Okay, it’s time for a confession, ‘writer’ to readers: I’m worried I am being frightfully repetitive in this blog. Looking over my posts so far, I have reached the somewhat devastating conclusion that I either write about pub food, or home-made food. Am I boring you? Are you reading this now as a way to cure your insomnia? I hope not.
The thing is, there is a place I really want to write about. But it’s a pub. I’m sorry. However, it’s a great one, AND interesting! Alright, the rest of the siblings had roasts, which is classic pub grub. But not my lunch. My lunch was fireworks and clouds and earth and lava rivers condensed into two black pots. It gave me horrendous heartburn and I absolutely loved it. This showed me why pubs deserve to be supported as much as possible – when in need of a hearty stomach filler, you don’t need a fancy restaurant with sprigs and twirls and incy bitsy servings that scream elegance and pompousness which is, absolutely, what one expects when you spend that much money. You want a glass of something you can pronounce and to waddle home feeling plump and satisfied. That’s what you get in a pub.
So, when I was up in Birmingham with the sibling clan + Vanessa’s boyfriend, to recover from the night before (which involved pouring rain, wine, a random 80s club and the best millionaire’s shortbread I have ever had) we decided to pub lunch. I wasn’t feeling in the mood for a roast, so whilst the others went for either the chicken or beef roast, I decided on a chicken and chorizo stew, served with bread and mashed potato.
Every aspect of this was superb. The bread was fluffy and butter soft, the mash potato firm. I scornfully derided the inclusion of two carbohydrates and then subsequently wolfed it all down. Both went excellently with the stew, soaking up the rich, deept sauce of which there was plenty.
So the stew itself was a pop to look at, fiery red that promised to warm me up on the slightly dreary day. I could see large chunks of chorizo that signalled to me a no-nonsense approach with food – it is what it says it is. When I started eating it the chicken came out to play, balancing out the chewy, salty chorizo with tender strings of white meat. The flavour was intense and mind-zinging. I don’t remember the conversation, I remember the stew.
Pub good, when done good, is damn good. The Plough, in Birmingham, is a great example.