food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘meat’ Category

bún-chả with bbq pork balls

leave a comment »

These Vietnamese pork balls are packed with flavour and wonderful when served as a complete meal with a fresh and delicious rice vermicelli salad and Nuoc Cham. I could eat this any time.

For the pork balls, you will need 450g (1 lb) of pork mince. Place ¼ of the mince in a small food processor and process until sticky. This will help to hold the mixture together. Combine with the rest of mince, 3 teaspoons of Vietnamese fish sauce, 2 -3 teaspoons of caster sugar, ¾ of a teaspoon of salt, plenty of coarsely cracked black pepper, 3 cloves of minced garlic and the finely sliced stems and roots of 4 sprigs of coriander (cilantro). Mix well and divide into small walnut-sized balls. Place them on skewers and barbecue (grill) over high heat for a few minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Meanwhile soak some rice vermicelli in boiling water until soft enough to eat. Drain and run under cold water to cool. Shred some lettuce, slice cucumber and tomatoes, cut carrots into fine julienne and add lots of herbs – mint, Vietnamese mint, coriander (cilantro) and dill are all suitable. Finally add some roughly chopped peanuts. Serve with Nuoc Cham dipping sauce: combine ¼ of a cup of Vietnamese fish sauce, 3 tablespoons of sugar, 2 minced cloves of garlic, 1 finely diced small red chilli, ¼ of a cup of water and lemon juice to taste. If the balance needs adjusting use fish sauce for saltiness, sugar for sweetness and lemon juice for sourness.

Advertisements

Written by michelle picker

June 19, 2019 at 12:20 am

lamb shanks with anchovies

leave a comment »

This wonderful recipe by Nigel Slater couldn’t be simpler or more delicious. Anchovies are the magical ingredient that make a fantastically tasty rich sauce. Serve it with a soft polenta or potatoes.

Preheat your oven to 160ºC (300ºF) and season 2 lamb shanks with pepper. Heat a little olive oil in a heavy casserole and start browning  the shanks. When they’re slightly browned, add 2 roughly chopped onions and 1 sliced clove of garlic. Chop up 2 anchovy fillets and add them to the casserole. Tear in 2 sprigs of rosemary and 2 bay leaves. Add a cup each of good quality chicken or beef stock and dry red wine and bring to a simmer. Cover and bake in the oven for two hours, turning the shanks halfway through. When the shanks are soft remove them from the sauce, cover them and keep them warm. Meanwhile finish the sauce by adding 2 more chopped anchovies and a handful of chopped parsley. Bring to the boil and adjust the seasoning to taste. Serve the lamb shanks smothered in sauce. 

Written by michelle picker

May 29, 2019 at 12:24 am

Posted in meat

Tagged with ,

tomahawk steak

leave a comment »

Fifi turned up with this enormous steak for a barbecue dinner. We rose to the challenge and produced a melt-in-the mouth medium/rare steak with just enough char and smoke.

The steak was marinated in soya sauce, mirin and garlic for about an hour, or the time it took to get the fire going and the charcoal ready. We used the reverse sear method – we placed the steak on the grill as far away from the charcoal as possible and cooked it very slowly. The steak was turned only once and when it had some good colour but still felt quite rare, we placed it directly over the hot coals, cooking each side until it looked and felt perfect. And it was!

Written by michelle picker

March 27, 2019 at 12:05 am

Posted in meat

Tagged with , , ,

rendang

leave a comment »

Originally from Indonesia, Rendang is also a popular Malaysian dish. Known as a dry curry, it consists of meat cooked in coconut milk and spices until the meat is incredibly tender and the coconut and spices are reduced to a rich thick paste which clings to the meat.

Use 1½ kg (3⅓ lbs) of gravy or shin beef cut into medium-sized chunks. To a blender add 2 roughly chopped onions, 6 cloves of garlic, 1 tablespoon of fresh ginger, 6 fresh red chillies and ½ a cup of coconut milk. Blend to a smooth consistency then pour into a casserole dish. To the pot add another 1½ cups of coconut milk, 1½ teaspoons of salt, 1 teaspoon of ground turmeric, up to 3 teaspoons of chilli powder (according to taste), 2 teaspoons fo ground coriander, 6 curry leaves, 1 bruised stem of fresh lemongrass and 1 teaspoon of galangal (laos) powder. Mix well, add the meat and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium and add ½ a cup of tamarind liquid (or 1½ teaspoons of tamarind paste) and cook, stirring occasionally, until the gravy is quite thick. Turn the heat to very low and continue to cook, stirring more often, until the gravy is nearly dry. After approximately 2½ hours, when the oil separates from the gravy, add 2 teaspoons of sugar and cook, stirring constantly now, until the gravy turns a dark brown. Serve with white rice, and one or two vegetable dishes.

Recipe from The Complete Asian Cookbook by Charmaine Solomon.

 

Written by michelle picker

January 23, 2019 at 12:14 am

Posted in meat

Tagged with , , ,

christmas 2018

with one comment

Only four of us this hot Christmas day, so we decided to have a Chinese hot-pot. Cooking everything at the table is the ultimate slow food but very satisfying and delicious!

Our home-made stock was made with pork bones, chicken and ginger. Before serving we seasoned to taste with salt and added a black cardamom pod, star anise, black peppercorns and Sichuan peppercorns. To cook we had: prawn and ginger dumplings; shiitake, king oyster and enoki mushrooms; a variety of fish balls; prawns; beef; pork; fried beancurd and beancurd skins; Choi sum and Chinese broccoli; quail eggs; and mung bean noodles. For dipping we chose our ingredients from soy sauce; black rice vinegar; sesame oil; sesame paste; minced garlic; minced ginger, chopped coriander (cilantro); chopped spring onions; and finely sliced fresh chillies. And some chilli oil.

Written by michelle picker

December 26, 2018 at 12:43 am

dumplings

leave a comment »

New York’s second-largest Chinatown in Flushing, Queens, is worth a visit. It really feels like you’ve been transported to China. We headed for the Golden Shopping Mall, home of Xi’an Famous Foods, where we intended to try Xi’an noodles. But the call of dumplings was too strong and I have to say they were some of the best I’ve ever eaten!

We ate excellent pan-fried dumplings with chilli oil and vinegar…..

….but the steamed dumplings in spicy chilli sauce were truly amazing. They were served with chilli oil and sesame paste and topped with choy sum and spring onions. The casing was super thin and the filling was a wonderfully tasty mix of pork and chives.

I forgot to take a photo of the pan-fried dumplings, so the one above is modified from an image by Ken Marshall licensed under CC BY 2.0

 

Written by michelle picker

September 26, 2018 at 11:10 pm

Posted in pork & ham & bacon, travel

Tagged with

lamb shanks with rice and lemon

leave a comment »

These Greek-style Lamb shanks, one of Yotam Ottolenghi’s one-pot-wonders-recipes, are packed with flavour. If you can get the lamb shanks to stand up they look pretty amazing too.

Heat some olive oil in a large casserole over medium heat and fry 200g of peeled and halved shallots for three to four minutes until well browned. Remove them from the pan and set aside. Keep the pan on the heat. Season the shanks with 1½ teaspoons of salt and 1 teaspoon of pepper then brown in the hot pan until coloured all over. Add 1 large carrot and 2 large celery sticks cut into 2cm (¾”) pieces, 5 bay leaves, 3 small cinnamon sticks, the peel of 1 lemon and 1 litre chicken stock – the liquid should almost cover the shanks. Cover and leave to simmer on a low heat for an hour and 45 minutes, turning the shanks once or twice, until the meat is tender and starting to fall off the bone. Lift out the shanks and set them aside.. Strain the stock and set aside. Discard all the aromatics except the cinnamon. Heat the oven to 170ºC (335ºF). Wipe out the casserole and return it to a medium heat with some more oil. Fry 1 tablespoon of ground cumin for a couple of seconds, then add 1½ teaspoons of dried mint, 300g of basmati rice and ¾ of a teaspoon of salt. Stir to coat the rice in oil, then pour on 670ml  (23½ fl oz) of the strained cooking liquid. Return the shanks to the pot (standing up if possible), add the reserved cinnamon sticks and fried shallots, cover and bake for 30 minutes. Meanwhile whisk together 1 egg and the juice of one lemon. Heat 60ml (2 fl oz) of the remaining liquid in a small saucepan and bring to a boil. Slowly whisk the hot liquid into the egg and lemon mix. Remove the lamb from the oven, pour the egg mixture evenly over the meat and rice and garnish with freh tarragon and serve from the pot.

Written by michelle picker

August 29, 2018 at 12:25 am

Posted in meat

Tagged with , , ,