Bad-ass many meat gumbo

gumbo
This is a beast of a meal that originated from a surplus of leftover cooked meats from weekend catering jobs that were loitering in my refrigerator that I needed/wanted to use… and I had a raging desire to get a bit of variety into the diet of the carnivorous dinosaur I keep as a pet under my back stairs.

It is quite simply the same as my recipe here (because we still have a shit load* of all sorts of varieties of kale taking over the place we once called a garden and they are now petitioning the parliament for cessation from the Commonwealth and acknowledgement of their new sovereign state; Kaleland… I really think they could’ve been a little more creative with the name of their new state but let’s just remember, kale is renowned for being really healthy and shit, not for it’s intellectual capabilities.), but instead of the whatever meat was in the original recipe I subbed in a pile of leftover roasted chicken legs and thighs, roasted lamb shoulder and roasted pork belly.

I am not so stupid that I don’t realise that it’s not every week that one has a few different types of leftover meat hanging around so just so you know what? It is very OK to go out and buy a bit of this meat and a bit of that meat until you feel the T-Rex you have living under the back stairwell will be satiated.

And before you eat it you should douse it with your favourite hot sauce.
gumbo

gumbo

gumbo
Get on it.
gumbo
*an actual measurement

Lamb & Preserved Lemon Filo Cigars…for your next Local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM

SAMSUNG CSCAs I stated in my last post, spring is here. And if, per chance, you missed that last post, maybe a kindly passing stranger informed you too. The new season brings warmer weather, pretty flowers, songful birds, pink unicorns, waterfalls made of lemonade… where was I? Oh yes, and clearly it brings a few acid flashbacks too. But it also brings the first of the most crackerjack of spring lamb… strangely enough, born in winter. Whatever, it is still damn tasty shit! This is the little sheepy that the infamous jolly swagman had stashed in his tucker-bag, and eventually gave up his life for rather than share his Sunday lamb roast with the troopers; 1, 2 and 3. If you have no idea what I am talking about that is fine by me. I’m not exactly welcoming you to a new experience there, am I?

Back to the filo cigars.

Just what you need for your next little swingers soiree or local Gerbil Appreciation Club AGM. Get these suckers on the table with a few little green and red cocktail onions and maybe some French onion dip and jatz crackers, and you will need more space on your computer for all of the complimentary emails you’re going to receive.

This is a great way to use leftovers, and you all know I am a huge fan (not literally a rather large cooling device, I’d say an advocate in this case) of using up leftovers. But, if you need to cook some lamb for these I would suggest slow roasting a small shoulder, rubbed with the cumin and covered, for 4 hours at 170C or until it falls off the bone.

I have found that a lot of store bought filo pastry is still plenty flimsy and will rip and tear like the Christian who has been thrown to the lions. Do not despair though; I am not going to tell you to start making your own filo pastry. I cannot discern whether filo is of Greek or Turkish origin, but am certainly not Greek enough, and definitely not enough of a turkey to be making this from scratch. But this recipe is pretty forgiving; much like Jesus, and you can patch it up as go. Worst case scenario, you can use all of the scraps to top an awesome filo pie type thing.

Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder
Cook some crackerjack spring lamb shoulder

Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Chop that lamb up and mix it with some rice and other delicious things
Because this is how we roll
Because this is how we roll
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Put on a lined tray before you bake them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn't happy to receive them
Get some mint yoghurt on that shit and see if your face isn’t happy to receive them

LAMB & PRESERVED LEMON FILO CIGARS (should yield about 30 cigars)

3-4 cups cooked lamb shoulder, chopped pretty fine
3 cups cooked brown rice
1 brown onion, sliced thinly
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon ground cumin
2 quarters of preserved lemon, flesh removed and finely diced
A handful each of chopped parsley and mint
1 pack (15 or so sheets) filo pastry, defrosted if frozen
Seasoning
Melted butter to brush
Sumac to dust
Mint yoghurt and good company, to serve (don’t ask your good company to serve you or they will probably leave, just let them enjoy the lamby cigars with you)

• Sauté the onion in a little oil until soft. Add garlic and cumin and cook out for another minute or so
• Combine lamb, rice, onion mix, preserved lemon, herbs and a little seasoning and mix well. Check seasoning and adjust if necessary
• Cut a filo sheet in half so you have two squares. Place an amount of lamb mix roughly the size of your little finger (if you don’t have weird hobbit-like digits) in the middle of the sheet parallel with the end closest to you
• Brush a little melted butter on the last 2cm of the filo sheet and then roll them up like you would roll a spring roll, or a cigarette or whatever it is you kids are rolling these days, folding the sides in half way through. If they tear a little at the start don’t worry too much as they will have their make-up and best looking keen-to-get-some-action boots on, and pull their sex appeal together by the end of the process. Put the seam on the bottom to keep them looking sexy
• Brush with melted butter and dust with a little sumac
• Bake at 180C for 20-30 minutes until golden
• Serve with mint yoghurt, a heap of friends, booze and good times

I made a little too much of the lamb and rice mix so a “using left-overs of left-overs recipe will follow.

Have a nice day.

LAST NIGHT’S LEFT-OVERS (or last day before shopping day) PIE

LAST NIGHT’S LEFT-OVERS (or last day before shopping day) PIE
And no. This is not a sneaky glimpse you caught of the trollop your flat mate brought home last night leaving in the morning

There is not even a recipe I can give you for this pie, just a few basic components you need to make it work…
• Puff pastry. Somewhere on your pie you should have puff pastry. Puff pastry tastes pretty damn good solo so that’s gotta be a good foundation, right. I should actually narrow the search on that last comment. Well-cooked, nicely browned puff pastry tastes great, soggy just-yellowy-brown puff tastes like shit and therefore should reside where all good shit resides… at parliament house. Or, in the toilet.
• Some kind of meat is pretty good in my books. It can be left over roast or stew or duck and pork cassoulet from the night before, or if you have something in the fridge that needs using, especially if it happens to be beef cheeks or lamb shoulder, you can braise it off and make a kick-ass pie filling (and if you have a pressure cooker you can do it in a quarter of the time).
• If you have some vegetables that need using chuck them in, just remember if you are putting them with meat that is already cooked then you will need to cook them separately first. Essentially this is to make sure they’re cooked in the pie because a pie with crunchy vegetables in it is not actually a pie. It’s a warm vegetable wrap or something silly like that.
• Got some leftover mashed potato or some potatoes you need to use or Irish friends coming over for dinner. Mashed potato is a very feasible topping for a pie. If you can get some cheese and breadcrumbs on it then it’s going to be lifted to a whole other level of specialness. And I’m not talking about rocking up in a twelve-seater bus, helmet on backwards type of special. I mean s-p-e-c-i-a-l.
• If all else fails and your pie tastes like shit (this is probably the moment where it can actually be concluded that you are not meant to be in the kitchen and all of my hard work has been wasted on you) just remember these final words of advice; Tomato sauce and pastry are a magical combination, no matter what’s inside.

Put the meat into the pastry. Make sure you have enough pastry to cover the pie
Cover the pie and brush with an egg wash and sprinkle with some fancy shit to impress your friends.
Bake at 180C for 30-40 minutes or until the puff is lovely and brown.
Slice it open fool. What are you waiting for?
I just gotta have tomato sauce with a pie.
Nuff said…

My favourites
• Chicken, bacon, potato and leek
• Roast lamb with vegetables, red wine and rosemary gravy. Or any combination of left over roast and the sides you had with it. And the gravy. Don’t you dare effing forget the gravy.
• Mud pie
• Beef or chicken with red wine, mushrooms and eshallots
• Sausage (from the bbq you had a few days back), tomatoes, vegetables and herbs
• Leftover curry of any description is awesome. Thai, Indian, Mexican mole, anything
• Actually, any braised dish from the night before. You’re getting the picture right?

Last night’s left-overs really are the best shit ever!