Saturday evening commnced with food at Cardiff’s Chapter Art centre and a lovely pint of Kaltenberg Hell. Here’s the harissa chicken burger with fries, freshly made coleslaw and sour cream. Although very tasty, considering it was meant to have been flavoured with harissa I was expecting a lot more of a spicy kick to it.
After finishing our burgers attention turned of where to go next. A surprising suggestion was a visit to Pontypridd (just on the outskirts of Cardiff heading towards the Welsh Valleys). Anyone who is familiar with Pontypridd or to give it its more glamorous nickname ‘Ponty’, may be wondering WHY? Well this was my exact thought however I was assured that a trip to the Bunch of Grapes pub would be well worth the £4 train fare, possible bare-knuckle fight with post-rugby international day revellers and colourful locals.
So after a short train journey we arrived in Ponty and proceeded to walk for about 20 minutes through the main town centre. Out of nowhere at the end of a residential street appeared the very traditional looking Bunch of Grapes pub
Inside it was a relief to find not a single Fosters, Carling or Strongbow in sight. Instead the wonderful Brooklyn Beer resided on draught (Brooklyn Brown Ale and Pale Ale were available in bottled form) alongside a selection of Otley ales, Sierra Nevada and local guest ales.
After several beers, attention turned of course to more food. Being late at night, and after already consuming a burger and fries earlier in the evening, somehow the ‘confit leg of mallard’ didn’t seem appropriate. Instead two cheese platters were ordered and quickly devoured. Delicious.
Butter. Not Cheese.
The Bunch of Grapes is well worth checking out and there’s a lot of events coming up including a cheese night, cooking classes and a even a live male voice choir this coming weekend!
Words & Pics: hypervaluevalue
Last week I was fortunate enough to try the latest addition to the specials board at Fresh Baguette – Salami crackling. Fresh is located in Royal Arcade Cardiff and at lunch time is hard to miss as customers line the arcade queuing to order. This is for good reason, the inviting smell and welcome atmosphere coupled with an impressive menu selection has generated a real cult following.
Merry Christmas from The Sandwich Club! Hope you’ve all been feasting well.
This year I had my first attempt at home made mustard as presents for some of the family. It’s gone down really well and I’ve been pretty pleased with the results.
Straight after making and bottling, the mustard was quite overpowering and the ale was very prominent, but after leaving it to settle for a week the flavours have mellowed and blended into a pretty tasty mustard. It was fairly straightforward to make and the Sandwich Club will definitely be experimenting more with home made mustards in 2012!
Ale Mustard – Ingredients:
1 bottle of real ale (I chose Hobgoblin)
yellow mustard seeds
black mustard seeds
white wine vinegar
ground nutmeg and coriander
Apply to beef and enjoy!
Wally’s Delicatessen is something of a local legend, known for it great selection of olives, meats, cheese and foods from around the world. My first memory of Wallys was as a very young boy and my grandad making the short journey from Newport to get, amongst other delights, molokhia leaves to make molokhia soup (an Egyptian soup that he made with neck of lamb).
Located above the deli is Wally’s Kaffeehaus where they strive to ‘uphold all the traditions’ of Viennese-style coffee houses by serving a selection of Northern European inspired open sandwiches, as well as breakfasts, desserts and of course coffee!
I had the Baden which consisted of German dark smoked black ham, Hereford Hop cheese and ploughman’s chutney with green salad, chopped balsamic onions and sliced pear, served on wholegrain seeded bread. I was quite impressed by the ‘picky’ look of the presentation, lots of bits and pieces to graze on and mix up to get different flavours with each mouthful rather than just the same tastes you usually get with your traditional sandwich or baguette. It feels more like eating a meal really and of course requires cutlery.
It was very good and the ingredients of course were top notch given the plentiful supply from the downstairs deli! It’s not the cheapest though, you’ll be looking at over £10 if you have a sandwich, drink and desert. Also it’s probably not recommended as a quick eat on a lunch break, we did have to wait for a table and space is fairly limited. But this isn’t what Wally’s are going for. The tradition of the kaffeehaus is to take your time so making a quick take away bagel would be kind of against their ethos.
Overall it’s a place well worth checking out on a lazy saturday afternoon.
Good friends Martyn and Maia came to visit this week from Virginia in the USA. They’ve been there for about a year and a half now and the last time I saw them was when I was Martyn’s Best Man at their wedding out there.
Martyn and Maia obviously know we’re big foodies and sandwich fans and were kind enough to bring over with them on this trip some Virginia Gentleman VG 90 Bourbon Chipotle Hot Sauce and a set of napkins depicting the state bird, the cardinal, and the state tree and flower, the dogwood. Both items were bought from Market Street Market, which we reviewed on a previous post compiled on the same trip to the States for the wedding, and can be read here.
Here’s the sauce:
and here’s the napkins:
All of these things can only mean one thing, coming soon… THE SANDWICH CLUB DO PULLED PORK ROUND II !!!
Here at the Sandwich Club we are huge fans of pulled pork. In the USA they do pulled pork and they do it well, it’s something us Brits haven’t really got to grips with yet.
For the uninitiated, pulled pork is a very long slow way of cooking the shoulder (often referred to as the Boston butt) at a low temperature, this can be done in the oven or often on a barbecue.
For some reason there aren’t many places that do pulled pork in the UK and to the best of our knowledge no where that does it in Cardiff. One of the best we’ve come across is Bodean’s in London, we advise you to check it out.
So, we finally got round to having our first attempt at cooking our own pulled pork supplemented by our own homemade BBQ sauce.
The recipe was as follows:
First mix up your rub, we went for a simple one of chilli flakes, mustard seeds, salt and freshly ground black pepper. This then needs to be rubbed well all over the pork shoulder. Placing the pork shoulder into a baking tray we then poured over some cider and white wine vinegar and scattered over chopped onions and garlic. The shoulder then needs to be wrapped in parchment paper and foil and put into a pre-heated oven, ours was set to 170℃/Gas 3. This cooks for 3 hours before removing the paper and foil and cooking for a further hour (times will vary depending on the size of the shoulder you are using).
For the BBQ sauce we followed a recipe by James Martin. Fry onion and garlic in olive oil with chilli, fennel seeds and sugar. Add soy sauce, ketchup and season with salt and pepper. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few minutes.
To serve you will need to ’pull’ the pork by putting a fork in the shoulder and shredding the meat into small pieces using another fork. Heap into buns with the BBQ sauce and coleslaw.
There you have it, Pulled Pork!
No doubt we’ll be attempting this again, experimenting with different rubs. If you have your own pulled pork recipes we’d love to hear from you.
Great news about a new Popeye inspired cookbook out next year. The publishers say that the book is made up of healthy recipes based on the characters of the Popeye cartoon and follows on from last year’s Moomin’s Cookbook.
Full details can be found on the publishers websites:
Our possible suggestions for further books in the series include:
- The Wombles: A Guide to Forraging
- Sweeny Todd’s Ultimate Book of Pies
- Bananaman’s Top 50 Banana Recipes
- Offaly-Good Meals: Hannibal Lecters Guide to Cooking Offal
- The Flintstones: cooking in the early years
- MASH – cooking with mash
- Silence of the lambs – a guide to slow roasting
A selection of recent eats from The Sandwich Club:
Afternoon tea at Waterloo Tea Rooms
Tuna, mayo, lemon, cucumber, capers, salad sandwich
Bread from Cardiff Indoor Market
Scrambled egg, chorizo, rocket on seasame seed bagel
Leftover Homemade Meatballs, plus…
…Roasted Vegetables, equals…
…Meatball and Roasted Vegetable sandwich!
Roasted vegetable lentils with anchovies, capers and rocket on toast
The Cardiff Devil @ The New York Deli (choice of hot sauce was level 7)
Chorizo, chicken, honey mustard bagel
Tomato, spinach, anchovy, olive & gorgonzola pasta
In a slightly off topic opening paragraph I’m going to tell you about an activity that was meant to form part of this summer. It was sometime last year that myself and a friend decided on creating and instigating an indie-punk bowls team, the perfect ‘sport’ for those long sunny British summer evenings. To date, this has not happened…
This summer’s weather can once again be described as ‘predictably unpredictable’ and not ideal conditions for a regular regime of indie-punk bowling.
So, in a hopeful attempt at bringing some European sunniness to the Sandwich Club, it’s been decided to round up the main contenders in the supermarket-own-brand-ideal-for-any-barbeque-stubby-bottle-beer category.
It was Tesco Biere Speciale that started it all off for us, and now it comes with the welcome addition of an American style ‘screw’ cap. As demonstrated here:
To summarise some of the other main contenders we’ve put together a table of vital statistics, including the king of continental lagers Stella Artois as a comparison.
So there we go. Seen as we have written an article involving alcohol, we feel obliged to give some sort of health warning:
REMEMBER TO ALWAYS PLAY BOWLS IRRESPONSIBLY.