If you’ve managed to make it this far without buying any Christmas presents then at this late stage there is only one course of action to take. Buy chipotle. This humble Mexican chilli is essentially a jalapeño that has been allowed to ripen on the bush and then smoked dried for several days until it resembles a ritualistic shrunken body part. There are several ways to get chipotle into your system, and below you will find a handy guide to the basic types of the humble smoked chilli.
Dried Chipotle – The first on the list is chipotle at it’s most basic, straight from the smokehouse and in all it’s shrivelled glory. As the skin is quite tough, dried chipotles are best chopped up and used in slow cook dishes, or infused in hot water and added as a liquid.
Chipotle en Adobo – Here, whole chipotles are marinated in a sauce of tomato, vinegar, garlic, salt and spices. As a result of being submerged in this mixture the chillies are much more tender and taste amazing. Chipotle en Adobo can used as a rub or marinade for meat, added to slow cooked dishes or made into a sauce.
Chipotle Sauces – There are several different types of table sauce on offer but, in my experience, the Tabasco Chipotle Pepper Sauce knocks the rest into a cocked sombrero. The Chouloula equivalent is passable in an emergency but the weird chipotle baby food that Tesco has been flogging recently is almost completely flavourless. These sauces are the easiest form chipotle to come across and would make an ideal stocking filler. If anyone fancies a post-Christmas chipotle fix, I’m taking names for a group buy of these.
BBQ Shack – Unfortunately this one is strictly for those living within 2 miles of BN1 4GG in Brighton. For those lucky enough to have tasted food from BBQ Shack, 01273 275757 is one of the most significant numbers in the history of mankind. High-Rise is no longer located on the South Coast but I make sure I eat at least one Shack sandwich every time I visit. The food is so good it defies conventional takeaway wisdom and chipotle is an essential part of the menu. I guarantee you won’t ever settle for the usual greasy rubbish after tasting this. A selection of high quality meats are marinated and then cooked for up to 18 hours by award-winning BBQ chefs. A good place to start is the Chopped BBQ Rib-wich followed closely by the North Carolina Pulled Pork-wich. I recommend just buying another sandwich instead of going for the side orders, but make sure you get a stack of their chipotle mayonnaise to accompany it.
Go to BBQShack.co.uk to see the full menu, and follow the Shack on Facebook for the heads up on specials and BBQ pit status. It’s a good idea to check this on weekends as they regularly sell out. As far as I know, BBQ Shack do not yet offer gift certificates, but simply writing their phone number and ‘large rib sandwich’ on a card should be the best gift your loved ones receive this Christmas.