Cowboy beans! Yeehaw!

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So I made some cowboy beans.

Actually, I’m not even sure what cowboy beans are, but this is what I imagine they may be. But they may not be this at all. Definitely do not tell your friends these are OG cowboy beans as that may not be fact. I would even go so far as to say there is a high chance it would not be fact. It could even be said that you pretty much just shouldn’t take any of the words on these here pages, or indeed those that pass my lips, as being fact. I’m pretty much a big fat faker. This is not gospel and I am not the lord. Onto those beans…

I feel they would be most authentic served from a big pot on the back of the chuck wagon. That is a fact.

Time for oven loving

Now it’s get into my face time


COWBOY BEANS

(For the family. Like the whole family. Like extended family, neighbours, stray kids and those carnie folk just barely clinging onto life in the cage under your back stair case… and then there will probably still be some to freeze down for later.)

500g navy beans, black beans or whatever the frick kinda dried beans you have floating about in the back of your wagon, soaked over night and then cooked until tender
500-800g whatever meat you have floating about in the back of your wagon. BBQ leftovers are the best for this – smoked brisket, pork ribs, actually any cut of pork or sausages… roast left overs… or just some nice smoky porky things from your local man
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce
1 tablespoon each American ballpark mustard and Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Big Red Rub or your favourite BBQ dry rub
½ cup tomato ketchup
3x 400g tins crushed or chopped tomatoes or something similar
Salt and pepper
Fried eggs (or crack them straight into the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes for tasty-assed one pan glory), chopped fresh herbs, jalapenos and toast to serve

Chop meat/s into bite sized chunks.
Heat a splash of oil in a large oven pan over medium heat. Add meat/s and sauté until browned a little.
Add all other ingredients and cook out for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary (that’s what your salt and pepper is for).
Place into 180-200C oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if mix starts to dry out – kinda saucy is kinda good I reckon. (You could finish these beans totally on the stovetop if you don’t feel like lighting your oven… or you just don’t actually have an oven… but they really do benefit from a little oven bubbly caramelized tomato bits. Jus’ saying)
That’s it. Serve it up – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty simple, just how the cowboys would’ve liked it. Yeehaw.

Bangers and mash with Paddy’s Day colcannon and Guinness gravy

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That time there was leftover colcannon and Guinness gravy from St Patricks day so I decided I would put some sausages on the grill with some carrots and turnips and swedes wrapped in foil so that my family may have some kind of bangers and mash for our evening meal.

You may not have any Guinness gravy left… and you probably don’t even know what colcannon is… that’s going to be OK. We’ll make some especially for it because let’s face it, bangers and mash deserves it.

Bangers and mash is good solid comfort food. Please though, do not confuse it for a big warm sausage-y, potato-y food hug – that is something that really shouldn’t exist in writing and/or real life. Case closed.

When you need* to make bangers and mash a good start is getting onto some decent sausages. The snags in the pic were provided by one of our many neighbourhood purveyors of meaty goodness – Cromwell Farms. Also worthy of note is that the herbs that go into said snags also come from the same farm.

With that foundation of good sausage we can build upwards towards the heavens with mashed potato, gravy and some other vegetable of your choosing… although it’s nearly always peas… not today though.

Hey ho, let’s go (defo a Ramones quote).

It was raining but I didn’t even care because I had my Pro Q Excel 20 (R2smoketoo) on the verandah.

Smoky, grilly sausages.

Gravy in the pot, vegetables in the foil packs.

That spread. Effort is pretty low for a pretty high yield of tasty goodness.


BANGERS & MASH (serves 4)

8 thick sausages, grilled or pan fried or baked
salt and pepper
Colcannon, vegetables and Guinness gravy to serve

Cook the sausages and serve with the other things.

I can’t believe I’m trying to write a recipe for this.

COLCANNON (serves 4)

Sauté 2-3 cups of sliced cabbage and ½ sliced onion in butter and a splash of oil until softened and just starting to brown. Season with salt and pepper.

Stir through enough mashed potato for 3 people (I know it says this is for 4 serves though… the sautéed cabbage will make up that extra serve for you… I’ve got your back on this one).

GUINNESS GRAVY

Make gravy exactly like you normally make it.

If you normally use chicken or beef stock you can replace half of that with Guinness.

If you use water and a packet gravy mix you can replace half of your water with Guinness.

Pretty easy.

* Bangers and mash is something that you can need. When you have an itch for bangers and mash, that itch can only be satisfied with bangers and mash. Fact.

Get that business in your face!

A tasty good burger

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best hamburger recipe
There are a few things I don’t often shy away from in this life.

A good burger, helping an old friend and helping a old friend make a good burger… that and carnie racing. I really love carnie racing…

Recently I was asked for a recipe for a tasty burger, hence my stupid little anecdote. Needless to say, the words that follow will indeed help my old friend, and also yourselves, to make a tasty burger in the comfort of your own home.

Also, after a lot of trial and error I have decided that I like a burger pattie that is around the 150g mark or even slightly smaller. There was once a time when I truly believed bigger was better but since having employed my new burgertechnology ™ (and experience gained from that one time I ended up in a prison cell for the night) I have come to the conclusion that bigger is not actually always better. Littler can also be better sometimes. I have indeed fallen in love with the slightly crumbly, yet still hella juicy texture of the thin-ish pattie. That’s another kinda pointless little story to add to the collection.

Fry den beef patties and then get some cheese on top so it melts damn you

Fry them beef patties and then get some cheese on top so it melts damn you

Burger mis en place

Burger mis en place

Do not, i repeat, do not forget to make some chips (fries)

Do not, I repeat, do not forget to make some chips (fries)

It's good to put it all on a plate so as not to get your table all dirty

It’s good to put it all on a plate so as not to get your table all dirty

TASTY BURGER (serves 4)

500-600g beef mince
Salt and pepper to season
8 slices Jack cheese or tasty cheese
4 buns that you think you may like to encase your burger
20 slices pickled cucumber (there is some in the burger sauce but add extra if you are a pickle fan. I am a pickle fan)
A few lettuce leaves. I like the crunch and refreshing crispness of iceberg but what ever you have in the fridge will do the job
A few slices of tomato, sliced thin so the whole burger doesn’t collapse into your lap and make it look like your navel just gave birth
Tasty burger sauce (recipe follows)
Oven chips to serve

• Make 4 balls out of the mince, keeping them fairly even in size
• Squash them down with your hand or a pizza tray or a lump of wood, so they are about 1cm thick
• Heat a little oil in a hot pan or get your grill/bbq nice and hot
• Season patties and cook over highish heat for 2 minutes
• Flip patties and put two slices of cheese on each. Cook for another 2 minutes for medium doneness
• Assemble with tasty burger sauce, pattie, pickles, tomato, lettuce and then more tasty burger sauce on the top
• Get that shit into your face

Burger sauce and flowers. Pretty as fuck... and really tasty too... except possibly the flowers. I didn't eat the flowers

Burger sauce and flowers. Pretty as fuck… and really tasty too… except possibly the flowers. I didn’t eat the flowers

TASTY BURGER SAUCE AKA. RUSSIAN-ESQUE DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
¼ cup diced onion (from roughly ½ small onion)
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce

• Pulse all ingredients in a food processer until combined or chop the onion and pickles nice and fine and mix it all together in a bowl
• Left over dressing is really good to dip hot chips into, or pretty much just put it on everything…

Getting ready

Getting ready

Fully going for it. Really tasty stuff. I thanked myself for this one

Fully going for it. Really tasty stuff. I thanked myself for this one

Smoked beef ribs with BBQ sauce and paper towel

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smoked beef ribs
This is another very effing worthy addition to the monthly meeting of “the Hungry Mens Club”, or indeed “the Really Attractive Gnawing Meat From The Bone Ladies Club”.

The method employed is not going to decrease any amount of jobless percentages or ensure victory for the local candidate running for election, but is in fact the exact same method used for the smoked brisket you can find right here. The time the meat spends unwrapped in the smoke is reduced by roughly 1 hour and then the time wrapped is reduced by around about the hour mark too.

I doused the shit outta this mofo with this BBQ sauce after it had rested for 1 hour, sliced it into Fred Flinstone looking chunks and five minutes later I found myself laying in a pool of my own body sweat and BBQ sauce with a very contented grin on my face… very contented indeed.

Unwrap those bad boys after a good smoking and then a little rest

Unwrap those bad boys after a good smoking and then a little rest

That is some really saucy shit right there

That is some really saucy shit right there

Textbook

Textbook

Oh dear good lord, get in my face

Oh dear good lord, get in my face

Hand towel is advised for this and other meat/bone type activities

Hand towel is advised for this and other meat/bone type activities


You’re welcome.

Stalling on the smoked brisket

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bbq smoked brisket
This is one recipe that is pretty essential for anyone who is really keen on BBQ or in fact anyone who really enjoys any type of food-based, guaranteed STD free, pornography going on in their mouth.

It is also a recipe that I’ve taken my sweet time getting up here for your viewing pleasure.

Yeah, I’m heaps soz.

Anyhow, I need to keep this short and sweet just because I shouldn’t even be trying to entertain you folks (yeah plural. I know for a fact there’s at least three of you now) with this conduit of my love of food to the outside world and I should definitely be tallying invoices and dockets from our last week at the restaurant. Can you see what’s happened? I just opted for the more fun option… not very good at adulting at all am I?

So the one thing I feel I should bring to your attention is that the brisket does a little thing around the 65C mark that people in voodoo BBQ circles worldwide like to call “the stall”. The brisket may indeed stall at 65C for half an hour or so. It’s just what it does. Get used to it and we can all still be friends.

Nice.

Go smoke some brisket now.

Start with one of these or something else that is good for smoking meat

Start with one of these or something else that is good for smoking meat

Smoking brisket makes me smile

Smoking brisket makes me smile

Slice it up so many people may partake in the smoky briskety goodness

Slice it up so many people may partake in the smoky briskety goodness


COFFEE SMOKED BRISKET

(For a gathering of the hungry man’s club.)

3.5-4kg beef brisket (a bigger brisket will just take a little longer)
2 cups strong black coffee
Salt and pepper
Probe thermometer
Pretty much all of the other sides on these pages work with smoked brisket, so take your pick.

• Season beef well with salt and pepper. Proper well. A good handful should do the trick
• Get your smoker up to 110-120C and while your waiting around, get that coffee into a spray bottle
• Get the brisket into your smoker, making sure you keep a fairly constant-ish 110-120C. Give your beef a nice little spray with the coffee every 30-40 minutes
• After 4-5 hours the brisket should have an internal temp of 65-70C or so. This is when I like to wrap it
• Remove the brisket, give it one last spritz with that coffee and wrap it with alfoil. Return to the smoker for another 3-4 hours or until the internal temperature at the thickest point in the brisket is 92-95C. This is definitely as specific as I get with this whole cooking lark and there is a reason for that – this is how you make it really effing good!
• Once the brisket is at 92-95C remove from smoker and rest for one hour
• Make sure you let it rest for 1 hour as this is how it ends up really sexy
• Now and only now it is time to eat your brisket
• Get some sides together, get some sauces together and then get it into your face. Or get it on a burger with some BBQ sauce*, jalapenos, pickles and chopped white onion for my current favourite. Still, as long as it ends up in your face you will be happy

*I like 2 parts this BBQ sauce cooked out with 1 part maple syrup. 2 cups BBQ with 1 cup of maple. Simmer that out for 10 or 15 minutes over med-low heat. You can do that, right?

That's my bit

That’s my bit


All pics, except that one of the smoker, belong to my friend Bec Clark.

Beef shin chilli con carne nacho type things

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beef shin chilli con carne
Chilli is pretty simple. Fried tortillas are pretty simple. I am pretty simple. This is going to work out just fine.

The thing about beef shin is that it scares a lot of people. Not like Jay Leno or carnival folk scary, but scary like changing a nappy for your best friends kid; it doesn’t conjure up images of fun times and you know the results are something that could be terrible at best. But the one thing about the beef shin is it is so damn good if you give it a bit of “low and slow” loving. Cooking a beef shin like this is a pretty sure fire way to end up with a cracking beefy meal, and granddad being able to ditch the Viagra for ever. The gelatinousness texture and meatiness of the beef shin can only be described as luxurious, with a possible secondary reference to it being unctuous… and those of you who know me know for a fact that those are words that I’m only going to use when all other avenues have been exhausted. Beef shin, when cooked properly, is a damn fine experience for all. Or possibly just the person eating it…

So this is what I am giving to the human race to make the world a happier, safer and just gosh-darn nicer place to be. Unless you are vegetarian. If you are vegetarian you will probably not enjoy this so much. I dare say it would actually be quite unusual of you to cook this recipe. This oh-so-beefy, gelantinous-y, unctuous (I know. I used it again), cheesy and still oh-so-beefy chilli

Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that's what you're feeling...

Start by cooking some chilli. Heck, just eat that with a bowl of rice if that’s what you’re feeling…

Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps

Fry or oven bake some tortilla crisps

Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That's the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too

Make a little avocado and tomato salad dressed with some lime juice. That’s the sort of shit that tastes good and is super healthy for you too

Aw yeah she's ready

Aw yeah she’s ready

Get in my face right now

Get in my face right now


BEEF SHIN CHILLI CON CARNE NACHO TYPE THINGS (enough for a few cowboys)

1 big ol’ beef shin, 1.2kg or so. Get your butcher to cut it in half or thirds if big lumps of meat scare you
2 brown onions, diced
1 capsicum (pepper), diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tablespoons Tex-Mex spice mix (recipe follows)
1 teaspoon smoked chilli powder (or not if you’re feeding the younglings)
1 cinnamon stick
750ml beer (whatever you drink will work fine. Even if you wanna be a smart ass and use root beer, I reckon that could work too)
3x 400g tins crushed tomatoes or tomato passata
2x 400g tin black beans (or kidney beans or a beany mix if that’s how you roll)
2 pieces good dark chocolate
Seasoning
2 cups grated cheese. One type or a mix of your faves
Fried tortilla crisps, avocado salad and sour cream to serve

• Get a nice big pot out for this one
• Season beef shin and sauté in a little oil until it starts to get some colour
• Add onions, capsicum, garlic, Tex-Mex spice, chilli powder and cinnamon. Cook out for a few minutes until vegetables are soft
• Add beer, tomatoes and beans, and simmer on really low heat for 3 hours, stirring regularly. This could also be a slow cooker moment if that’s how you roll
• Check if beef is tender by pushing a bit from the bone (no rocket science or molecular gastronomy involved in that one), if not simmer for another half an hour
• Once beef is tender remove from pot, allow to cool a little and then shred
• Get the chocolate into the pot
• Return beef to pot, check seasoning and serve how ever you feel is going to do it for you on this day; with rice and a tortilla or two, over nacho chips with grated cheese followed by a short trip to the oven, or possibly what I have done today… cover the chilli with a couple of handfuls of cheese and whack it under the grill (broiler) or into the oven for 5-10 minutes to get all roof-of-your-mouth-melty.
• Serve that shit up with fried tortilla crisps, a simple avocado and tomato salad and some sour cream or natural yoghurt

TEX MEX SPICE MIX

¼ cup each dried thyme, oregano and ground cumin
1 tablespoon dried chilli flakes
• Mix it all together and store extra in an air tight container for your next Tex Mex feast

I really liked that avocado number

I really liked that avocado number

Rueben-ish Sandwich

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reuben sandwich
Today I will instruct you on how to make my version of the Reuben sandwich – a sandwich made famous by someone, but it is one of those culinary historical events that are damn near fucking impossible to pin down one actual origin for. Thus I shall be calling this a Reuben-ish sandwich, as I shall be basically making it with ingredients I have on hand and/or are readily available in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales, and not even referring to any type of kitchen tested, pre-typed, recipe AKA. I shall be winging it.

Since making this sandwich I have well and truly fell in love with this Russian dressing business. Once again I have created my own version of said dressing, thus it shall be known as the Russian-esque dressing.

Oh yeah, and I put some really nice ham in there too, just because I really like the idea of ham in this sandwich/burger and not at all because that is what goes into a Reuben sandwich. This shit just keeps getting better and better!

I will be putting all of these almost-Reuben sandwich ingredients together using sorta-sense-making sentences.

So as you should be able to see by now, this is the usual miss-matched, slung together, fly by the seat of your pants, shit you have grown to expect from foodisthebestshitever. You’re welcome. For what I’m not sure, but you truly are very welcome ☺.

Pile it up exactly like a bossss

Pile it up exactly like a bossss

Get your pickles ready... I will give you the recipe for these in a post or two

Get your pickles ready… I will give you the recipe for these in a post or two

Nommy nommy goodness

Nommy nommy goodness


MY REUBEN-ISH SANDWICH/BURGER

3-4 slices pastrami (or I am been led to believe that corned beef will also do a grand job here)
2-3 slices decent ham
1 slice Swiss cheese
½ cup sauerkraut
A good slather of Russian dressing (recipe below)
A burger bun or sliced bread
Some pickles and potato crisps to serve

• For toasted sandwich stylee; put everything together between two slices of quality bread (rye is traditional, but I’m pretty sure this whole thing is about giving traditional a “cheeky one” roughly from behind, so just use whatever bread you damn well feel like), get a little butter and oil in a pan over medium heat and then fry sandwich for 2 or so minutes each side until browned and toasty and warm. Once again, eat it in your face
• For the burger stylee; heat the meats through in a pan over medium flame. Once warmed pile meats on top of each other so they will fit in your bun and put cheese on top to melt a little. Put meat pile onto base of burger bun, put sauerkraut on top and then Russian dressing. Eat it in your face

RUSSIAN-ESQUE DRESSING

1 cup mayonnaise
¼ cup tomato sauce (ketchup)
¼ cup diced onion (from roughly ½ small onion)
¼ cup chopped dill pickles
2 teaspoons yellow mustard
1 teaspoon each Worcestershire sauce and hot sauce

• Pulse all ingredients in a food processer until combined or chop the onion and pickles nice and fine and mix it all together in a bowl
• Left over dressing is relly good to dip chips (French fries) into, or pretty much just put it on everything…

Bye bye

Bye bye

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