Rib of beef

2017 – My Favourite Cooks

2017 – My Favourite Cooks:

I wanted to write an end of year summary to list out “2017 my favourite cooks” and I was hoping to narrow it down to a top 10. Having gone through all 133 blog posts I have only managed to narrow it down to a top 40 so I shall pretend it’s like the old music charts I used to listen to on a Sunday afternoon!

I have broken everything out into different sections below but I have tagged each post so the full list can be seen here otherwise:


American BBQ:

American BBQ is what got me started with all this and the 2 things I had tried the most (and failed every time!) were Brisket and Beef Ribs. This year, I finally got them right! Both cooks were quite close together and it was fantastic to get such good results on both of them. The brisket was so juicy and soft I couldn’t stop eating it! The Beef Ribs were from Sherwood Foods and were the best I have cooked so far, I managed to recreate the photo from the cover of Pitmaster by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart with this cook!

Really hard to pick a winner but I was stressed with the brisket cook that is was such a great feeling to see it end up so good, for that reason Brisket is the winner!

Winner:

BBQ64/17: Franklin Style Brisket

Runner Up:

BBQ66/17: Texas Style Beef Ribs


Asian:

Many years ago (before kids) we used to travel a fair bit and always enjoyed the food. Before BBQ I used to cook a lot of Asian food and always enjoyed it. For a while now I have been meaning to combine the 2 and cook more Asian food on the BBQ. These 2 dishes were done recently and were fantastic. The Kor Moo Yang was unreal, one of my favourite dishes of the year so far.

Winner:

BBQ125/17: Kor Moo Yang

Runner Up:

BBQ124/17: Imperial BBQ Pork


Beef:

Beef is probably my favourite meat and I always enjoy a roast beef dinner. I have been lucky to eat some amazing British beef this year including 7 year old British beef as well as quality heritage breeds and extra aged meat. As the year progressed I realised I was going to manage 100 cooks so I wanted to mark that cook with something special. Another cook I was a bit worried about up front but it turned out really, really well. 

2 runners up as I couldn’t pick between the 2, they were both so good.

Winner:

BBQ100/17: 7 Year old Dexter Rib of Beef

Runner Up:

BBQ69/17: 70 day aged Rib of Beef

Runner Up:

BBQ20/17: Dry Rubbed Sirloin of Beef


Burger:

Over the space of this year I have cooked quite a few burgers and have gradually been tweaking it to get it exactly how I want it. It’s not perfect yet but I am getting it close to where I want it to be. The Bacon Cheeseburger is the winner as it looked and tasted amazing. The Bulgogi Burger is runner up as it was so different to a standard burger and tasted fantastic. The Insanity Burgers are also a runner up as I made those pretzel buns and have them earmarked for my next burger!

Winner:

BBQ115/17: Bacon Cheeseburger

Runner Up:

BBQ106/17: Bulgogi Burger

Runner Up:

BBQ38/17: Dexter and Bone Marrow Insanity Burgers #2


Chicken:

I haven’t cooked a lot of chicken this year but these 2 dishes really stand out. Neither were recipes for the BBQ but I just cooked them on the grill and they came out fantastic! Highly recommend both but the Persian Style Chicken just takes the honours!

Winner:

BBQ92/17: Persian Style Chicken

Runner Up:

BBQ58/17: Roast Citrus, Ginger and Honey Chicken


Dessert:

Dessert on the BBQ? That’s the reaction you get from most people but we have done quite a few desserts this year, it’s a good way to make use of the heat after you have finished cooking. Plus you get dessert as well!

My wife created this dish and it was fantastic.

Winner:

BBQ46/17: Maple grilled peaches with a salted caramel rum sauce


Duck:

I hadn’t cooked a lot of duck prior to this and was a bit nervous about overcooking it. I wasn’t really expecting a lot from the dish but I remember it blew me away. The soft, smokey duck meat with a charred edge was so good. I need to cook this again.

Winner:

BBQ08/17: Chargrilled Duck Breast with Peas, Broad Beans and Hot Mint Sauce


Fish/Seafood:

I live near the coast and haven’t cooked a lot of fish, it’s something I aim to change in 2018 especially as I have a fishmonger in walking distance of my house!

The lobster dish was fantastic, the lobster was massive and I hadn’t cooked a lot of lobsters before but it came out really well. The cold smoked cod dish was also really nice, added a great smokey flavour to the fish, another one I need to repeat.

Winner:

BBQ36/17: “Old Cow” Rib Eye Steak and a Massive Lobster!

Runner Up:

BBQ15/17: Cold smoked cod with white beans, clams and parsley


Goat:

Goatober 2016, what fun that was and it was the formation of a private twitter group that I spend so much time in! That group also created and ran UK BBQ Week so we all have Cabrito Goat to thank really!

I have cooked some great goat dishes this year mostly aided by buying half a goat directly from Cabrito Goat and butchering it myself:

Butchery: Half a Goat

The leg seems to be the winner in my house. Cutting the rump from the leg joint and cooking it on the Uuni gave me one of the stand out dishes of the year, so simple in it’s preparation and cooking but such a great taste!

The butterflied leg using a recipe by DJ BBQ and Cabrito Goat was also very special, lovely dish on a sunny autumn day.

Winner:

BBQ114/17: Uuni Goat Rump

Runner Up:

BBQ108/17: Butterflied Leg of Goat


Indian:

Similar to the Asian section, we cook a lot of Indian dishes and I have been cooking more on the grill to bring the 2 together. Murgh Makhani stands out as I was raving about it for days afterwards!

Winner:

BBQ57/17: Murgh Makhani


Kebab:

Kebabs are great on the BBQ especially during the summer. This recipe by Rich Harris is the best Souvlaki dish I have eaten outside of Greece. Brilliant!

Winner:

BBQ39/17: Pork Souvlaki and Flatbreads


Lamb:

I was never a fan of lamb as a kid. Poor quality supermarket lamb, overcooked with fat, grease and gristle wasn’t a winning combination but cooking quality British lamb on the grill and smoker has been fantastic. The Lamb Shoulder with Black Dip by Steven Raichlen was such a great meal, everything went together so well. Paul Niland put me on to the DJ BBQ Chilli-Glazed leg of Lamb and I am grateful for that because it is incredibly tasty, a bit hit with my family. The hay smoked lamb rumps were also a great dish, smoking with hay was new to me but the taste was amazing.

Winner:

BBQ104/17: Lamb Shoulder with Black Dip

Runner Up:

BBQ28/17: DJ BBQ Chilli-Glazed Leg of Lamb

Runner Up:

BBQ23/17: Hay Smoked Lamb Rumps


Pizza:

16 Pizza cooks, 2 flat bread cooks and 3 cast iron cooks on the Uuni – such a great bit of kit and a bargain at £200. The Uuni itself is the winner of the Pizza category!

Winner:

Uuni – A year of Pizza!


Pork:

So many great pork dishes this year made it really hard to narrow it down. The monster pork chop recipe by Steven Raichlen was unreal. Brined, smoked and grilled it’s a lot of work but totally worth it. The best pork chops I have ever eaten! The pork loin dish was also good as the rub was so tasty but it was the first time I made bone marrow mash as well and the 2 together made for a fantastic meal!

Winner:

BBQ52/17: Monster Pork Chops

Runner Up:

BBQ14/17: Pork Loin with Pickled Apples


Ribs:

Back when I first started cooking on my WSM I did a lot of babyback ribs and my wife kept asking for spare ribs. ArtustBBQ put me on to Sherwoods Meats for top quality, meaty pork ribs and 2 of my favourite rib cooks were with them. The lamb ribs cook was a surprise as I wasn’t expecting too much but the dish was fantastic, really tasty.

Winner:

BBQ29/17: Hang Fire St Louis-Style Spare Ribs

Runner Up:

BBQ61/17: Memphis-Style Ribs

Runner Up:

BBQ40/17: Sticky Lamb Ribs


Rotisserie:

The Rotisserie for the Weber Grill is a great bit of kit, I highly recommend it to everyone! In my recent cooks I have done a couple of pork cooks on the rotisserie which were just fantastic. The leg of pork was a cheap joint of meat but it tasted amazing and we got loads of meals out of it. The Pannage Pork was very special as it had taken me a year to get it but I also managed to cook a great belly on the rotisserie with my best crackling yet!

Winner:

BBQ123/17: Rotisserie Leg of Pork

Runner Up:

BBQ126/17: Pannage Pork – Lechon Liempo


Smoker Sides:

When I was cooking on the smoker every week I became aware of an empty shelf that could be used to cook something for lunch. Moinks were a revelation to me, I couldn’t believe how good they tasted! The Mai Thai Chicken Thighs by Hang Fire were such a treat.

Winner:

BBQ87/17: Moink Balls

Runner Up:

BBQ81/17: Mai Thai Chicken Thighs


Steak:

As with the beef section the steak section is very, very hard to choose a winner as I have had some top quality steaks this year.

The Tomahawk steak from Rogers and Son butchers was one of the best steaks I have eaten this year. It was a massive slab of meat that only just fitted in my grill and I was quite worried about over cooking it but it came out perfectly cooked. The 7 year old Dexter T-Bones were truly special, hopefully we will see more older British Beef becoming available. The slow smoke T-Bones were very nice, a different way to cook steak but they took on a great amount of smoke. The cold smoked steaks were awesome, my attempt to recreate a dish I had eaten on a night out.

Winner:

BBQ111/17: Tomahawk Steak

Runner Up:

BBQ99/17: 7 Year old British Dexter T-Bone

Runner Up:

BBQ71/17: Slow Smoked 32oz T-Bone Steaks

Runner Up:

BBQ06/17: Cold smoked, reverse dirty seared Pave Rump Steak


Sausage:

When you say BBQ in the UK folk imagine sausages and burgers, we all know that’s not what it’s all about but even a sausage can be something interesting! The Pitt Cue sausage bun was awesome, highly recommend it. The Spuntino Eagle Rock Dog was recreated by my wife after eating at Spuntino in Bristol, cracking dish!

Winner:

BBQ109/17: Pitt Cue Sausage Bun

Runner Up:

BBQ98/17: Spuntino Eagle Rock Dog


Turkey:

Tell people you cook your Christmas dinner on the BBQ and see the reaction! The Turkey I cooked on Christmas Day was my best so far, very juicy, nice smokey taste and a crisp skin. Top quality turkey from Herb Fed.

BBQ133/17: Christmas Turkey


Summary:

So many great cooks in this list, it would be impossible for me to pick a favourite as I have enjoyed all of them so much. BBQ 100 will always be quite special to me as I didn’t think I would manage 100 cooks in one year and that was a very special bit of meat I cooked to mark the occasion.

Wonder what 2018 will look like?

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