mixture of 70 percent coco solids chocolate and milk chocolate from Lindt. You could stand your spoon up in this one. We have since been asked to make this for another 5 parties during the winter.
After the massive success of the inaugural “Old House Pub” beer festival last year, the Deli Truck will be returning this year to supply great food to the revellers and music lovers who flock to this event. It’s intentionally a small exclusive party held in a tucked away pub in the beautiful village of Ightham near Sevenoaks. This year it will be held on the 28th of May.
The Deli Truck will be raising the game this year with some more substantial dishes, along with a number of old favorites. After so many compliments last year we will be doing our famous home made 8oz pure beef, double cheese and bacon burger – again.
Now that’s a mouthful in more way than one.. and you can see how we make our burger by clicking here
This year we will be creating more substantial full lunch dishes, so you can come and have a proper sit-down lunch while you enjoy the beer and the entertainment.
Included in our menu will be grilled fillets of sustainable Sea Bass and pollack served with Char-Grilled Mediterranean vegetables, lemon scented couscous with a home made lemon chipotle mayo.
Also on the menu will be a great Deli favourite with an Italian theme. Free range pork loin stuffed with herbs and rolled and sautéed with sage, white wine and organic tomatoes to form a rich tomato sauce. The Pork will be served with parmesan and butter polenta, pea and lettuce greens with lardon.
For those of you who want a slightly smaller dish we will be doing our famous Texas Chilli dog again. All ingredients for this very beefy dog are organic and the best of quality – we supply lots of different sides for our dog including bacon bits, fried onion, 3 mustards and 4 different hot sauces.
For the vegetarians we will be offering a very seasonal dish of steamed asparagus with a hollandaise sauce. This is one of the great dishes for late May early April.
So if you can make it this year to Kent’s lovely small relaxed and fun Beer Festival you can get more information by looking at the Old House Website at http://www.oldhouse.pub.
The Day starts at around 12.00 midday on the 28th of May 2017 and goes until 9.00pm. We’ll start serving food from 1.30pm until about 6.00pm. I hope you can all make it.
This is not really a story about the Deli Truck, but what follows was such a wonderful foodie experience I have to share this with all and sundry.
We all know that ageing beef is what brings out the flavour and the quality of the meat. We also know that the only form of ageing is dry ageing – hanging in a temperature and humidity controlled cool room for up to 60 or even 100 days, with cool drying air circulating around a large prime cut of beef. Wet ageing in a tough plastic bag, with the air pumped out, is quite simply a revolting way to “age” beef as it has no contact with the air and so relies on anaerobic bacteria to tenderise the meat, which at times, can taste sour and watery.
But very few butchers dry age these days because during this very slow process, the cut of beef looses up to 20 percent of its weight as water evaporates away. This is what makes it more flavoursome and deeply red-brown in colour. Of course the water that evaporates, as far as a butcher is concerned is profit evaporating as well, as the weight of the cut decreases. This is the reason so many butchers will not dry age.
But on the few occasions that I have eaten properly air dried aged beef (I like it at about 40 days) it is a true revelation. The raw meat actually smells sweet, the all important fat is white but translucent and the entire cut has a wonderful nutty cheesy flavour and the good bacteria has done its job and slowly broken down the connective tissue and produced a super tender very very tasty steak.
The next thing that happened is that a few steak houses in the USA (notably David Burke’s Prime House in Chicago) started ageing their beef in cold rooms with a wall of Himalayan salt bricks stacked to the ceiling. This had a couple of profound effects on the beef – firstly the salty air being circulated around the large fridges has a slight anti-bacterial effect which means the beef can be aged for a longer time and secondly the salt produced a stronger drying effect and bizarrely a sweeter piece of meat. Recently a small number of UK meat producers have decided to salt dry as well.
So onto my special beef day – Late last week my foodie wife came home from a pre-Christmas visit to Fortnum and Mason with a 1 bone prime rib cut of beef from shorthorn cattle, off the Glenarm Estate in Northern Ireland. But here’s the revelation, the Glenarm Estate has started to age its beef with Himalayan salt bricks. This is not just sophistry – salt ageing really works. The beef smelt sweet and fresh with a slight mushroomy cheesy nose. The meat was dark and the fat translucent.
It was such a special piece of meat that I didn’t want to mess it up by overcooking, so I seared on top of the stove on all sides then put the pan in the oven at 180 for about 8 minutes. I put a temperature probe into the meat and pulled it from the oven when the core temperature reached 50 degrees. With a normal, supermarket, wet-aged, flaccid bright red steak this would be too rare – but in this piece of meat (after a 20 minute rest) this proved spot on. The ageing process had, to my eyes, part cooked the beef already. This was a wonderful special treat and a truly exceptional piece of beef. Well worth the trip to Fortnums to track down.
It’s also very expensive – this piece cost close to £30 pounds – but like all good things, you dont have to have it every day. I would gladly cut my red meat intake down to 5 or 6 times a year (instead of twice a week) so I could afford the best – and this is it.
NOTE: if you are well versed in cooking steak and use the finger prodding method to feel how it is done – you may have to change your methodology with meat like this. I found with this cut that the meat had lost so much water due to the ageing process that when prodded it felt very firm at all stages of cooking. So when it was very rare (checked with temperature probe) it felt almost well done. Something to be aware of….
NOTE: Always ask your butcher if his meat has been dry aged or wet aged in a bag (called the cryovac method) if it has been wet aged don’t buy it, but kindly ask if he can get dry aged beef. The more people that ask the more opportunity we have for getting better quality meat.
“Hi Dennis and Miri, Thank you so much for today. The food was delicious, you really pulled the stops out. All feedback was positive, seriously brilliant!” Alisoun Hunter, Westerham.
A great day at the Squerryes vineyards in North Kent as professional pickers mingled with the “Friends of Squerryes” to pick some grapes, catch up and indulge in Deli Truck food.
These grapes will go to make the Squerryes Court award wining Methode Champenoise sparkling brut -with a perfect blend of 45% Chardonnay, 35% Pinot Noir & 20% Pinot Meunier.
A strict rule, that guests had to pick grapes before they could have lunch from the Deli Truck was roundly ignored from the beginning. It was a great family day with many of the children loving the grape picking.
The estate asked us for good hearty food offerings to feed both the professional pickers and the “Friends of Squerryes” pickers and their families. Our legendary pulled pork, gourmet hot sausage in a brioche bun and chocolate brownies with amaretto cream went down a treat.
As you can see we were truly in the middle of a paddock and like many of our events we are completely self sufficient with our own generators, onboard fridges, freezers, gas grills and hot water.
Also a special thank you to John Mobbs from the highly acclaimed Great British Wine website for some of the photos (the good ones) on this post.
A wonderful charity evening at Herons Park in Lydd raised over £8,000 pounds for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity (#royalmarsden). With black tie and cocktail dresses the order of the evening was glamorous and fun, with raffles, prizes and of course food from the Deli Truck. We donated out usual fee to this much respected and hard working charity and produced a buffet that went down a storm.
The Deli Truck worked to a very tight budget as the organisors and the Deli Truck wanted as much money as possible to go to the charity. We produced three hot dishes for 150 people – A Thai Sticky Pork belly served with freshly steamed rice, a Chicken Cacciatore with a robust home made tomato sauce and loads of mozzarella, and a Texas style 100 percent beef chilli. We also made three fresh salads, a cheese course with terrine, fresh fruit and of course a vegetarian option of stuffed peppers as well as many other tasty dishes.
Three cheers to Stacey Christensen the organisor of the event and Hanna Tarrant the manager of Herons Park for a fun evening that raised so much money for a very worthy cause.
From the Hostess to her guests, the morning after: “Hi everyone, Thank you all for your messages today. We had such a fab evening, so lovely having everyone here. J and I managed to sneak off around 2:15am, leaving the hardcore Michael Jackson fans in full thriller mode. I want to thank Dennis and Miri so much for catering for us last night. The menu was perfect and the courses were absolutely delicious. They both put so much time and effort into last night and it showed. Anyone planning an event must check out www.delitruck.co.uk, from deli truck to fine dining, I think everyone will agree, it was perfect. See you all for the next one”
L & J, Brasted, Kent
From a guest: “Such a fabulous evening, there were a lot of laughs and probably a lot of sore heads on Sunday. Thanks Dennis, Miri, the food was delicious!” Vicki C-S
Our first private sit down dinner party of the 2016 season was a spectacular event – with guests enjoying a lavish menu in a wonderful house. We were asked to produce a menu using quality ingredients for a group of “meat loving” foodies who all love their food and great parties. We were lucky that the hosts kitchen was large with much bench space for plating up, cooking and preparation. The dining room where the guests were seated on two large tables was a short walk from the kitchen down a front hallway. All in all, for in-house private catering, it doesn’t get better than this. For the event we had three staff in the kitchen and two servers in the dining room including a professional mixologist on the bar who double up as a waiter.
The main course was Prime Rib-Eye roasted and then carved into single steak sized portions. We decided to cook the rib-eye American style, very low and slow, to maintain moisture and when cooked medium the pink was right through the joint. This does take exacting timing, when you are cooking meat at 100 degrees and then wanting at least 45 minutes resting. Two complete ribs were seared at a high temperature than placed in the low ovens 4 hours before service. Every ½ hour we basted in Marrow oil and took an internal temperature reading. At just over three hours in the oven the internal temperature of the meat reached 63 degrees. We retrieved the meat from the oven and rested under foil for a hour. During this time we made fresh Béarnaise sauce and the marrow gravy, whipped up egg whites and them added to the already seasoned carrot puree for the carrot soufflé.
A new source of sweet sweet smoking wood – one of the limbs of our very old apple tree at Deli Truck HQ, finally decided to break off under weight of this years crop and dropped into our track. Miri, showing her skills with the chainsaw, cutting it up to use as wood for our smoker. Will give a very sweet delicate flavour to our pulled pork.
The day of the big party has arrived and this morning we have been skinning 7 full salmon fillets and trimming to make a sensational Salmon en Croute with Nori and Serrano Ham. This should provide around 60 portions, with an average of 8 to 9 portions per filet depending on their size.
We have just finished making 60 “individual chocolate mousses on top of fresh raspberry, morello cherries, and cherry brandy jelly” The jelly base was made from the juices from the morello cherries and about half a bottle of Cherry brandy – in that mixture we have added fresh raspberries and morello cherries – so a very fruity and adult flavoured jelly base – with home made chocolate mousse on top. Takes 3 blocks of chocolate for very 12 servings of Mousse.