I first heard of Mic's Chilli on Twitter, where you'll find them being tweeted about by @MicsChilli (amongst others). They are based in Ireland, which I've got to say isn't the first place you'd go to when you're considering buying either chilli sauce or barbecue sauce - but once you've found them, I would be very very surprised if you ever wanted to look elsewhere, it's that good.
Having taken delivery of a box containing one of each of their range of chilli sauces, the El Loco Barbecue Sauce and a Sweet Chilli Sauce, we've been busy getting up close and personal with them. However, for the sake of clarity, this post deals just with the barbecue sauce - I'll get on to the other sauces in other posts, otherwise we might be here for quite some time.
|Chicky & Gnocchi with garlic bread|
In this instance and because he felt that the BBQ sauce might be a tad on the spicy side for the dish, he combined the sauce with a little tomato ketchup before putting it onto some pan fried chicken. In fact, the BBQ sauce is more flavoursome than it is hot - from a spicy point of view - but as a little introduction to El Loco BBQ sauce, it was a good one.
I had planned to give the BBQ sauce its first proper trial with some BBQ Burritos - which I cooked on Saturday.
I'm a bit bored with minced beef and minced turkey, so decided to go with minced pork in this instance. The burritos were so easy to make because the BBQ sauce is so good. All I did was fry a large quantity of onions until they were golden brown and sweet, then I removed them from the pan and fried off the pork mince to a stage where it was caramelising. Then the onions were added back in and the BBQ sauce was added to everything, along with 200ml of water to help everything amalgamate and to give some fluid for the mince to cook in and soften a little. Personally, I hate gritty hard mince in something soft like a burrito - and because the mince was caramelised to accentuate its flavour, it needed to soften a little.
I'd bought some soured cream and a small pot of tomato salsa to go with the burritos - which made them more like an enchilada, but then who's counting!
I also served them with my first go at an American-style chopped salad. From what I could gather, a "chopped salad" involved some sort of leaf, many different types of salad vegetable, plus some sort of protein involvement. Everything is cut into small dice or just plain old chopped, then amalgamated with some kind of dressing - and served.
My chopped salad involved Little Gem lettuce, cherry tomatoes, spring onions, a Braeburn apple, some radishes, some parsley, a little cucumber, some sweetcorn and diced cheddar cheese. Hubby made a lovely dressing of Rapeseed Oil, cider vinegar, honey & Dijon mustard that went very well indeed.
I was working on the premise that we often have cheddar cheese with chilli, so felt that a little cheese amongst the salad would go down well and provide the required "bridge" that brought the two elements of burrito and salad together.
The mince mixture, having had some 20 minutes to simmer and bubble, had reduced back down to the desired consistency. As a last flourish, I added a can of red kidney beans and a big old handful of chopped coriander and served.
|Chicky & Gnocci - yes, it was a garlic bread fest!|
Fabulous! Mic's Chilli has just won over three new fans. We don't just like it a little, we like the BBQ sauce enormously. Hubby declared that the El Loco BBQ Sauce is the best BBQ sauce he's ever experienced - and he's been through a lot!
For me, it's not just the flavours of the sauce (which are amazingly complex), it's also the fact that the sauce is so versatile. We've (so far) used it with pan fried chicken, pork mince, a spatchcock chicken (which will be blogged in future), on cheese on toast, in baked beans, with cold chicken and couscous, as a dipping sauce - and it has performed on all levels throughout.
As and when you have the opportunity to try it - I would impress upon you that you NEED to try this BBQ sauce. I am sure you won't regret it.
BBQ Burritos (makes 8)
2 medium onions, sliced fine
1 tbsp olive oil
500g minced pork
freshly ground black pepper
140g good Barbecue Sauce (Mic's Chilli El Loco BBQ Sauce, if you can get it!)
150-200ml hot water
400g tin of organic red kidney beans
a handful (to taste) of fresh coriander, chopped fine
8 corn wraps.
1. Put the sliced onions into a frying pan and add the oil. Allow to fry on a medium heat until well softened and golden brown. Remove and retain.
2. Turn the heat up to maximum and put the minced pork into the frying pan. Season with the pepper and cook the pork through all its stages, as it will initially change colour, then a quantity of liquid will appear. Continue to fry on a high heat until all the liquid has evaporated and the mince is beginning to colour. Stir regularly, allowing the bottom layer to colour, then turning the mince over with a spatula, to set up a new bottom layer. When you've done this some three or four times, turn the heat down to medium.
3. Add the BBQ sauce and the water and stir to combine. Allow the mixture to simmer and bubble gently for as long as it takes to reduce back down to a "saucy" consistency. Remember to stir regularly, so as to prevent the sauce burning on the bottom of the pan.
4. Add the beans and the coriander and stir to combine. Check for flavour and seasoning and if you're happy, lay out the wraps and get filling.
5. I usually add some soured cream and a little tomato salsa to each wrap, before wrapping them up and serving with a salad.