Reef and Beef

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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

Camp food (cooking with wood) part 1…

Camp oven roast lamb with cannelini beans, tomato and olives

Camp food? Cooking with wood? Oh my how the images flow into my head…

Cooking with wood (hehem) is something I am a fan of, in more ways then one. Hey, I’ve told you before, food excites me, yeah. If I may indulge myself (going to anyway); the last few or more posts we’ve put up have been from holidays, camping trips and weekends at other peoples houses. Yet we still keep writing, eh. I never asked for a holiday from good food, oh contraire. I think I spend considerable time spruiking the opposite. Maybe the name of this blog, or my subtle-as-a-sledgehammer-between-the-eyes comments are a clue. Maybe not.

Was that even a segue? Who knows? WGAF?

So I ask you, what virtue of cooking on a wood or coal fueled fire isn’t to be appreciated (or what’s not to like about cooking with wood. Hehe)? You get to light a fire for start. How is that not fun? Unless you’re 10 and you set fire to the block of land next door and the fire dept. has to come and put it out and then your mum gets hella pissed at you and you still remember how bad you “got it” 25 years on… There couldn’t be too many chefs out there who would not agree with the merits of a wood fired grill or oven. Mmm, smokey goodness. I don’t like them anyway…

The actual story about camping.

There’s the rolling sound of the ocean licking the shore (yeah. I did good at making that sound pervy eh?), birds having a happy time waking you up at 5am, the ocean to swim in, the river to swim in after you go in the ocean so you don’t turn into a walking salt-flat, a wood fuelled combustion cooking and heating system AKA. The fire, cooking on the aforementioned fire, the enviro-friendly composting toilets, faecal matter caked to the sides of the bowl… other peoples faecal matter… that fat bogan chick who just got back from a boar hunting trip up norths faecal matter… no flush in site… OK. There may be one or two things about camping I’m not so into, but I’m going to let that slide. The food we cook on the fire more than compensates.

This night we decided it would be leg of lamb in the camp oven, with cannellini beans, tomatoes, olives, anchovies (you guessed it) and herbs.

Camping mis en place. Bring some cool shit. It’s not that effing hard people. Unless you’re trekking through the Himalayas with only a backpack in which case you’re excused. Unless #2, you spent three bucks a day on a Sherpa in which case load him up. Get your three bucks worth dammit. Those guys love carrying shit for fat American tourists*… it’s not that I don’t like fat American tourists. It’s just that, well, nobody likes fat American tourists. The skinny ones are heaps nicer. Bahahahaha… haha… ha… ha… hmmm.

Dig upwards Grazza. Dig upwards.

Once your piece of lamb has reached the glory stage of its time with you, add the onions, garlic and anchovies and cook out until the onions are soft and starting to caramelise.

And then the rest goes in. A tin of crushed tomatoes, a tin of cannelini beans, olives, parsley and rosemary that I picked from our garden on the way out because I am a bit of a wanker like that…

Let it simmer kid. Let it simmer.

Note the camp salt and pepper mix there. Leave the saxa on the supermarket shelf and mix up some sea salt with freshly ground pepper. Stupid not to…

Eat it with only the light of a kerosene lantern to illuminate the path from the plate to your mouth. Leave your plates etc. out overnight so all the little night creatures can clean them for you. Then go to bed, we’ve got fuck loads of nothing to do tomorrow…

*Fat American tourist. Jennee commented that this term will probably lose me a lot of my American followers and I should take it out. I normally trust Jen with these sorts of things because she has a heaps better gauge for what’s fit for human consumption. Not this time though. You guys must realise by now that this is a big laugh to us. And if you don’t then you should go away because you smell and you make me want to self harm J

bangers and mash on the fire

BANGERS AND MASH

SAUSAGES AND MASHED POTATO

SAUSAGE AND TWO POTATOES (that could be something different)

 

It’s an old skool pub favourite but, just like everything else in the cheffy wanky world, it needs to be revisited, reinvented and damn well re-rodgered*.

 

It is a dish that can be so damn good, yet all too often embodies everything that is bad, no, not just bad, criminal about pub food in Australia. Pub ‘bistros’. Now that’s a word that doesn’t belong on the giant billboard at the front of any pub, club or RSL. I sure it was all started with good intentions, but this food could not be further from being actual bistro food… and quite frankly I heard the road to hell was paved with good intentions. I will pick this up again later.

 

So anyway, tonight I cooked a type of bangers and mash. But there’s a little story to tell first. Grab your hot chocolate, snuggle up to your mama, and read on…

 

It’s time to celebrate.

 

Today I got two new teeth. Well, they’re not actually new teeth, but they used to be teeth that were almost gone and now they’re whole and in my mouth again. I was reaching the point where I felt like I was in a bloody toothpaste commercial… ‘sensitive teeth? Can’t drink cold water? Give a fuck?’

Yes, yes and no.

But I thought I should get them fixed anyway because I was getting sick of having the jolly old seadog look to go with the tongue…

 

The really cool thing about all of this is that both of my effed up teeth were on the same side, top and bottom. So, after a heap of local anesthetic, I walked out of there looking like I was a stroke victim. Droopy face and shite…

 

Back to something of a subject matter that is (almost) slightly more PC… the celebration of my new teeth.

 

A big fat rib-eye on the bone, roasted over the coals would have been ideal. Char-grilled chicken and chorizo could have done it too. But I had sausages… yep. Sausages. Didn’t think this one through very well did I?

So I cooked those snags and I cooked them like a bloody champion. This is what happened…

 

 

 

Light a fire with actual wood

Season some pumpkin with rosemary, garlic, salt and pepper, and wrap in alfoil. Chuck it in the coals for as long as the sausages take to cook. This is gonna be your mash

 

Heat a fuck off big paella pan (just because you have one and they’re so damn sexy), and fry off sausages, sliced onion, garlic, rosemary and a couple of anchovies. Once they are coloured deglaze with ½ a bottle of red (you know what the other half is for, yeah?). Add 2 tins of diced tomatoes and a tin of French lentils. Check seasoning. Garnish with chopped parsley, basil and rosemary from the garden

 

Life really ain’t that bad eh…

 

A general rule of thumb. Any meal that takes two people to carry is going to be a good one. Especially if it comes off the fire

 

Mash the roasted pumpkin with a tin of cannellini beans. Check seasoning

Serve like that. Eat. Congratulate ones self on a job well done. Look at your paella pan some more. Damn fine pan. Damn fine…

*re-rodgered. A term given to something that was rodgered once, and then again…