the BASTARD BURRITO


Until last week, I had not eaten a burrito for over 20 years. That is one thing I know about.

Things I do not know about are how to build a traditional burrito, if in fact the burrito is traditional Mexican cooking at all. But I am in luck because I have a default setting that is triggered by such events and tells me I will be fine and I should just crack on and make something that I think would fit pretty happily into the description of a burrito. Then I should give it a name that will ensure the peeps out there know I have zero actual knowledge of the burrito and am trying to bluff my way through as per usual.

So here is my bastard burrito.

You are very welcome.

That’s the pigs head in the coals
Some things that will go together to make pico de gallo
It may be a bit full on for some, but it really is a thrifty arsed, tasty piece of pig


THE BASTARD BURRITO

(makes 4 fatties)

3 cups cooked seasoned meat of some description. This could be smoked brisket, pork, lamb or chicken, or mince sautéed with onion, garlic and Mexican seasoning, or even a dirty old pigs head, as was the case today
1 avocado, sliced
1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 cup braised black beans (recipe follows)
½ cup pico de gallo (recipe follows)
4x 12” tortillas

It’s probably best to watch the attached video for the explanation of the assembly and rolling of the burrito. It’s just easier that way. You’ve got this far. You may as well just press play now.
If you do not want to press play, the gist of it is this; place ingredients on the tortilla, roll, wrap it in foil, toast in a pan over medium heat, eat it. Well, first pull the foil back and then eat it.

PICO DE GALLO

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
½ fresh jalapeño chilli, finely diced
1 handful of coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt

Stir all ingredients together to combine. Now you’re pretty much done.
Leave for 10 minutes or so for flavours to amalgamate.

BRAISED BLACK BEANS

2 cups or so cooked black beans
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat for cooking if you want to feel sexy

Sauté onion and garlic in animal fat if you have it, otherwise vegetable oil will be fine.
Once onion has softened and is starting to colour, add all other ingredients and simmer on low heat for an hour or so until beans are starting to overcook and get a little mushy, and most of the water has evaporated.
Season with salt.
Keep warm for your burrito or where ever a home for tasty-simple beans may present itself.

Carolina mustard sauce

This mustard sauce or something very similar has been around forever and you didn’t even know about it. It’s just been waiting patiently for you to let it make a little sexy time with your next pulled pork, hotdog or even steak. It’s been patient but believe me, it has still been champing at the bit. It’s been ready to frigging explode every time you haven’t let it have its way with the aforementioned proteins. But of course, you didn’t know about it, so how could you.

I feel like I may be slowly easing open the door to a vortex right now.

Let’s move on.

Often times this might have a knob of butter added and the whole thing warmed through and whisked to emulsify, but I find that it works just fine without it. So that’s how I roll.


CAROLINA MUSTARD SAUCE

(makes just under 2 cups)

¾ cup yellow mustard
¾ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon brown sugar
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 teaspoons hot sauce
2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon cracked black pepper

• Combine all ingredients and mxi thoroughly until they form one beautiful liquid gold.
• Make something that it will like to be poured onto. Hotdogs are a bloody good starting point and the are also relatively easy to make.
• Store remainder in a sealed container in the fridge for bloody ages. Months at the very minimum.

lamb braised with red wine

Insert your own amusing story here.


LAMB BRAISED WITH RED WINE

(Serves 8 or so)

1 lamb shoulder, cut into braising pieces on the bone. A nice butcher will do that for you.
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 anchovies. Don’t even think about it, just do it.
2 bay leaves
A sprig of rosemary and thyme if you have some in the garden
500 ml red wine
1 lt beef stock
1x 400 g tin chopped tomatoes
2x 400 g tins butter beans or whatever tinned bean you like
Salt and pepper
Salsa verde, to serve
Soft polenta, mashed potatoes, parsnip puree, pasta or something along those lines, to serve

Heat a splash of oil in a heavy based pot or cast-iron camp oven over a medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté until starting to brown a little.
Season lamb with salt and pepper and add to the pot (normally you might brown everything off separately but this is going to be an all-in type thing) along with anchovies and herbs. Sauté for 10 or so minutes until they are browned and tasty bits are starting to grip a little on the bottom of the pot.
Add wine, stock and tomato and stir to get all of the good bits off of the bottom of the pot and into the gravy.
Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 1 ½ hours, stirring every half hour or so.
Check that lamb is tender – it should be ready for Nan to gum to death by now. If not, simmer for another 30 minutes or until soft, adding a splash of water if the gravy starts to thicken up too much.
Add beans and simmer for another few minutes to warm through.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Serve with salsa verde and something nice on the side.
Eat it.


beef ribs in the smoker

Beef ribs in the smoker are really good.

I really don’t know what else to add.

Good thanks.

Beef ribs after an hour or so…
These go great guns in a bullet style smoker.


BEEF RIBS

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

2x racks beef short ribs (approx 1.5 kg each)
Beef seasoning (recipe follows)
Rocking chair

Get your BBQ up to 125 C (250 F). Add a little cherry or pecan for extra flavour if you’re keen.
To the best of your ability, remove the membrane from the bottom of the ribs and trim any excess fat and silver skin from the top of the ribs.
Coat the ribs well with the seasoning.
Get the ribs into your smoker, making sure you keep a fairly constant-ish 125 C (250 F).
After 3 hours the ribs should have a nice bit of colour. This is when I like to wrap (no, Vanilla Ice will not be blaring on my Spotify. Please, try to pay attention).
Remove the ribs and wrap it with peach paper (butcher’s paper) or alfoil. Return to the smoker for another 2-3 hours or until the thickest part of the ribs probe like butter. If you are actually using a temperature probe the should be sitting around 92 – 95 C (200 F) or so.
When ribs are good to go, remove from BBQ and rest in a warm spot for 15 – 20 minutes.
Get some sides together, carve them up and get it into your face.


BEEF SEASONING

2 tablespoons each cooking salt, cracked black pepper and garlic granules

This is a good base for making and developing your own beef rub. Start with the quantities here and adjust to your personal preference – if you like it more peppery add more pepper. Or if you don’t like so much garlic, take a little out. If you like chilli or thyme, you can certainly put a little of that in there too. It’s pretty simple.
Also, don’t be tempted to use ground black pepper as it needs a little texture and coarseness.
Also also, garlic flakes are too big and garlic powder is too fine for me. Garlic granules are just right. See above.
Also also also, cooking salt is perfect. See above.
The rub is great for brisket, ribs, steak, burgers, lamb, roast vegetables and whatever else you want to put it on.

Now is the time to eat them.
Almost an instructional video

Prawn & sausage jambalaya

Jambalaya. A Cajun classic. Allegedly first made by European immigrants in New Orleans and deeply rooted in the Spanish paella. It’s a tasty-assed mash up of some kind of meat, smoked sausage, a few vegetables and rice in a pot, where they are left to make love and produce offspring of immensely really good flavour.

Cajun cooking has a bit of a thing going on with the celery, capsicum (bell pepper) and onion, the holy trinity of Cajun cooking if you will, and I certainly have no problem with this. It works, it does what it is meant to do, it doesn’t cause any trouble and it’s clean. I love a good clean house guest… or holy trinity…

This poor man’s dinner can be very easily consumed all by itself, but this sort of ricey goodness can also act as a side for a fillet of fish, a nice piece of roasted chicken or grilled pork chop.

On a side note, this corona virus shit certainly makes me realise why child mortality rates were so high in the old world. Also, it has made very clear why children were sent to work full time at such a young age. Coincidence that there was no proper school system to get the kids out of your hair and each other’s faces for 5 days of the week? I think not.


PRAWN & SAUSAGE JAMBALAYA

Serves 4


400 g large prawns (shrimp), peeled and deveined, 5 heads reserved for cooking
200 g Andouille or some kind of smoked sausage, chopped
1 onion, diced
1 green capsicum, diced
1 stalk celery, sliced
5 cloves garlic, minced
½ long red chilli, chopped
1-2 tablespoons Cajun spice mix or your favourite BBQ rub
250 g basmati rice
1 lt chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley and lemon wedges, to serve


Heat pan over medium-high flame.
Sauté chorizo, the Cajun holy trinity, chilli and garlic in oil until softened and starting to brown.
Add prawn heads, tomato and spice mix and cook out for a further minute.
Add rice, stock and prawns to pan, cover and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes or until rice is cooked.
Allow to sit for 5 minutes. Check seasoning and adjust with salt and pepper if needed.
Garnish with chopped parsley and lemon.
Get it onto a plate or bowl of some description and then into your face so as to benefit from it’s tasty goodness.

Herby sorta thai ‘slaw

This is a story about the search for new sides to go with my BBQ.

“Some kinda ‘slaw has got to be a good start”, I thought to myself (because if I thought to someone else that would make me some kind of other-world super computer human and that, I am not).

This started with the usual cabbage and carrot scenario, and then branched off into a few of the ingredients that might compose a Thai green papaya salad, and then a little kale because quite frankly I live in the Northern Rivers of New South Wales and local law dictates that kale must constitute at least 18% of my daily food intake (also, I really do like the stuff. Really), and then a little nam jim inspired dressing to finish her off.

It is a little different and bloody good so you should probably try it.

HERBY SORTA THAI ‘SLAW

Enough to go on the table with a few other sides at your next BBQ.

2 cups shredded green cabbage from approximately ¼ medium cabbage
1 carrot, grated
2 leaves curly kale, stem removed, shredded
1 Lebanese cucumber, randomly chopped
1-2 tomatoes, randomly chopped too
2-3 red radish, thinly sliced
½ cup bean sprouts of some description
2 shallots (spring onions), sliced
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely sliced
1 handful each coriander and mint, roughly chopped
Lime dressing (recipe follows), or your favourite nam jim or nuoc nam will work just fine


LIME DRESSING

250ml lime juice
3 tablespoons sugar
1 tablespoon fish sauce
1 clove garlic, microplaned
3 coriander root
Combine all ingredients and whisk until sugar is dissolved.
Check seasoning and adjust with a little salt if necessary.
Use it to dress the salad above.
Any leftover dressing will happily hang out in the fridge for 5 days and can be used to anoint chicken, seafood or noodley dishes or whatever you think might like a little limey goodtimes.