The best Low-and-Slow-cooked food
Low + slow = delicious
With the exception of knowing which cupboard the Pot Noodles are kept in, this is the most valuable piece of info you need in your kitchen (well, for meat fans, anyway):
Fast: Expensive meat cuts with little connective fibre should be cooked quickly: the juicy muscle cells stay intact and retain their moisture (think good steak, pink lamb chops etc)
Slow: Cheaper cuts with more connective tissue pay to be cooked for longer: muscle cells burst, releasing moisture - but prolonged cooking in liquid breaks down collagen and sees moisture reabsorbed (think melting hotpot or stew)
Holy Grail: As culinary fortune would have it, collagen breaks down at 50°C but cell walls only start to burst at 60°C; therefore if you can cook your meat between 50 and 60°C for 10 hours or more the collagen will dissolve whilst the cell walls stay intact - the result is unbelievably tender and juice meaty morsels!
Can't be bothered to run your oven for 10 hours? That's OK, go to one of these purveyors of great low and slow cooking...
29-33 Chalk Farm Road NW1 8AJ
The owner of this hip eatery opposite Chalk Farm's Stables Market used to be the head chef at celebrity favourite The Ivy. Now he's switched to charcoal-grilled and smoked meats. It's American-inspired but with a British twist. Check out the pepper-rubbed Louisiana short rib with bone marrow mash, and wash the food down with Brewdog lager.
At this trendy pub in De Beauvoir Town they lovingly slow-cook pulled pork and ribs. Pig out on 'Duke's Greatest Hits', a combo of their signature beef rib, pork rib and pulled pork.
In a short space of time Pitt Cue Co went from a food truck parked by the South Bank centre to the institution that arguably kick-started London's love affair with all things BBQ. They still reign supreme with cuts of meat like ox cheek and lamb neck.
Formerly the head chef at Pitt Cue Co, Neil Rankin opened Smokehouse in Islington in 2013. They mix up their smoked meats with global flavours, such as the lamb shoulder with polenta and French raclette cheese, and beef burgers with Korean pulled pork.
With Walthamstow becoming trendier by the minute, it makes perfect sense that this BBQ joint with successful eateries in Bristol and Bath would open an outpost here. Expect 18-hour smoked pulled pork, low 'n' slow baby back ribs and music, given that their career began touring UK festivals.
This is London's only restaurant to serve beer can chicken, where the bird is plonked onto a beer can while it grills, keeping the meat nice and juicy. It's then wheeled out on a trolley and carved directly in front of you! Other treats include the eight-hour roasted beef and a whole southern fried chicken that's been marinated in tea for 24 hours.
46-48 Commercial Street E1 6LT
A meal at Hotbox is a party. There's loud music, bench seating and a generally fun-loving atmosphere. Try smoked beef ribs in a taco, pulled pork collar with hot links in a sandwich, or barbecued mutton with corn in a tortilla wrap.
From the same people as Michelin-starred Pied a Terre, One Sixty offers smoked ox cheeks, pulled pork cooked for 14 hours and smoked lamb rump. The restaurant is named after the temperature, as meat is cooked at 160 degrees Fahrenheit till it practically melts away.
Specialising in barbecued meats from America's deep south, meat is smoked for a minimum of 12 hours, rendering it as soft as marshmallows. Highlights are the beef brisket and pork shoulder, and other delights include fried green tomatoes, burnt ends pie and spicy hot link sausages.