Red #Kidney Bean #Dhal

I substituted the black beans with a can of red kidney beans and added 1/2 a cup of red lentils about an hour into the cooking, adding extra water to stop it from sticking along the way.

The outcome was delicious and I’d recommend playing around with this recipe with beans and lentils of your choice. can’t go wrong really!!

Here’s the original recipe with black beans.

Black bean Dhal with ginger, chilli, onions and tomato

Oven roasted #beef #short ribs with corn

These beef ribs were delicious with corn and a spinach and brocccoline salad with quick pickled onions. Inspired by a friend in Brisbane who made them last night!

Prep time: 2 hours Cooking time: 3.5-4 hours

Ingredients:

Beef short ribs, trimmed – about 1kg bone in for 2 people

Spice rub: 1 tablespoon brown sugar, 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon cummin powder, 1/2 teaspoon chilli powder, 1/2 teaspoon chilli flakes, 1 teaspoon onion powder, 1 teaspoon garlic powder, 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1.5 tablespoons olive oil

Homemade bbq marinade sauce: 1/4 cup tomato ketchup, 2 tablespoons smoky bbq sauce, 1.5 tablespoons cider vinegar, 1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce, 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard, 1/2 tablespoon soy sauce

Salad; Broccolini, baby spinach, 1/2 red onion, 3 tablespoons cider vinegar, salt pepper, 1 tablespoon olive oil

Corn: corn on the cob, salt, water to cover, salt, pepper and a dob or two of butter to finish

Method:

1. Make spice rub, then massage well into beef short ribs, allow to marinate at room temperature for just on 2 hours (or overnight in fridge but bring to room temp before cooking).

2. Heat oven to 120 degrees celcius

3. Cover roasting pan in foil, then put another layer of foil and place ribs on it, then cover with another piece of foil and crimp edges to create a tented sealed foil package. Place in oven. (Slice half a red onion and pickle in 3 tablespoon cider vinegar)

4. Make bbq sauce and marinade/brush with bbq sauce every hour for 3 hours.

5. Uncover tops of beef, raise oven temp to 200 degrees Celsius, brush with bbq sauce and cook for 1/2 hour to melt fat on top and crisp. While finishing beef boil corn and make green salad, adding drained pickled onions. I used baby spinach and blanched broccolini with a dash of olive oil, salt and pepper.

Slow oven roasted beef short ribs

6. For last ten minutes add thyme leaves, and turn on top grill to finish cooking off top layer of fat.

7. rest beef for 10-15 minutes and serve with corn and salad!

Shepherd’s Pie with an Indian Twist #spicysheperdspie #indianpie

This is a spiced up version of an Irish lamb mince Shepherd’s Pie that will warm you up and tingle your tatstebuds.

The addition of spiced fried onions to the mash and curry leaves and spices to the mince mixture adds a touch of India that is a great twist to a winter comfort food staple.

I also added a layer of raw baby spinach that kept its texture and is a great way to make sure your green quotient box is ticked, especially with a nice green salad on the side as well. In fact, with leek, carrots, ginger and garlic, onions, potato, spinach and tomato the nutrition value of this dish cannot be denied!!

This quantity serves 2 so use a small-medium size casserole dish

Ingredients

  • 500g lamb mince
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 1/2 cup diced leek
  • 3 cloves garlic and equal amount ginger and 1 red chilli ground to paste
  • 1 teaspoon cumin seeds
  • 1/2 teaspoon cumin powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon chilli powder (optional)
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1/2 cup of tomato passata
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 2 Handfuls of curry leaves
  • 2 cups of baby spinach leaves
  • 1 onion sliced
  • 1 teaspoon mustard seeds
  • 1 small piece of cinnamon bark or quill
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 2 potatoes
  • 1 egg beaten for brushing top of mash
  • 1 tablespoon of butter
  • 1 tablespoon milk
  • 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
  • Extra curry leaves and coriander for garnish
  • Salt

Method:

1. Prepare vegetables for mince mixture. Chop leeks, onions and carrots. Make ginger, garlic and chilli paste.

2. Heat 2 tablespoons olive oil in heavy based pot, add cumin seeds to flavour the oil, then add leek, onions and carrot and sweat gently until softened. Add ginger, chilli and garlic paste and mix through.

Soften vegetables the add spices and mince.

3. Add turmeric, cummin and chilli powders to mixture and mix through, then add mince, and stir to break up mince and brown it before adding tomato passata, 1 handful of curry leaves and stock. Bring to a boil then simmer for 20 minutes or so until mince is cooked and sauce is reduced.

4. While mince is cooking, peel and cut up potatoes into pieces. Place in a pot of boiling water with salt and 1/2 teaspoon turmeric. Boil potatoes until tender, strain and then mash them with a dollop of butter and 1 tablespoon of milk, taste to see if additional salt required and set aside.

5. Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius.

6. Slice (not dice) additional onion. Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in small pan, add cinammon stick, 1/2 teaspoon mustard seeds, other handful of curry leaves, then add onions and fry gently until onions are brown and starting to caramelise.

7. Add half the browned onion mixture the mash and mix through, reserve the other half.

8. Place the mince mixture in a casserole dish, top with spinach leaves, mash.

9. Using a fork, score the top of the mash, then brush with the egg. I add a red chilli to the top for decoration.

10. place in hot oven for 20 minutes until top starts crisping, then sprinkle rest of onions on top and put back into the oven for a further 10 minutes.

11. Garnish with curry leaves and coriander. Serve with a crisp green salad.

Cauliflower and fennel mash #mash #carbfree

Who needs potatoes, when you can have this delicious fennel flavoured silky cauliflower and fennel mash?

Easy as boiling the white part of the fennel for about 10 minutes, adding cauliflower florets and boiling until tender, drain, then whizz with a stick blender, add a touch of butter and salt the serve up.

Delicious with roast pork. I roast a few slices of cauliflower in the pork fat towards the end of the roasting time to top the mash with crispy cauliflower for texture.

Cauliflower and fennel mash alongside roast pork and green beans with fennel tops.

Easy Duck Confit #Cassoulet

This is comfort food at it’s best. There are so many variations on the traditional cassoulet and in France there is much debate as to it’s origins and many towns that claim it as their creation.

Carcassonne in the South of France is one that claims it as their own most fiercely and it is featured on almost every tourist restaurant in the old Castle town. The traditional versions of course require days of preparation and cooking.

My version speeds up the process using now widely available products that replace the need for making your own duck confit or cooking beans for hours. (yes, I use canned beans and lentils!!) I have also tried to cut down the calories by removing as much fat as possible by cooking the meats separately first, before combining into the finished dish.

I use brown lentils as well as beans which absorb the cooking liquids faster and help to “combine” all the ingredients and sauce together in the end result.

Preparation time: 1.5 hours Cooking time: 35 minutes, serves 4

Ingredients

  • 2 pre-made Duck confit Marylands (leg and thigh cutlets) in Australia I use Luv A Duck brand available in good butchers.
  • 1 carton of pre-made oven roasted Coles Pork belly bites – or similar pre-cooked pork belly squares
  • 2 Toulouse or other garlic and herb pork sausages
  • 1 can cannelini beans
  • 1 can brown lentils
  • 1 onion diced
  • 1 carrot diced
  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes halved
  • 6 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 2-3 stalks of celery diced
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3-4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 1.5 cups of chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup or so of Panko or fresh breadcrumbs for topping
  • 1/4 cup Pumpkin seeds for topping
  • Black pepper
  • Salt

Method

1. Pre-heat oven goes 180 degrees Celsius.

2. Take duck confit from package and place on baking paper lined oven tray, along with the 2 sausages. When oven is hot, roast for 35 minutes until duck is warmed and sausages are just cooked. Halfway through the cooking time, add the halved cherry tomatoes cut-side up into the roasting pan.

3. While duck and sausages are in oven, fry pork bites in a non-stick pan over medium to high heat for 15 minutes until golden brown on all sides. This will also render a lot of the fat from the pork belly. Place fried pork belly on paper towel to absorb as much fat as possible.

Using Pre-cooked pork belly cuts down the time…check your local supermarket for a product like these Pork Belly bites.

4. Prepare vegetables if you haven’t done so already. Dice garlic, onions, carrots and celery. Drain cannelini beans and lentils and keep in separate bowls.

5. Remove duck and sausages from oven, reserving the fat and cooking juices in the pan. Place duck on paper towel to rest. Reserve cherry tomatoes in seperate bowl. Slice sausages into pieces and keep aside.

6. Throw out all but 1 tablespoon of the pork fat in the frying pan, add the reserved duck fat and cooking juices from cooking the duck and sausages.

7. Heat pan juices in frying pan and add garlic, cook for a minute or so until starting to just turn colour, add bay leaves, onions, celery and carrots, salt and pepper… and cook until softened and starting to caramelise. (Don’t forget Pre-heat oven to 180 degrees Celsius again if you turned it off)

8. Add thyme, cannelini beans, sausage slices and half a cup of hot chicken stock and simmer for 5 minutes, add lentils, pork belly, and another half a cup of stock and simmer for a further 5 minutes.

9. Put the base mixture into a snug casserole dish. Place cherry tomatoes throughout the mixture, and then the duck maryland right on top. Add 1/2 cup of stock to just come to the top of the mixture.

Place duck right on top and only put just enough stock to come up to the top of the base mixture.

10. Sprinkle breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds on top to from a crust, avoiding covering the duck.

Super crispy but still juicy duck confit with a delicious hearty bean, lentil, pork and sausage base and crunchy breadcrumbs and pumpkin seed topping.

11. Cook in oven for further 35-40 minutes until breadcrumbs and pumpkin seeds are golden and crispy. (Check a few times to see that consistency of base is to your satisfaction ie not too watery, not too dry. Add extra stock if necessary) Allow to stand for 5 minutes, then serve garnished with parsley and with zesty lemon and rocket salad and crunchy bread. Ps, I cut the Maryland’s into halves to make 4 serves.

#Keralan #Pork Curry with Coconut Milk and Green Beans

The addition of coconut milk in this curry gives the sauce a creamy texture and a delicious soft spiciness quite different to the sharper “zinginess” of the Indian Green Pork Curry recipe, although there are similarities to marinating the pork in vinegar.

Traditionally it a dish that the Syrian Christians, who eat pork, serve at special occasions. The history of the ongoing “survival” of this group of Christians thought to date back to AD52 in Kerala is interesting. Here’s a bit of background Syrian Christians in Kerala

My version is adapted to use leaner pork shoulder instead of pork belly and only involves cooking for about an hour.

Kerala is also famed for it’s spices including black pepper and tamarind which are widely used in Keralan cooking and I have added to this recipe. If you haven’t used tamarind before here’s a good how to guide Cooking with Tamarind

Preparation time: 30 minutes Cooking time:1 hour

Ingredients:
  • 500g pork shoulder cut into medium sized cubes
  • 2-3 handfuls of green beans
  • 3 cloves of garlic and equal amount of peeled ginger
  • 1 onion finely diced
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar
  • 1/2 cup of tomato passata or diced tinned tomatoes
  • 1 tablespoon of cracked black pepper
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons of salt
  • 1 teaspoon of turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon of cumin powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon of red chilli powder or cayenne
  • 2 tablespoons vegetable oil (coconut oil would be most authentic)
  • 3 dried chillies (exclude these for a milder version)
  • 2 teaspoons cumin seeds
  • Large handful of curry leaves(optional)
  • 4 green cardamom pods
  • 1 stick of cinnamon bark (1/2 small quill)
  • 1/2 teaspoon of fenugreek seeds(optional)
  • 25g tamarind pulp soaked in 1/2 cup of warm water until dissolved or 1 teaspoon of tamarind concentrate dissolved in half a cup of warm water
  • 1/2 cup of coconut milk
  • Coriander to garnish

1. Put pork into bowl and add black pepper, salt, cummin powder(not seeds), turmeric powder and chilli powder. Add vinegar and tomato, mis thoroughly and set aside for at least 25 minutes.

Marinate pork in spices, salt, vinegar and tomato which help the meat to tenderise.

2. Chop onion finely.

3. Peel garlic and ginger and pound into a paste in a mortar and pestle.

4. Top and tail green beans and slice very finely on an angle.

5. Heat oil in a casserole pot over medium heat, add cummin seeds, dried chillies, cardamom pods, curry leaves and heat until fragrant.

6. Add onions and cook gently until transparent then add fenugreek seeds if using and mix through onion mixture.

Cooking the spices and onions in oil creates a fragrant base for the curry.

7. Add pork to onion mixture and cook for about 5 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly until pork is sealed – without allowing to burn or stick to the pot, add some after if needed.

8. Add tamarind water, and 1/2 cup or more of boiling water to just cover the pork mixture and simmer for 40 minutes. Keep an eye on the curry to make sure it isn’t sticking at the bottom and add a little additional water if needed along the way.

9. after 40 minutes, then add coconut milk and cook for a further 15 minutes until the sauce has thickened to a creamy consistency. The pork should be tender and cooked by now. Taste to check if additional salt is needed.

Cook the pork simmering in tamarind water and plain water, then add coconut milk after 40 minutes and green beans at 55 minutes.

10. Add the finely sliced green beans and cook for 5-10 minutes until tender.

11. garnish with chopped coriander and serve with white basmati rice, dhal, mango chutney and salads.

Delicious Keralan Pork Curry with Coconut milk and Green Beans