Yorkshire's Independent Restaurant Guide

Winter Barbie

CrackerjackbbqHave you discovered Andy Annat yet and his Crackerjack BBQ events?  Apparently he’s the  barbecue king having won various championships, designed fire pits for Heston, run celeb. events, done telly, hauled his gear up to Balmoral for the Queen’s 80th and even lit his fires on the frozen Lake Peipus in Estonia.

Happily for us he’s a Yorkshire lad from Knaresborough and therefore on our doorstep and it was at Blind Jacks the real ale pub in Knaresborough’s Market Square where we linked up with him for a barbecue in the middle of February. Yes I know, we’d no idea how that was going to work either, but it did, and brilliantly, so here’s the drill.

Find out about upcoming events from his Facebook page and buy a ticket in advance from [email protected] (£20) and turn up. On a particularly frosty night we found a huge white pantechnicon parked outside Blind Jacks serving as Annat’s mobile kitchen. Alongside, a huge black monster of a barbecue was gently smoking our pulled pork.

With drinks in and a table bagged inside, Pennie, (Andy’s partner) delivered boards ( veggies look away) of slow cooked hickory smoked pig, pigs ear crackling and coleslaw – deliciously sticky, tender pulled pork that fell apart in meaty shreds. We drank and ate and the courses kept on coming: Mutton Dressed as Lamb, was slow cooked shoulder with lots of rosemary. Tongue in Cheek turned out to be a little pie of slow roast ox cheek  topped with a tongue fritter and finished with a beef glaze. Tongue fritters? My grandma used to boil tongues and I can’t rid myself of the sight of the great slick of pink muscle curled inside the pan. The fritter though, was as good as it gets. The Full Ten Inches – you guessed it was a hot dog, this one tasty with chorizo. And when we thought we couldn’t manage another thing, along came an oozing salted caramel brownie with cream baked by Andy’s friend and cake baker, Rebecca. Of course we ate it, need you ask?

If it’s more protein than you’ve had in a month, Andy Annat, a smiley, cheerful bloke who looks as if he loves his job, makes it a very jolly, convivial meat-fest and what better way to  showcase your barbecue and to fill a pub on a frosty Monday night?

You can book Andy for a private party or try him out at one of these events. He’s running them at Blind Jacks in Knaresborough, the Malt Shovel at Brearton and on 14th March at the Royal Oak at Staveley.