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

Smoky Nom Noms Pork Loin for the Blogiversary

smoked pork loin
It came to passing that this week was foodisthebestshitever’s third year blogiversary or birthday or whatever you may like to call it.

What sort of celebration did we have, I hear you ask. A massive party with fire breathers and acrobats and a big bear with a little hat and waistcoat? A feast of epic proportions? A celebration of life and an alignment of our shakras by an ancient druid to enable clear vision and strength for the next year this little project will face?

That carrot and cucumber salad
That carrot and cucumber salad

No. no, no. None of the above.

This little blog was sent nary card nor well wishing from admiring fans or family. It was the orphaned child of the food blog world. Even I, as it’s adopted father, failed to realise it’s birthday had passed until a day or two after the event and then what? Did I try and make things better by turning up with gifts, a card with really nice words written in it that I had clearly paid someone else to write and arms full of adoration and love? Nope. No nominations for blog father of the year coming in today, quite possibly a few for non-sensible shite dribbler of the year, but none for blog father that’s for sure.

Get it together
Get it together

One thing I did do was drink a few beers, a little bit of wine and quite possibly even a vodka or two and then made myself a little smoked pork loin for din dins. It was smoky and sticky and delicious, and then the next day in a sandwich with egg and brown sauce and the dirty hangover that could’ve so easily edged it’s way into my day didn’t even get a look in. Suck shit dirty hangover.
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business
Smoked pork, egg and brown sauce sandwich for breakfast. Oh dear good lord this was the business

Smoky pork loin goodness
Smoky pork loin goodness

SMOKY NOM NOMS PORK LOIN

1.5kg pork loin (mine came from Cromwell Farms)
¼ cup yellow mustard
2 tablespoons honey (straight from Cromwell Farms hives)
1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

• Mix mustard, honey and vinegar together and rub that goodness all over the pork. Really give it some love. Set aside for an hour or two to get a little sexier
• Put in your webber/smoker/grill/oven on low-medium heat (160-170C) for an hour or so
• Rest for 15 minutes, slice and eat it in your face
• Smile and be proud that you did something really nice with a pile of stuff from a farm just up the road
• Tomorrow you can put the leftover pork in a sandwich with your own chooks eggs, Phil’s brown sauce and bread from Jordans Organic Bakery in Mullumbimby. Locavore belly filling satisfaction at it’s very finest!

Pretty carrots...
Pretty carrots…

HEIRLOOM CARROT & CUCUMBER SALAD

A cucumber, a handful of carrots and a little parsley and mint all from the back garden, sliced thinly on the diagonal
A splash white wine vinegar
A splash of olive oil
Seasoning
• Get it all together and check seasoning
• Let it sit for 5-10 minutes for flavours to mingle and really get to know each other
• Feel free to beam with pride that everything for this salad came from your own garden
• In hindsight, this really was a great celebration of simple home-grown goodness that this blog seems to be all about… I think…

Gimme Some Sugar, Baby… Or Not

paleo dessert
I’ll keep this short and sweet. Heheh.

We live in a world that is slowly turning it’s collective nose to the use of refined sugars. One big, fat nose the size of South America being scrunched up so it looks like it belongs to a bulldog, and the noise of an almighty “hmph” from just below it’s Antarctica moustache. Very Freddy Mercury-esque. Well-played sugar haters. Get a famous moustached musician onto your cause.

It is true that soon such sugar shall only be available from shady looking characters dealing their wares from the boot of their car in an undisclosed location near you soon. Pastry chefs across the world shall be soon made redundant, pan handling their wares in a back alley, right next to the blue dumpster… They shall be given a wide birth, now the outcasts of society, like the red headed step child, a leper or even Billy Ray Cyrus.

Sugar should be treated akin to, say, cocaine, masturbation or showering with your team mates after a tough game of football; it’s all good and well and a heap of fun for a period of time, but you don’t want… no wait, you can’t physically do it all the time. People flip out a little, genitals become red and inflamed… and then there’s the masturbation and cocaine.

My Jennee is one amongst many it would seem, who would be more than happy for that legislation to pass. I am of the opinion that most things are OK if consumed in moderation… sugar included… and let’s chuck cocaine on that list too, but, as it was Jennee’s birfday recently and not mine I did not insist that she eat 4kg of refined sugar that was just barely being held together with a couple of eggs, a stick of butter and a handful of gluten (more work of the devil that I will be more than happy to discuss at a later date). Instead, I was more than happy for my cousin Amelia to make Jennee a lovely raw, vegan, refined sugar and lactose free, PETA approved, energy efficient, chocolate, raspberry and coconut slice.

It was pretty damn tasty, too. Someone with smart brains put some serious thought into this one! The original recipe was the brainchild of @lissywilson. Kudos to Lissy!

Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice
Jennee loving the bonfire effect on her birthday slice

Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Have a piece or two the next day while you type away on your computer
Just damn good. I don't care what fucking diet you're on
Just damn good. I don’t care what fucking diet you’re on

PRETTY DAMN HEALTHY CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY-COCONUT SLICE

RASPBERRY CHIA JAM (makes approx. 2 cups. Half for now and half for toast later)

3 cups frozen raspberries
7 dates
1 tablespoon lemon juice
½ cup hot water
2 tablespoons chia seeds
2 tablespoons coconut sugar
½ cup coconut oil
A few cacao nibs and shredded coconut to garnish

• Blitz all ingredients, except coconut oil, in a food processer until pureed
• Reserve 1 cup of jam for later use
• Add coconut oil to remaining jam and blitz until combined. This will help jam to set nice and firm on your hippy slice
• Set aside until needed

CHOCOLATE-COCONUT ROUGH MIXTURE

1.25 cups coconut oil
1.25 cups coconut sugar
1.25 cups cashew butter (if you don’t know what this is ask any passing hippy or yoga instructor)
¾ cup raw cacao
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
¼ cup water

• Combine all ingredients in a cake mixer and beat until thoroughly combined and free of lumps
• Set aside until needed

PRETEND BISCUIT BASE

12 dates
1 cup raw almonds
1/3 cup tahini
½ cup desiccated coconut

• Blitz all ingredients in a food processer until well combined and a dough-like product has formed
• Cover the base of two – loaf tins or one larger baking tin with baking paper and evenly press a layer of pretend biscuit base into each
• Place tins in fridge for 30 minutes to set

NOW TO GET THE WHOLE THING TOGETHER

• Just divide the chocolate-coconut mix over the bases and smooth over a little with a spatula
• Divide the raspberry layer over the choc mix, garnish with a sprinkle of cacao nibs and shredded coconut, if using, and get that shit in the fridge to set. A couple of hours should do the job

Also, our friend Inga the usually-so-damn-health-conscious doctor made a cake for Jennee that did contain the white death (real sugar), which was a little out of sorts for her. I wasn’t concerned about that though, as… well… these types of things just don’t generally concern me. The cake was gluten free though, so she got a couple of points for that. I did taste fucking delicious too. I think I ate a third of that cake, and because of that I thought I’d best include this recipe too.

The candle was upside down but I really didn't give a damn as I filled my face hole
The candle was upside down but I really didn’t give a damn as I filled my face hole

I added some cream because I could
I added some cream because I could
Last pic
Last pic

NOT SO HEALTHY BUT STILL NOT HEAPS BAD FOR YOU CHOCOLATE-RASPBERRY CAKE

2 blocks of dark choc
125g unsalted butter
1.25 cups almond meal
5 eggs
1 cup brown sugar
1 tablespoon milk
1 cup of raspberries
Cream or ice cream to serve

• Melt chocolate and butter over a bain marie or in the microwave (keep an eye on it), stirring to combine
• In a large bowl, mix together all ingredients except raspberries. Once combined, fold raspberries through mix
• Pour into a cake tin lined with baking paper, cover with foil and bake at 180C for 1.25 hours. Uncover and bake for another 20-30 minutes or until a skewer comes out almost dry… not quite though… still a little moist
• Serve it with cream or ice cream
• Eat it and love it (that is a direct quote from an actual doctor, so I suggest you do it. Do it now)

Happy birthday to me

Today is my birthday.

Last night I got enough beer into my belly to give me one hell of a head ache. I quite literally feel like I did get older last night. The boys were up at 5:30am (yeah, there’s a 5:30am now) hiding my presents which in turn meant that I was up shortly after, questioning what ungodly soul would make a 5:30 in the morning on a mans birthday. One’s birthday should include a clause that omits times like that and possibly moves straight onto a 9:30 or even 10:00. Was it the Myans? I told myself right there and then that I would investigate further…

I guess I should start at the beginning.

Yesterday I invited a few friends over for dinner and quite possibly a drink or two. We cooked an absolute cracker of a meal, and when I say “we”, what I actually mean is that I put the pork in the oven when I left for work. It would be correct to say that even our friend Scotty did more work than me. Jen had him rolling tortillas like a small Mexican grandmother by the time I got home from work, but that’s what you’d expect if you rock up to a birthday dinner at 1:30pm… at least 3 hours early, right? Claiming ignorance, or stupidity, or something? But the best I could figure is this was only going to benefit my situation. With the preparation for the meal all but complete, I could get started on a crispy cold birthday drink. On with the day.

It was my birthday and I felt not even a small urge to shed a tear.

And that, my friends, is where the details start to get a little sketchy. Photo diary from here I think.

Greg tried to camouflage    himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills
A lovely afternoon for some corn chips and salsa. Greg tried to camouflage himself with the table cloth. Chameleon skills
Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled 'slaw, salsas, pickled chilli... some recipes will follow
Too many good things on one table; 12 hour shoulder of pork with beer and spices, chicken mole, red rice, corn with cheese and chilli powder, home made tortillas, guacamole, pickled ‘slaw, salsas, pickled chilli… some recipes will follow
Emma is going to be happy with this one. She's been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She's on the left with her "I'm in the photo" face on
Emma is going to be happy with this one. She’s been keen for a mention/photo/song dedication on this blog for a while. She’s on the left with her “I’m in the photo” face on
There it is folks
There it is folks

SAMSUNG CSC

Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you're a boss
Finish the night with a croquembouche so every body knows you’re a boss

Right now all I have left are the memories of a swell night of eating, drinking and all round merriment, a cracking headache and a brand spanking new MacBook. So I’m going to go out on a limb and see if I can predict how the day shall go from here; I will lay in bed or possibly on the couch. No, let’s do bed today and then I can really look like a little girl, I will watch some cooking shows, eat more of last nights dinner, drink some coconut water because I am convinced it has the power to make me feel better, have a little snoozey, try to write some witty words that will camouflage themselves cunningly inside my brain so I can’t find them, then I shall repeat this scenario until I come good. Hopefully that will be today. The big problem for me seems to be that as soon as I start to feel a little better, a little more like I could possibly conduct a legible dialogue, or maybe that I should get up and go and give those carnies a damn good flogging, the bloody thing is back. BAM! In the face like a bitch. Like the woman scorned she demonstrates her wrath upon me, and like a bad acid trip it just keeps coming back around again. And it’s only bloody 10am.

I truly have to get on with my tasks for the day…

But before I do that I think that I’ll check my facey, see how popular I am and all that and this is what greets me. A message from my mate Jaz. It made me smile and it is what I shall leave you with today; “Happy birthday Graeme! I’m glad I know you because you’re Graeme, but also because you’re ginger and its my goal in life to know as many gingers as I can. Thanks for being my friend and being ginger hehe”…

The Marron Post and…

20130130-163035.jpg
the mighty marron

As I promised here is the marron post… And also a very happy birthday wish to a good friend/comrade/chef/foodisthebestshitever devote, Paul from Paul’s Caul. I wish I had the ability to make him a novelty cake (probably in the shape of a big cock) or something similar, but alas I have been on the road and have just checked into a dinky little hotel room with the boys. No kitchenette or porn channel included…

So anyway I devote this post to Paul in the hope that he enjoys the odd marron and that’s about it. Yeah. Total misuse of blog land powers but…

Marron. These bad boys are abundant in farm dams and river systems in the south west of Western Australia. In my younger years we would pay the less fortunate children of the neighborhood to sit at the waters edge with their smelly little toes in the water to attract the marron. Once a marron had taken hold of one of their toes with its giant claws (apparent because of the shrill screams of a child in pain) we would pull the child from the water and bash it on a rock until the marron released its grasp. Because of this the kid would only be good for three to four goes, but if you had a large wagon or a trailer you could pack plenty in and enjoy a full day of marroning without a worry. Add a tasty beverage of your choosing and a great day was guaranteed.

A lot of things have changed since the “good old days”, child abuse laws at the very least, but one constant remains. I still love fucking marron. Wait up. No. I don’t love “fucking” marron. I LOVE FUCKING MARRON.

So, as luck would have it, I have some peeps over here that are in the know when it comes to marron. Fingers in pies? They are virtually fisting the proverbial marron pie. So it was well within their ability to fulfill my dream of eating a shit load of marron while I was over here. EFF YES. Excited is an understatement.

I enjoyed my marron many different ways. Roughly from behind… errr… um… in a garlicy butter sauce or simply with mayonnaise and lettuce in a sandwich is an all time favourite. But this recipe also made my face very happy.

Marron with chilli and garlic butter

200g unsalted butter
3 tablespoons of some kind of chilli condiment (chilli condiment was the only English on the one I used)
3 cloves garlic, minced, chopped or pounded into submission
3 tablespoons fresh chopped parsley or coriander
A heap of marron, fresh or cooked, split down the middle
A heap of tasty beverages of your choosing (none for the recipe, just for you. Yep, got your back. You’re welcome)
•soften butter and mix it all together
•check seasoning
•smother the marron with the butter (yeah, just like your girlfriend on a Friday night) and warm through in a medium oven for 5 minutes if marron is already cooked, or 10-12 minutes if marron is fresh. Just make sure you check it’s cooked before you dish it up to your esteemed guests
•effing A marron spectacular
•don’t forget to wish Paul a happy birthday

20130130-162739.jpg
the cooked marron
20130130-162749.jpg
smother that butter on, baby
20130130-162758.jpg
the final product. Put it on a plate and garnish with some pretty shite if you want… or don’t

 

My Rum Diaries, A Birthday Feast, Lemonade for Breakfast, and Other Ramblings…

This is just a little FYI, a heads up, a snippet of information about me, and my Achilles Heal of the world of alcoholic beverages. If we by some random twist of fate ever meet and say, go out for a bit of a drink and a laugh, please do not buy me rum. Rum treats me like cheap red wine treats teenage girls. And the worst thing is I know it does this to me and that’s why I don’t drink it. And I don’t even really like it. But being so close to the Queensland border it is almost forced upon you everywhere you go. Anyway, if you are cunning you may have the skills to sneak one in to me after I have had a few beers. A rum that is, not a dirty backdoor ahem… ahem. But either way, it’s going to be the end of my night. And if you are not so cunning, but you are cunninglingus, then you are clearly in the wrong story.

My birthday was yesterday, or the day before that, or even the day before that, but I’m pretty sure I spent that day contemplating my lack of mental capacity and drinking lemonade for my breakfast and lunch. Dinner was leftovers and I am certainly losing relevance.

awesomeness

So this was my birthday feast. Soft focus so you can truly get the sense of being there.

Queenie and the chickens, beef sausages, chorizo, tamallis, grilled bread, potatoes and beetroot in the coals
the book that inspired Jennee’s work

 

Jennee made heaps of good food from this book (Which is a great book if you are a fan of the BBQ. FYI #2), all sorts of salsas and salads and good shit, Queenie cooked the barby and, to the young, socially inapt group of Amish children who did a fantastic little dance with some ribbons and shit, good on you. These guys were all legends and I think I wanted to thank them all for their efforts in this post, so here goes…

Thanks guys xo

I think that’s about all I have to offer blog land today.