Big effing steak, chimmichurri and a roasted carrot and corn salad

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Some people would say that a not-even-slightly-amusing story about a big ol’ steak is not something worth writing down*. Some people are also happy to cruise through the suburban cul-de-sac that is their life, safely strapped into the Scotch Guard–protected synthetic car seat in their upper middle class white trash mobile. There is definitely not enough naked, bare back bison riding through the leech infested jungles of life going on these days and this is where the revival is going to begin!

Here.

With a big fucking steak.

You can call this whatever you like; “big fucking steak”, “bistecca alla fiorentina” (Italian for big fucking steak), “a romantic dinner for two” or even “a meat transplant”. I really don’t give a fuck. What I do give a fuck about though, is carnie racing and making sure that big ol’ lump o’ meat is cooked well and served with a fitting garnish.

There were a few carrots which were splashed with a little olive oil and seasoning and then wrapped with alfoil and chucked in the coals for 20 or so minutes, a couple of little onions that were chucked straight onto the coals until soft and delicious, and a couple of cobs of corn were given that same olive and seasoning treatment, grilled up top for 5 or so minutes and then stripped from the cob.

Tossed with a little olive oil and red wine vinegar, seasoned with salt and pepper and freshened up with a little chopped parsley, that was the salady-garnishy type aspect to this steak dinner.

Now for the steak.

The steak was a 30 day dry aged Cape Grim sirloin. A birthday gift from a friend who also happens to be a purveyor of top quality meats (these are very good friends to have PS). It was good. Reals good. This is how it went…

Get that steak on the bench… or maybe on a plate on the bench

Season the bejezuz out of your meat

That meat getting all grilly and tasty

Well rested, sided by a tasty assed chimmichurri sauce and ready to go


BIG FUCKING STEAK

This bad boy was somewhere in the vicinity of 600g
A splash of oil
Lanes “Signature” seasoning, or your favourite steak seasoning
Salt
1 tablespoon butter
Chimmichurri sauce (AKA the king of steak sauces) and the carrot and corn salad, to serve

Give your steak 30 minutes on the bench so it can get kinda room temp.
Now is a good time to light your fire if you are using one… Coals are always going to win the flavour game hands down in my book FYI.
Rub the steak with a splash of oil and then season pretty heavily (maybe a little less heavily if you are using a smaller bit of meat), top and bottom, with the steak seasoning.
Grill steak over high heat for 10 minutes either side and then remove from grill.
Rest that sexy piece of beast in a warm spot for a further 10 minutes, slapping the butter on top to melt into it and keep things reals sexy.
Carve steak from bone but leave the bone next to it to look like an absolute boss, season with a little extra sea salt and get it into your belly.

Going for it with that steak and a rare sighting of the carrot and corn number


*I know this is typing, but writing down just seems a heap more hopeless romantic and you know it’s all about the romantic for me.

BBQ sausage burgers from that book, “Pitmaster”

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Tonights dinspiration* was taken from the book “Pitmaster”, by Andy Husbands and Chris Hart.

The book looks almost exactly like this… except maybe a little more 3D


I would just like to add; although Father’s Day was a few days ago, this would have certainly been a damn fine burger to make your father on said day, if smoky deliciousness is your father’s thing. A time machine modulus ala Napoleon Dynamite could transport you back if you’d like to appear that you love your dad more than someone who might measure the love they have for this pillar of a man using the currency of a shitty pair of socks.

Yeah we ate it with crisps and pickles


So, basically, I made the burger from the book.

This method of recipe writing is a heap easier than the method I would normally employ, I don’t mind telling you.

That’s the recipe… you might need to zoom in a little


Being a week-night dinner for the family (or myself and my two boys), there was no way this thing was going to hit the table without some side of roughage factor to it. Yes, we can all heartily argue that a pickle is a vegetable or that the burger mix has a little capsicum (pepper) in it, but there is no way on gods good earth that this would fly in our house hold. Long story short; there was a big fat tomato that came from Jennee’s garden staring me down, so, not to be labeled weak by a fricking tomato, I sliced that bastard up and that went onto the burger along with the king of burger lettuce – the iceberg. And it was damn well delicious.

I had a really good feeling about this…


Smoky, sausage-y, deliciousness.

A really fricking good burger.

Dear good lord yes


*Dinspiration. Inspiration for dinner. A term that will shortly (if it hasn’t been already) be coined by a TV celebrity chef who is speaking heartfelt words on behalf of a major restaurant chain on the subject of healthy, quick and affordable eating and how achievable these goals can be if you simply follow his/her recipes and shop and save at rah-di-rah supermarket. I think I just threw up a little…

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

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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 ☺

Campfire (or possibly home oven) Chicken with Broad Beans and Bacon

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chicken with broad beans and bacon
“You may sleep like animals and smell like animals, but you shall eat like men”.

Well, I heard through a friend of mine that that is indeed what Jesus said and by jeepers I do believe I agree with that man!

I am more than happy to sleep on the floor with nothing but a rolled up old tee shirt that I had been wearing for work on the two days previous, and nary a blanket or mattress in sight, on the odd (or possibly way too oft) occasion that I’ve indulged in one too many tipples of the white man’s devil water and nodded off (passed out) on the floor while searching for my bed… which is coincidentally in the same place it has been for the last 5 years… I’m sure there should be some kind of ingrained memory thing there, but no.

I belive I told you to put coals on the top of the camp oven too...

I believe I told you to put coals on the top of the camp oven too…

That same minimal necessity sleeping theory is also applicable for camping. I will sleep on the ground (although that tune may be sung a little differently as I grow older), wear the same clothes and bath in nothing but the sweat dripping from my own pores for as many days as need be but just before I can no longer see modern civilization from the brink of Lord of the Flies syndrome I will cook up a damn fine meal that I shall devour like some kind of strange red bearded camp royalty and bam! I am human again.

Ready to bring you back from the brink of Lord of the Flies syndrome...

Ready to bring you back from the brink of Lord of the Flies syndrome…

It’s not hard to eat well while you’re camping, it really isn’t. What is hard is a brick. Bricks are very hard, but eating well while camping is not. Argue that point with me why don’t you…

Certainly no brick

Certainly no brick

Something as simple as camp oven chicken for example, can be lifted to dizzying new heights if you remember to pack a little ham stock that’s been in the freezer since last Christmas and way too many broad beans from the garden. It’s about the fore-thought – past Graz looking out for future Graz and all that. I’m certainly not implying that all of your camp meals should be like you’re staying at a five star resort, because then let’s face it – you’re going to be needing a bath robe and a little mint choccy on your pillow too and, although I am more than happy to be designated camp cook, you will not be receiving room service from me… lip service possibly, but room service definitely not. So you just get your own ass organized and pack a couple of ingredients for your tromp de monde camp dish then you are coming out on top… and in the orgy of camp cooking, on top is indeed a good place to be.

Cook it before I shoot you with my beer gun

Cook it before I shoot you with my beer gun

CAMPFIRE CHICKEN with BROAD BEANS and BACON (serves 4-6)

1x 1.6kg chicken of prime origin
3 rashers bacon
1 brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
2-3 cups broad beans podded from what looks like way too many broad beans for you and your family but trust me, it isn’t (if you can’t get them fresh, frozen are readily available and would do the job also)
2 cups ham stock
Salt and pepper

• Saute bacon, onion, carrot and garlic in a large camp oven (dutch oven) until just starting to colour
• Add your chicken and ham stock and season that sexy beast well
• Put the lid on your camp oven and keep it on med-low coals, with a layer of coals on the lid, for 40-50 minutes
• Sweep coals off the lid and check the chook… it should be pretty close. If not, put the lid back on, cover with coals and leave for another 10 minutes. Repeat the sweeping and checking…
• Once the chicken is done add the broad beans and simmer uncovered for another 10 minutes
• Serve the chicken with bread that Jennee baked in the camp oven earlier that afternoon (not showing off or anything) and tune in to the pretty sounds of the bush at sunset
• Aaaaaahhhhhhhhh

Listen to the beautifulness

Listen to the beautifulness

Oh, and then eat some bastardised smore type thing for dessert

Oh, and then eat some bastardised smore type thing for dessert

PS this could be done in a baking dish in the oven at 180C for the same times…

Black Rock Camping Day 1… a chilly swim and burgers on the fire

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burger time
As I had previously mentioned, we were to venture out into the wilderness on a family camping trip. Our tribe, plus four other families all followed by their own respective broods of small humans. I wasn’t totally sure if we may be setting ourselves up for disaster, but one thing I was sure of was that we had brought with us enough booze to self medicate even the most treacherous of feral child, Lord of the Flies, type scenarios that these kids could throw at us.

Bring it on!

We arrived at the Black Rock campsite via the convenience of modern technology, the metal chariot we fondly refer to as the automobile. Uponst our arrival we immediately set about the task of erecting (heh hem) our ready made, easily transportable, space saving, comes with a free set of steak knives, campsite. Thereupon I was greeted by an old friend; as we unraveled our tent from it’s cob web coated shroud the wafts of stale campfire smoke filled my nasals. To some it is a musty smell that reeks of a stale manifestation of unattended mould spores, but to me it is a fond memory of great times. Great food shared with great friends and cooked in what can only be described as a great cookhouse; an idealistic kitchen forum with a back drop of nature’s most awesome glory… and nary a gimp like, peg legged, old man in sight… it is true I have worked in many questionable kitchen situations.

These pizza scroll were damn delicious. Beetroot leaves, tomato passata and cheese. Rocking

These pizza scroll were damn delicious. Beetroot leaves, tomato passata and cheese. Rocking

This is story time at the campsite

This is story time at the campsite

We ate beetroot leaf pizza scrolls that Jennee had the forethought to prepare prior to our leaving home, followed by a swim in the river that was nothing short of invigorating as the river had declined the offer to follow the sun in its warming of the new season and sat not one single degree above damn cold (whether in celcius or fahrenheit), followed by my personal favourite – the lighting of the fire ceremony (entirely clothed this time, as we were in the company of other families who had small children who were not fully accustomed to the beast that is “camping Grazza”), followed by the drinking of the beer (another personal fave), followed by the cooking of the dinner. Tonight it would be burgers, just because that’s how we roll.

Get in line for the camp kitchen

Get in line for the camp kitchen

Cooking on the fire really does not suck

Cooking on the fire really does not suck

Beef mince pattie seasoned with paprika, sumac and a heap of salt and pepper, lettuce, tomato, cheese, fried onion, mayonnaise nazi homemade mayo and bbq sauce and a few jacket potatoes on the side.

There may be a fork on the side of this plate but that was for the roast potatoes. Please believe me when I tell you I am not some kind of nutter who eats a burger with a fork… while camping for effs sake

There may be a fork on the side of this plate but that was for the roast potatoes. Please believe me when I tell you I am not some kind of nutter who eats a burger with a fork… while camping for effs sake

Magic. Full flavoured camp goodness, with not one sexy mardigras bound gay man in sight.

Now I am in bed and writing to you with a pen-on-paper type course of action, with nothing but the illumination of a small battery powered lamp and the company of my youngest little man, Obi.

I am going to go and pee outside ☺

A hungi at Matthew’s place

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This is not a recipe; it is a story about awesomeness. Mr awesomeness, to be precise.

It was last Friday. ANZAC Day where I come from. We were up early, not for a dawn service (but believe me when I tell you that is not through lack of respect), for today I had an appointment with a pig. No, I didn’t need to visit the local constabulary, I had an appointment with an actual porcine mother effing pig. But we did spare a moment to think back to the service men and women of different colour and creed, both animal and human, who have given their lives so that we may live as we do today. Our minds also wondered of a day in the future where the wars would end, a peace would break out…

Back to Mr Awesomeness.

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Clean up the pig and get the fire going. Check

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Pit dug and fire defo on the way. Check

It was a misty morning that Friday and my brain was hazy like the fog filled gullies that surround us. It was early when we were jolted from our slumber by the notion that Mr Awesomeness may be waiting for us and we should get on our way. My head was still hazy, and quite frankly the coffee wasn’t really helping.

If I can deviate from my course for just a minute, I would like to lay blame for this hazy brained morning squarely and fairly on the lap of one AJ the Duckman. He arrived the previous afternoon with his lovely lady friend, Claire the Dentist (Claire is an actual dentist, not someone who will “re-arrange” another persons teeth for a modest fee). So AJ arrived and we drank some beer… it was a forgone conclusion really; we would rise from our slumber wishing we could fall back down and slumber some more… but we didn’t. It was off to the pig farm for us.

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Skinning that bad boy. The tractor hoist does a good job as a hanging pole

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Oooh, five bucks… me in my new shirt. The only reason I had to wait until now to post this is because I was wearing my new shirt and I sent Pauly one as a surprise and he only just got it today. Rodger that

Matthew the Pig Farmer (everyone has a title around here,,, keeps life simple) has a free-range organic pig farm in the hills behind Byron Bay. His Berkshire pigs happily roam the hills eating, breeding, wallowing in shit and whatever else it is that pigs loves to do. Today we would be dispatching one of those pigs (Mr Awesomeness) so that we may cook it in the ground in somewhat of a hungi* and feed the many people who shall be arriving this evening with the promise of piggy goodness.

So we arrived nice and early, albeit somewhat dusty.

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The kids got onto scrubbing vegetables

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…mostly

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Mr Awesomeness marinating in fresh turmeric, chilli and coconut cream

Mr Awesomness went to another place and soon we set about our tasks to make this food hit the table tonight. Not before I had collected a bucket of his blood though. That blood now sits comfortably in my freezer waiting for me to hold it close again… soon my friends… soon.

The pig had to be butchered, wood chopped, the fire lit, vegetables chopped, approximately 1 million banana leaves de-stemmed, lava rocks heated, a cage made, dirt dug… and hopefully somewhere during the day we would get a chance to take a shower and maybe drink some beer… well, at least drink some beer. And the only crew that were available were all either hippies or backpackers – both are basically impossible to move if it comes to working… but both really come into their own when it comes to playing a musical instrument or holding a Bob Marley tune. So I felt we shall be doing a lot of the work ourselves.

And we did.

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And the packaging begins

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A bit of pork, some coconutty goodness, a bit of sweet potato, some onion…

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Pack it all into the cage lined with wet sacks and banana leaves

The whole thing was borderline a medieval experience for me. Tribal. Biblical. The whole lot combined into one. It was amazing how you are looking at a living pig, saying sorry or thank you or however you deal with this sort of thing (I’ve got to admit a bit of hippy comes out in me in these times and I always say a nice thank you to the beast), and then suddenly you are taking it apart thinking how good this is going to taste. I don’t got no words for that…

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Out of the pit and onto the table

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Carving Mr Awesome up for consumption by the masses

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A nice little piece of shoulder. The fat on a Berkshire pig is something else

By the end of the day we had;
• Butchered the pig and marinated it in fresh tumeric, coconut and chilli. The marinated meat was then packaged into banana leaf parcels and then wrapped in alfoil for extra security… I’m a white man here. Give me a break
• We wrapped some vegetables up so we need not listen to the whining of the people who didn’t want Mr Awesomeness.
• We packed the parcels into a cage lined with wet hessian sacks and more banana leaves
• We dumped glowing hot lava rocks into a pit and then put the cage on top of them. We chucked a bucket of water on the rocks to get them steaming and then cover the cage with dirt
• That stayed under ground for about 3½ hours, while we prepped salad and drank some beer and maybe had a quick nana nap
• We dug that sucker up and unpacked the packages of Mr Awesomeness, ate, drank and be merried the night away

It was a fucking awesome day, awesome experience,  awesome food and totally awesome Mr Awesomeness… and I haven’t even got to the blood yet. A big thank you to Matthew the Pig Farmer. You’re a good man Matthew, a good man.

*Look it up. It’s old skool Kiwi cooking at it’s very finest

Reef and Beef

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IMG_3258

Beef and Reef, Surf and Turf, Chicks with Dicks… Call it what you will, but it is an Australian classic.

In the late 80s there was nay a pub nor club in all the lands that would not have it on their menu. Usually reading something like this, “char grilled rib eye steak cooked to your liking and drizzled with garlic prawns in a rich garlic and white wine cream sauce. Resting atop a bed of fluffy mashed potato, with a side salad consisting of tomato, cucumber, red onion, carrot, lettuce and snow pea sprouts, and finished with fresh, virginal unicorn horn shavings…” Over explained as with everything else on their menu, but as popular as a Thai lady boy on a GI army base. There were a few regional variations; maybe bug tails if you lived north of Brisbane, or dirty old frozen marinara mix from Woolworths if you were lucky enough to live enough to live inland next to a dodgy roadhouse.

And it just dawned on me that I have never even eaten this meal of our fore fathers. I felt that there is a gap in my soul that needs to be filled…

So I was sitting down with my wife’s father aka. “Doctor Chris” (this moniker was given to him because he used to be a vet) aka. “The Kitchen Tornedo” (this moniker was given to him not because he is lightening fast in the kitchen, but because he is a man who, even after making a piece of toast and a coffee, leaves you thinking how are you going to get back to Kansas and where the fuck is Toto?). We discuss a lot of things, Dr Chris and I. Mostly I think he was sent to us to train me in the ways of being a father like the dad I never had never did. He is my Obi Wan Kenobi; I am his Anakin (hopefully I don’t turn out to be such a right prick though)… I’ll paint a picture if I may… that’s better. I did a nice renaissance style landscape. Beautiful. And now I shall tell you about Dr Chris. A slightly haunched gentleman who is reaching the end of his youngest years and is embarking on a new adventure… I think that’s what he’d want me to say. Shit this is sounding like an effing eulogy. Well, Dr Chris is defo alive and kicking. As an ex-cattle farmer and country vet he has a story for just about every occasion. He tells jokes that only a father, and no one else would consider telling, most of them start with the line, “when I was preg testing cows out the back of Dullacca…” you can take it from there. He cooks breakfasts that consist of more meat than I would normally consume in a week, stating that I need to “eat like a drover” in the morning if I’m going to make it through the day. A piece of fruit has done me just fine until now, but anyway. All of his cooking is done on a high heat, and he gets a bit frustrated that “the bloody stove” has burnt his eggs again. That’s Dr Chris…

As I was saying… we were sitting down discussing our evening meal, just because that’s how we roll around here, and the subject of steak came up. It was agreed quite shortly after that we would be dining on the tasty bovine treat known as the rib eye, or scotch fillet. At the time it was also brought to my attention that we have a shit load* of prawns in the fridge for Christmas day, and surely no-one would notice if we consumed a few of them a little early… so as the world rushed past in a last minute shopping frenzy, all so busy because no one worried about buying Christmas presents because the world was meant to end, I sat back and got ready for my reef and beef! I would be lying if I said I wasn’t excited.

season your steaks and leave them out for 15-20 minutes to get to room temp

season your steaks and leave them out for 15-20 minutes to get to room temp

cook that bad boy

cook that bad boy

REEF AND BEEF
1 big ol’ steak per person, season the shit out of it and cook it how you like to cook your steak. By now I’m pretty sure we’re good with that yeah?

with boulangerie potatoes and a little salad. This kicked ass!

with boulangere potatoes and a little salad. This kicked ass!

Garlic cream prawns (for 4 people)
500g fresh prawns, peeled and deveined
4-5 cloves garlic, depending on how garlicky you like it
1 tablespoon chopped parsley
1 tablespoon chopped chives
A bottle of white wine (just a splash for this dish but we all know where the remainder can go… )
1 cup cream
Seasoning
• Sauté the garlic and prawns in a little oil, not to hot because you don’t want the garlic to burn
• After a minute deglaze the pan with a splash of white wine or even lemon juice, and then add the cream
• Reduce for a minute or two until its nice and saucy, season and chuck in the parsley and chives**
• Load up your steak and enjoy the calories. Serve with beer and a warm summer night

 

*Shit load. An actual unit of measurement. Somewhere between a handful and a fuck load
**If you actually chuck the parsley and chives there is a high chance you are stupid and most of the herbs will end up on the stovetop and the floor

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