Curried sausages on the campfire (but easily adaptable for the home kitchen just in case you didn’t figure that one out for yo’ self)


Welcome to another thrilling installment of “the things my ma cooked for dinner when I was a kid and now I cook them sometimes because I am disgustingly in love with nostalgia”.

The ol’ curried sausages were on high rotation as a midweek dinner option during my years at home. Woolies snags, a bit of Keen’s curry powder (one of the only “spices” in my Ma’s pantry. Seriously, I made a spice rack for my year 8 wood work project and it was home for the Saxa salt and pepper, and Keen’s curry powder. That was it), an onion and a couple of other bits and pieces all came together in the big pot to make our bellies very happy indeed. A scoop of either under cooked or over cooked rice on the side and dinner was sorted.

I have made it a little different because that’s just what I do but I think even my Ma would agree that the essence of the thing is still there.


CURRIED SAUSAGES

Serves 4

600 g sausages (beef or lamb is my choice but this is also perfect with pork, chicken or “of no specific origin” snags)
1 onion, large dice
5 garlic, roughly chopped
1 ½ tbls Keen’s curry powder
1 capsicum, large dice
1 zucchini, large dice
1 x 400 g tin diced tomato
1 x 400 ml tin coconut milk
Salt and pepper
Natural yoghurt, mango chutney, coriander and steamed rice, to serve

Heat a splash of oil in the pot that you will be cooking your curried sausages in. Add whole sausages and cook over medium heat for 6 – 7 minutes or until cooked through.
Remove sausages and set aside while you get the rest of this thing going on.
Using the same pot as the sausages were cooked in, sauté onion and garlic until starting to soften a little.
Add curry powder and cook out for 1 minute.
Slice cooked sausages into 2 cm pieces and return to pot with all other ingredients.
Simmer for 30 minutes over med – low heat.
Check seasoning and get it on the table, with garnishes somewhere also on the same table.
Camp fire or stove top, it’s Keen’s curry powder for the win.

Porky Thai fried rice – because it’s tops and I never get thai-ed of it.


I know. The thai-ed thing has been done before. I like it. That’s all.

Thai fried rice goes nicely with pork ribs or any other lump of BBQ pork you may like to grace it with. This rice is going to be your friend. You’re not going to kick it out of bed that’s for sure. It goes great guns hot or cold, and it’s crying out for a piece of smoky delicious pork like a newborn child screaming for his mother’s milk.

The thing with this fried rice is that it also works very well with shredded duck or seafood. In fact, my favourite incarnation of this fried rice is a pulled pork and king prawn version. Fucking A, right?

Make a full batch of the sauce and use it for chilli duck and mushroom stir-fry, stir-fried vegetables or squirt (yes, I said squirt) it in the eye of would be intruders.

PORKY THAI FRIED RICE

(serves 4)

12 cooked pork ribs or 500 – 600 g cooked pork belly, shoulder, hock, etc.
2 eggs
3 cups chopped vegetables. I used green beans, zucchini and cherry tomatoes, but use whatever it is that you like – carrot, capsicum, Asian greens, baby corn, etc.
5 cups cooked rice* from the day before, left un-covered in the fridge overnight**
150ml of fried rice sauce (recipe follows)
Chopped shallots (scallions), crisp eshallots, chilli sambal and fresh lime to garnish

• Light a burner on your stovetop and heat your wok over a high flame. Let it get hot. Proper hot. What’s that? You don’t have a wok. Well turn head down to your local hospitality supply warehouse or Asian food store (the Asians will defo give you a better deal because chances are they actually sold it to the other guys) and buy yourself a nice wok. Get home with your new wok and realise that your house is burning down because you didn’t turn the stovetop off and some shit caught on fire
• At least you still have your wok.
• Go now and rebuild your life, we’ll get back to the rice later…
• OK. Ready?
• Get that wok hot. Add a couple of tablespoons of oil. Don’t splash yourself with this oil because it will get bloody hot really fast.
• And I should have mentioned before that if you don’t have all of your mis en place ready now you should give up. This is going to be a quick process and, as with all stir-fries, you should have everything at the ready.
• Now evoke the spirit of the ancient Asian wok gods and, as the Ramones once said, Let’s Go!
• Quickly scramble the eggs and then put them aside.
• Add the vegetables and pork product to the hot wok. Stir fry for 2 minutes.
• Add the rice and toss for another two minutes. Toss, toss, toss.
• Add the sauce and the scrambled eggs. Give it two more minutes on the heat and that should be done.
• Plate up and garnish with shallots, crisp eshallots, chilli sambal and fresh lime.
• Nom, nom, nom, chow

FRIED RICE SAUCE

350ml yellow bean sauce, find it and enjoy its company. I use healthy boy brand
150ml fish sauce
250g grated palm sugar or castor sugar
300ml oyster sauce
250g nam prik pao (chilli in soy bean oil), once again find it etc.
200ml tamarind puree
• Mix all ingredients thoroughly until combined
• Store in the fridge for ages

*you will need approximately 2 cups of dried rice for this and then you cook it and it magically becomes 5 cups of cooked rice. Alternately, the local Asian takeaway will generally be happy you sell you your required amount of cooked rice for pretty much fuck all.

**this dries the rice out and stops it from clumping and making shitty weird rice instead of great fried rice.

Really, really easy pit beans.


I don’t even know what to say about these beans except they are so damn easy – not boozed up prom queen easy but really darn close.

Cook these as a side at your next BBQ or do not be afraid to put a fried egg on top of a bowl of this and call it dinner.

REALLY, REALLY EASY PIT BEANS

Serves 4 – 6 as a side

2x 400g tins cannellini beans (navy beans, borlotti beans, black beans or whatever beans you like will also work fine here)
250 ml tomato passata
100 ml your favourite BBQ sauce
1 tablespoon your favourite BBQ rub
A splash of water if it starts to dry out a little
Salt and pepper to season if necessary (quite likely won’t be though)

Grab an oven proof dish or pan that is large enough to fit the beans plus a little more. Combine all ingredients in said dish and mix to combine.
Place the beans into your BBQ for 1 hour at 350 F (175 C) or maybe 2 hours at 250 F (120 C) (and I’m pretty sure you can work it out for your temps and times in between). Check every half hour and add a splash of water if they start to dry out a little.
Check seasoning and serve.
That’s it.
These beans are the sort of thing you can really make your own. Add chilli, extra herbs or spices, a little maple syrup or brown sugar, Mexican seasoning, cheese, left over BBQ meats, sautéed mushrooms… you get it? Of course you don’t, but nobody can say I didn’t try…

Reverse seared steak


The theory behind the reverse seared steak is that the meat is given a bit of smoke at a low temp first and then finished with a flash on the grill at high heat. Basically the reverse of what any classically trained French chef would have taught you in the 90s.

Still definitely not related to the reverse cowgirl, but still definitely something you want to get all up in your face if you’ve never tried it before.

Find yourself some nice steaks

Indirect heat for the first part of the process

Get it on the table with some tasty sides and something to wash it down with.

REVERSE SEARED STEAK

Serves 2 – 4
(It really depends on your appetite and what else may be accompanying the steak to the table)

2x 600 g ribeye steaks on the bone (caveman steaks, texas t-bone)
Steak seasoning (recipe below)
50 – 100 g butter, depending on how French you are
A lump of cherry wood for the smoking
Chimmichurri, to serve (find recipe here)
A couple of sides that you like to eat with steak, to serve

Season your steaks liberally with steak seasoning and allow to sit at room temp while you get your grill sorted.
Fire up your grill to do an indirect cook. Get it sitting at somewhere around 250 F (125 C).
Add the lump of cherry wood.
Place steak on the side of the grill away from the coals so it can have a little smoky time without getting charred.
Cook steak to 130 F (55 C) for medium rare – this will take somewhere in the vicinity of half an hour to 40 minutes.
Remove steak from grill and whack it into a dish with the butter. Cover with foil and rest for 15 minutes. While all that resting and relaxing is going down you should make sure you have enough charcoal glowing for a quick direct cook to finish your steak off.
Flash steaks on grill for 1 – 2 minutes each side to finish.
Plate steak up and serve with chimmichurri and tasty sides and something boozy.

STEAK SEASONING
2 tbls cooking salt
2 tbls cracked black pepper
2 tbls garlic granules (roughly the size of a speck of polenta, not garlic flakes)

Mix well to combine.
Pretty easy.

Steak and chimmichurri is reals good

Lamb shnitzel with mint sauce (or maybe in a sandwich with tomato ketchup)


The trans-Tasman comradery and a good piece of lamb

I am not sure the reason, but whatever it is, we as Australians always seem to be able to afford ourselves the time for a big old cross seas pointing of the finger and a laugh with our neighbours the Kiwis (and them to us I’m sure). It might be the spirit of the ANZACS? A strange, unexplainable, X-Files-esque trans-Tasman chemistry? Or maybe it was a morning where we awoke next to each other after a heavy night of drinking and realized we were in the games room at a retirement home and we smell like potpourri and denture adhesive? (Please, stick with me here). Wherever the connection may lie, the average Australian has a penchant for a good solid joke with the Kiwi’s, aka New Zealanders.

But today we shall not be discussing jokey time. No, no, no. This shit is serious as having face herpes at your final high school ball. It is time to say once and for all; the sheep f**cking (should read fucking) must stop!

K? K.

Now, lamb rump is probably so popular because butchers were smart enough to call it something other than “lamb’s ass”. But let’s face it; it is a lamb’s ass cheek. Now (back to the finger pointing) a good, tender lamb’s ass is a point of national distraction for a Kiwi (I know I said there would be no more jokes about coital union with a sheep but…). A bit of the old “nah mate, it was caught in the wire fence and I was just trying to push it through”. But a good, tender lamb rump… well that’s something I’m going to be happy to put in my face anytime. And that is indeed what I did

Pounded lamb rump and a few other bits and pieces

A little pile of shnitzels and mint sauce. A photo that may or may not appear in a book I have been working on.

LAMB SHNITZEL
(Serves 4)

8x 90—100 g (3—3½ oz) lamb rump steaks, pounded a little bit to flatten
1 tbsp fresh rosemary, chopped
1 tbsp fresh thyme, chopped
Zest of 1 lemon
125 g (4½ oz) plain flour
3 eggs, whisked with a splash of water
200 g (7 oz) panko breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper
Crushed potatoes, peas and mint sauce (recipe below), to serve
Or maybe white bread and tomato sauce, to serve
Mix the breadcrumbs with the herbs, lemon zest and a pinch of salt and pepper.
Dust the lamb rumps in flour, then egg wash, then breadcrumbs to coat.
Shallow fry the schnitzels in medium-hot oil for 1 minute each side.
Drain on absorbent paper for 1 minute.
Serve with mint sauce and vegetables or whack it in between two slices of white bread white a little tomato ketchup and you have yourself a fucking cracking sandwich. The sandwich thing works super well with cold schnitzels too.

MINT SAUCE
125 ml (4 fl oz) apple cider vinegar
50 g (2 oz) caster sugar
A big handful of mint
Salt and pepper
Warm the vinegar and sugar until the sugar is dissolved. Allow to cool.
Add chopped mint leaves, or add them whole and then hit it with a stick whizz.
Season with a little salt and pepper.
That’s it.
Tell yourself some things really can be that easy.

Grilled pork belly tacos


Pork belly tacos.

This was smoky, grilly-meat-juicy deliciousness. I honestly feel that glowing coals are truly the way to make a piece of pig feel properly loved.

The pork belly was rubbed with sea salt and then cooked on the bottom level of the bullet smoker with no water pan at 350 F (180 C) for 3 hours. It was flipped and rotated every half hour so the crackle got a little love.

The pork was given the additional flavour boost of a chorizo sausage on the grill also, just because there’s not too many things in life that can’t be improved with a grilled chorizo sausage.

This was chopped up like a bag of Snoop Dogg’s finest sensimila and then scooped into the magical little edible plate that is the tortilla (I’m still thanking I-don’t-know-who for the invention of any kind of edible plate).

It was then pretty happy to receive a little cosmetic gratification in the way of some chopped onion, a little mango (because mango is a symbol of summer and summer is the time for Christmas in Australia and Christmas is all about the good times so mango is welcome at my house and can sleep with my sister anytime), charred jalapeno hot sauce and coriander.

This is the sort of thing that requires a bit of company and at least one beer to wash it down.

Get the eff on it.

Oh yeah, and happy Christmas and all that if I forget about all that stuff next week.

Grill that pork

Heat beads premium lump charcoal was my fuel of choice
Chop the pork belly and chorizo up together

Get that onto the table

GRILLED PORK TACOS

(serves 4)

800 g pork belly – maybe 500 g for tacos and then the rest for breakfast tomorrow
1 – 2 chorizo sausage
¼ brown, white or red onion, diced
1 mango, diced
1 handful coriander
1 – 2 limes, cut into wedges
Charred jalapeno hot sauce or whatever it is hot sauce that you love
16 soft tacos / tortillas

The words that are written above are the recipe.
Go now.
Cook and eat.

Wash it down with your favourite brew