Making Your Own Pastrami

After my first visit to New York over the summer, I came back determined to make a pastrami sandwich as close to this beauty from the Mile End Deli:
new-york-sandwichI wanted meat as soft and red as this, and enough to be able to load up my sandwiches that heavily.

And so, after plenty of research, and after Rob Rattray cut me a perfect piece of brisket, I ended up with this:
03-finished-pastrami-sandwichPretty close, and it tasted superb.
It takes a long time, and there’s a lot of steps, but each stage is pretty easy.

Here’s what we did. Continue reading Making Your Own Pastrami

Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old (Aldi)

With Christmas looming, Aldi have a big range of tempting wines & spirits.
Although their Islay Single Malt is a bargain at £18, I was very interested to see a 28 year old Speyside single malt for £39.99.

Now, I know it’s hard to use the word “bargain” next to a £40 bottle of own-brand Aldi whisky, but if there was a famous name attached to specifications like that you’d be paying over £100.

I was in Llandrindod Wells at the weekend, saw this, and I took the plunge.
Is it worth £40? Is it worth £100? Let’s see …

Continue reading Glen Marnoch 28 Year Old (Aldi)

Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

West Wales is a beautiful part of the world and has a food scene that punches above its weight
But where would we be without the Arts Centre at the University?
It’s our main venue for theatre, music and comedy, and manages to lure big name stars out west.

In addition to big comedy names like Jimmy Carr, the Arts Centre has been host to a monthly comedy night for the last two years.
It’s run by Little Wander, the company which manages (amongst other things) the Machynlleth Comedy Festival.
This gives the audience the chance to see three relatively unknown acts for the very reasonable price of £10.
Continue reading Comedy Club, Aberystwyth Arts Centre

Fusion King, Aberystwyth

A quick look at Fusion King’s menu shows a dizzying array of foods at incredible prices.
The restaurant is defiantly unfancy – so if you prefer thrills to frills it’s the place to go for Chinese, Japanese, Mexican, Thai, Korean, Italian or Mongolian.
And if that all sounds a bit too foreign for you or your unadventurous partner, there’s always the Jacket Potato or Baguette of Shame.

Continue reading Fusion King, Aberystwyth

Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers

We’ve had our ProQ smoker for two years now, and we’re delighted with it (review here).
Rainy weekends this summer have stopped us using it as much as we like, so when last weekend was sunny we took our chance and made pulled pork.

Americans make this with a cut called Boston Butt – a giant lump of pork shoulder with the bone still in – but these are very hard to get in the UK.
But the advantage of having an excellent local butcher like Rattrays is that you can ask them to make a joint how you’d like it.
Continue reading Making Pulled Pork with Meat from Rattray’s Butchers

Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth

My favourite meal with Bethan was the Crown at Whitebrook in 2010, where Welsh chef James Sommerin earned his reputation (and a Michelin star) for inventive, skilled and delicious cooking.
The atmosphere was serious without being sombre, and prices were very reasonable (£40 for six courses).
Crown SouffleThe chocolate souffle, with a quenelle of Bailey’s ice cream added at the table, was a thing of wonder.
I went on about it so much, I made a version for my nephews
Boys SouffleSadly, The Crown closed in 2013, but in 2015 James opened his own restaurant in Penarth, and we were very excited to give it a try. Continue reading Restaurant James Sommerin, Penarth

AberYankee American Diner, Aberystwyth

Aberystwyth has an American Diner on the seafront!
I never knew!

It’s in the old shop on the corner by the old Police Station.
Yes, the one where they film “Hinterland” (not that I watched more than three of those – too depressing and slow and similar).*

I wonder what aspects of American cuisine they’ll have?
I hear it’s popular with the young people, so I grabbed my nephews, fired up the Chevy, and hit the road.

Continue reading AberYankee American Diner, Aberystwyth