Ollie Hunter, founder of Pangea Street, On Street Food
This month’s specialist is Ollie Hunter, who, having spent time working in art, graphic design, wine and photography, has finally found the best way to explore his creativity… through food. Until recently he has been running his own venture, Pangea Street, which serves street food to hungry Londoners and also creates canapé and dinner parties. He is now scouring Europe for culinary and visual delights (for news on that go to The Hunter Gatherers). He brings all his own experiences of food, wine and his many travels to the plate. Below he tells us all about street food:
Street food is a wonderful thing to have in a city like London. It is passionate, honest, exciting, exotic and social but above it is packed with loads of flavour. Street food vendors around England are specialising in their one amazing product whether it be 14 hour cherry wood smoked pork shoulder served with braised red cabbage and hazelnuts, or salmon drizzled with harissa oil and pan fried in front of you with a side of yogurt, rocket and sumac, or paprika sweetcorn fritters served with tomato chilli jam. It offers people who are enamoured by food the chance to give it a go as a career without any formal training and to start business very cheaply. Not only is it a rewarding business financially but also socially – the lifestyle is in your own hands, with the ability to enjoy the brilliant summer and Indian summer sun, engage with hundreds of people who love food, and still be in time to have a beer with friends in the pub.
All this is inspired by the real street food of the world. Little empanadas that cost you 40p in Argentina or pad thai in Thailand that costs you 10p, they’re both homemade with passion and served with a genuine desire to feed people who walk by (perhaps with a little less health and safety paperwork). It is this generosity that should really fire up someone who works in food, and I hope that this street food revolution reignites a passion lost in my generation to cook good honest food.
An alternative to saffron rice would be golden couscous, or whole meal naan.
Moroccan Lamb Tagine with Herb Yogurt and Saffron Rice
- 3 tbs paprika
- 2 tbs ground cumin
- 2 tbs ground coriander
- 2 tbs ground ginger
- 2 tbs ground turmeric
- 1 tbs ground cinnamon
- 1 shoulder of lamb – ask your butcher to trim and cut into chunks 1 inch thick. Roughly 1.2kg of meat.
- 100ml olive oil
- 2red onions, chopped finely
- 4 cloves of garlic, crushed
- 2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
- 1 pint of lamb / beef stock
- 150g dried apricots, halved
- 150g dates, halved – or alternatively use prunes
- Pinch of saffron, soaked in some cold water
- 2 tsps honey
- 500g rice
- pinch of saffron, soaked in some cold water
- 200g Greek yoghurt
- 1 bunch of coriander
- ½ a lemon juice
- Black pepper
- 1 bunch of parsley
- 100g flaked almonds
- 1 pomegrante
- Put the lamb into a large bowl and mix with all the spices until each chunk is coated. Leave this in a fridge overnight or at least an hour.
- Preheat the oven to 150C. Add the olive oil into a heavy based and sauté the onions until soft. Add the garlic and sauté for another three minutes. Add the lamb and all the remaining spices and fry until each cube has browned and the spices have cooked.
- Add the chopped tomatoes, stock, saffron, apricots, dates and honey. Taste. If you think it needs a bit more salt or honey, add it. Mix well and bring to the boil. Then place in the oven for 2 ½ hours.
- Meanwhile, blitz the coriander and lemon and mix with the Greek yoghurt.
- Roast the almonds until golden. Chop the parsley. Squeeze all the seeds out of the pomegranate.
- Rinse the rice well. Put into a large sauce pan and add 1 litre of water, large pinch of salt and saffron and cook for about 40 minutes or until all the water has been absorbed, with the lid on. Or follow these instructions for cooking basmati.
- Serve all the ingredients separately or like the picture. Great with some wholemeal Naan.