Archive for the ‘Recipes’ Category

Tea smoked Beer brined Eye Fillet

Saturday, February 13th, 2016

Here is the recipe I talked about with Grubby and Dee Dee today on 3aw’s The Weekend Program.

 

I brine the eye fillet in my simple beer brine for two to three days before smoking it in my wok on the stove. If you have never used a beer brine before you are in for a real treat and if you have never tea smoked in your wok before, well, what can I say? This may be your first time but it won’t be your last!

My beer of choice for this would be a good Red Ale such as Nail Red Ale, an IPA like Holgate Road Trip or an Amber Ale – my favourite is brewed by me so you will have to find another one. I pick these styles as the malt sweetness will wrap around the salty smokiness of the meat, making it taste even better.

I like to cook this dish at public cooking demos to show people how easy it is to do a little bit of home smoking and how delicious the result is. Of course I have to brine the fillet at home as the meat sits in the brine for several days. I also use this brine for lamb rack which I also smoke and for fish fillets – although for fish you only need to leave them in the brine for a couple of hours. The smoked eye filet goes brilliantly with my lentil salad, you’ve been warned!

Tea-smoked beer-brined eye fillet
1 eye fillet – approx 550 – 600g
200g salt
200g of brown sugar
20 black pepper corns
3 bay leaves
3 pieces of lemon rind – no pith
1 litres of boiling water
2 litres of water
2 x 330mil bottles of dark ale, porter or stout.

Put the salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and lemon rind in a large pot and pour over the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt and then add in the cold water and beer and stir again. Put pot in the fridge to bring down the temperature. Once the brine is cool place the eye fillet in – it should be covered by the brine, cover the pot with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two to three days turning the fillet each day.

Remove the fillet and pat dry with paper towels and place on a cake rack that is sitting on a plate. Put the plate in the fridge uncovered for 1 day so as to dry out the eye fillet – this is very important as the meat forms a pellicle which allows the smoke to stick to the meat.

Smoke mix:

½ cup of black tea
½ cup of brown sugar
½ cup of raw white rice

Mix all ingredients together well. Line a wok with three layers of Al Foil and pour the smoking mix in to the wok. Turn the heat to high and wait for the mix to begin to smoke, when it does place a wire rack in the wok and then place the eye fillet on to the rack over the smoking mix. Cover tightly and once the smoke is really going turn the heat down a little to a medium high. Smoke the eye filet until it reaches an internal temperature of between 63°c – 67°c. Depending on the thickness of the particular eye fillet you bought this may take anywhere from 25 mins – 40 mins. In fact when you buy your eye fillet try and get one that has uniform thickness from end to end that way when you cook it you won’t end up with a dry over cooked thin end and an under done thick end.

When cooked remove from the wok and allow to rest while you put some lentil salad in the middle of a plate in a kind of long oblong shape. Slice the meat in half centre meter slices and arrange 4 – 5 slices over and along the lentil salad.

Serves 4 – 6

Lentil, Parsley and Tomato Salad
This is one of those salads that I am happy to eat on its own for lunch or to serve up as a perfect accompaniment to whatever else I have cooked be it a steak, barbequed quail or some roast chicken. My favourite thing to serve this with though is my tea smoked eye fillet page xx it is fantastic and a great dinner party dish.

1 ½ cups of brown lentils
1 clove of garlic smashed
2 bay leaves
12 large cherry tomatoes – halved then halves cut into three
½ Spanish red onion – finely sliced
2 Lebanese cucumbers – peeled and cut into large dice
1 tablespoon of small capers
1 bunch of flat leaf parsley
12 caper berries – optional but tasty
5tablespoons of olive oil
4 tablespoons of balsamic
1 tablespoon of lemon juice
1 tablespoon of red wine vinegar
1 clove garlic – crushed
1 teaspoon of seeded mustard
Pinch of Salt
Black pepper

Put lentils, smashed garlic and bay leaves into saucepan with 6 cups of cold water. Place pan on high heat and bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for 15 – 20 mins or until the lentils are al dente. Strain, remove and discard the garlic and bay leaf then allow lentils to cool.

For the dressing put the olive oil, balsamic, lemon juice, red wine vinegar, crushed garlic, mustard, salt and pepper into a jar and shake well to combine – taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.

Combine the rest of the salad ingredients into a salad bowl and add the warm lentils then give it all a mix to combine. Pour over the dressing and mix again to combine well.

Serves 6

Nachos Extraordinaire

Saturday, October 3rd, 2015

mercurio-beer

Some say love is in the air (how many times have I heard that?) but I say spring is in the air. Only by a bit, but the sun does seem a little warmer and that icy wind now has some dulcet tones which encourages one to clean up the backyard and get the barbie ready for party central.

Okay, so you may still be wearing a light vest whilst out the back but I am sure your thoughts, like mine, are turning to slightly lighter styles of beer after winter’s reign of stouts and porters. Food-wise it is a little too early for seafood salad, jelly shots and pilsner — it’s more like good old pale ale or perhaps an amber or hefeweizen and something hearty but with a lighter side.

That said, dammit! Go for a pils, celebrate the arrival of spring and with it I say have some nacho. Not just any nachos though, you deserve my Nachos Extraodinaire for a perfect early Spring afternoon lunch.

Back in the old days when I was a student at the Australian Ballet School I used to work at the local Mexican fast-food restaurant and the trick to good nachos, I discovered, was to set the corn chips in the beans so they stood up like cathedrals, allowing the toppings to fall in between and give you a lovely taste surprise with each mouthful.

…read the rest, plus the recipe, at Australian Brews News.

Todays Recipe

Saturday, April 4th, 2015

Tapenade

 

350g pitted kalamata olives

3 – 4 anchovies – chopped (start with 3 and add another if you feel it needs it)

3 medium sized cloves of garlic – crushed

2 tablespoons of salted capers – rinsed and dried

1 tablespoon of lemon thyme

2 tablespoons of sherry vinegar

3 tablespoons of olive oil

 

Put everything into a food processor and blitz until it is a paste.

 

Makes approx 2 cups

Have on biscuits or toast with a cold ale!

 

Keep in an air tight jar in the fridge for about 7 or so days.

Last two weeks I have developed four new recipes! Here is one I wrote and cooked yesterday for a cooking demo I was supposed to do on the weekend but has been cancelled so I figured some one here can give it a go.

Wednesday, March 25th, 2015

Smoked Tomato Soup

 

 

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 tablespoon (25g) butter

1 leek – white part

2 cloves garlic – finely chopped

350g bacon bones

4 cups of chicken stock

3 dried bay leaves

1 teaspoon raw sugar

1 teaspoon paprika powder

1 teaspoon of chipotle flakes

1 tablespoon Pernod

Salt and black pepper

1.2 kilos ripe tomatoes

1/3 cup of rice

1/3 cup of raw sugar

1/3 cup of black tea leaves

¼ cup of cream – optional

 

In a Casserole pot over medium high heat add the olive oil and butter and allow to combine. Top and tail the leek and discard the ends. Cut leek in half lengthways then thinly slice and add to the pot and give it a stir. When it starts to sizzle turn the heat to low and cook for eight or so minutes stirring every so often being careful not to brown or burn the leek. Add the garlic and cook for another 3 or so minutes stirring often. Add in the bacon bones and bay leaves cook for a further 3 – 5 minutes stirring. Turn the heat to medium high and add the chicken stock, bring to the boil then turn the heat down to a gentle simmer.

 

Prepare the tomatoes by using a sharp knife to cut the eye or core out of them then cut an x in the bottom of each. Place in a large pot and pour boiling water over them so they are covered and let them sit for 3 – 5 minutes. Drain in a colander then refresh with cold water. Peel the skins away and discard then set the tomatoes aside whilst you prepare the wok.

 

Line your wok with three sheets of al foil then tip in the 1/3 cups of rice, sugar and tea and mix well. Place wok on the stove then place a wire cake rack into so that it fits snugly above the tea mix. Give the tomatoes a little pat with some paper towels to remove excess moisture then place them on the rack. Turn the heat to high and place lid on wok. I tear some large lengths of al foil which I gently scrunch then run them around the rim of my wok lid loosely so when I put the lid on to the wok it scrunches up more and creates a sort of seal. When you start to see smoke seeping out turn the heat to medium and smoke the tomatoes for between 12 to 15 minutes but no longer. Turn the heat to the wok off, remove the wok lid and using tongs pick up the tomatoes and put them in to the stock mix. Please note: allow the smoking mixture to cool completely before discarding into your rubbish bin or else you could start a fire in you bin!

 

Using your tongs, or a potato masher, break up the tomatoes in the stock and then turn the heat to medium high so that it simmers a bit harder than previously. Add in the remaining sugar, paprika, chipotle, Pernod and season generously with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Simmer for about 20 minutes so that all the flavours combine well. Remove the bacon bones and discard (I eat the meat off the bones first!!) then use a stick blender to blend the tomatoes and soup until it is lovely and smooth. I also blend the bay leaves as they add flavour however if you want you can discard them before blending. Return the blended soup to the heat and bring back to a simmer. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed. You can add cream at this point if you want to use it or not sometimes I do and sometimes I don’t!

 

Serve in four bowls and enjoy.

 

You could also make lovely toasted croutons with cheese melted on the top to float in the soup for an added depth of flavour and eating pleasure.

 

Make around 2 litres of soup.

 

 

 

Salami 101

Tuesday, March 17th, 2015

For the couple I bumped into today buying some South Melbourne dim sims – how good are they!!! – here is the link to my salami 101.

 

http://aussiehomebrewer.com/topic/16583-salami-101/

 

The thread is very long and is full of lots and lots of info on salami making so it is well worth a read. Read the first three or four pages and you will get the low down and basics about making salami at home. The one secret I have learnt after doing this for 10 years is to mix the meat really really really well before stuffing it into casings!

 

Enjoy. Any questions leave them in comments and I will answer them.

 

Cheers

Recipe from the cooking demo I did yesterday and also today at the Feast and Family Field Day At Morning Star Estate.

Sunday, October 6th, 2013
Mussels in Coconut and Beer
25g of unsalted butter
25 mils of olive oil
1 long green chili – thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic – chopped
1 Lebanese eggplants
2.5 cm piece of ginger – peeled
½ cup of peas 1 stick of lemon grass –
4 Kaffir lime leaves – remove middle stalk and thinly sliced
1 ½ kilo’s of fresh mussels
1 330mil bottle of Hoegaarden Wit Beer
1 27o mil can of coconut milk
1 tsp of fish sauce
1 bunch of fresh Coriander to finish
Clean and de-beard the mussels discarding any with broken shells, set the rest aside in a colander. Place a pot large enough to hold all the mussels on the stove over a medium high heat. Add in some olive oil and when hot add in some chopped garlic and chilli and cook stirring for a minute or so being careful not to burn the garlic. Add the mussels to pot and about ¼ cup of the beer, put lid on and turn heat to high. Bring beer to a boil and boil/steam the mussels shaking pot to get the liquid swirling around the mussels. When all the mussels have opened remove from the heat and put mussels into a colander making sure to reserve the cooking liquid.
On the stove melt the butter and oil in the same pot. When butter is foaming add the garlic and chili and stir. With the flat of your kitchen knife or palm of your hand smash the peeled ginger so that it is squashed and falls into chunks add this to the pan. Cut the green chilli in half lengthways and add to the pot. Peel away the tough outer layers of the Lemon grass stalk to reveal the pale lower section of the stem. Use a sharp knife to trim the base. Cut the stalk into 4 pieces and then smash the stem with the flat side of a knife to bruise and release the flavour add to the pot. Cut the Lebanese eggplant in half lengthways and then cut again lengthways so you end up with four pieces from each eggplant. Now chop them into pieces about 5 mm thick and add to pan along with the peas and the Kaffir lime leaves. Give it all a stir and cook until the eggplant has softened – about five minutes.
Strain the cooking liquid through a fine sieve to remove dirt and shell and then return to the pot then add the rest of the beer and the coconut milk and give it all a good stir, bring to the boil then turn down to a simmer add the fish sauce stir through and allow to cook for ten minutes. Add the chopped coriander and the cooked mussels and stir so the soup gets into the mussels drenching them well in the sauce. Taste the sauce for seasoning – if the mussels are really fresh they may release a lot of fresh salty sea water into the sauce in which case you will not need to add any salt. Add some freshly cracked black pepper simmer for a couple more minutes.
Divide the mussels and sauce equally into to two large bowls and garnish with a little more freshly chopped coriander.
Serve with some toasted crusty sourdough.
Serves: 2 as a main 4 as an entrée.

Here are the recipes

Tuesday, May 1st, 2012

I have just finished doing some cooking demos at Tatsing Australia and people asked me if they could get the recipes for the dish I demo’d. So here they are:

Lentil, Parsley and Tomato Salad

1 ½ cups of brown lentils

1 clove of garlic smashed

2 bay leaves

2 large ripe tomatoes – sliced across into fours then roughly chopped into large cubes

½ – ¾  Spanish red onion – finely sliced

2 Lebanese cucumbers – peeled and cut into dice

1 tablespoon of small salted capers

1 bunch of flat leaf parsley

12 caper berries

 

 

Put lentils, smashed garlic and bay leaves into saucepan with 6 cups of cold water. Place pan on high heat and bring to the boil then turn down and simmer for 12 – 15 mins or until the lentils are al dente. Strain and remove the garlic and bay leaf then allow lentils to cool.

 

Combine all other ingredients in a large salad bowl making sure you capture all the juice from the tomatoes and mix well. Add the warm lentils in to the bowl and mix well again.

 

Dress with a generous splash of olive oil and red wine vinegar – season with a pinch of salt.

 

Tea smoked brined Eye fillet

 

 

1 eye fillet – 700g – one kilo

200g salt

200g of brown sugar

20 black pepper corns

3 bay leaves

3 pieces of lemon rind – no pith

1 litres of boiling water

3 litres of water

 

Put the salt, sugar, peppercorns, bay leaves and lemon rind in a large pot and pour over the boiling water. Stir to dissolve the sugar and salt and then add in the cold water and stir again. Put pot in the fridge to bring down the temperature. Once the brine is cool place the eye fillet in – it should be covered by the brine, cover the pot with plastic wrap and place in the fridge for two to three days turning the fillet each day.

 

After two – three days remove the fillet and pat dry with paper towels and place on a plate. Put plate in the fridge uncovered for 1 – 2 days so as to dry out.

 

Smoke mix:

 ½ cup of black tea

½ cup of brown sugar

½ cup of raw white rice

 

Mix all ingredients together well. Line a wok with three layers of Al Foil and pour the smoking mix in to the wok. Turn the heat to high and wait for the mix to begin to smoke, when it does place a wire rack in the wok and then place the eye fillet on to the rack over the smoking mix. Cover tightly and once the smoke is really going turn the heat down a little to a medium high. Smoke for 25 – 30 minutes. Remove the meat from the wok and if you have a meat thermometer check the internal temp. Ideally you want to get a reading of between 63°C to 67°C. Allow the meat to rest then slice thinly and enjoy.

Mix sliced meat through the lentil salad and serve.

 

 

 

Salami Time

Saturday, July 23rd, 2011

It is that time of the year although traditionally that time of the year, at least here in Australia is late June but I always seem to go for mid to late July! Now I stuffed up last year and had to bin 15 kilos of pork with the end result of no salami being made so this year I made sure I got myself together and the end result is below for you all to marvel at.

It is my usual recipe – an equal mix of pork leg and pork neck with a good amount of pork fat (25 – 30-%) sea salt, fennel seeds and powder, chilli flakes, garlic powder, black pepper and capsicum paste all stuffed into sheep casings except the big one which is a hog casing.

They will hang for 2 – 3 weeks and then I will cryovac them and eat them over the next year. The bigun as I like to call it is my first foray into a big salami so I am crossing my fingers it will be fine. It will most likely take 6 or so weeks to dry properly – I will let you know.

Lipton Quality Black Pancakes with Raspberry Cream

Thursday, May 12th, 2011

As cooked with some degree of chaos live on the morning program on channel 7:

1 cup of self raising flour
300 mils of warm milk
5 Lipton quality black tea bags
2 tablespoons of honey
1 free range egg
1 teaspoon of unsalted butter
1 300 mil container King Island pure cream
1 250 mil container of Raspberry coulis

Put flour in a large mixing bowl. In a glass measuring jug pour in 300 mils of milk and then zap it in a micro wave for one minute so that it is quite warm but not really hot. Put the tea bags in and jiggle them for a minute then let them steep for another five minutes. Add the honey and stir to dissolve. Jiggle the bags some more then squeeze them out so as to collect all the milk and flavour and then discard. Crack the egg into the milky tea and beat. Using a whisk slowly add the milk to the flour and mix to form a batter.

Heat a non stick fry pan over medium heat and add the butter when it has melted swirl the pan so as to coat the bottom with the butter. Spoon in some of the mixture and allow to cook. When bubbles form on the top turn the pancake over with an egg flip and cook the other side. Remove cooked pancake to a plate and continue with the remaining mixture.

Put the cream into a bowl and add three or so tablespoons of the coulis to the cream and gently mix through. You can use more or less of the coulis depending on how much raspberry flavour you want to come through. The raspberry’s really complement the tannins in the tea.

Stack one, two or three pancakes on a plate spoon over some of the raspberry cream and enjoy.

Makes about 12 pancakes

Pretzels

Monday, July 12th, 2010

2 – 3 cups of plain flour or bread flour
2 teaspoons of dried yeast
2 teaspoons of sugar – raw or white
1 tablespoon of butter- unsalted or salted – softened
½ cup of milk
½ cup of water – hot
4 teaspoons of bi carb
4 cups of water
Baking paper
Salt flakes – Murray river salt or Maldon
Preheat oven to 230°c or 210 fan forced
Combine the milk and the hot water into a glass jug, the mixture should be warm but not hot. Add the sugar, yeast and the butter to the warm milk /water mixture and give it a stir then set aside. After about 5 – 10 minutes the yeast should be active and you will see lots of yeasty froth sitting on top of the liquid.
Using a cake mixer with a dough hook put 2 cups of flour into the mixing bowl and turn the mixer on. Give the yeast mixture a stir and then slowly add it to the flour and mix. The flour will come together but will be quite wet still so add some of the extra flour a handful at a time until the dough begins to form a ball. You do not want this dough to be too dry or stiff, it is very soft and slightly sticky dough. Turn the dough out on to a lightly floured surface and give it a knead for about 5 or so minutes until the dough texture changes to a more silky character. Put the dough into a floured glass bowl – I usually spray some oil around the inside of the bowl and then sprinkle flour around it as this stops the dough from sticking to the glass. Cover and set aside for an hour or two or until the dough has at least doubled in size.
Once it has doubled turn the dough out of the bowl onto a floured surface and shape it into a log. Cut this log in half and then each half in to three pieces. Roll each piece out to be about 30 cm long how ever there is a trick to this and that is – leave a fatter bit in the middle. Imagine a snake has swallowed a football (or an oblong shape) and that shape is sitting in the middle of this 30cm long snake. This fatter section is probably about 6 cm long. As this dough is quite soft you probably won’t be able to roll it on the bench so the easiest way to roll it is to pick it up and hold it between your hands – palms together thumbs pointing to the roof, and make like you are rubbing your hands together to warm them. Allow the dough to hang down and as you rub your hands together the dough will slowly fall down towards the bench as you stretch it out with the rolling action. This all makes perfect sense when you DO it. Let the dough drop to the bench and then repeat the process starting from the other end of the dough. In order to get the fatter bit in the middle start the rolling motion 4cm past the centre of the dough and when you turn the dough and do the other side start that 4 cm past the middle section and voilà you will end up with a 30cm long piece of dough with a fat section in the middle. With practice comes perfection!
To make a pretzel shape have your rolled ‘snake’ lying on the bench in front of you. Pick up either end and hold it above the bench so it forms a big “U” shape now cross your hands in a circular motion so that the “u” swings, turns and twists around itself and then lay it flat on the bench still holding on to the ends. Place one end on top and to the side of the fat middle section and the other end on the other side. Wet your finger and dab where the two ends rest on the fat section to seal them down.
In a fry pan bring the four cups of water and the Bi-Carb to the boil and then dunk a pretzel into the boiling water for about 10 seconds before turning it over and letting it sit for another 10 seconds. Remove from the boiling water and place on an oven tray that has a sheet of baking paper on it. Repeat with the other pretzels. Sprinkle the pretzels generously with the salt and put in to the preheated oven. Cook for about 8 to 10 minutes or until pretzels are a dark golden brown.
Remove and try and wait until they are a little cooler before you devour them. Of course eat with your favourite beer.
Makes six