food for thought

by michelle

Archive for the ‘red meat’ Category

rack of lamb + peas with feta and mint + roasted red peppers

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Rack of lamb coated with mustard, garlic and rosemary and blushing inside – classic but still fabulous.

Season each rack generously with salt and allow it to permeate for at least an hour. Meanwhile, crush some garlic with a mortar and pestle or a mini food processor and add plenty of fresh rosemary, some mustard of your choice, freshly ground black pepper and a little oil to make a paste. When you’re ready to cook, preheat your oven to 180º (350ºF). On the stovetop heat a large cast iron or heavy skillet, add some oil and brown the racks fat-side down for 5-10 minutes. Remove the racks to an oven tray with the browned surface facing up and coat all the meat with the mustard mixture. Roast for 15-20 minutes or, if you have a thermometer, until the temperature in the middle of the meat reaches 50ºC (120ºF). Remove the lamb from the oven, cover with foil and allow to rest for 10 minutes. During this time the temperature should continue to rise to a perfect medium-rare 55ºC (130ºF). Cut and serve either single or double chops.

As a side dish try these peas with feta and mint. Cook the peas in salted water until just cooked. Drain, place them in a bowl and add crumbled feta, plenty of fresh mint, freshly ground black pepper and a drizzle of good quality olive oil;

And these roasted red peppers. Simply slice into long strips, toss with salt, pepper and olive oil and roast in a hot oven until slightly charred.

 

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Written by michelle picker

April 25, 2018 at 12:10 am

mexican beef skewers

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From Chef Gabriel Gambou of Arrecife Restaurant in Colima, Mexico, this recipe was published in The Taste of Mexico by Patricia Quintana. Tender barbecued beef skewers are served with a rich and dark sauce made with cascabel chillies (shown here with refried black beans).

For the beef, use strips of sirloin or hanger steak, preferably with some fat marbling for tenderness. Thread the beef onto skewers, alternating with onion and green peppers if you wish. In a mortar and pestle crush 1-2 cloves of garlic with some salt, add freshly ground black pepper and ground cumin to taste and combine with ¼ of a cup of vegetable oil. Brush the oil mix onto the meat skewers and leave them to rest in the fridge while you prepare the sauce. For the sauce, fry 6 dried cascabel chillies in some oil until fragrant. Drain and soak them in hot water for 20 minutes. Meanwhile, roast a whole tomato by heating a dry griddle or heavy pan and cooking the whole tomato until the outside is charred. When the chillies are softened, drain them and keep the soaking liquid. Remove and discard the seeds and place the flesh into a blender or food processor. Add the roasted tomato, ½ a white onion, 4 cloves of garlic, 1 teaspoon of cumin seeds, 2 bay leaves and freshly ground black pepper to taste. Add a little soaking liquid and blend until you have a good consistency. Cook this sauce in a little oil until the onions and garlic no longer taste raw. Season with salt and a little sugar to taste.

To cook the beef, brush with a little more oil and some clarified butter and cook on a barbecue, turning regularly, until the beef is to your liking. Serve with corn tortillas and other accompaniments such as re-fried beans, guacamole and fresh salsa.

Written by michelle picker

March 14, 2018 at 10:58 am

christmas 2017

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This year our Christmas lunch was a lovely eclectic mixture of food. Our guests brought the entree of antipasti.

For the main course we roasted butterflied chickens over charcoal with a garlic, sage and rosemary butter under the skin. We added oak chips from Chardonnay barrels to the fire for a smoky flavour. Our gravy was Chef John’s turkey gravy recipe made with chicken wings instead.

Side dishes included potatoes and heirloom carrots cooked in duck fat, a lovely fresh salad,

and a wonderful stuffing following this recipe.

My next post will be dedicated to our Christmas dessert.

Written by michelle picker

December 27, 2017 at 12:18 am

slow-roasted lamb shoulder

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Iranian in style, this fragrant slow-roasted lamb shoulder is easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. Serve it with rice and a fresh salad.

Preheat your oven to 160ºC (320ºF). Cut 3 onions into wedges and scatter them into a large roasting pan. Drizzle with olive oil and season to taste. Place the lamb shoulder on the onions. Coarsely crush 2 teaspoons each of toasted cumin and coriander seeds with a mortar and pestle. Transfer to a bowl and add 4 cloves of crushed garlic, 2 tablespoons of ground sumac, 1 teaspoon of ground cayenne pepper, ½ a teaspoon each of ground cinnamon, cardamom and allspice, the grated rind of 1 orange and 1 lemon, 2 tablespoons of olive oil and ½ a cup each of finely chopped fresh mint and coriander (cilantro). Combine well and season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Place this mixture on top of the (seasoned) lamb and pat into place to form a crust. Combine the juice of 1 lemon and 1 orange with 300ml (10 fl oz) of chicken stock. Pour this around the lamb shoulder and add 3 dried limes (available from Middle Eastern grocery stores). Cover the lamb shoulder and roast in the oven for 5-6 hours until very tender and falling from the bone.

*from a recipe by Emma Knowles and Alice Storey in Gourmet Traveller

Written by michelle picker

November 8, 2017 at 12:16 am

home-made pastrami

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As a gift I was given CHARCUTERIE The Craft of Salting Smoking and Curing by Michael Ruhlman and Bryan Polcyn. It’s packed full of excellent recipes. This is how our home-made pastrami turned out.

To make this you will need some beef brisket with most of the fat removed. For a 2¼kg (5 lb) brisket make a brine of 4 litres (1 gallon) of water, 1½ cups of kosher salt, 6 teaspoons of pink curing salt, 1 cup of sugar, ½ a cup of dark brown sugar, ¼ of a cup of honey, 5 minced cloves of garlic and 1 tablespoon of pickling spice. Place the beef in the brine with a plate on top so that it is completely submerged and refrigerate for 3 days. Next, remove the beef, rinse and dry it and discard the brine. In a spice mill or mortar and pestle grind 1 tablespoon of black peppercorns and 1 tablespoon of coriander seeds. Coat the beef evenly with this mixture. Now the beef needs to be hot smoked, or cooked very slowly over a charcoal barbecue with some wood chips for extra smoke. The internal temperature should be 66ºC (150ºF) when it’s cooked. The final step is to steam the pastrami. Heat your oven to 140ºC (275ºF) and place the beef on a rack over a tray with 2.5cm (1″) of water in it. When the water is simmering, cover the pastrami and steam it in the oven for 2-3 hours. Now it’s ready to serve.

Try it in a Pastrami Reuben, a classic American sandwich served hot on toasted rye bread with pastrami, sauerkraut, Swiss cheese and Russian dressing.

Written by michelle picker

September 13, 2017 at 12:40 am

arrachera

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Hanger steak is a cut of beef (from the lower belly of a steer or heifer) prized for its flavour and tenderness. In the past it was sometimes known as butcher’s steak because butchers would keep it for themselves. In Mexico it’s known as Arrachera and is generally marinated, grilled and served with a squeeze of lime juice, accompanied by guacamole, salsa and tortillas.

For 1½ kilos (3 lbs) of hanger steak whisk together 3 tablespoons of finely chopped garlic, 3 tablespoons of corn oil, ½ a cup of tequila, ¼ of a cup fresh lime juice, 1 tablespoon of coarse salt, ½ a tablespoon of ground cumin and ½ a tablespoon ground black pepper. Place the steak in the marinade and leave for 1 hour (or up to 24 in the fridge), turning often. When you’re ready to cook the steak heat a heavy (peferably cast iron) pan or griddle until very hot. Cook the steak for 2-4 minutes a side depending how you like your steak. Serve sliced and garnished with coriander (cilantro).

* this marinade recipe comes from Galley Wench on food.com

Written by michelle picker

August 1, 2017 at 5:44 am

beef short rib stew

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This Korean stew is deliciously sweet and salty. Cook it slowly or (if you’re short on time) in a pressure cooker.

Sear 1.5kg (3 lbs) of beef short ribs in some vegetable oil over high heat then remove to a plate. Lower the heat and add 1 finely diced onion. Cook until soft before adding 4 large finely diced cloves of garlic and an equal amount of finely diced ginger. Cook for a minute more then deglaze the pan with 2 tablespoons of red wine vinegar. When the vinegar has cooked away add ¼ of a cup of apple juice, ¼ of a cup of orange juice, ½ a cup of mirin (sweet cooking sake), ¾ of a cup of soy sauce, 12-15 dried whole shiitake mushrooms and 3 cups of water (or 1½ if you are using a pressure cooker). Simmer for 2 hours (35 minutes in a pressure cooker) then add 2-3 diced carrots and a diced turnip or swede and cook for a further 20-30 minutes (5 minutes in a pressure cooker) until the vegetables are soft. Add 1 drained can of sliced water chestnuts and cook for a few minutes more. Add 2 tablespoons of brown sugar and a small bunch of sliced spring onions and check for seasoning. Thicken with cornflour if desired and serve with steamed rice and kimchi.

Written by michelle picker

May 27, 2017 at 6:02 am