BBQ Spice Rub

Everyone should have a decent barbecue spice rub in their arsenal. This one’s mine! It’s based loosely on this best odds pulled pork rub recipe but I’ve ramped up the heat with some excellent chipotle powder from the Cool Chile Company and bashed in some garlic powder for a bit more flavour. You can use it as a dry rub on anything you want to BBQ; pulled pork, ribs, chicken, whatever. You can also mix it with cider vinegar and water to make a simple (but great) BBQ sauce. As I live in a flat with no outdoor space, my outdoor cooking opportunities are severely limited. If you’re able to hot smoke food outdoors then you won’t need to add the hickory smoke powder, you can simply cook over wood instead. The smoke powder is a pretty good good substitute though, just be careful not to add too much as it can overpower things very quickly.



Jon’s BBQ Spice Rub

3 tbsp light brown sugar
3 tbsp paprika
2 tbsp celery salt
1tbsp ground black pepper
1tsp cayenne
1tsp mustard powder
1/2 tsp chipotle chilli powder
1/4 tsp hickory smoke powder
1 1/2tsp garlic powder


Measure out your ingredients and mix thoroughly, that’s it. Dead simple. Done.

Make plenty, store it in a jar. Use it on all the meats, or as a seasoning on chips, wedges, tequila glasses, etc. I’ve been using it in and on everything recently from fancying up baked beans to rubbing into a spatchcocked chicken for that Nandos vibe. I’ll try and post some recipes using it soon.


Celery Salt

Celery and salt. The principal ingredients salt.

I know this blog is called adventures with the pig. I know that and yet here I am about to type a few words about something decidedly non-porcine. The reason? The reason is that man cannot live by pork alone. Well, not unseasoned pork anyway. This is the first of a series of occasional posts on seasonings, condiments and food accessories that go well with, or can be used to make piggy treats.

Celery salt is a seasoning usually made by grinding celery seeds together with salt resulting in a dirty brown powder that you can use to season just about anything. However, my local market seems to sell the world’s largest heads of celery complete with leaves and I figured that these would make a much more appealing looking and tasting salt. Celery salt adds a pleasing herbal, slightly bitter note that complements sweet and fatty tasting foods like belly pork and scrambled eggs. It’s a bit like having a powdered mirepoix to sprinkle on at will.

Fortunately, it worked! So far I’ve just used this on finished dishes, but I hope to use it to cure some meat in the very near future.

The ‘recipe’ follows.

Jon’s Celery Salt

1 head of celery – leaves trimmed and set aside

Preheat your oven to the lowest setting you can. In the meantime take your celery leaves and any small bits of stem and roughly chop them before placing on a baking tray or two. You can put the stalks aside for use another time.

Celery leaves waiting to be dried.

Place your baking sheet(s) into a warm oven and leave the celery tops to dry completely. You may need to swap them around a bit to ensure that they dry evenly. When the leaves are completely dry (this lot took me about 3 hours) tip them into a food processor and blitz until powdered.

Grinding dried celery leaves and salt

Keep mixing, adding salt until the quantites are roughly 50/50 and there we have it, celery salt! You can store it pretty much indefinetly in a sealed container and use it in place of regular salt with anything that needs that savory hit. It’s particularly good with bacon and eggs and its vital in a decent Bloody Mary. I’m also planning to use it as curing salt  at some point soon.

Finished celery salt.

Poached egg, onion bagel, celery salt.