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Following the Pitt Cue Formula
You'll be pleased to know that the cooking techniques that exist in today's Pitt Cue come from yesterday's Pitt Cue.
Let's just list them below to be clear:
- A sealed smoker to produce a moist end product
- An open smoker to produce a drier and saltier end product
- An open grill for pretty much everything else
As we inspect the two smokers, Jacob describes how you can end up with wildly differently outcomes from the two smokers. In one, you'll end up with a drier, saltier pork jowl for example, and in the other a cured, ham type result.
Separate to the smokers, Pitt Cue has the aforementioned seriously awesome open grill. Fuelled by Mark at The London Log Company, who provides Pitt Cue with approximately ½ a ton of English oak per week.
Jacob explains the "double rest technique" which means continuously turning and resting the meat to a point where you ideally (and if as skilled as the Grill Chef on the evening we ate at Pitt Cue) have the caramalised exterior, a solid medium rare the whole way through and a beautifully tender structure.
Nose to tail is popular and for a reason. Arguably led by Fergus Henderson's 1999 'Nose to Tail Eating', we discuss how Pitt Cue ensure no mangalitsa goodness goes to waste. Whether its legs saved for sausages or cooked hams, or belly and jowl for their bacon, Jacob sensibly states the only time something isn't used is down to ageing. Record thus far is 3.5 months of a particularly plump mangalitsa.
Without veering back to the produce again, we just need to highlight Pitt Cue's formulae.
- Soft cuts are cooked over the open grill e.g. soft fillets, whole loins or shoulder.
- For everything else, it's a traditional braising or slow cooking process
Pitt Cue's house rub, sugar, salt and spices handle the seasoning of the exterior and the brining handles the interior. We can't lie, as Jacob hosted us on a tour of the Pitt Cue kitchens and prep areas, we focused our eyes on the recipes dotted around trying to memorise them instantly to no avail.
We revert to simplicity and another formula and Jacob reiterates Pitt Cue's focus of a simple protein accompanied by a veg. Nothing to confuse the flavours produced by the exceptional ingredients that Pitt Cue have access to. If anything is added to the dishes, then an apple ketchup or picked apple is lead contender – good thing too – I've not experienced an apple ketchup like Jacob's.
As we start finishing up, Jacob shares a few more future ideas about cooking over old Grenache vines. We think this sounds frankly terrific.
Jacob also contributed a great amount to Pitt Cue's early menu items. And the current Pitt Cue menu items have differed.
But, just like an old friend who has returned home. You know you still like them, yeah, they've changed a few things, but once you accept that, you can get back to enjoying each other's company once again.
Website: Pitt Cue