Now as I have mentioned we live out in the relative sticks these days, and the one thing I miss probably most of all is the selection of places to eat that there are. OK there are a few nice places to go, but compared to the ridiculous range we had and I was lucky to visit in London, it all feels a little bit limited here.
So it was great excitement in the Tibbits’ household (well me anyway) when I heard, whilst in Duai that a pub nearby had started to specialise in BBQ and slow cooked meat! The White Hart at Witley is the pub and it didn’t dissapoint on the first trip we made there last week.
It’s a pretty nice looking pub from the outside, typical for this area, but it is in the bar and kitchen where the magic happens.
I kicked the night off with a pint of Meantime Pale Ale (one of my faves) and Jen tucked into this beauty (who doesn’t love a cocktail with a bone in it!)
It was called the Mary-Le-Bone-Licker, similar to a Bloody Mary, except made with smoked vodka, which really did impart a seriously smokey flavour – it was amazing!
Alongside this we had some very good giant pork scratchings (not quite as good as mine!) but nice and salty and very crunchy
Then we sat and it was on with the food, I ordered the wings with blue cheese dip to start and then the Smoked Ribs 3 Way Platter with fries (of course)
Sticky wings with blue cheese dip are one of my favourite things on earth and these were up there with some of the best, the sauce was just the right heat for me, tingling mouth but not blow you head off kind of wings you can get. The sauce was so sticky and messy and sweet and the blue cheese dip was strong and creamy. Also as you can see from the above the portion was pretty ig for a starter, with probably 9 pieces – a hell of a start!
Next up was the beast – the trio of Ribs. This consisted of a half rack of Iberico Baby Back Ribs, A Jacobs Ladder Rib (or short rib as they call it in the US) and a massive pork belly rib.
They had obviously all been smoked low and slow – the beef rib must have been for 12 hrs+ and it was delicious, very smokey, incredibly rich and meaty. For me the highlight was the Iberico baby back which fell of the bone and with a touch of the local bbq sauce were sweet and delicious.
I am ashamed to say I finished about half the plate of food, but put the rest in a doggy bag to be used later. I finished up with a scoop of salted caramel ice cream and a couple of dill picklebacks
For anyone who hasn’t had the chance to try them Picklebacks are a shot of bourbon and a shot of pickle juice (in this case flavoured with dill) you down the whiskey then the pickle juice straight after for a taste sensation. It takes off the hardness of the booze, but leaves a sharp taste in the mouth – they rock and on the list to make this Summer!
On the way out I had a chat with the Manager who told me next time I had to try the the BIG Matt burger – 2 patties with a bourbon licked onion jam, made from smoking a tonne of onions reducing them right down then adding in bourbon and some other secret ingredients – it is definitely being ordered next time!
It’s always good to see a traditional place tring something new, and on the basis of this food, the White Hart will be a regular haunt for me.
Just to add to this, with the leftover meat, I decided to make up a beef and pork ragu to serve with Pasta – it turned out better than expected. I simply stripped all the bones of meat and cubed up the meat and fat (the best bit).
I fried up an onion and garlic in butter in a large casserole dish and added in the meat and a very large glass of red wine. Next in were chopped tomatoes, a bit of dried oregano, lots of pepper and salt, a tbsp of balsamic vinergar and a tsp of honey. I then added the bones in to the sauce and brought to the boil, then reduced and simmered for 4 hours. In the last 10 minutes I then added in 2 grated carrots and some fresh parsley to thicken it up and add extra flavour.
The end results was a wonderfully rich, smokey sauce the fat evaporated leaving a meaty sauce which I have to say was one of the best things I have made in a long time – not bad for leftovers!