The Great Mystery of the Disappearing Sprouts

I like hosting; feeding people is one of my favourite things ever (surprising, I know!), and my dwelling fellow and I have had a fair few dinner parties so far this year. This weekend was no different, and we had a couple of lovely boys with even lovelier big appetites over for a bit of a smoked meat feasting.

I had procured a leg of lamb earlier in the week, and got my twisted fire starter up early to get the coals going. We decided to use some alder wood chips on the smoker, as we had previously not plunged into this bag and thought we might as well try it! Some real scientific reasoning going on there.

I prepared a rub for my newly acquired leg, which shall be known hence forth as my Sexy Leg Lube.

Sexy Leg Lube

1/4 cup sesame oil
2 large minced garlic cloves
1 tbsp crushed Szechuan peppercorns
1 tbsp dried rosemary
salt & pepper

Mmmm...leg lube
I massaged my sexy leg lovingly, set it at room temperature and soaked my chips whilst the fire was getting appropriate attention. Once hot enough to handle my greased up limb, I left the lamb to slow cook for seven hours, basting and turning the meat roughly every 90 minutes.

Mmmm...lubed leg
The lamb was beautiful, it was rather well done, fell apart easily and just flaked flavour all over everything. The bits of garlic and herb in the rub had caramelised and the whole outer part of the meat was just flavour overload. So good that I was told off for sucking the bone clean the following morning. I want it again. Now. I need this taste in my life. I think I'm having withdrawal symptoms.

To serve my lamb, I prepared a simple garden salad and a dressing of equal parts olive and sesame oil, half the amount of chinkiang vinegar to oil, salt and pepper (Szechaun if you want to continue the Asian theme). We also had a potato salad and some Brussels sprouts which magically vanished faster than any of the other dishes. (Aha! That's what the title was all about!Took my time, I know.)

"What made these sprouts so popular?" I hear you cry. Well, it was the home made BBQ sauce they were bathed in, I'm guessing. Now, I made this recipe to taste, and didn't measure anything, so my quantities in the following spiel is a bit of an estimate, therefore I recommend you taste your creations and adjust as necessary.

Bad Arse BBQ Sauce

1 tin of chopped tomatoes
1 diced onion
1/4 cup of sugar
2 tbsp honey
1/4 cup vinegar
juice of half a lemon
salt & pepper
a little olive oil
  1. Gently fry off the onion in the olive oil. Once softened, but not coloured, add the tomatoes.
  2. Throw in all the other ingredients, stir, taste and adjust quantities for desired bad arse-ossity. Yeah. Sounds easy, right? It bloody is.
All that was left to do was gently boil some lovely picked and halved Kentish Brussels until tender, drain, add to the sauce and warm through. Honestly, I've never before seen people so keen to stuff a sprout in their faces. Expect lots of yums and some considerably potent wind.

My potato salad was a simple mix of Charlotte potatoes, 2 tbsp mayonnaise, 2 tsp honey mustard (Bavarian style), salt, pepper and a chopped spring onion. Easy peasy

 Delicious food, simple recipes! What more could you ask for?

The smoker still had some life left in it, so as a final trick, we popped a few Kent eggs on and left them there until the flames died out. These smoked eggs were quite enjoyable to peel. They looked like what I imagine dinosaur eggs would have, with a lovely dappled effect. They tasted very subtly of a smokiness, but that was probably because the chips were already mild and had been letting off flavour all day. They were extremely pleasurable to eat though and made a lovely breakfast the following morning.

Ooh! Ooh! I now have a Facebook page, and can work it and everything! Get updates and start or join discussions with me over there. It would be lovely to see and hear from you.


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