Jamie’s Sticky Ribs, Wonky Fries and Slaw

Messy food. The best kind.
Jamie Oliver’s sticky barbecued ribs are my personal favourite. Here is how they are done… 
Ingredients:
  • 2 long racks of pork belly ribs from your favourite butcher
  • Fresh Orange Juice
Dry Rub:
  • 2 tablespoons of fennel seeds
  • 5 cloves
  • 2 teaspoons of cumin seeds
  • a good few grinds of black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons of smoked paprika
  • Fresh thyme, stalks removed
  • Fresh Rosemary, stalks removed
  • 3 cloves of smelly garlic
Sticky BBQ Sauce:
  • 120ml tomato ketchup
  • a few drops of Tabasco, more if you are feeling brave
  • 2 – 4 tablespoons of runny honey
  • 3 tablespoons of apple juice
  • a swig or two of Worcestershire sauce
  • a swig of balsamic vinegar
  • 1 clove of garlic finely grated
Preheat the oven to 160 degrees C/325 F/Gas 3. Put all your dry ingredients in a pestle and mortar and grinnnndddd. Rub into your racks of ribs and place in a large baking tray on a soft cushion of rosemary.  Pour over the orange juice and cover tightly with lots of tin foil. Cook in oven for 3 1/2 to 4 hours and the meat with be falling off the bone.

Mix all the BBQ sauce ingredients in a bowl.

Whilst your ribs are turning succulent and tender in the oven. Start on your coleslaw and fries. Be sure to make the coleslaw just before serving if possible to prevent it getting limp and soggy, the key to good slaw is freshness and a crunch.

Coleslaw:

  • Red cabbage
  • White Cabbage
  • Carrots
  • Radishes
  • Apples
  • Creme Fraiche or Mayonnaise
  • Wholegrain mustard
  • Lemon juice
  • S & P
Wonky Fries:
  • Big white potatoes
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt
Slice cabbage thinly and leave in cold water for about half an hour if you can, then salt. Slice the carrots, radishes and apples, grate  for a finer slaw or drop in a food processor with the ‘slice’ attachment. 

Slice potatoes about a fingers width, wash and drain. About 15 minutes before the ribs are ready, turn the oven up to 180 degrees. Heat a baking tray with a little olive oil in the oven for a few minutes. Remove and add the dried fries so they fizz and spit in the hot oil. Shake em’ up and sprinkle with sea salt. Pop in the oven for about half an hour, they will need a shake or a turn after about 15 minutes when you remove the ribs. 

Take your ribs out of the oven, remove and discard the foil and smother in your smokey barbecue sauce. When the chips are cooked flick on the grill. Leave the fries at the bottom of the oven to keep warm and pop the ribs directly under the hot grill for about 10 minutes or until dark brown and sticky with a few burnt gnarly bits.

Mix up all of your coleslaw ingredients with a squeeze of lemon for some zing, some creamy mayonnaise and/or creme fraiche and a large dollop of whole-grain mustard. Measurements will depend on whether you prefer more of a crunchy dressed salad or a big saucy dollop of creamy slaw. Keep stirring and tasting and judge for yourself. Add a sprinkle or grand of salt and pepper.

Remove chips and ribs. Pile all three on a large board. Pour yourself a JD and coke or a cold beer, have a large wad of napkins at the ready and get stuck in!

Jamie Oliver recipe available here.

Champagnes and Chateaux with Canard-Duchêne

Champagne. The French Provence lined in vineyards and bubbling with opulence and deliciousness. When invited by Champagne and Chateuax and Champagne house Canard-Duchêne to join them to swig champers for two days my answer was unquestionably – oui.

Greeted in Ashford I boarded a coach with a lovely bunch from around the country ready to begin.

Onto the shuttle, under the channel and out the other side,  4 hours and 2 glasses of champagne later we arrived in the town of Reims, one of the 3 main cities within the Champagne Provence the other two being Troyes and Epernay. 

Lunch consisted of three rather creamy and delicious courses all washed down with Canard Duchêne Cuvée Léonie . Light, fruity and incredibly quaff-able. 

Never one to make decisions when faced with a menu, I shared a starter with my partner in crime on the trip. Half ham hock terrine with creamed mustard and salad followed by half a plate deliciously smooth and creamy Fois Gras with Melba toast and piles of rock salt and fragrant herbs for sprinkling.

Shared starters followed by a rare steak in peppercorn sauce with a rather large dish of dauphinoise doused in copious amounts of cheese and cream and just to ensure I was well and truly unable to move, a traditional dessert from the region of powdery and sweet rose biscuits with ice cream, a ground hazelnut crumble and layered pastel pink sponge.

Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral

Reims has so much to see including some rather beautiful shops, with not much time to browse and the inability to walk after lunch I did not get to see enough. A good excuse for a repeat visit.


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral




Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral

Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral

Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


We made our way to the house of Canard-Duchêne in Loudes, just a short drive from Reims where we were taken around the grounds, the vines and through the cellars. Grapes and bottles as far as the eye can see – a true wine and bubbles lover heaven.

Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral

That afternoon I was awarded a diploma. Without question, the easiest and most enjoyable I have ever received – A diploma in Sabrage.

Sabrage: The technique of opening a champagne bottle with a sabre. The traditional method of opening champagne is still used today by Canard-Duchêne fro special occasions and ceremonies and puts the traditional ‘twist and pop’ to completely shame.  

With a sweep of a rather large and shiny sword, the cork and bottle neck were airborne. Frothing champagne was caught in awaiting glasses and quickly drunk. And there you have it. A certificate for my outstanding achievement. 


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral

Consumption of the sword-sliced bottles followed before canapés and a four course tasting dinner paired with chosen champagnes.


Scallops in a rich mushroom sauce with grilled fennel served with Grand Cuvée Le Victorieux

Pan fried Iberico pork chop served with Grand Cuvée de Beauté

Layered brie and truffles served with Grand Cuvée la Rose

Poached pear in a pastry parcel accompanied by pear sorbet served with Authentic Demi-Sec


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral



After a G&T back in Reims eyes got rather heavy and bed beckoned. The next morning we returned to Canard-Duchêne in Loudes for a tour of the production house, lots of rather clever equipment and LOTS of champagne. With yet more champagne tasting we relaxed after lunch before the journey home. 



Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral



Canard Duchene, Champagne, Reims, France, Champagne and Chateaux, Road Trip, French Wine, French Champagne, Reims Cathedral


Lots learnt, a diploma gained and more bubbly than fairy liquid filled jacuzzi made a very enjoyable two days in Champagne. 


My Personal Favourites:
  • Canard Duchêne Cuvée Léonie
  • Canard Duchêne Grand Cuvée de la Rose 
  • Canard Duchêne Authentic Green

See full details of Canard Duchêne and Champagne and Chateaux.

Perkin Reveller

Perched underneath Tower Bridge on the North of the river, Perkin reveller is the newly opened neighbour of Tower of London. The restaurant area is filled with vast, long wooden tables and chandeliers and the snooky bar area is a cosy and welcoming spot to spend an evening glugging beer or gin punch bowls, bums sunk into squidgy cushions.
Invited for an evening of canapés and cocktails, tables were covered in goblets of pork scratching’s, chips and roasted nuts and they showered us in bite size plates from their menu . A host of rather lovely staff helped us to big, shiny, silver bowls of crispy whitebait, oysters and shallot vinegar, insanely delicious quails scotch eggs with curried mayonnaise, apple and gin punch and champagne.
Think knights of the round table meets The City with traditional British food presented in clean and modern dishes. They keep the contemporary glass interior cosy with warm lighting surrounded in twinkling lights form the tower and river water. An outside space filled with rustic wooden benches has an incredible view of the surrounding spot with lots of big flames burning for added drama. At the end of each table is a trunk of old school games and warm blankets – perfect for a cool evening outside wrapped in a red blanked playing dominoes, drinking gin and feeling very medieval.  
Open for breakfast, lunch, afternoon tea and dinner. Check em’ out here
Perkin Reveller review, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, restaurant review London, Perkin Reveller

Perkin Reveller review, Tower Bridge, Tower of London, restaurant review London, Perkin Reveller

DIY Recipe Book

Ever asked a friend for their recipe and two months later when you have a craving for those chocolate coated goodies that made you groan, you cant for the life of you find that disheveled, grease spotted napkin end you scrawled it on? I have. And it is a sad moment.


Buy yourself a crisp new book or file (I love Muji) and start filling it. Stick in your newspaper corner scribbles, tear out recipes from magazines and newspapers and photocopy your friends new crisp recipe book jam-packed with good stuff but that you don’t have room for on your already bulging bookshelf for.

Decorate if you are feeling creative, fill the gaps with notes and tips and for those recipes you stole from memorable meals, note when and where you were and cover in photos of who you were with. You will make yourself not just a book full of food you know you love and want to cook but a diary of your tummy’s happiest moments. 

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book
DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book
DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book

DIY Recipe book, home made, home baking, gift for foodies, Muji Folders Jamie recipe, recipe collection, best recipe book