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.

Humour, Australia Day and Hipster by proxy

IMG_9246
Um, I have a question.

Have people, like the total generalization of the human race, just lost their fucking sense of humour? Did we all just get so damn middle aged and serious? Have we all forgotten how much fun it can be to just have a good goddam laugh at our own selves, or even the small child who might fall over a hit his face on the concrete. Oh how we would laugh; ha ha ha, he he he, and all the while our mouths would be turned upwards, saluting the gods of funny and happy with the technique commonly referred as a smile…

Sam Kekovich being a lambassador
Sam Kekovich being a lambassador

And then this Sam Kekovich bloke comes along as the newly appointed “Lambassador” and champion of the lamb industry this Australia Day (Happy Australia Day PS), and upsets the shit out of the vegans because they don’t like being told to eat lamb. Honestly, they don’t need to eat the lamb. I would go so far as to say please don’t the lamb – I will look after your share without a problem.
Captain Cook got the call up for the Australia Day Lamb Campaign too
Captain Cook got the call up for the Australia Day Lamb Campaign too

Has the time left us when people would not think too far into television advertisements? Or has that time passed when people may have just turned the effing TV off and done exactly what they wanted to do as apposed to thinking that they are obliged to do what the TV tells them? If I tell you the truth, I am more than happy for these peeps to leave the lamb for me. More than happy! And, you know what? If it’s such a huge fucking issue, maybe they should just go and make their own television advert and tell everyone to eat something that isn’t lamb for Australia day; eat some gum leaves or billabongs or something like that and keep it real legit.
I had myself a lamb pie for Australia Day because a guy on the television told me I should
I had myself a lamb pie for Australia Day because a guy on the television told me I should

Which brings me to my next little issue… or whine… or waaaah waaah… or baaah waaaah (that was a bit of a lamby reference for those of you who weren’t paying attention); What about the prejudices against the middle aged, bearded, caucasion male, the weight of the hipster movement, and the rights of the common man to just wear a goddam beard?

Was that a segue? I doubt it. I have not yet seen a real live segue grace these pages, and indeed I do not expect to see one anytime in the foreseeable future.

Anyway, as you may or may not be able to tell, I am pretty effing sick of it (but at least I’ve calmed down enough to stop using the language of the herpes infested salty old sea dog), and I am ready to set this rant upon the world via the interweb super highway and a currently paid up-to-date account with my internet service provider.

If you don’t want to hear about it you should smash your computer now, because I am getting exponentially more confident by the minute…

I mostly blame Jennee, a) because it’s easy, and b) because she was so generous of spirit to point out that I kind of am a hipster by proxy… all except my name. I need a name that’s some kind of hybrid, left field, a surname first name or something from the Victorian era, and I could possibly scrape in with something Scandinavian at the very least. Christianeous, Leonard, Michaelangelo, Matheous…

And what the heck even is this hipster by proxy business I am talking about? Well, plain and simple I’ve just been asked once too often if I am a hipster.

Now I contemplate mowing my facial hair back to reveal the smooth face of a man I used to know and I also contemplate what it is about me that has made it so very simple for peeps to enquire as to whether my religion, or freaking out-look or whatever, is “hipster”…

I will tell you now; look carefully because there are a few key differences. Allow me to demonstrate;

Hipsters have large beards that are perfectly manicured and smell very nice because of the flowers they put in them – I have a large beard that is not manicured even one little bit and it doesn’t necessarily smell the best. Also, at any given moment, it contains enough barbecued meats for a Viking wedding celebration
Hipsters like cold brew, organic, artisan, ethically grown, small batch coffee – I like to drink cold coffee but my preferred method of attainment of said coffee is leaving it on the bench for an hour… so I guess it could be said that I actually enjoy cold stale coffee
Hipsters pay fat wads of cash for minimalistic, pared back design and re-purposed, ethically gathered materials – I fitted a restaurant out with plywood counters and tables because it was all that we could afford
Hipsters have a top knot – I am merely top notch
Hipsterism is on trend – Grazism is not even close to being on trend

So, as you can see, it is not actually that hard for us to be friends. If you cannot see how easy it is for us to be friends then, well, you are probably doing the weekly shopping while wearing active-wear at the moment and I am not actually qualified to help you with those problems and I can only pray that natural selection will take you from me.

Done.

That is my lamb pie, lid lifted and stuffed with mashed potato and mushy peas. Who ever decided this would be a good idea is a fricking genious
That is my lamb pie, lid lifted and stuffed with mashed potato and mushy peas. Who ever decided this would be a good idea is a fricking genious

PS I did eat your lamb in the form of an off-the-hook-good lamb pie from the Southern Queensland institution that is the Yatala Pie Shop. I “floatered” the living shit out of it with mashed potato, mushy peas and a kick-ass gravy that had little bits of meaty goodness in it. Soooo damn good!

Happy Straya Day.

The end.

The church of the holy spit roast and beer and spirits

spit roast barbecue
Please note; this is not a story. One needs brain cells to write a story. I’m sure I could make something up, but once again, brain cells are integral to this process. We did get photos, though. I can show you lots of photos…

It was Sunday and the church was in session. There was no state recognized minister, holy transcripts or alter boy (dammit), just a heap of townsfolk with hunger in their eyes, looking to have their souls fulfilled with a religious food experience. This Sunday the church would be our backyard, the steeple would be the blue skies above and the sermon would be delivered in the international tongue of great food, great people and great times.

First, I smoked my own chorizo sausages
First, I smoked my own chorizo sausages

My basting brush
My basting brush
More goodness
More goodness
The cacti
The cacti

The time was well overdue for a gathering at our place. We sorted it just like we would sort the average Sunday gathering at our place, but then we got our pocket calculators out and multiplied that shit by ten, just to keep it proper real. We used social media to coax a large group of friends into our backyard under the guise they would be entertained by small carnival folk wearing crotchless monkey suits, and also the promise of a cracking lunch. Needless to say, many among the group were sorely disappointed when they arrived and there was nary a monkey suit wearing carnie in sight, but they were in the yard now… and we had locked the gates… so they had no choice but to eat and to drink to attempt to extinguish the flame of disappointment that was burning deep inside them due to the absence of carnival style entertainment.

Antipasti flowed...
Antipasti flowed…

As did the sangria
As did the sangria
The carving station
The carving station
Chorizo
Chorizo
Pork belly
Pork belly
Salad
Salad
A bit of everything
A bit of everything

Murmurings throughout the group later suggested that the food may have redeemed our deceitful actions. I was a little tipsy by that stage so it didn’t really bother me either way.

The day would not be complete without a Jennee dessert spread
The day would not be complete without a Jennee dessert spread

We drank out way far into the night… memories were stolen by the treacherous minions of beer and scotch… there’s always the photos though. Bless this modern age and it’s 18-things-in-1 phones (until you get drunk and lose your multi tasking phone, that is. Then it’s cursing all the way).

#iphoneshelpingdrunkardstorememberwhathappenedlastnightsince2007

Now, as I am still feeling a little sleep and brain cell deficient, I am going to take myself off to bed, where I shall sleep until my name is changed to Rip Van Grazza.

Good night.

Black Rock Camping Day 2… banana cake and lamb in the camp oven (not at the same time though)

camp oven lamb
Black Rock Camping Day 2

It was a bit of a broken sleep last night as I was awoken numerous times by the pitter patter of a good hit of rain dropping to us from somewhere above. *Fun camping fact #1 – although the sound of rain dropping on a tin roof is nice, and somewhat therapeutic, the sound of rain dropping on the family tent is not.

I got up, mildly freaking out as to whether we had stowed our camera and other water resistant items. All good… we are getting a little wiser with age apparently.

Camp breakfast was one of many pans of bacon, eggs and sausages and pots of coffee and tea, all consumed to a background rendition of “let’s yell and scream heaps even though it’s only 6:30am” as recited by the Unruly Monkey-like Special Needs Children Choir. Beautiful. Welcome to the bush, fellow campers.

The kids were more than happy to clean the bowl… no washing up for us
The kids were more than happy to clean the bowl… no washing up for us

The cake in it's new home amongst the coals
The cake in it’s new home amongst the coals
That is some good looking shit right there
That is some good looking shit right there
And yes, it did taste as good as it looks
And yes, it did taste as good as it looks

Banana cake in the camp oven was next on the agenda, as we had never attempted cooking a cake in the coals before and let’s face it, if you need to subdue a group of unruly monkies what better way to do it than with bananas or a product that is a derivative of said bananas. We were prepared for this uprising of small monkey-like children and feeding time at the zoo went down a treat! This cake was kick-ass.

Chalk one point up to the clearly smarter adults. That’s one-nil suckers!

The unruly crew
The unruly crew

The men folk drank away the afternoon while the ladies made the tents look pretty and started to prepare our next meal… well, maybe it didn’t go down exactly like that… or even remotely like that, but I did get my ass into the kitchen (camp table near the fire) because I give not a fuck about the location, I just know that being in the kitchen is my time to shine. The cooking begun, we did manage to encourage a sneaky beer or two past our bearded lips just for the sake of it. We may have been glanced that “what the fuck are you doing” glare from a wifey or two but there was five of us men folk so that really didn’t mean a thing to us right now – power in numbers, strength of the brotherhood, dib dib dib and all that shit. We would face our respective lectures on our drive home I was sure but for now, another beer please my good man.

And then the wind and rain came suddenly and mercilessly as if I had just deemed their prize winning turnip nothing but a fraudulent, fiberglass butt-plug. They worked in unison swiftly to dampen our spirits and our spare underwear, but we battened down the hatches in a fashion worthy of a “sea farers hatch battening badge”, and then the rain left us and I finished cooking my camp oven roast lamb. But it wasn’t just camp oven roast lamb; it was camp oven roast lamb, adorned with camp mint sauce and root vegetables, worthy of a “damn tasty assed camp lamb roast award”. But I’m sure you don’t really give a shit about my crappy awards now, do you?

A few herbs make all the difference
A few herbs make all the difference

Oh dear good lord
Oh dear good lord
Ready to go
Ready to go
The mint sauce really lifted this meal way out of the realm of sausages, white bread and tomato sauce
The mint sauce really lifted this meal way out of the realm of sausages, white bread and tomato sauce

LAMB SHOULDER IN THE CAMP OVEN (for 4)

1 small lamb shoulder (about 1.5kg), bone in for the flavour and to give the kids something to gnaw on
2 sprigs rosemary
2 bay leaf
1 tablespoon cumin seeds
1 tablespoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper
1 bulb garlic, sliced through the middle horizontally
A couple of handfuls of root vegetables, all cut similar size
Mint sauce, to serve

• Rub the lamb down with the herbs, spices and seasoning
• Put it in the camp oven with ½ cup of water and cover with lid
• Move a few coals out of the fire and nestle the camp oven into these, shovel a few more coals on top. Leave it for 2 hours, occasionally turning camp oven and replacing coals
• While the lamb is getting sexy, make some mint sauce just so everyone knows how much of a bawsss you are
• After 2 hours add vegetables and garlic to the bottom of the camp oven and return to the coals for another hour or until everything is tender and delicious
• Carve it up and eat it with mint sauce, washed down with the finest booze your esky has to offer

CAMP OVEN BANANA CAKE (with dubious measurements)

4 eggs
250g unsalted butter, softened by the morning sun
4 cups self raising flour
4 super ripe bananas, chopped or mashed
1 cup sugar
Milk to make it into a thick cake batter consistency – probably about 1-2 cups

• Get the kids to mix this one up so as to keep them occupied for a few minutes
• Cream sugar and butter
• Add eggs
• Add bananas
• Add flour
• Add milk
• Bake on low coals in a lined camp oven for 45 or so minutes or until cooked. I’m sure a cake tin and domestic oven will do the job just fine, too

K.

I’ll be back tomorrow with some more camp goodness.

*If you like the idea of camp oven cooking and you want to know more, there are some fine folks who have created a facey page that is all about the answers you seek. You can find it here

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.

The Silence of the Boys Eating the Lambs… Well, the lamb’s belly anyhow

SAMSUNG CSC

I ventured into the shop of my local purveyor of quality meats a while back to procure my good person a quantity bacon for the impending bacon week celebrations, when I noticed the butcher was taking the bellies off some lambs.

“Nice lamb Graeme”, he said to me.

“Looks very nice Scotty”, I replied. “How much for one of those bellies?”

“You can have one for three bucks”, he said.

“Well chuck one in the bag then my good man”, was the only response I deemed appropriate.

“Do you want a big one?” he asked.

“Sure”, I said. “Silly not to.”

We have pretty crazy conversations, that butcher and I.

So the end result, if it isn’t clear to you by now, is that I went home with a bounty of bacon and a lamb’s belly. Tonight the time has come to cook said lambs belly so… well, I guess that is what I shall be doing tonight.

A lamb’s belly is a thrifty assed piece of meat… although it doesn’t really have a lot of meat to it. It shall be known as a flap of flavour and I shall roll it’s sapid shroud over a stuffing of cous cous and cook it with cannellini beans and vegetables. It shall also be know as just plain awesome, I am sure. Anyhow, this cook-up will quite literally leave the “ten dollar dinner” consumerist propaganda mongers at Coles for dead. Those kids aint got nudda on me!

That lamb belly flap
That lamb belly flap
Stuff it and roll it
Stuff it and roll it
Yep. OK
Yep. OK
You know what this means… get in my belly!
You know what this means… get in my belly!

 

ROLLED LAMBS BELLY TO FEED A FAMILY FOR UNDER TEN BUCKS

1 lamb belly flap. This one weighed maybe 600g once the bones were out
½ cup cous cous
½ brown onion, diced and sautéed for a minute to soften
Seasoning
1 handful parsley, mint and thyme, chopped
PLUS
1 brown onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick of celery, diced
1 capsicum, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
2 bay leaves
3 cups cooked cannellini beans
Chilli mint sauce to serve (recipe follows)
• Mix the cous cous, sautéed onion and herbs together. Season
• Spread mix over belly (the lamb’s, not yours), roll and tie that sucker up like it was a sex slave on Friday night
• Whack it in the oven at 180C for 1.5 hours
• Put the vegetables and bay leaves in after the 45 minute mark and the cannellini beans can go in with ten minutes to go
• Slice, season and eat

CHILLI MINT SAUCE

½ cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup castor sugar
1 large (think Hagred from Harry Potter) handful picked mint
1 long green chilli, chopped finely
A pinch of salt
• Warm the vinegar, sugar and chilli together to dissolve the sugar and soften the chilli a little. Set aside to cool
• Once cool add mint leaves and blitz with a stick wizz or in a blender. If you don’t have a stick wizz or blender chop the mint really finely before adding
• Season and serve

We silently ate the shit out of this… the kids had seconds… my back pocket still had enough money in it to purchase a wee little tipple… we all smiled. Winning.