ʽʽHi, I’m Benjamin Nunn – critic, gourmand and author of Ben Viveur. I like to eat and drink. And cook. And write.
You might have read me in an in-flight magazine, or a beer publication, but here on my own blog I'm liberated from the editorial shackles of others so anything goes.
I deal with real food and drink in the real world, aiming to create recipes that taste awesome, but which can be created by mere mortals without the need for tons of specialist equipment and a doctorate in food science. Likewise, I tend to review relaxed establishments that you might visit on a whim without having to sell your first-born, rather than hugely expensive restaurants and style bars in the middle of nowhere with a velvet rope barrier, a stringent dress code and a six-month waiting list!
There's plenty of robust opinion, commentary on the world of food and drink, and lots of swearing, so look away now if you're easily offended.
Otherwise, tuck your bib in, fill your glass and turbo-charge your tastebuds. We're going for a ride... Ben Appetit!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Friday, March 18, 2011
|In goes the beer - only a few hours to go!|
Yes, it contains anchovies. Baked beans with anchovies, pork, maple syrup and various other seemingly incongruous ingredients.
Be aware that to enjoy this dish at it's best, you need to cook it for a minimum of two hours, ideally substantially longer!
Borlotti Beans, one tin, drained
Belly of pork, about half a pound or 4-5 big rashers, cut into bite-sized chunks
Chestnut mushrooms, a few, chopped
Take a big pan with a lid, and heat the excess oil from your anchovy fillets (not the fish, just the oil), and use it to brown your pork. After a few minutes add the bacon, onions, garlic and cumin - you want the pork fat to go crispy and the onions to start caramelising. Towards the end of this process, put your peppers and anchovies in there too.
Once it's all basically cooked (though not overcooked), you chuck in the beans and everything else and mix it all up. The quantities will depend on your personal taste - for a sweeter sauce, more maple syrup, for a hotter version, more tabasco etc.
The important thing is that you put the lid on and cook the whole thing on a very low heat for at least a couple of hours. If it ever gets too dry, add a little more beer.
If you've got the balance right, it will all reduce to a delicious thick, sticky sauce that's sweet and salty and hot in just the right ratios (which, to some extent, you can determine). The beans and pork will have absorbed the flavours, and you've got some fucking excellent food right there.
You could transfer the whole thing to a casserole and cook in the oven if you prefer. Or even cook in a straw box, or underground, or whatever slow-cooking method you prefer.
Once it's done, you can eat it on it's own, or maybe with a large baked potato, or some fresh sourdough bread. It's all good. If you've got some left over the next day it will still be nice when re-heated, so buy some chips from the chip shop and pour the beans on top, why don't you?
To drink with it - almost anything. Maybe some of the beer you used?
Friday, March 4, 2011
These old lines seem rather dated now, and the sketch has fallen out of favour, primarily due to our perceptions of any implicit class system in our self-identity changing drastically over the last 45 years, and also because the visual effectiveness of the skit relies on deploying a trio of actors who just happen to be as significantly diverse in stature as Cleese, Barker and Corbett. Which probably is a solicitors firm somewhere.