Steak and the things I might like to have with it ie. Cafe de Paris butter


Steak is something that is honoured with no particular favourite sauce/dressing for me.

It could be something green and herbaceous. Maybe salsa verde or a twangy chimmichurri.

It might be something creamy. A porcini mushroom and bacon sauce perhaps.

Or maybe a classic jus or gravy.

I have been known to adorn a nice steak with chilli jam or a cherry tomato salsa from time to time.

Maybe I will be feeling some butter mixed into the resting juices.

Yeah. The list could go on and on but I’d imagine we’ve both got better things to do with or time… midget porn and Dominos on speed dial awaits!

Just one more thing though. Sometimes nothing is going to satisfy me like a classic Café de Paris butter on my steak. It’s pretty good.

This is the Frenchies at their very finest.

Carry on.

Smother that steak with the butter.

Look at all of those lovely buttery juices.

CAFE DE PARIS BUTTER

(enough for a few steaks. Remaining butter will last in the fridge for 2 – 3 weeks)

250 g unsalted butter, softened
1 eshallot or ½ brown onion, finely diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
20 g Indian style curry powder
1 cup picked parsley leaves, chopped
2 tbls lemon juice
1 tbls Worcestershire sauce
5 anchovy fillets
½ tbls baby capers
1 tspn sea salt
1 tspn ground pepper
4 – 5 basil leaves, chopped
2 sprigs thyme, leaves picked

• To make the butter, heat a splash of oil in a frying pan and cook the onion, garlic and curry powder over low heat until soft and fragrant. Set aside to cool.
• Process all ingredients until just combined. Adjust the seasoning if necessary.
• Put a big ol’ spoon or two onto your steak as it’s resting.
• Get into it.
• And just, well you know, wash it down with beer.

Bloody delicious.

BBQ lamb sausage rolls


Sausage rolls: an Australian institution.

BBQ: also and Australian institution.

Lamb: also an Australian institution.

Can you see where I’m going with this? Of course you can. You are not as simple as you look.

These little suckers are so tasty you’ll find yourself cooking up extra lamb just to make more.

Mix it up.

Get your little meat roll thing going on.

Roll them up, egg wash, dust with a little extra seasoning and then into the oven they go.

BBQ LAMB SAUSAGE ROLLS

(makes 24 rolls)

4 – 5 cups leftover BBQ or roast lamb – cutlets, ribs, shoulder or whatever it is you have – chopped
1 kg beef mince (helps to bind the cooked meat)
1 brown onion, finely chopped
1 medium zucchini, grated
100 g (1 ½ cups) fresh sour dough bread crumbs (these soak up some of the meat juices and keep them inside the sausage roll which, in turn, keeps the sausage roll moist and tasty)
1 tbls herby lamb seasoning, plus extra to dust
6 squares ready rolled puff pastry. They all seem to be a pretty standard size out here so we’ll stick with the standard size today.
Egg wash (1 egg beaten with a splash of milk)

Preheat oven to 200 C (390 F).
Chuck all ingredients except pastry and egg wash into a bowl and mix until combined.
Lay out puff pastry sheets side by side on a bench top.
Slice pastry squares to form two rectangles.
Lay a sausage-like mound of meat lengthways down the pastry sheet. Roll pastry over the meaty mound and back onto itself so meat is fully encased. Slice through middle to form two sausage rolls.
Place sausage rolls side by side (2 cm gap so they don’t puff up and stick to each other) on oven trays lined with baking paper.
Glaze with egg wash and sprinkle with extra lamb seasoning.
Bake for 20 -25 minutes or until golden brown, rotating trays twice during cooking.
A your choice of sauce, or none at all, and eat that shit.

Steamed pork rib with black beans


There is not much I do not enjoy about the yum cha (dumpling) table.

Normally I would write a few more words to introduce a recipe.

Not today.

This Christmas thing makes a chef’s life too bloody busy 

A few things I consider to be essential at the dumpling table

Pieces o’ pork
That pork ready to hit the steamer
The sticky rice ready to be tucked in covered with its #cheflife ALSCO towel
Dish that up

Just like that

STEAMED PORK RIBS WITH BLACK BEANS, STICKY RICE AND A FEW OTHER DUMPLING HOUSE GOODIES

500g pork belly with or without rib, pork spare rib or St Louis cut pork ribs, cut into 2cm pieces (your butcher might do this if you are nice to him/her. Otherwise you may need a meat cleaver…)
2 teaspoons sugar
1 tablespoon Shaoxing (Chinese cooking wine)
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon ground white pepper
2 clove garlic, peeled and smashed with the flat of a knife
½ onion, diced
1 long green chilli, deseeded and diced
½ red capsicum, diced
2 tablespoons Chinese black beans
2 cups glutinous white rice, soaked for a day or overnight in 1lt of water
1 bunch choy sum
A splash of oyster sauce
Assorted store-bought dumplings
Sriracha, soy sauce and/or whatever it is you like to dunk your dumplings into, to serve

Combine sugar, Shaoxing, soy sauce, sesame oil, pepper and garlic. Mix through pork ribs to marinate. Set aside overnight or at least one hour to do its thing.
Add onion, chilli, capsicum and black beans, and transfer to a bowl that will fit in your steamer basket.

Set up steamer in the usual fashion – simmering water in the bottom, and then the layers with the holes in them go over that (dumplings, vegetables, rice and steamed pork go on these levels), and then the lid looking thing goes on top of them.

Line the bottom level of your steamer with a towel, add strained rice and then wrap extra cloth over the top like you were tucking the rice into bed. Now you should say goodnight to the rice. Place steamer basket over simmering water.
Place bowl with pork ribs into top basket. Place onto steamer and cover with lid.
Steam for 25 minutes or until rice and pork is fully cooked.
Remove rice and pork from steamer. Cover with aluminum foil to keep warm.

Line bottom steamer basket with baking paper. Place dumplings in basket, ensuring there is ½ cm between each dumpling so they don’t stick together. Place over simmering water.
Place choy sum on a dish that will fit in steamer basket and drizzle with 1-2 tablespoons oyster sauce. Place steamer basket over dumplings and then cover with lid. Steam choy sum and dumplings for 6-8 minutes or whatever the instructions on the packaging of the dumplings might tell you.

Get it all on the table now.
Now is the time to eat it.
Place your chosen morsel into the big hole in your face, chew it a little or a lot and then swallow.
You are now eating.
Thumbs up.

Beef shin chilli con carne nacho type things

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

Bavarian Bier Cafe, Eagle Street Pier – a wunderbar eating experience

*This is a shitty photo alert*
*This is a shitty photo alert*

The first thing I noticed was the heat. It was going to be a warm one today. It was already being a warm one today and I was kind of a little unhappy with the 24hr air conditioning at Queenies house (Jennee’s brother and our host for the weekend) that was fooling my brain into thinking the celsius was actually hovering somewhere at or under the 20C mark… Silly, silly brain. That brain o’ mine really needs to be a little more on point than that, I mean, if it’s going to make all of the important decisions around here.

So it was hot, I dealt with that.

Secondly, the whole of the Brisbane CBD 20-to-30-something-old male office crew seemed to be divided as to whether it was the light baby blue shirt or more of a pastel salmon pink shirt that was to be decreed office uniform for 2016.

I was rooting for the pastel salmon pink myself.

Thirdly, I was really, really hungry as I had skipped a proper and complete breakfast in favour of an extra coffee in preparation for the sausage fest that would be ensuing this midday (not that kind of sausage fest – I would have needed at least a complete and proper breakfast to get my energy levels and longevity up if I was going to be rocking that kind of sausage fest), so it came to pass that I should move away from the street corner and stop with my pointless observations so we may go and fill our bellies with a big fat pile of steamy German sausage (once again, not that type of sausage) and, to a lesser degree, some kind of soured cabbage product and a hopsy, malty type beverage or two.

I'm pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel
I’m pretty sure this is compulsory for your first time on a pretzel

We were keen. The waitress came to get our drinks order and we hit her with the lot.

NB It is also worthy of note right here that our waitress was quite a pretty young German lass, no piggy tails or ridiculously over-ample bossom, but German none-the-less, and if this is the type of effort these Bavarian Bier Café folks are willing to put in, searching the globe for the right candidate etc, then I was certainly going to allow myself to be very impressed and even compliment them on their attention to detail.

Really tasty home made preztels
Really tasty home made preztels

The pretzels ($4.5ea) hit the table, neck and neck with our first round beers. Pretzels are good, and so is beer. Fact.

Next up the waitress arrived with our meals – a pretty good idea on her behalf because the beer on an empty stomach thing was doing nothing to subdue my pangs of hunger.

Our table quickly filled up with pig and pig products, cabbage-y things, potatoes and more beer – everything would expect from a Bavarian Bier Café. I was certainly stereotyping the heck out of these people by now, but they are my people so I felt it was OK.

GIVE ME SAUSAGE!
GIVE ME SAUSAGE!

The Sausage Tasting ($28) was so full of sausages it looked like Ian “Huey” Hewitson, or possibly the fat German kid from Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, was still holding my plate. All the while I could not decide weather I was thinking more about the fat guy (I know it’s not PC but it certainly is the truth) sausage fingers or the scene from “Freddy got Fingered” when Tom Green makes the sausage mobile. “Daddy would you like some saus-sage. Daddy would you like some saus-sage-ges?”

Needless to say I gobbled the shit out of a heap of sausages this day and I loved every goddam second of it. All of that sausage gobbling did not even bring back one single bad memory of waking up on the wharf with a pocket full of fivers and hair gel all through my beard… There were a couple of sausages that were my favourites but at the end of the day I kinda got caught up in the heat of the moment and before I knew it there was a flurry not dissimilar to that of Cookie Monster on Sesame Street, some gnashing of teeth and the sausages and sauerkraut and mashed potato with beer sauce and mustard were all gone.

Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I've been hit with in a long time
Definitely one of the tastiest knuckles I’ve been hit with in a long time

So then we moved onto the pork knuckle.

Along with the Volkswagon, this half pork knuckle ($27) was another true triumph of German ingenuity; crispy on the outside, moist and tender in the middle, and served with some more tasty potato and cabbage products, and apple compote. Tasty shit.

We had no space for dessert so we were out of there to wander a-little-bit-pissily through the streets of Brisbane.

All in all a great job by the Bavarian Bier Café. Wunderbar!

Goose, Ham and Vanilla Semifreddo with Cherry Compote for “Extra Christmas”

christmas goose, ham and semifreddo
Man, I really do love Christmas.

It’s not even because of all of the presents, or Jesus, but simply because it is the end of a mental mental mental time for us in the hospitality industry and it is a day that I get to spend with the people I love, eating some tasty food and drinking some tasty beverages that may or may not have the added advantage of being acoholinated.

So that, in a nut shell, is why I love Christmas. Of course, it would need to be in more of a metaphorical nut shell than an actual nut shell because a nut shell with this kind of pertinent information in it would be some kind of hybrid fortune cookie nut, would it not?

Moving right along… nice and quickly…

Today I shall be offering you, the reader, a couple of recipes for things that can make a very tasty and delicious Christmas meal. I know I am probably a few weeks late in presenting my Christmas recipe spread but that is definitely indicative of the organizational levels of my support crew here at foodisthebestshitever… but sometimes I do think one should not expect too much of an inanimate porcelain doll and a one eyed billy goat… and I also often consider that with proper advertising I could find myself a back end team that has the skills and knowledge to help foodisthebestshitever move forward into the 21st century… or even the late 20th century would suffice…

Anyway, here are some things that, once put on the table, will make a cracking Christmas lunch. Perfect for the person who loves a second Christmas, or someone who may have accidentally slept through Christmas day and is defo still going to be having a Christmas feast today or maybe, and I feel if I was going to try and do something sensible this would be it, we can just stow this away until next year and I can repost it a heap before Christmas and look super organized and cool.

Even now I still feel as though I have one ace up my sleeve (if indeed that is an actual metaphor); Once I launch this post into the cosmos of the world wide inter web super highway, it will be immediately caught up in the bureaucracy that is the millions of other crap recipes, Christmas stories and cheesy-assed photos that are filling your feeds and clogging up your hard drives. So there is a very high, like uni physics geek high, chance that no one will notice it this year (or anytime really) anyways!

Rocking.

The boys making "ninja bread men". Pretty cute
The boys making “ninja bread men”. Pretty cute
You know I love a good spread
You know I love a good spread

What you’re gonna need…

DRINKS

My friend the Espresso Martini
My friend the Espresso Martini

Something fruity is good for the pregnant people, ballet dancers or kids if there is some, but I prefer to start the day with a Bloody Mary… or two… OK, I like to have some Bloody Marys on Christmas day. Once I have my fill of tomato juice and I’m really feeling like I could take on the whole Empire all by myself, I might have a beer or two, and even start alternating every two or three drinks with an Espresso Martini – coffee and booze in the same glass was a really good idea of someones.

HAM

Out of the smoker...
Out of the smoker…
...and then into the pizza oven
…and then into the pizza oven

I smoked a leg of brined pork for a day over hickory chips and that made my ham. It was then glazed with peach relish and then placed in a med wood fired oven for approximately 1 hour. It was very very tasty when I removed it from the wood fired oven.

GOOSE

The goose is stuffed...
The goose is stuffed…
...and then got pretty tanned and sexy looking in the pizza oven
And then got pretty tanned and sexy looking in the pizza oven

I stuffed a goose with this stuffing recipe that I did have the foresight to post a day before Christmas at least. The goose went into the wood fired oven as well – 1 hour on medium heat and then another hour and a half with residual heat and the door closed. This was also very very tasty. In fact, many people commented that it was the tastiest goose they had ever eaten. Unfortunately for my low self-esteem I do not believe any one at the table had previously eaten goose, but that’s OK, I still agreed that it was very tasty indeed.

DESSERT

Vanilla semifreddo with cherry compote - just damn well delicious
Vanilla semifreddo with cherry compote – just damn well delicious

Sometimes I wish I was English so I could call dessert “pudding”, but as I am well and truly Australian that seems like a damn silly concept and something I will not be doing any time soon. That is the sort of thing I may start doing when I call capsicum “peppers”, or eggplant “aubergine”, or even call goose “tasty”.

Not going to happen.

Jennee made semifreddo and we had a few other things too. The semifreddo was the best. It went like this;

VANILLA SEMIFREDDO WITH CHERRY COMPOTE

Semifreddo
3 eggs
2 egg yolks
½ cup sugar
1 vanilla bean, scraped (or a splash of real vanilla essence)
2 cups thickened cream, whipped to soft peaks

• Whisk eggs, yolks, sugar and vanilla until pale. Heat gently over a baine marie (water bath) and continue to whisk constantly until thickened slightly. Cool
• Once cooled gently fold whipped cream into egg mix
• Once just combined pour into a loaf tin or bowl lined with glad wrap and place in freezer for at least 4 hours
• Slice and serve with cherry compote or just spoon it straight into your face

Cherry compote
2-3 cups fresh cherries, pitted
½ cup sugar
a splash of some kind of cherry booze

• Simmer all ingredients over a medium heat until slightly syrupy but fruit is not fully broken down. Probs 10-15 minutes
• That’s about it
• Put it on your semifreddo or just pour it straight into your face for an excellent “late night stoned monkey” snack

christmas goose, ham and semifreddo
Merry “extra Christmas” or indeed, Christmas next year ☺