Tuesday, 6 November 2012

The Grazer's Joe Beef inspired Bonfire Supperclub as it happened...

'Come to a pop up feast in a shipping container' I tweeted and a day later 20 people were booked in to do just that. Who knew people were so keen to dine in a little metal box in the Ouseburn? It was a long time in the planning, thinking about menus, styling and imagining who might actually want to come. Much of the menu was inspired by Joe Beef, a Montreal institution I'm determined to one day visit, and my favourite cookbook of sorts right now; full of smorgasbords, home smokers, oysters and sausage martinis, right up my street...

Then suddenly there was a date set, the emails came in and Supperclub was launched. The Ouse Street Arts Club venue is a project imagined and realised by xsite architecture and friends as a 'meanwhile' use for a small derelict piece of land in Newcastle's Lower Ouseburn Valley. With cutting, welding, begging and borrowing complete it fell to me to host the first formal event of a curated programme for the space.





People began arriving just after seven, there was a bit of polite chatter which quickly passed as guests settled in. There is a lovely atmosphere at the Arts Club I really enjoy hanging out there; the fire was burning, music playing, hot toddies were on hand. A delicious cocktail of whisky, ginger ale, fresh lemon, orange, honey and cayenne pepper to warm the cold arrivals. It wasn't long before it was noisy and warm... My nerves lasted much longer than the guests, I was hugely anxious, probably until very near the end, I put it down to being the first event and hope that next time I might feel a touch more relaxed.





The table was laid ready with smorgasbord starters as people sat down; homemade salami, one red wine with walnut and the other garlic and fennel. They have been hanging in anticipation for the past month, and were delicious, rich and spiced, really good. There were pickled mackerel rollmops, sweet cucumber pickle and horseradish crème fraiche with lavosh crackers to dip. A dill and mustard potato salad and my new favourite discovery Beer Cheese. A Joe Beef recipe which blends, blue cheese, quark and cream cheese with beer, garlic and paprika, my only regret being that I didn’t make enough for myself this time round... but there is always next time...






TLI was a welcome arrival with the steaming pulled pork, after a quick pork run back to Jesmond; three shoulders of pork that had been cooking slowly for 9 hours. The locally produced meat from Freeman's butchers just fell apart, soft sticky and delicious. I calmed down a little at that point, perhaps the glass of red wine helped. The pork was taken to the table alongside secret recipe beans, my own special BBQ sauce, creamy coleslaw with apple and toasted pumpkin seeds and fresh white home baked buns. For all my planning I forgot to serve the cinnamon apple crisps, thankfully they worked out fine as a sweet crispy addition to pudding...




Loud laughter and chatter filled the shipping container, the windows had steamed up and the woodburner was puffing out wood smoke and keeping us all very warm. Pudding was a collection of Campari and Orange jellies, Pumpkin Spice Muffins and Chocolate and Chestnut pots with coffee and a splash more wine. We ended the night dancing round the fire in a shipping container watching fireworks over Byker and eating left over pulled pork. A pretty lovely evening all in all.

For info on further Supperclub events please see the Markets and Supperclubs page: click here.


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