Dry Cured Ox Heart - A British First

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Dry Cured Ox Heart - A British First

Sat in a Soho pub with a mate Niran in the winter of 2014 I had a '4th pint down brain wave' and whipped out my "Little book of ideas", which always amuses Niran no end. Just under 'Lamb brain jam' (In all good supermarkets, never) I jotted down 'Ox Heart Bresaola' ..

I awoke the next morning to see what drunken madness I had been scribbling down this time, and after hammering Google for a good hour trying to find if anyone was curing hearts in Britain, I found to my surprise, nobody! 

So a week later, armed with two massive Ox Hearts, I went to see my mates at Moons Green Charcuterie and asked them if they could cure them. The result? An amazing product with the texture of a Bresaola and the depth of flavour of a Jerky. I serve this up on the van in a simple salad with Rosary goats cheese, blood orange and our British chilli honey. My challenge as always, is convincing some customers to try it! But once they do, they bloody love it I tells ya! 

Since that drunken evening I'm really pleased to see my brainchild and Moons Greens hard work hitting British restaurant menu's. If you want to try this beauty of a charcuterie for yourself, track us down or head to Moons Green's market stall at Brockley Market.

Here are a few words from John at Moons Green on how this blinder of a product came about..

"Dan Shearman of The Roadery and Jose Azevedo the Portuguese charcutier at Moons Green Charcuterie joined forces to produce this unique and amazing product. Dan’s habit it to seek out esoteric and extremely British bits of animals and weave them into magical dishes. In this instance they settled on Ox Hearts and Jose went away to see if they could be cured and turned into interesting charcuterie.

Jose experimented with various aromatic herbs and spices and curing processes and finally, after three or four months, he sat down with his Moons Green partner and fellow charcutier John Doig and tasted the fruits of his labours.

“Bloody amazing,” said Doig. “I was expecting something extremely masculine and assertive and instead you’ve made this wondrous, delicate, beefy morsel. It’s brilliant and the world must quickly be told!”

And so Moons Green proceeded to cure quite a lot of Ox Hearts. Although other chefs have been quick to grab hold of them for their novelty it’s Dan of the Roadery who has made them his own." - John Doig (Moons Green Charcuterie)

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Street Aid UK - Clothes for Calais

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Street Aid UK - Clothes for Calais

Firstly, Merry Christmas everyone, and a HUGE thank you to everyone who has donated to help us take aid to refugees in need this January! We have raised over £9,000 to take much needed supplies and hot meals to the people in the camp during the harshness of winter. Our crowd fund is now closed, but we will still be taking donations up until the we leave on the 13th January. Please get in touch for details.

Now we call upon your current festive mood and ask you to dig deep into your wardrobes for warm clothing, jumpers, winter coats, wellies, boots, tents and sleeping bags. Winter is setting in and these people are in desperate need of warmth and shelter. So.. Did Granny buy you a horrific jumper this year? We will take it! Still trying to fix the broken zip on that sleeping bag? Give it up.. we will take it! Are you waiting for that NafNaf jacket to come back into fashion? Don't, it won't, we will take it!

We will be taking your donations of clothing and supplies at The Archers Pub, 42 Osborn Street (Just off Brick Lane) from today until the 10th January. Please see the website for opening times and directions. Please note: For clothing donations we are looking for mens clothing only for January, and please only warm winter wear. No t shirts, shorts etc. Women and children's clothes are not currently in need.

More information on our upcoming trip here.

A little on our last trip to camp - 

In September a team of us organised by The Coach & Horses in Soho, went to the camp in Calais to feed displaced peoplein the refugee camp. This January, a group of us Street food traders from London and beyond are raising funds to return for 5 days in January from the 13th – 17th Jan, supplying hot meals and taking much needed supplies such as sleeping bags, tents, coats, building supplies and basic cooking equipment to people in the camp during winter.

Back in September we witnessed first hand the desperate conditions these people were living in. The lack of a good meal, and little protection from the bitter cold, coastal wind and rain.

The first day was difficult to swallow, and it’s hard to put into words the conditions in which they live. Some are lucky enough to have obtained one of the temporary shelters, but as the camp is so overcrowded, the majority of people arrive with nothing more than the clothes on their backs and rely on volunteers on the ground to help them obtain tents or materials to build their own shelters.

As we served breakfast on the first day in camp, I watched as a group of new arrivals began to build a home from plastic sheeting and the branches of a tree. Within minutes they were joined by at least 20 existing residents of the camp and had a basic home built within the hour. It would offer no protection from the biting cold that night, but at least a little from the rain.

The next day I spoke with Saed who lived in the shelter with his young brother, and asked if they managed to keep dry last night. He told me that the ground flooded from below, turning their floor into mud. Thankfully we had wooden pallets in the van, which meant at least they wouldn’t have to sleep in the cold wet mud for another night.

Over the 4 days we met nothing but warm, kind and grateful people, all with their own heartbreaking backgrounds of how they ended up in this situation. Keen to show their gratitude, invited us into their homes, and not taking no for an answer gave us what they had feeding us rice and hot tea.  We sat with them until the early hours singling and laughing. It showed us that although their lives are broken, they will not allow their sprits to be.

This January we return with a team of street food traders, chefs, and an amazing team of volunteers which currently includes us, Rupert’s Street, Streatza, The Bowler, What The Dickens!, Fleisch Mob,  ForzaWin and BBQ Dreamz. 

The funds raised will now be spent on food and supplies to take with us in January, along with cooking equipment leave with the camps enabling them to cook themselves hot meals and generate some warmth during a very cold and wet few months to come.

Any clothing and shelter donations will go a long way to ensuring these people who have already been through so much, are given a warm and dry place to call home. It's the very least we can do during the season of goodwill, right?

Thank's for reading and Merry Christmas x

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Our AbuDhabi Street Food Adventure

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Our AbuDhabi Street Food Adventure

Pam in the desert  

Pam in the desert  

When I started The Roadery a year ago, my plan was to produce food I believed in, while being able to hit the road and see more of Britain. I'm a traveller at heart, and never happier than when on the road visiting new places. So when I got the call up for me and the van to join RealFood Festival in AbuDhabi, it took me less than a second to say yes!

I had no idea if it was going to be lucrative, but I was 100% on board for the adventure! We were going in blind, with little to no idea of how many covers we should prepare for, if the people of the UAE would get it, or if we were going to come back having lost money. My plan was simple.. Go with the flow, and if I came back with a tiny profit and a sun tan, I had still had an adventure. 

My main concern was produce. Given I have based my business on not only highlighting forgotten cuts, but also wild and the best of British ingredients. Foraging probably being off the menu given we were to be surrounded by desert.. And British would of course be another big hurdle! Offal was far from a problem, given that they eat pretty much anything (Minus pork) in the UAE. My first visit to the market put my mind at ease when I saw lamb brains at the deli counter.

Day one and we arrived in AbuDhabi City and all met for a "few" introductory beers at our hotels private beach bar.. After a heavy night we packed up and headed for our first event in Madinat Al Zayed. This was the Bedouin birthplace of the sheik, and the most conservative destination of our tour.

Upon arrival in Madinat - a "few" more drinks at our next hotel bar, surrounded by the beautiful rolling desert, and an introduction to a slightly unhinged oil rich Emirati, who took us dune bashing (not a euphemism) - we were ready for our first festival weekend. We presumed this was to be the quietest, and it was, but my menu choice of Halloumi bracos managed to save me. They bloody love Halloumi!

Before heading out to the UAE we all planned menus and tried to get as much similar produce to our UK suppliers as possible.. We learned our lesson very quickly when we arrived, with orders going wrong all over the place, and produce just not up to scratch.

Much to the amusement of the rest of the traders, when the first order arrived it turned out that I had ordered enough Cornish sea salt to salt bake a blue whale, so for the remainder of the trip I was the go to salt dealer. The humiliation was then thankfully shared when Hilary and Steve from ATE ordered about a metric ton of beef stock.

Luckily we soon got the hang of ordering, and also quickly realised that we could get fresh produce much cheaper, and of much better quality from the local souks. And a hell of a lot more fun shopping and haggling! 

Aside from a bit of food wastage, the first event went without many hitches, apart from one of the traders taking an innocent photo of a girl tucking into her food, and posting it on Instagram.. Standard procedure you might think, but a few hours later the Chief of police called in to request it be taken down or the event would be pulled.. Oops! We were fast learning the do's and dont's..

With a few learnings under our belts, we hit the road again for our second destination Al Ain, a slightly more westernised part of the UAE with a lot more ex pats. And after getting our bearings, finding the markets, and a "few" more beers, we tore ourselves away from our hotels swim up pool bar, and kicked off the second event. People went crazy for us!.. We were like the One Direction of Street Food.. A sell out of an event.. Press were shouting about our tour, and things were building! I often looked out of my hotel window expecting hoards of screaming girls, but alas all I saw was the hotels pet camel. They must have not got hold of our whereabouts yet. Lucky I suppose.

Our next and final stop was back to Abu Dhabi city, for our beachside festival crescendo on the Corniche! After finding our closest souks, a "lot" more beer, and a visit to the water park, we headed corniche side for the big one. Nothing could have prepared us for the craziness that ensued.. People falling over themselves to get a taste of British street food, queues waiting an hour in line while sheiks ordered 30 portions each, (presumably to feed their many wives and children), we all mucked in and helped each other where we could, and pulled in local volunteers. My volunteers were frantically rolling Braco breads, while Andy Bates was rushing around offering his services.. He was rewarded by Paul from Donostia with a job shelling and pulling the heads off a ton of prawns. The next two days of the event gave no let up, and we were all finally rinsed completely of food, and ultimately energy! 

Nearing death, we all waved goodbye to our vans as they headed back on the ship home, and rushed back to the hotel bar for last orders and quite frankly as many beers as we could fit on our table.

We all took a lot of learnings from our time in the UAE.. The main two for me being..

Plan a menu with minimal prep. Braising meats, and rolling thousands of Braco breads in 40 degree heat is not fun.

And 

Two people and a tiny griddle will NOT do to serve this kind of baying crowd!

All in all though, an amazing adventure, and I couldn't have asked for a nicer bunch of traders or organisers to experience it with.

Some true friends came out of this trip, and I'm praying that we get the opportunity to go back next year and smash it together.. Inshallah!

http://www.realfoodfestival.co.uk/festivals/abu-dhabi-street-feast-festivals1/

Hard at work... 

Hard at work... 

The ladies loved a Braco.. 

The ladies loved a Braco.. 

Off out "Foraging" 

Off out "Foraging" 

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