Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

Hello Everyone! Today is the last day for Winter Warmer Month *sad face* and I’ve got something that the men may like: Bacon, Beer, and ‘Tater Soup (aka “Man Soup”). Towards the end of June, when I was planning Winter Warmer Month, I came across this recipe in my research and decided to give it a go for one reason, and one reason only – it was just because it was called Man Soup, which I’m guessing comes from the bacon and beer.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

If you are, or have been following my Instagram through my blog, you may have noticed that I have been posting a few photographs that show somewhat symmetry (asymmetry) breakfast/brunch/lunch/super late lunch photographs that have been inspired by the symmetrybreakfast guys that have been trending last weekend. I showed them to Jialing and we then decided to have our own symmetry breakfast this past week and it’s actually quite fun! Today, as you can see above, we had bacon, beer, and potato soup, well, we were supposed to have a different brekky this morning but since I was already preparing this for the blog, we decided to have soup instead.

The original recipe can be found on Food.com – I pretty much followed the recipe, but adjusted the quantities, probably not very accurately since I kind of just winged it to make two servings.

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup Ingredients

PREP TIME 10 MINS | COOKING TIME 1 HOUR 10 MINS | SERVES 2-4

INGREDIENTS

  • 330ml (1 bottle) beer
  • 250g maple-glazed bacon, cut into bits
  • 50g vintage cheddar cheese, crumbed or grated
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 2 large potatoes, peeled
  • 1 celery stick, sliced
  • 1/2 brown onion, halved and sliced thinly
  • 1/4 cup plain flour
  • 2 tbsp unsalted butter
  • 2 tbsp light sour cream, plus more for topping
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste
  • Olive oil

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C (400F or gas mark 6). Line a baking tray with foil or parchment paper and rub the potatoes with a bit of salt and some olive oil. Bake in the oven for about 45 minutes, adjusting the cooking time if needed to make sure that they pierce easily with a fork.
  2. As the potatoes cook, heat a medium-sized pan over medium-high and add the bacon bits. Fry until crispy. Once done, use a slotted spoon to remove the bacon bits and transfer to a plate lined with a paper towel.
  3. Next, add in the onion and celery slices to the pot with the bacon grease and sauté until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Then add in the butter and continue stirring until it melts.
  4. Sprinkle the plain flour over the onion/celery mix, stirring continuously until it starts to form a paste-like texture, and the flour and fats are combined smoothly. Keep stirring it for a further 5 minutes until it becomes a blonde roux (a light tan colour).
  5. Slowly pour the chicken broth into the roux, adding more and more at a time to get the roux into a creamy texture. Once all the broth has been added, pour the beer into the soup slowly, a little at a time and continue to stir.
  6. When the potatoes are done, cut them into small chunks and add them to the pot, stirring to incorporate into the soup.
  7. Using a handheld stick blender, mix the entire mixture into a thick stew. Add water to thin if necessary, however don’t add too much liquid until the blending is done. Then, add the sour cream and cheddar cheese, and let the soup continue cooking for a further 15-20 minutes on medium-low.
  8. Turn the heat off, and divide equally into serving bowls (2 large bowls, or 3-4 small bowls) and top with the crispy bacon bits and a dollop of sour cream. Enjoy!

Bacon, Beer & Potato Soup

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Hello Everyone! Today’s post will actually consist of two recipes; one leading to the other that is. So I’ve been debating whether I should actually post them as two separate posts but then I thought to myself that I wouldn’t be able to do a proper write up (i.e. a story for Vidhya) if I had just posted the first recipe. She would’ve been so mad at me if I didn’t have a story for her! But I do have a good story to tell about the second, which I kind of already mentioned it to Vidhya briefly when I saw her in the kitchen on Monday afternoon.

Anyway, so what happened was that somewhere during the beginning-mid year, my friends and I went out for brunch on a fine weekend. I suggested that we head on over to John Smith Café in Waterloo specifically because I saw a whole lot of Instagram posts about this heavenly Pulled Pork Cronut with Hollandaise Sauce! I was seriously drooling all over my phone, so naturally I made it my mission to head on over and drag my lovely ladies Jialing and Yvonne along too. We planned to meet for brunch, and but of course brunch turned into late lunch as Jialing and I adjusted our timings to suit Yvonne. When we got to the café the waiter (possibly owner) showed us to the table and said that he had good news and bad news. I honestly forgot what the good news was, but the bad news was indeed BAD news. So bad that I just can’t even. They ran out of pulled pork. I was so devastated that I even told the guy serving us in a sort of like sad little girl voice “but I came specifically here for that!” To which he replied “I am very sorry about that, but here’s a cronut on me!”

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Oh well, at least I got a free cronut. But what I really wanted to say is that I really wanted to go back another time to devour this Pulled Pork Cronut of theirs – but sadly it’s already nearing the end of the year and I have no been back! So I thought to myself, why wait to go back if I can possibly just whip one up of my own at home? Minus the cronut that is; just the pulled pork, eggs benny style. I know it’s not the same thing, but who doesn’t love pulled pork eggs benny for a big Sunday breakfast/brunch/lunch?

First things first, the pulled pork. This recipe for beer-braised pulled pork is just so great. Why I have chosen to braise the pork in beer is because, well I’ve had a 6-pack of Corona lying in my closet for quite possibly 7 months now. For those of you who know me, I don’t drink beer. I just don’t like the taste of it. So why do I have beer in my  closet do you ask? I bought it for a prank video I filmed for my Major Design Project for an anti-binge drinking campaign. So instead of drinking it, or giving it away, I decided the only way I can ‘consume’ it would have to be incorporating it into my cooking – hence the beer-braised pulled pork. So technically you don’t have to follow this pulled pork recipe, you can find another one to use, or if you have one of your own up your sleeve then be my guest!

*Note: my casserole dish was a wee-bit too small for the meat I had. Oops! I didn’t have anything bigger so I ended up using only half of the vegetables and half a bottle of beer. Ideally you would use all! Also, you can find the original recipe for this beer-braised pork shoulder over on The Kitchn. I tweaked the recipe a little bit, and of course to suit my not-so-good oven that jut takes double (sometimes triple) the amount of time to cook anything. I also kept the fat on the pork shoulder – that’s where the goodness is!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Ingredients

PREP TIME 30 MINS | COOKING TIME 5 HOURS | SERVES 4-6

INGREDIENTS

  • 1kg pork shoulder
  • 355ml beer of choice
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 2 celery sticks, sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced
  • 1 large brown onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 large carrot, cut into chunks
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 tsp brown sugar
  • 1 & 1/2 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp cumin powder
  • 1 tsp ground rock salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1 tbsp plain flour

METHOD

  1. Preheat oven to 200C. Combine the brown sugar, cumin powder, paprika, salt, and pepper in a small bowl. Rub the pork with the spice mixture and allow to sit for about 30 minutes.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large frying pan over medium-high heat. Sear and brown the pork on all sides, about 3 minutes per side. Remove from the pan and transfer to the casserole dish. Sauté the garlic and onions until fragrant. Then add in the tomatoes and cook until soft before adding the carrots and celery. Scrape the bottom of the pan while mixing to bring up any browned bits.Transfer the vegetables to the casserole dish with the pork.
  3. Pour the beer over the meat and vegetables and cover. Cook in the oven for 5 hours, checking once or twice, until the meat is extremely tender. Once done, transfer the pork to a plate and shred using a fork.
  4. Strain juices into a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Once boiling, add the flour in and stir continuously to get rid of any lumps. This will be your gravy to go with your pulled pork eggs benny.

Beer-braised Pulled Pork

Beer-braised Pulled Pork


Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict with Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

This is where shit gets real. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce? Yes please! Also, please see the original ideas that I got form Pineapple & Coconut (basically where I got the idea to use English Muffins and Sriracha Hollandaise sauce for this recipe).

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict Ingredients

PREP TIME 5 MINS | COOKING TIME 15 MINS | SERVES 2

INGREDIENTS

For the Eggs Benny

  • 1 cup pulled pork
  • 3 tbsp pulled pork gravy
  • 2 English muffins, lightly toasted
  • 2 large free range eggs
  • 1/2 avocado, mashed
  • Handful of snow pea shoots
  • Pinch of paprika

For the Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce

  • 3 large free range eggs, yolks separated
  • 175g unsalted butter, cut into cubes, at room temperature
  • 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 1-3 tbsp sriracha sauce (depending on how hot you want it)
  • Ground salt and black pepper to taste

METHOD

  1. Sriracha Hollandaise Sauce: Place a heatproof bowl over a medium saucepan that is quarter-filled with water. Make sure that the bowl should fit snugly into the pan without touching the water (lift the bowl to check and remove some water if it does). Bring the water to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat to very low so the water is barely simmering (there should be almost no movement at all). It is important that the water is barely simmering while making the sauce – if it is too hot, the egg yolks will cook too much and the sauce will curdle.
  2. Place the egg yolks and the 2 tablespoons of water in the heatproof bowl and place over the pan. Whisk the mixture constantly for 3 minutes or until it is thick and pale, has doubled in volume and a ribbon trail forms when the whisk is lifted.
  3. Add the butter a cube at a time, whisking constantly and adding another cube when the previous one is incorporated completely (about 10 minutes to add it all in). If butter is added too quickly, it won’t mix easily with the egg yolks or the sauce may lose volume. At the same time, it is important that the butter is at room temperature and added a cube at a time, so that it doesn’t take too long to be incorporated – if the sauce cooks for too long, it can curdle.
  4. Remove the bowl from the pan and place on a heatproof surface. The cooked sauce should have the consistency of very lightly whisked thickened cream. Whisk in the lemon juice, sriracha sauce, and season with salt and pepper.
  5. Poached Eggs: Bring small saucepan of water to the boil over medium-high heat, then reduce the heat to low-medium – the water should be just simmering. Add in the vinegar and stir. Crack one egg into a small bowl and quickly, but gently pour it into the water. Repeat with the other egg. A really soft poached egg should take around 2 minutes, but if you want it a bit more firm, it will take about 4 minutes. To check if they’re cooked right, carefully remove the egg from the pan with a slotted spoon and give the yolk a gentle push (you can tell just by your instincts if it is under or overcooked – or perfect)!
  6. Assembly: Combine the pulled pork and gravy in a small bowl. Spread each English muffin with mashed avocado and top with the pulled pork. Place the poached egg on each and top with a generous amount of sriracha hollandaise sauce. Crack a a little pepper on top, sprinkle with a bit of paprika, and decorate with  snow pea shoots. Serve immediately!

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

Beer-braised Pulled Pork Eggs Benedict

BON APPÉTIT

– Ally xx

myTaste.com

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
I have had the greatest pleasure of attending the re-launch of Bar Surry Hills with my lovely +1, Yvonne Wang. The story behind this photo was that the two ladies sandwiching Yvonne and I “photobomed” our photo.

The Bar is now open with an all new Italian kitchen, featuring a menu themed with all your favourite pizza and pasta selections! It is located on the ground floor of the Rydges Hotel Surry Hills, and is just a 5-minute walk from Central Station, and is open daily from 11 am until late, making it the perfect venue for a business lunch, an after-work cocktail, a romantic nightcap, a private party, birthday, or a special event.

The overall experience was a good one, and I was glad that I got to share the night with the lovely Yvonne Wang. As we entered the venue, it greeted us with a warm welcome. We were led towards the bar to grab our complimentary beverages (from Sydney Brewery Beers, to various cocktails, and wine). Towards the left of the entrance to the restaurant was the charcuterie station – a display of aesthetically beautiful Italian bread and a selection of various cold cut meats, sliced on the spot for you as you wait in line to grab a charcuterie plate for yourself (or your table).

We waited around for a while with our drinks until a table cleared. We then sat down and had all the food circled and brought to us – breadsticks with oil-marinated olives, bruschetta, a selection of pizzas, and desserts, Nutella pizza and what tasted like lemon and poppyseed cannoli to me. We had a little bit of everything, and probably missed out on a few selections that they offered on the night – I know because I remember seeing plates of what looked like deep fried balls, filled/stuffed with cheese perhaps? Anyway, they never made it to our table and stopped serving them at one point.

The food was great. Delicious. I can’t say much about the value for money as I’m uncertain on how much each individual dish that was served costed. Nonetheless, they average from about $10-$30 AUD, which I think is reasonable for the quality of the food. The venue, also great. I really loved the sleek and modern feel the place brought, and also evoked a fun and funky atmosphere. I can’t comment much on service quality in terms of how quick the food arrives to your table, but I can definitely say that the staff very friendly.

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantComplimentary Paloma Cocktail, Red Wine, and Breadsticks with Oil-marinated Olives

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantComplimentary Espresso Martini

Bar Surry Hills & Italian RestaurantCharcuterie Station – selection of beautiful Italian bread & cold cut meats

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
Diavolo Pizza

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
The highlight of the night in my opinion – Nutella Pizza served on a huge plank of veneered plywood

Be sure to check out their entire menu by visiting their Bar and Restaurant!

Bar Surry Hills & Italian Restaurant
28 Albion Street
Surry Hills, New South Wales
Australia, 2010

Click here to see more photos of the event.

– Ally xx

ps: Also, many thanks to my fellow COFA friend, Greta Peterson. Without her, I wouldn’t have known about the event. Thank you for getting me onto the VIP list!