All posts tagged: meat

Easy Stroganoff

The other day, I made the bold claim that my parent’s stroganoff was the best stroganoff I ever tasted. There are few problems with this bold claim: I was immediately challenged to a dual (or a stroganoff off) I hadn’t tasted this stroganoff in a good 15 or so years When I last ate it, I didn’t really know what a stroganoff was When I asked mum for her recipe, she gave me a basic low-down rather than a step by step So, armed with mum’s rough guide and my own experience with cooking by feel, here’s my adaptation of the recipe. Use rump or sirloin steak with white button mushrooms. My family always had stroganoff with rice because dinner without rice is not really dinner at all. Feel free to use pasta if you prefer (I did). Did it live up? Yes. Is it the best? I’ll have to test out more recipes to be sure. I see a few slow cooker recipes out there which leads me to imagine you could make a …

Lamb Sausages and Grapes

Lamb is getting cheaper and cheaper here in NZ and I suspect it’s to do with our strong kiwi dollar. A lot of the lamb raised here gets shipped off to overseas markets so it’s a treat to be able to afford it. Still, if you don’t want the commitment of a whole lamb leg, lamb sausages are a cheap and tasty way to eat lamb. Nosh Food Market usually put a different sausage on special each week and last week was their really good lamb sausages for $11 kg. Nosh’s Black Rock Butchery are surprisingly good and their specials are very good and it’s no small feat that Nosh recently won the NZ Ham of the Year prize at the annual 100% Bacon and Ham competition. At Nosh, you can ask the butcher real foodie questions, like portion sizes and their cooking reccomendations. A stark contrast to the supermarket where I once asked the lady behind the seafood counter if they had any flounder left (on special that week). She did not know what …

Make Bacon

After reading the book Heat by Bill Buford, I’ve dreamed of curing my own pork. Curing meat uses salt to draw out the moisture and this allows the meat to last much longer. When the apocalypse that we’re all waiting for hits, we might need low tech techniques like these to make our food go further. Maybe. In the meantime, there’s nothing wrong with home made bacon just for fun. Traditionally, pig slaughter takes place in autumn, after a summer of fattening up and curing begins at this time of year too. The work is generally done outside and needs cooler temperatures to keep the meat happy. Winter is too cold in many parts of the world to work outdoors, so Autumn is the perfect season. Also, in the northern hemisphere, the holiday season follows soon after autumn and there is much appreciation of pork over the festive feast period. Christmas ham anyone? I’ve always loved the idea of curing/brining my own bacon. I wasn’t sure if I was going to smoke it too since I …

Individual Steak and Guinness Pies

In honour of  St. Paddy’s Day, I invited my friends over for a pot luck dinner. The theme for the dinner was green or Irish and we had a pesto green starter and several green desserts. I made individual steak and Guinness Pies and we also had a green hued potato and pea mash. I confess. I’m not a huge fan of Guinness. I can drink it, but I find it heavy and savoury and pint or bottle is usually enough for me. I do however, enjoy it in a pie. You will need a lidded pot for this recipe (I used a dutch oven) and a 6up muffin tin. This is not the time for a dainty cupcake tin. My muffin tin makes large muffins about 3 inches or 8 cm wide at the base. To measure out how wide I needed the pie cases, I first measured across the wall+base+wall of a muffin tin with the edge of a teatowel and matched this measurement across the mouth a bowl. This bowl became the “cookie …

Farmhouse Pasties

I’m glad I gave the traditional Cornish Pasty recipe a whirl already this autumn. Now I’m inspired to do some weird, non-authentic pasties. This next recipe uses some of the original ingredients like beef, lamb, onion and potatoes, but also puff pastry, bacon, carrots and cheese. You can put the cheese inside the pastie if you prefer, but I’ve sprinkled cheese on the outside. I thought it would look prettier, but it only looks ok.  I’m loving smoked cheddar at the moment. It has a distinctive smokey flavour that is divine with streaky bacon. I’m buying ethical meat when it’s convenient, even though free range vs organic vs free farmed can be confusing to the average home cook. It’s nice to remember that at least here in New Zealand, lamb and beef are free farmed at minimum. At best, they’re free range. I don’t think there are any wild cows or wild sheep out there. Although that might be interesting! Lamb and beef I consider my “happy meats”. It’s only chicken and pork you have …

Make a big pot of chili

I’ve made various short-cut variations of chili over the years, always in a frying pan, always just enough for two and always with a minimum of fuss. I wanted to make a bit ‘ol pot of the stuff so we could eat our way through it for as long as we could bear. Chili con carne literally translates to “chili with meat”. You know, carne, as in carnivore. Looking online, there are many variations and I was quite surprised that beans in chili is not regarded as authentic. Chili always appears with beans around here and I’ve never had chili without beans. It seems that in poorer areas, beans were added to make the dish go further and it became more common. A chili purist’s proverb goes “If you know beans about chili, you know chili ain’t got no beans”. My chili is mild and includes beans. Add more hot sauce or chili if you prefer something with more kick. A Big Pot of Chili Makes about 3 litres or 12 cups. A serving is …

Cook Ribs

Ribs The ribs at Al Brown’s new restaurant, Depot are incredible. Lamb ribs with harissa sauce sounded great and I liked the inclusion of roasted capsicum. Al’s recipe can be found on his restaurant website for those that live outside of Auckland or just want to be able to make the dish at home. What a giver! I also have a soft spot for Lonestar ribs. It’s the only thing we go to Lonestar for these days. Ribs shouldn’t be a special occasion food, so I figured that was time to attempt to cook ribs at home. I put together this recipe after reading a bunch of recipes online and also incorporating some flavours that would work well with pork. Roasted capsicum is easy to do. Just cut a capsicum into quarters, remove the seeds, smear with a little oil and bake at 180°C for 40 minutes. In hindsight, this sauce would be badass with a slow cooked hunk of pork. Think pulled pork with coleslaw, potato salad and fresh buns. Oh boy. Kaitaia Fire Kaitaia Fire is …

Hakanoa (Ginger Syrup) Braised Pork Belly

I’m quickly falling in love with Hakanoa Hand-made Ginger Syrup. “Made from filtered water, organic fairtrade raw sugar, fresh ginger, organic dried ginger, organic sultanas and fresh lemon juice,” this syrup ticks all the boxes ethically and best of all, it is delicious. More info on this product can be found on their website hakanoa-handmade.co.nz. I’ve used it to make sangria as well as ginger flavoured milk. Don’t know it until you’ve tried it. It is amazing. Best of all, I like to use it as a marinade in meat dishes and my favourite meat and cut has got to be the delicious pork belly. Free range pork belly should be available where ever you find free range pork. Maybe you are bored of pork belly these days. No problem. Hopefully the world gets tired of pork belly and it will return back to being a cheap cut of meat. More for me! If you still have room in your life for another pork belly recipe, try my Hakanoa Braised Pork Belly recipe. The addition of cornflour …

Fresh Food Markets in Luang Prabang, Laos

Even if you don’t buy anything, it’s worth a visit to the fresh food markets in Luang Prabang. There are no supermarkets here and locals buy fresh food daily from the markets. Markets in Auckland are a weekend activity and even then, only a small percentage of the population actually do their shopping at markets. I love seeing all the ingredients in their uncooked state. Ingredients look so fresh and lovely in daylight. When was the last time you bough vegetables that hadn’t seen fluorescent lights? The tourists here are just touristing, people don’t tend to cook while on holiday. We eat out a lot instead. There were plenty of familiar things at the market and also lots of unfamiliar  stuff to concern yourself with. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but where do you think the local restaurants get their fresh meat and produce from? Street Food There are plenty of snacks to be found at every corner. Fresh Meat This uncovered, tepid meat might horrify the NZ Food Safety Authority, but think about …

BBQ dinner at Lao Lao Garden in Luang Prabang, Laos

I’ve been so busy with cooking at home these days I realised I haven’t blogged about our epic South East Asia adventure in 2 weeks. So back to it. My last post was was on Vang Vieng so our next destination was a bus ride away in Luang Prabang. On our first night in Luang Prabang, after a quick tour (too quick) at the extensive night markets, we have a group dinner at Lao Lao Garden. Ranked #1 thing to do on the Lonely Planet for both Luang Prabang and Northen Laos, it probably doesn’t need much introduction if you have been in this area before. Lao Lao is the local whiskey and that’s probably all I need to say. With the fairy lights and glowing embers from the BBQ, Lao Lao Garden has a lovely ambience and a great range of both Eastern and Western foods. Bring a friend or a date because there’s a whole menu of 2 for 1 cocktails. I laugh now when I read back through my notes: “The Ombeyonce is off da …

Eating laap in Laos

Laap, also spelled larb, larp or laab, was my absolute favourite dish during our epic South East Asia adventure. Laap is made with ground meat, ground sticky rice, fish sauce, lime juice, fresh chili and lots of herbs like mint, coriander and spring onion. The locals eat it with their hands and with sticky rice and raw vegetables. I totally fell in love with this fresh, zingy, savoury dish. Crossing into Laos On a cold mid January morning, we get up early, have a buffet breakfast at our hotel in Vinh, Vietnam and get on a 6am private bus to Laos. It is cold, grey and misty. We take Ho Chi Minh Trail which is a windy path through the mountains and you can see how it could have been used in war against a foreign enemy. The mist is so thick in places you can’t see across to the other side of the valley. Looking out into the heavy mist it’s easy to think that the mountains are on the edge of the world. …

I ♥ Pork & Apple…still

Tasty, fatty comfort food. Make a big pot of this stew plus a big pot of rice and help yourselves to little bowlfuls whenever it takes your fancy. Great for lunch the next day and this stew seriously tastes better and better with time. Pretty similar dish to this rough guide. I seared (even burnt bits) the pork in a pan before I simmered and included some chunks of turnip (Chinese white carrot). Star anise might not be familiar to y’all but it’s a aniseed flavour that I love even though I don’t like licorice. They are added to food for flavour, but don’t eat them. It’s not nice to crunch on so try and remove them prior to serving or if they are intact, they can serve as a pretty garnish. The rough guide to Aromatic Pork Belly and Apple Ingredients: Pork belly, granny smith apple, onion, garlic, ginger, 5 spice powder, cloves, star anise, black vinegar, raw sugar, soy sauce. Preparation: Brown the pork and then simmer with all the other ingredients for about 1.5 …

Sexy French Sausages

I hadn’t been to Nosh in ages so I visited there on Wednesday afternoon. Yip, still love that place.  It was ok weather when I left the house but it was pelting felines and canines the whole walk back. Committed much? I’m still convinced that you can shop smartly there and come out better off than your giant Australian chain. $3 for 3 avocados? Yes please! A bag of rocket for $2.50? Don’t mind if I do. I was casually browsing the meat section as I usually do, when I spied some sexy French sausages. The sausages sang to me, “Bonjour, mon cher ami, bon-jo-ur!” and I shyly fudged a little high-school French back. There was something very likeable about these sausages and we became instant friends. Later on, with sausages safely tucked away in the fridge, I asked The Googe about these new sausage friends of mine. I guess asking The Googe about a new ingredient is like Facestalking someone you’ve just befriended. The Googe says: Toulouse sausage. Pronunciation: too-LOOZ Notes: This exquisite French …

Finger food lunch

No utensils required. Chicken nibbles: sugar, soy sauce, salt, pepper, sweet chili sauce, oil. Skewers: mushrooms, tomato, sweet chili sauce, soy sauce, salt, pepper. Baked for 30 minutes in 180°C oven. Served with boiled baby potatoes tossed with butter and fresh herbs from the garden (sage, parsley, rosemary). Simple noms.

Meat! meet Infographics.

Have I told you that my Dad had a change of career? After half a century of meat eating, my Papa has become a butcher. He started off working in architecture as a draftsman, then he moved on to be chef/owner which he stuck at for over 2 decades. Now he is a butcher. Creative foodies run rampant in my family. Speaking of creatives and meet, here is a real commitment to graphic design and meat. Alyson from Drywell Art has a post a day blog dedicated to meat (inspired) diagrams. She’s close to completing a full year of these drawings so the sheer volume of work alone is impressive. Of course, they’re not all meat drawings, she may have run out or got bored with just meats, so there are plenty of funny non-meat diagrams there too. Here are a few of my favourites: Many more(sals) to be found at Meat Sections. She also has a bunch of awesome stuff at her Etsy Shop.