No.1 British Free Range Pork Ribeye Steak

I had seen this pack in Waitrose a few times now and was intrigued.

British pork ribeye steak with sage leaves and thyme sprigs. Free range pork ribeye steak, tender, succulent and full of flavour, from pigs sired by pedigree Hampshire boars, a breed renowned for excellent meat. All our pigs are reared to higher welfare standards by British farmers who share our values

I was planning a barbecue with a mix of meats, so decided I would add this pork steak to the mix.

In the box was a sealed plastic pack containing the pork. I cut it open and was pleasantly surprised to find two steaks in the pack.

I then read the instructions on the back of the box…


It said…

Remove bag from box. Place the bag in simmering water for 15 minutes, remove from bag and pan fry on a medium heat for 6-8 minutes using butter to baste.

Well I didn’t do that!

Anyhow I cooked the steaks on the barbecue and they cooked well and were very tasty.

Barbecuing a whole chicken

We had a barbecue today and I cooked a whole chicken on the barbecue.

I have done this method of barbecuing a whole chicken many times now and each time, the end result has been delicious tender moist chicken full of smokey and chargrilled flavours.

The first part of the process is to spatchcock the chicken. I don’t have a pair of poultry shears so I usually use a big cook’s knife to cut out the backbone. I also don’t use skewers to secure the legs or keep it flat, but you just have to be more careful when turning the chicken when it is on the barbecue.

This time I seasoned and marinaded the chicken with garlic, salt and pepper, herbs, lemon juice, and some olive oil.

Though you can cook a spatchcocked chicken directly on the barbecue, it can be quite challenging to ensure that the chicken is properly cooked, through, without burning or overcooking the outside. Part of the issue is that it is difficult to control the temperature of the barbecue unlike a normal grill. The key process is to recreate some aspects of a “normal” oven as opposed to the usual way of using a barbecue as a grill.

As for the barbecue, the key here is to avoid cooking the chicken over a direct heat. After lighting the charcoal, once the flames have died down, and they are covered in grey ash you can start to cook. However the first thing you need to do is to move the coals to the sides of the barbecue leaving the middle empty, the chicken will be placed over this empty zone. Moving the coals can be tricky as they will be really hot, but the aim is to create a circle of hot coals around a clear area. This will allow the chicken to be cooked via in-direct heat without overcooking or burning.

The chicken is placed down on the grill carcass side down. I then use a wok lid to cover the chicken. This creates an oven effect and helps to stop the chicken drying out. You could of course if you have one use the lid on your barbecue.

barbecuing over charcoal

Turn the chicken after 15-20 minutes and cook the skin side. Take care when turning the chicken, especially if you like me didn’t use skewers.

Actual timing will depend on the heat of the barbecue and the size of the chicken.

Re-cover with the wok lid and cook for another 15 minutes, ensuring that the chicken doesn’t burn.

Check the chicken is cooked and then remove from the barbecue.

The end result is delicious moist barbecued chicken.

I served mine with salad and bread.

Ye Olde London

This was not a planned meal, I had been attending a training course in London and a few of us decided to head out for a beer and a meal.

We ended up at Ye Olde London, a Greene King pub situated on Ludgate Hill in the City of London close to the spectacular St Paul’s cathedral.

We went downstairs and I looked over the menu, lots of pub food. I chose the 28-day aged flat iron steak served with rosemary & sea-salted fries, blistered vine tomatoes and salsa verde.

The steak was pre-sliced and was was cooked well. I quite like a flat iron steak. Not sure if there was any rosemary on the fries, but they were nice and crisp. The salsa verde was fresh and zingy.

Overall I liked the plate of food and we had excellent service.

It was a little disappointing


We had made the trip to Lynton and Lynmouth. A place we have been to many times. 

We went to the Coffee Mill for a drink and something to eat. We thought we had been there before, which is the main reason we went. There was no indoor seating so we sat outside and I went to the counter to order.

We had some tea, a scone and a sausage roll. Even though we were eating on site the tea came in disposable card cups.

Though there was nothing fundamentally wrong with the tea and food, it was more we were charged, what I felt would have been for eating in and we had china crockery. However for what was basically takeaway I thought it was quite expensive.

So, no fish on the menu then!

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London.

Went down for dinner, the menu changes regularly, and the sea bass had been recently added. I was going to have the fish tacos followed by the sea bass. However, both weren’t available. So, I had steak and chips instead.

This was described on the menu as Owton’s dry-aged 8oz rib eye steak with triple-cooked chips, grilled tomato, baked field mushroom and peppercorn sauce.

Owton's dry-aged 8oz rib eye steak with triple-cooked chips, grilled tomato, baked field mushroom and peppercorn sauce.

The plate looked good with the sauce coming separately in a miniature saucepan. The steak was excellent, and much better than some of the steaks I have had at Drayton Court Hotel. It was cooked well and reasonably well seasoned, I did add a little more seasoning. I liked the chips, tomato, and mushroom as well.

Overall it was a really nice plate of food.

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

I was staying over at the Drayton Court Hotel in West Ealing. This is a place I stay regularly when working away in London. The menu changes regularly, though I couldn’t say how often it changes.

On a recent visit there was a new addition to the menu, beef short rib bao buns with Bourbon maple glaze, aioli, coriander, and peanuts.

I do like a good bao bun, so it was no surprise that I ordered this dish. I was intrigued as this was quite a fusion style dish, I don’t see Bourbon maple glaze as something you would find in Fujian cuisine.

I was pleasantly surprised to get two buns, I was only expecting one. It was nicely presented.

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

The beef was nice and tender, and I quite liked the Bourbon maple glaze. It was a good plate of food.

On a following visit I ordered them again, as I had enjoyed it the first time.

Beef Short Rib Bao Buns

It did look a little different, also the beef was not as good as before. Not sure of why there was a difference.

Time for Tau Yew Bak 

I was in Bristol and popped down to the Finzel Reach street food market. Though I do visit other street food markets, the Bristol scene as one of my favourites. My personal challenge though when visiting is that I usually default to stalls I’ve been to before, and don’t necessarily try something new. So on this visit, I was going to go to King Fin, however they had sold out of their calamari, even so I was tempted by their soft shell crab burger. I then thought, there are lots of stalls that I’ve not tried before, so lets try something new. 

So I looked around and I decided to try out the Fat Rice stall which sells Malaysian comfort food.

Fat Rice stall

There were three choices on the menu, a beef rendang, kunyit chicken, and tau yew bak. I went with the tau yew bak. This was pork belly slow-cooked in soy sauce and spices. Served with basmati rice, fried onions and pickled salad.

pork belly slow-cooked in soy sauce and spices. Served with basmati rice, fried onions and pickled salad

This was a good sized meal and there was a decent portion of the main part of the dish, the pork belly. Sometimes I have found that you order a dish and the amount of the *star* of the dish makes you feel like you’ve been short-changed. 

The pork itself was nice and tender and full of flavour. I liked the chilli sauce that was served with the pork. The salad added zing to the dish and the rice was nice. Overall a delicious bowl of food.

The service was efficient and friendly. Thought it was interesting there was no vegetarian (or vegan) options. I certainly think I would visit the stall again and try out some of their other options.

Parmentier Potatoes

I quite like parmentier potatoes. I have been known to make them myself, but sometimes I buy them ready prepared.

I bought a pack from Lidl and cooked them.

Parmentier Potatoes

They were quite good.

Time for a Salad

As the weather improves, we have been eating a lot more salad. Sometimes I did individual salads, customised for each person. Other times I do a big bowl of salad.


For this salad I did mixed leaves, avocado, sliced peppers, sliced radish, cucumber, tomatoes, and mozzarella. There was a homemade dressing on the side.