Some might say that having a guest writer in to write only your 6th post is a little lazy, and I would wholeheartedly agree, however, here we are! Recently some colleagues at work were visiting Bristol for some training, and as one is a content writer for a top tour operator, I thought it really would be a wasted opportunity if I were not to ask him to write about one of the great Barbecue joints in Bristol which they would be visiting for dinner. I guess I also kind of felt I could live/taste vicariously through Tim, said writer, this way too! Tim may not be quite as obsessed with BBQ as myself, but (like anyone?!) certainly enjoys some fantastic food. Read on for his thoughts on Spitfire Barbecue in Bristol…
“Spitfire BBQ in Bristol harbour is one of those restaurants that is so good you even eat the salad. But you carnivores out there needn’t look so concerned – the courses of succulent and delicately flavoured meat are served in generous portions. This is a macho, meaty establishment where even the staff are beefy.
I recently went to visit Bex‘s Dad and his wife at their lovely new place in rural Dorset. We had a great day, checking out the house and huge garage (or really car stable). Keith, Bex’s Dad plans to build a deck around this with Tiki bar and barbecue area, so clearly this was essential, and I also immediately wanted to buy the awesome 50s US pick up he is currently selling…hitch mounted grill anyone?!
After a day of obligatory tourist sight seeing – including seeing the cobbled hilly street from the famous Hovis advert (about as Northern as Peckham mineral water then) and visiting their great local farm shop it was time for dinner.
It just so happened that Keith, when strolling around their closest town of Gillingham had stumbled up the local BBQ joint – South Street Kitchen. Obviously, there was no other option but to check it out – for research, right?!
This creamy yet fresh tasting curry tastes great when simply cooked on the hob, but is even better when cooked on a BBQ.
By allowing the curry to reduce over charcoal whilst light smoking woods infuse into the sauce, the flavours are lifted to produce something exceptional.
I must admit, I cannot take full credit (or really any) for this recipe, as it was from the wonderful mind of my Pitmissus, Rebecca, I just popped it on the grill!
Cooking dirty, or directly on charcoal is a technique which many people now love and swear by for cooking their steaks. Cooking directly on the surface of the white hot charcoal gives the food an incredible charred taste. Although you may think the food would burn very quickly, the lack of oxygen in between the food and the coals actually prevents this from happening.
Finishing off chicken on ‘dirty’ also gives it a fantastic charred flavour – similar to that of chicken cooked in a tandoor, although fairly obviously, I wouldn’t recommend attempting to cook a whole chicken thigh directly on the coals for the duration unless you are going for that unique mixture of raw and burnt.
Be sure to use a good quality charcoal rather than briquettes when cooking dirty, and certainly not any kind of lighting fluid which would transfer onto your food.
I’d recommend serving this along with my Smoked Courgette Curry – the marinated chicken and charred flavours work perfectly alongside the rich, creamy smokiness of the dish.
A BBQ competition?! If it isn’t something that’s come up on your radar, you’d be forgiven for assuming that it must be a bit of a laugh, a Sunday football type of Masterchef.
Although in the average build up to a comp, there is certainly a health dose of beer, revelry and silliness, don’t be fooled. No matter how chilled you are and how much of a great community you may be competing within (which it really, really is), if you are waking up in the non-existent twilight hours to check the temperature of your smoker and your meat, meat that you are cooking low and slow for up to 20hours, you’ve gotta bet that there’s a serious competition to be won.
Well, to be honest I’m addicted to food (easy with the jokes please, I may not be the skinniest of the bunch). We all ‘need’ food so I suppose you could say this of anyone, but I often feel that not all of us really enjoy our food.