Asado Night, an Argentinian style barbecue at Ox Club, Leeds
Ox Club, 19a The Headrow, Leeds LS1 6PU
As one of Leeds coolest restaurants, Ox Club recently announced a host of weekly special one off Autumn Sunday events in the run up to December, we couldn’t resist a night out to everyone’s favourite hangout, Headrow House.With an impressive selection from ‘Chop Night’ to ‘Veg Night’ plus the award winning ‘Fu- Schnikens Takeover’, it was guaranteed the bookings would disappear in a matter of minutes. Having missed out on Ox Club’s barbeque setup at this year’s OnRoundhay Festival – roasting whole lambs over an open fire we knew The Asado Night would be a similar theme all be it on a smaller scale.
Upon arriving to the intimate dining room we were immediately greeted by the inviting smell of smoke, meat and barbeque. Is there actually a better smell on a cold dark evening in November? It was great to see not only the food selected for the evening but an impressive list of craft beers and wines to compliment the dishes. We opted for a pint of Cloud Water IPA and a glass of Pinot Noir which arrived with sour dough bread, olive oil, balsamic, and the most amazing dish of yellow heaven: chicken schmaltz. Buttery, salty chicken flavors to dip our bread while the food was being served up. Incredible.
First up on the menu, ‘Ox Cheek Empanadas’ Cooked in the traditional way, we were treated to a huge empanada stuffed with slow cooked ox cheek, served up with a side of garlic, orange and black olive aioli. The richness of the meat worked with the salty dough and the intense garlic hit of the aioli. The added orange was a great addition to give a fresh hit of citrus to the dish too.
Not long after our empanadas were cleared the main event started to arrive. First up a perfectly cooked plate of skirt steak served with a generous side of chimichurri. This perfect accompaniment not only worked well with the grilled meat it went with everything else too, no wonder this is a staple on every Argentines table.
More plates followed in quick succession with slowly braised lamb shoulder cooked over the open flames and a generous portion of hanging smoked chicken. Both dishes cooked perfectly. Our vegetable selection didn’t disappoint either. Homita, charred corn cooked over the open flame then taken off the husk and combined with cream and a hit of fresh chili left us nearly fighting over the bowl.
Plancha beetroot slowly braised in the ashes of the coals gave the most intense smoky beetroot hit, this way of cooking really brought out the sweetness with the added smoke of the barbeque, one to recreate in the summer months for sure. The potatoes cooked two ways went down a storm, cooked over an open flame then finished in the pan with a hint of fresh chili, imagine baked potato then roasted, basically all the best bits rolled into one! Our rescoldo vegetables were another perfect accompaniment to the evening’s feast, peppers, onions, tomatoes and butternut squash all cooked in the hot embers that intensified the flavors of the roasted veg. The addition of a creamy goats cheese sauce to the butternut squash added another dimension to the sweet roasted flavor of the veg. Struggling to finish the dishes around us we couldn’t believe the amount of great food served up on the evening menu, thankfully we were given a bit of a breather before dessert arrived.
Last but definitely not least a beautifully presented plate of ‘Dulche de Leche’. A creamy toffee caramel pudding topped with soft gooey meringue, finished with a coconut biscuit crumb. The addition of the black cherry cut through the rich creamy dulche de leche perfectly.
Asado Night at Ox club was a winning combination of great food, friendly informal service from knowledgeable staff, plus an impressive drinks selection all in the intimate surroundings of one of Leeds coolest venues. If only every Sunday could be like this!
Find out about this Sunday’s event at Ox Club
Visit Ox Club’s dedicated restaurant page