Potato, roast carrot and corn salad… and its good friend, the BBQ sauce

potato salad, bbq sauce, barbecue, low and slow
This is a damn good salad.

It’s good with heaps of different other things on the table too.

It’s also just pretty damn good to put a big fat bowl of it into your mouth late night after a little too much rehydration therapy.

It is a salad that has appeared next to some of my favourite meaty things over the past 6 months or so.

I guess now would be a good time to mention that this is not a story about how the little potato salad, the side dish, the supporting actor rose to glory and became the main event in it’s own right. Nope. This is not a win for the little man, this is really quite simply a recipe for a salad. A damn good salad… and it’s good friend at the BBQ table (or breakfast table… dinner table… burger feast… bedroom), the new and improved recipe BBQ sauce.

Read on.

That potato salad
That potato salad
Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad
Some other things we put on the table next to that potato salad

POTATO, ROAST CARROT & CORN SALAD

With upgrade options.

(serves 4-6 as a side)

3 medium potatoes, diced about the size of the keys on your computer keyboard, boiled or steamed until tender
2 medium carrots, roasted and then cut a similar size to the potatoes
2 sweet corn, kernals removed from cobs, tossed in a pan with some oil for a minute or two
*1 chorizo sausage, sliced
*1 green capsicum (pepper), medium diced
3-4 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 large handful parsley, chopped
Salt and pepper

• Mix it all together. Effing simple as that
• *Add upgrade options if you’re keen
• Season to your liking with salt and pepper
• Fuck yes

That BBQ sauce
That BBQ sauce
I also enjoyed home  made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time...
I also enjoyed home made pickled jalapeños on the table with my BBQ. Maybe we should make them together some time…

BBQ SAUCE

1.25 cups tomato paste
1.5 cups brown sugar
1 cup maple syrup (just like cocaine, the pure stuff is best but if the cheap stuff is what you can afford then I’m sure you’re going to buy it anyway)
125ml apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons smoked paprika
2 teaspoons each onion powder, garlic powder, cumin
1 teaspoons each dried chilli flakes and ground black pepper
scant ½ cup corn flour, whisked into 1 cup water to form a slurry
¾ tablespoon salt
1lt water

• Dump all of the ingredients except cornflour slurry into a large, heavy based pot
• Simmer over a med-low heat for 45 minutes or so, stirring often to avoid burning and fusing to the bottom of your pot
• Stir in corn flour slurry and cook for another 5 minutes, stirring constantly
• Right now you could put it into your smoker at 110C for an hour or so for a little smoky love because we all need a little smoky love in our lives from time to time or you can let it cool, stirring from time to time, and then pour it over just about anything that’s going to end up in your mouth
• Did you notice how “stirring constantly”, “stirring often” and “stirring from time to time” are all use in different points in this recipe? That’s because they are all different things! Work it out!

Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy
Pork ribs, truffle mac cheese, chow chow (can be found on these pages somewhere), that potato salad, jalapeños and that BBQ sauce. this made my face happy

Stalling on the smoked brisket

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.

Coffee Beef Brisket with Spicy Barbecue Sauce… and a month in the life of foodisthebestshitever

coffee brisket with home made barbecue sauce
I don’t even know where to start about what has been happening in my life that is so damn important that I don’t have a free moment to say hi to you folks out there in Blogland. I know, I know… I should probably start at the beginning. Yes, that makes perfect sense… start at the beginning.

Well *takes a deep breath* you know how we opened a restaurant back a little bit? No? Well we did open a restaurant a couple of months back and that is well and truly sucking me dry of inkling of spare time I thought I might have had. Yes I am it’s drunkard seafarer and it is my two dollar lady of the night… except with minimal risk of venereal disease. We have been waiting for a restaurant to call our very own for quite some time now, and this restaurant was a very fortuitous opportunity indeed, that presented itself as we were in the middle of some pretty big house renos, oh, and we were already pushing extra hard to get these house renos done by the time of my fortieth birthday party… which was just last week.

*pauses for another breath*

*tries to work out what the hell the point is and possibly if there is a segue here at all*

Yep. Proper grown up now… well at least that’s what they keep telling me.

So, in rather a large “fuck off” to being old and permanently retiring my dancing shoes, we held a bit of a ho-down and partied just like it was 1998 again… minus the lollipops. Ah the lollipops. Definitely one of those stories best saved for another time, like possibly when you and I sit down with the colonel and enjoy a good stiff drink whilst wearing our brown dressing gowns… AKA not at all.

We partied like twenty year olds and then spent three days recovering, looking not at all dis-similar to a person with an acquired brain injury or possibly a group of incapacitated elderly minus the incontinence… well, mostly minus the incontinence. We certainly SHOULD have had carers but no one had the foresight to book that shit in so there we sat, verbally defecating all over anyone who was with-in earshot. We had defective head meat. My brain’s wifi was weak, very weak and there was no sign of the signal improving for a few days at least. It was like my brain was using one of those cheap and nasty service providers that give you reception nowhere… basically not even close to being able to perform the one task they were created for. So that was my brain. Got over it eventually but it was certainly not a pretty sight.

Also, just a little something I noticed this year about birthdays. Why does everyone tell you what to do on your birthday? Seriously, everyone I saw had something to say, telling me to do things like “enjoy your day”, and my social media was filled (yes filled. I’m hella popular in the virtual realm… not sure what happened in reality) with comments like “have a great birthday” – straight up just telling me what to do. Well you know what? You have a great day; I’ll do what ever the fuck I want.

Just a little something I noticed…

While my brain recovered I searched for a recipe past Graz may have had the foresight to stash for future hungover Graz so that he may appease the people and, much to his credit, past Graeme had done me proud. Here’s what that sexy bastard saved for me.

Cook some brisket
Cook some brisket

Make some barbecue sauce
Make some barbecue sauce
Put it into a burger with some 'slaw
Put it into a burger with some ‘slaw
Sit in the carpark
Sit in the carpark

Eat the shit out of that bad boy!
Eat the shit out of that bad boy!

COFFEE BEEF with SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE (for a gathering of the hungry mans club)

3-4kg piece beef brisket
2 cups strong black coffee
1 cup water
Salt and pepper
The home made bbq sauce down below
Rolls and ‘slaw to serve

• Marinate beef in coffee and extra water overnight or at least… well… overnight, just like I said
• Roast covered in 150C oven or simmer very gently on the stove top for 5 or so hours* or until very tender. If liquid dries up before meat is cooked add a little water, 1 cup at a time, until that bad boy is melting like your heart did when you first saw that young lady you now call your wife. This is also a grand opportunity to pull out your slow cooker and let the beef simmer away for the day in that. Do it, it’s feesable, don’t feel like you’re cheating anyone here
• Once that piece of sexy beefy goodness is done set aside and allow to cool for a bit
• Now slice it up (or shred it for a pulled beef type scenario) best you can and get it onto a bun of some description, possibly with a bit of ‘slaw and a little home made spicy barbecue sauce, and get it into your belly

SPICY BARBECUE SAUCE (adapted from Manfuel)

May I just say this spicy barbecue sauce certainly is the good shit.

1 cup tomato paste
4 cups water plus 1 cup water
1 1/3 cups brown sugar
1/3 cup apple cider vinegar
½ – 1 cup chipotle chilli, depending on how much heat you like, chopped or pureed
2 teaspoon each smoked paprika, ground cumin, onion powder and garlic powder
1 tablespoon salt
1 teaspoon black pepper
1/3 cup corn flour (starch) to thicken

• Cook out tomato paste and brown sugar on a low heat until sugar is dissolved
• Add the rest of the spices and stir until mostly dissolved. Cook out for a minute or two
• At this point add in the 4 cups of water and apple cider vinegar
• While the sauce simmers a bit, combine the 1 cup water with the corn flour (starch) in a bowl and mix thoroughly until completely dissolved
• After letting the barbecue sauce come up to a simmer, add in the corn flour mixture and stir everything thoroughly
• Once again bring the sauce back up to a simmer and you should notice it thickening up fairly quickly. Simmer the sauce for 3 – 5 minutes more stirring as it goes. Don’t simmer too long with the corn flour in there or the thickeners could break down
• Put this all over your brisket burger so it drips down your shirt and you look like an animal. I really do enjoy a good sloppy burger

Chicken Enchiladas are now a part of my life and they can be a part of your life too

chicken enchilada
Once a commodity more valuable and/or scarce in my life than unicorn horn shavings or an honest politician, small snippets of time are now starting to make them selves available so in turn I may be able to make a virginal sacrifice and offer it to the gods of Blogland so they may dine on the purest of bloodied spleen, and in turn be appeased… or, just to clear it up for anyone who may be starting to wonder if all of this crazy talk points very clearly to me being in cahoots with the devil, I’ve got five minutes so I’m going to see if I can’t get another damn recipe out there and into the world wide inter web stratosphere.

Today it’s all about the enchiladas.

Well, yesterday it was all about the enchiladas.

Yesterday it dawned on me that I have never made and/or consumed the filled-with-meaty-topped-with-saucy-baked-with-cheesy Mexican tortilla cannelloni known as the enchilada, and let me tell you right now this was going to be the time for me to remedy said issues.

We made our own tortillas but I’m pretty sure store bought will be fine, and I used some left over roasted chicken shredded with some onion, cumin and home made bbq sauce. So use some leftovers, buy a roast chook from the super market or cook a couple of chicken breasts with the mad cooking skills you have gained from the last couple of years you’ve been following this blog. Heck, you don’t even need to use chicken if you don’t have some. Use roast beef or pork or gerbil or whatever protein it is you like to use for the meat component of your dinner*.

And it will be on the table in under an hour, I kid you not…

Shred some chicken and get it a little saucy
Shred some chicken and get it a little saucy

Roll them up and get them in there nice and snug
Roll them up and get them in there nice and snug
Some sauce and cheese to make them feel really good about themselves
Some sauce and cheese to make them feel really good about themselves
And...
And…
Then...
Then…

This...
This…

CHICKEN ENCHILADAS WITH BARBECUE SAUCE AND SHEEP FETA (serves 4)

3-4 cups of shredded chicken. As I said previously, this can be left overs, shop bought or you can cook a couple of chicken breasts to fulfill your needs… well at least get some thing in your belly because as we all know, that eastern European farming website subscription of dubious legality is the only thing that’s going to fulfill your needs…
1 brown onion, sliced
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ cup barbecue sauce or enchilada sauce
12 tortillas, there is a recipe here if you want to make your own
1.5 cups grated cheddar cheese
1 cup sheep feta
Salt and pepper
Coriander, chipotle sauce, fresh lime and avocado and tomato salsa, to serve

• Mix your shredded meat with the onion, cumin, ¼ cup barbecue sauce and a bit of salt and pepper
• Divide meat between the tortillas and roll into something similar to cannelloni or a big fat Cuban cigar
• Place enchiladas side by side in a baking dish so they are nice and snug. Enchiladas are pack animals and really like the warmth of many more enchiladas snuggled in closely, which is very advantageous for you, the consumer
• Top with remaining barbecue sauce and grated cheese and bake at 180-200C for 10-15 minutes until cheese is melted and tortillas are a little crispy
• Hit those effers with chipotle or jalapeno, crumbled feta and coriander. Serve with avocado and tomato salsa
• Be happy that enchiladas can now be a part of your life too

And I will give you a recipe for Barbecue sauce really soon…

*Vegetarians/vegans need not write in to remind me that not everyone believes in eating meat and that animals and humans can live a harmonious existence. I know all about it. I’m just trying to get through my time on this giant rock with a smile on my face and a chuckle in my belly. Sometimes I think a lack of meat can ruin a person’s sense of humour

Black Rock Camping Part 3… the final instalment of how to eat like a king while camping

camp oven breakfast
Black Rock Camping 3

We endured but another night of wind and rain worthy of the adventures of Scott of the Antarctic himself. We should of maybe packed ourselves up, or possibly threw caution to that proverbial wind, but instead we decided throwing ourselves three sheets to the wind would be a better option and we drank ourselves numb to the pending eventuality that our campsite would be lifted from its tethers and transported back to Oz itself!

Our determination and the fact that we were all oblivious to the storm that continued around us paid off as we awoke to blue skies and the promise of a sugar-sweet day in paradise. I foraged native fruits and berries, tracked wild boar and gathered emu eggs for our breakfast feast. That is, I Viking raided the fuck out of everyone’s eskies and used the pillaged goods to create a communal breakfast. I let my brain be free as it instructed my hands through the motions needed to get this kick-ass breakfast on the table. I feel my brain worked very well with my hands on this occasion.

We ate a spiced vegetable and bean stew with baked eggs, sausages and bacon, and pots of freshly brewed coffee (we are not animals) and tea. *Fun camping fact #2 – if you want to eat like a king while camping get yourself a camp spice rack.

Eggs baked on top of a spiced vegetable and bean stew looks damn good eh?
Eggs baked on top of a spiced vegetable and bean stew looks damn good eh?

Serve that shit up, kid
Serve that shit up, kid

SPICED VEGETABLE & BEAN STEW WITH EGGS (for 8)

6 big handfuls of diced vegetables that you can steal from everybody’s eskies. We had onion, corn, eggplant, carrot, mushrooms and kale
1 tin of cannellini beans
1 tin of kidney beans
1 tablespoon each cumin seed, paprika and dried oregano
½ teaspoon dried thyme
½ a teaspoon dried smoked chilli powder
Seasoning
2 tablespoons smoky barbecue sauce
1x 700g bottle of tomato passata
½ cup water
8 eggs
Sausages and bacon, to serve

• In some medium-high heat coals ☺, cook off all of the vegetables except kale with a splash of oil
• Once starting to colour and soften add spices and kale and cook out for another couple of minutes
• Add beans, barbecue sauce, tomato and water and simmer, covered for another 8-10ish minutes or until vegetables are cooked. Add another splash of water if it starts to thicken up too much as you need a wet sauce to poach/bake the eggs in
• Check and adjust seasoning if necessary
• Make a few (eight, actually) little dips in the stew and crack eggs straight into them. Don’t be too concerned if they don’t stay where you want them too, it’s all good in the end
• Cover camp oven and simmer, covered, for another five minutes or so (until the eggs are cooked but still a little soft in the middle is the desired result)
• Once cooked, serve with an array of camp fire meats, a pot coffee, tea, whiskey or what ever it is you drink in the morning and the company of some nice people

I am starting to think the reason I get invited on these trips is because of my camp cooking smarts, which is A OK by me. The challenge of cooking with only the (almost) bare basics, using the most primitive of cooking methods, just damn well appeals to me. Camp seasoning provided by the fire and the flora in this unattended outdoor greenhouse that is my kitchen stadium. Fire and then some more fire. It is all about the fire when I’m on the scene. You can take your trek through the bush, read your Mills and Boon novel or build a carnie survival hut in the bush, but you’ll find me tending the fire, getting the next meal together and possibly (definitely) sipping on a sneaky beer… well, as long as we’re done with breakfast.

The camp spice rack helped bring a little Jamaican influence to our chicken and chorizo. Pretty easy huh?
The camp spice rack helped bring a little Jamaican influence to our chicken and chorizo. Pretty easy huh?

That sucker in the coals next to Marky's meatballs
That sucker in the coals next to Marky’s meatballs
…and finished with a few green beans
…and finished with a few green beans

Camping is my shit.

We wake, eat, drink, relieve ourselves and sleep when we feel the need, as our bodies regress back to the bare necessities of what you need to do to stay alive. Camp life is not dictated by alarm clocks, bus schedules or appointments at the herpes clinic. Meal times are not relevant as you eat when you feel like you want to eat, not when your boss sanctions your union approved 45 minute lunch break. As my friend Daniel-San, a fellow strapping young red-bearded lad, would say, “that is camp time, folks”. And you know what? It really doesn’t matter if you are drinking a beer at 10:30am or asleep at 7pm, as long as you are out there, enjoying what our dear sweet mother nature has to offer you, what ever that may be.

But this camping trip is almost over and nigh is the time that we shall return to our urban homes so that I may clean myself up, for I am currently exuding more funk than James Brown’s butt crack.

It’s been real, folks. It’s been real.