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.
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.
Growing our own salad again this summer for our clients parties. This year we have come up with a slightly different way of growing. Because this year we are almost booked out all the way through to October, we can plan our salad growing period for each individual party. For example – salad in photos below is just becoming perfect. We planted this lot specifically for a large 21st birthday party in 8 days time. Salad will then be at it’s best – so we will pick on the day of the party. It will be crunchy, fresh and additive free. Also adding beet leaves this year to our usual “green” salad. A large percentage of the young party goers attend a culinary school in Switzerland – so they know their food and expect the best.
A quick trip to France to stock up on supplies for the Deli Truck and of course couldn’t go back without a touch of regional, old school, french cooking – First off the famous Galette.
French comfort food in a cheap cheerful cafe in the little village of Ernee. Galette is the snack food of Btittany. It’s a buckwheat pancake with fillings. This one stuffed with potatoes, onions, garlic and two types of ham all finished off with a light sauté in cream. Then a huge slab of raclette (a melty mountain cheese) is melted on top. Perfect with a carafe of chateau plonk of the red variety. Cost with wine 8 quid.
Another great dish from a small restaurant – this time a place I have been before called La Table Normande- the entree is a classic – a slice of Tatin d’andouille de vire a la Normande. This is a sausage made from the lower intestine of a pig, so a bit poopy, but in a good way. Sitting on a bed of caramelised apples.
Yes we are back at the Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market tomorrow (Saturday) and we have a busy day today preparing. We are simmering Brisket for Salt Beef, Smoking Pork Shoulder for our famous pulled Pork with home made BBQ sauce, and cutting chilli for our robust and warming Chille con Carne (served hot with a dollop of sour cream and chives)
Tomorrow I am also pinching a recipe from the Mr. Jamie Oliver and producing gallons of his hot scrumpy mulled cider served piping hot with all the usual suspects – cinnaman, nutmeg, vanilla pods, star anise, etc etc.. So come and join us for a least a hot toddy and if you in a hungry mood grab one of our home made super tasty hot sandwiches. We shall be at the TWBC Farmers Market from 0900 ’till 1400. We’d love to see you all.
The Deli Truck is on the road this Sunday heading up to the Former RAF Bicester airfield in Oxfordshire for the first and largest vintage car, bike and aircraft muster for 2015. We have been invited by one of the coolest exhibitors “Lap63 by Ludovic Parayre” a very stylish vintage car buyer, restorer and seller. Come and see us at Ludovic’s new home at Bicester, have a chat and try our fabo menu. See Menu below.
There will be a wide range of cars, motorcycles and aeroplanes arriving on site ready to kick start the motoring year ahead. So come and join us. We would love to see you all.
We have a special Christmas recipe along with our all time favourites this Saturday the 13th of December.
Our famous pulled Pork and our big selling Salt Beef on rye will, as usual, be on the menu – along with a lovely warming spicy Chilli con Carne – very beefy, very spicy and topped with a cooling dollop of sour cream. We are selling our chilli in two different sizes – For those not up to our large pot we have a smaller dish of chill for just £3.50.
But our big Christmas treat this Saturday will be a Texas smoked Turkey in a wrap for easy eating. Along with the our spicy Turkey meat we will add our scrumptious cranberry, bacon and walnut stuffing. All of this will be topped with a “bread sauce and cranberry gravy”. This is a superbly tasty dish with many textures and flavours and all for £5.50. Also join us for a lovely warming sherry to go with your wrap – on us. And of course for the brave we will still be selling our pickle-back cocktail.
So all in all a great day and a great menu – I hope you can join us outside the council offices this Saturday from 0900 to 1400.
Preparing for the Tunbridge Wells farmers market – just finished (8.00pm) smoking the pork shoulder for our famous pulled pork. The shoulder has been in our smoker for 8 hours slowly slowly cooking over apple and oak chips – finally finished in darkness – smoking by torchlight is always fun.
Our menu for The Farmers Market this Saturday is tried and tested and last time we tried it we sold out. Some real crowd pleasers here –
1. Our famous 8 hour smoked pulled pork served with our spicy BBQ sauce.
2. Our home made Salt Beef sandwich on rye with mustard sauce and pickle.
3. A warming tasty pleasurable seafood chowder – rich with four types of fish and seafood including haddock, wild salmon, pollock and mussels. Finished off with a bacon, creamy sauce
4. And finally our heart warming Mac and Cheese. A cheese sauce made of cheddar, parmesan and emmental is mixed with pasta and bacon and served with a crunchy fried breadcrumb and parmesan topping.
And we will also be serving our usual homemade potato and coleslaw salads as sides with the pulled pork and salt beef. So please come and join us at the Tunbridge Wells Farmers Market this Saturday 22nd of November between 0900 and 1400.