Barbecued Jacob’s ladder with kimchi slaw, milk buns, pickled beets, chips and horseradish hollandaise

  • Main
  • medium
  • 6
  • 2 hours, plus overnight pickling, cooking and freezing time


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Jacob's Ladder

Kimchi mayo




Milk bun starter

  • 30g of bread flour
  • 120ml of whole milk
  • 70g of double cream, plus a little extra for brushing

Milk buns

  • 350g of bread flour
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 15g of fresh yeast, or 7g dried yeast
  • 215ml of whole milk
  • 80g of unsalted butter, softened
  • black onion seeds, for sprinkling

Pickled beetroot

There are lots of elements to prepare for this dish, so plan accordingly. The first thing to do is get the Jacob’s ladder ready, as it takes 12-16 hours to cook, so start it the day before you plan to serve
Blitz all the ingredients for the Jacob’s ladder together (apart from the meat itself) to create a rub, then pack this all over the meat, ensuring it is completely covered. If using a barbecue (which will need to be lidded), light it, set it up for indirect cooking and wait for it to reach 150°C. Otherwise, preheat an oven to 100°C
Place the Jacob’s ladder in the barbecue and cook for 1 hour, adding smoking chips if you wish. then wrap tightly in foil and reduce the temperature to around 100°C. If you’re using an oven, simply wrap and place the meat in the oven straight away (although you will miss out on the smoky flavour). Cook in the oven for 12-16 hours overnight, until falling apart and incredibly tender
Meanwhile, you can get on with the rest of the elements. The pickled beetroot need 12 hours, so get on with them as soon as the ribs are cooking. Boil the beetroot until tender, then drain and leave until cool enough to handle. Whilst still warm, gently rub away the skins and cut into 1cm-thick slices
Bring the rest of the ingredients for the beetroot to a simmer, until the sugar dissolves. Place the beetroot slices in a container or jar then pour the pickling liquor over them, ensuring they’re completely submerged. Set aside at room temperature
You can also prepare the triple-cooked chips the day before too. Bring a pan of salted water to the boil, then cook the chips for 10-15 minutes, until tender and a little fluffy. Leave to cool on a tray, then transfer to the freezer and freeze overnight
The next day, pour plenty of beef dripping into a deep pan and heat to 140°C. Deep-fry the frozen chips (in batches if needed) for 8-10 minutes, until just starting to colour and crisp up. Lift out of the beef dripping (reserving the dripping for a final fry just before serving), then drain on kitchen paper. Place back in the fridge to chill
For the milk buns, make a quick starter. Bring the milk and cream to a simmer in a small pan, then add the flour. Cook until it forms a roux-type consistency and comes away from the sides of the pan (it may be lumpy at first, but these will cook out). The starter should be thick, elastic and quite stringy. Leave to cool
  • 30g of bread flour
  • 120ml of whole milk
  • 70g of double cream, plus a little extra for brushing
Meanwhile, mix the flour, sugar, salt and yeast for the buns together in the bowl of a stand mixer with a dough hook attached. Add the cooled starter, then with the motor still running, gradually pour in the whole milk until combined into a very wet and sticky dough. Turn the mixer off, then cover with a damp cloth and set aside for 20 minutes
  • 350g of bread flour
  • 20g of caster sugar
  • 1 pinch of salt
  • 15g of fresh yeast, or 7g dried yeast
  • 215ml of whole milk
While the wet dough rests, mix the hollandaise sauce with the creamed horseradish and set aside
After 20 minutes, start up the stand mixer again on a low speed with the rested dough in the bowl. Start adding the butter bit by bit, waiting until each addition is incorporated before adding the next. Mix for around 8 minutes, until the dough is shiny and starts slapping against the side of the bowl. Cover the bowl with a damp cloth and set aside to prove for 1 hour
  • 80g of unsalted butter, softened
While the bread dough proves, make the base for the kimchi mayo. Place the sugar, garlic, spring onion, carrots, ginger, chilli powder, anchovies, dark soy sauce and water in a blender and blitz to a smooth paste. Pour the kimchi base into a bowl and give the blender a quick clean
Add the egg yolks, mustard, salt and vinegar to the blender and blitz. With the motor still running, gradually pour in the rapeseed oil until emulsified into a mayonnaise. Add the kimchi base, a spoonful at a time, until you’re happy with the flavour. Any leftover kimchi base will last in the fridge for several days. Cover the mayonnaise and store in the fridge until needed
After the 1 hour proving, knock the dough back and roll into 12 equal balls. Place on a lightly oiled baking tray (ensuring there is plenty of room between each ball of dough) and cover with a damp cloth. Leave to prove for another 30-45 minutes. Meanwhile, preheat an oven to 160°C and reheat the beef dripping to 180°C
Gently brush the buns with a little double cream then sprinkle with oven seeds. Place the tray in the oven and cook for 20 minutes
Meanwhile, mix all the slaw ingredients in a bowl and dress with the kimchi mayo – any leftover can be served alongside
Deep-fry the chips (again, in batches if needed) for the final time in the hot dripping until beautifully dark and crisp, then drain and season with salt
To serve, shred the Jacob’s ladder into rough chunks (or bring it to the table as a whole joint and let your guests do it themselves. Toast the buns and fill with the rib meat, kimchi slaw and the horseradish hollandaise, along with a slice of pickled beetroot. Serve alongside the chips with plenty of the sauce for dipping and a glass of red wine
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