Eating Out: the Hop Pole, revisited

As we had such an amazing meal last time (see previous post) we decided to dine here again for dad’s birthday last weekend, and again it was amazing. I’ll keep this post/ review brief as my last one pretty much covered all the bases but I just couldn’t not share these beaut food pics with you..

Trio of pork: roast fillet, slow roasted belly and pulled hock croquet with mini toffee apples, baby leeks and roasted beetroot. Each part of the trio had a character of it’s own but all married together nicely and went lovely with a big glug of Hendersons. It felt like there was half a pig on my plate but I managed to plough through it.

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Rabbit and black pudding Wellington with roasted carrots, parsnips and a rich jus. Lovely and moist and full of flavour.

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And… The biggest steak and ale pie I have ever seen, served with chips. Naturally. Lovely tender beef and tasty boozy gravy. mmmm gravy.

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On another note, I know this is supposed to be all about food but I couldn’t resist sharing  a picture of this she-wee contraption, speechless.

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Recipe: Mediterranean Pork Kebabs

This is a simple yet flavoursome recipe which is what I made us for tea last night. I will admit I had a little mishap when making these, I would normally use onions or peppers to go alongside meat for the skewers but this time I decided to use leeks and, erm, well the kind of just fall off the skewers. But they chargrilled nicely anyway and became a tasty little side dish. This recipe uses pork but also works well on chicken too, or if you’re not a meat fan just mixed veg, just forget the leeks.

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You will need:

  • 500g Pork Loin, diced
  • juice of 1 Lemon
  • 1 teaspoon Dried Oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Marjoram
  • 1/2 teaspoon Dried Thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon Cayenne Powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of Paprika
  • 3 cloves of Garlic
  • 1 Chicken stock cube, crumbled
  • salt and pepper to season
  • 6 Fresh Mint Leaves, chopped

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Method:

  1. Combine all the ingredients in a bowl and mix well to ensure the pork is well covered with all the flavours. Cover and leave to marinade for at least 30 mins.
  2. Thread the pork onto skewers, this should make approx 12 skewers which will be enough for about 4 people if served with a side dish/dishes.
  3. Over a high heat, heat a griddle pan until very hot and one by one add the skewers.
  4. Turn every few minutes to colour on each side. The kebabs will take approx 10 mins to cook but if you are unsure you can always cut open a pice of pork to check that the meat is no longer pink in colour.
  5. Once cooked sprinkle over fresh mint, take out the pan and serve.

I enjoyed my kebabs with roasted potatoes and homemade garlic and Parmesan bread but would go fantastic with Pitta bread, salad and Tzatziki (see older post for My Tzatziki recipe). This would also be great as part of a meat platter and great finger food when having friends over.

Eating Out: Kebab night at Ego

If you would have asked me 12 months ago I would have told you that this place was my favourite spot to eat out, but after a couple of disappointments at steak night our eating out here has some what been lacking lately. But after seeing this offer for kebab night we decided to give it another try and last Thursday was the date.

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The setting for this restaurant is beautiful yet relaxed and in a great location, on Surrey Street right near the crucible theatre in Sheffield city centre and a 2 minutes wander from the peace gardens. Ego serves Mediterranean food well with a Modern feel with dishes you would typically see in Spain, Greece and beyond. Having previously had the chicken kebabs off the a la carte menu on previous visits this set my expectations high for the kebab night I was about to partake in.

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What we ate: 

Off the kebab menu we went for the Jerk Pork and the Piri Piri Chicken and each of skin on fries and sweet potato fries. The kebabs came with tortillas, Tzatziki, Salsa (hot) and salad. The kebabs came and were full of flavour, my choice was the Jerk Pork which was spicy and cooked well, the only criticisms that I had the seasoning could have been a little sweeter and the pork better trimmed as I came across a couple of bits of gristle. I had major food envy of the Piri Piri chicken kebab the boy had ordered, the chicken was spiced well and had good heat level and cooked very well. The fries were good and the sweet potato fries were very good, I could have eaten soo much more of them.

We opted out on dessert at the restaurant and had a sneaky fudge sundae from maccy d’s on the way home.

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After this experience Ego has won back my heart and I’ll definitely be back to give the Tapas night a try and to sample more of the a la carte menu. A great night! The only downside I’d if you were expecting this offer to be cheap, once sides and drinks had been added to the £10 kebabs the bill came to almost £40.

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Recipe: Maple Roasted Belly Pork

This great mid-week dinner is tasty, simple and cooks in about an hour and is a real treat. Belly Pork is a very versatile cut and takes on sweet flavours well, for this I decided to use Maple Syrup to roast the pork in which caramelises during cooking making to pork lovely and sticky. I made this a ‘one pot’ (or tray) tray bake and threw in some sweet potato, leeks and red onion. These cooked well with the meat and took on the flavour of the pork and the maple well and complimented the pork great.

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You will need:

  • 400- 500g Belly Pork Slices
  • 3 large Sweet Potatoes in large dices
  • 1 Leek sliced
  • 1 Red Onion sliced
  • Salt and Pepper to Season
  • 3 tablespoons of Maple Syrup

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Method:

  1. In a preheated oven at 220 degrees season you belly pork slices and roast in a large baking tray for 20 mins.
  2. Turn the oven temperature down to 180 degrees, take your pork out of the oven and add the sweet potato to the tray with the pork and drizzle over the maple syrup.
  3. Return to the oven and roast for 20 mins.
  4. Add the onion and leek and return to the oven, turn the oven back up to 220 degrees and cook for a further 20 mins basting the pork throughout until its caramelised and sticky.

Enjoy, serve with Apple Sauce or Caramelised Onion Chutney to add extra sweetness.