Chef’s dish: Lesley Draper talks to Percy & Lily’s Justine

Beef Brisket Texan style. Percy & Lily's
Beef Brisket Texan style. Percy & Lily's
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Peddler Night Market takes to the streets again next weekend, bringing Sheffield’s Cultural Industries Quarter alive with its own brand of street food, craft beer, live music and art.

The bimonthly event has brought a fresh buzz to the city’s social scene and among its regular mix of tantalising tastes and smells is the distinctive van of Percy & Lily’s.

Urban street festival Yes Sheff meets Peddler was held on  Arundel Street in Sheffield. Pictured from Percy & Lily's Southern USA street food truck are Justine Twigge and Trudi Coleman.

Urban street festival Yes Sheff meets Peddler was held on Arundel Street in Sheffield. Pictured from Percy & Lily's Southern USA street food truck are Justine Twigge and Trudi Coleman.

The van – a welcome sight for street food aficionados, with its changing menus and styles – is run by Trudi Colman and Justine Twigge.

The pair met at Hallam University, discovered a shared love of food and set up Nether Edge café Homemade. But after five successful years they decided to embark on a new project.

The business was planned during a 10-month tour of the US, its founders soaking up experiences and ideas as they went.

By the time they headed for South America they had decided that the bar and diner would be based in two French Citroen vans, named Percy & Lily’s after the grandparents who had inspired each of them to cook… “Though I may not be in my gran’s good books for naming a bar after her – she was teetotal!” admits Justine.

Urban street festival Yes Sheff meets Peddler was held on  Arundel Street in Sheffield. Pictured from Percy & Lily's Southern USA street food truck are Justine Twigge and Trudi Coleman.

Urban street festival Yes Sheff meets Peddler was held on Arundel Street in Sheffield. Pictured from Percy & Lily's Southern USA street food truck are Justine Twigge and Trudi Coleman.

While the vans were being resprayed and kitted out, the women tasted their way around an exciting range of street foods, drawing up ideas for their eight menus.

Both have a passion for food and a love of big flavours, but also appreciate subtle combinations that make up a tempting dish.

“We’re actually doing a Lebanese flatbread menu for Peddler next week, but it’s too complicated. This dish made its debut at the last Peddler market and received some amazing feedback. It’s manageable for most people and it’s great for when friends come round,” says Justine.

The dish demonstrates how to cook the same piece of beef in two different ways: either Texan or Argentinian.

The South American style is based on the street food choripan: “Basically this is different meats – such as a spiced sausage of pork and beef, or slow-cooked brisket – served in a toasted roll with coriander-scented chimmichurri sauce,” says Justine.

Texans, on the other hand, favour a broiler or barbecue style, with bold pastes and marinades to create a sauce or gravy.

“Beef brisket is considered affordable for a large family meal and was once served looking rather dry for Sunday lunch – and tasting no better,” she adds.

“But once you know how to cook this cut slowly, understanding how to keep it moist and hydrated, it’s like chocolate melting in your mouth!”

Peddler Night Market, Arundel Street, May 1-2

Recipe by Justin Twigge

Beef Brisket Two Ways:

(serves 6-8)

BASIC INGREDIENTS

1.8kg beef brisket preferably from a butcher

2 cloves garlic, chopped

½ tsp of chilli flakes 
(or ½ red chilli chopped)

3tblsp smoked paprika

1tblsp dried Italian herbs

2tblsp dark brown sugar

1 flat tsp cayenne pepper

1 flat tsp salt

2 tblsp Tabasco

8 tblsp Worcestershire sauce

2 tblsp tomato ketchup

2 cups red wine

1 cup water

METHOD:

Argentinian:

Pre-heat oven to 160ºC. In a pan sear beef, fat side down, until brown and slightly charred. Put wine, water, ketchup and sugar into a large roasting tray. 
Mix remaining ingredients in a bowl to form a paste. Cover beef on both sides rubbing well with the paste.

Place fat side up into the wine and water, seal tightly with a lid or tin foil. Roast for 1.5hrs.

Check liquid has not evaporated, cover tightly and roast for another 1.5hrs. Turn off oven and either let the beef sit for a further 40 mins, or remove and place on a warm plate, covered, for at least 30 mins before slicing.

Pour wine and beef juices into a pan and simmer for 10 mins. Mix 2 heaped tblsp cornflour to 80ml of cold water and add to make Southern spice gravy.

If too hot add brown sugar by the teaspoon and 2 tblsp of ketchup until desired taste is reached. If more heat is required, add more Tabasco.

Simmer until thickened, pour on to sliced meat. Serve with sweet potato fries, homemade coleslaw and green salad for an authentic Southern American experience.

Texan:

Alternatively – or if you have left over meat – slice into slightly thicker pieces, return to roasting tin with the gravy, cover and place in oven on 120ºC until required.

Take 8 large white breadcakes and toast on each side.

Make a tangy chimmichurri (there are lots of recipes online), using plenty of fresh herbs, oil and vinegar or lemon juice. I also like to add tiny diced red peppers to mine because this was how we had it in Buenos Aires. 
Remove meat from the oven and put two pieces on to each toasted breadcake; spoon on plenty of chimmichurri and enjoy, with a cold beer or two.