Pretty easy, using up those Sunday BBQ leftovers, cassoulet.

4 Comments


Today I realised I have not made cassoulet for quite some time. Sure, I’ve made pit beans and I’ve made cowboy beans, but I haven’t made a classic French cassoulet. And today I shan’t be making cassoulet either. Instead I shall be doing that bastardising thing I love to do so much and use a little smoked meat I have left over from the weekends cook to create my own little smoky assed, junk yard dog, mongrel cassoulet. And just like that junk yard dog, this dish is literally begging for you to give it more meat… give it all of the meat.

If I may digress just a little…

The cassoulet is basically a brothel. It has a big illuminated sign above it’s front door inviting more meat to the party. It does not care of the origin of the meat. It’s a “the more meat the better” type situation for the cassoulet… much like the brothel.

But as I said earlier, this is a mongrel version of said cassoulet so don’t go reporting me to the Traditional Cookery Police (TCP) because as we all know; dobbers wear nappies.

If you would like to make a bang up, bona fide, old school, full of fat and confit duck, Frenchy cassoulet, you can find a recipe by a great chef by the name of Guillaume Brahimi, right here.

I have also used tinned cannellini beans to keep it quick and easy. Tinned legumes defo have a place in my cupboard.

Cut the top off the garlic so it looks like this

Saute the meat and vegetables

The mongrel cassoulet sharing the table with some more beans. It’s a pretty friendly sort, really


PRETTY EASY MONGREL CASSOULET

500-750g smoky meaty leftovers (depending on how much you consumed or may have left over from that BBQ comp on the week end ) – start with pork neck or ribs and then add sausage, brisket, lamb and/or chicken – all chopped
2 tablespoons drippings from that meaty goodness
1 small onion (or half a large onion as I have used), diced
1 carrot, diced
1 stick celery, diced
1 tomato, diced
1 bulb garlic, left whole, top sliced off to reveal a little garlic-y flesh
A few sprigs of parsley and thyme
1 bay leaf
2x 400g tins cannellini beans, strained
500ml chicken stock. Homemade is best but sometimes store bought might be all you have on hand and it will still work, I can guarantee that
1 cup breadcrumbs
Salt and pepper

Preheat oven to 200C.
Lube up a casserole dish or cast-iron pot or something that you can put in the oven with the drippings and then sauté meat and vegetables over medium heat until vegetables are starting to soften and brown a little. Alternatively, you can sauté the meat and vegetables in a pan and then transfer them to an oven proof dish.
Add all other ingredients except bread crumbs, stir to combine and season.
Top with bread crumbs and place in oven, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until golden brown and smelling delicious.
Eat it.
Put it in your face with a little green salad, or maybe some green beans with onion vinaigrette if you want to be the same as us.

One last pic of the ingredients…

Singapore noodles with smoked pork

2 Comments


Sometimes I forget how much I love noodles. Especially Singapore noodles. Oh, how I love Singapore noodles.

This is pretty easy, mid-week (should possibly read; great for late evening after maybe one or two too many beers when you forget that a man, and of course woman, needs to eat) cooking that is tasty as fuck and can certainly be toyed with as much as your sweet little heart desires. This time ‘round I had some leftover pork ribs that I took all the meat from like a white man taking land in centuries past, but this could easily be made with pork, chicken or beef mince, or prawns that are cooked off at the start and then returned to the pan as per the recipe, or you could even crumble in a little tofu with the vegetables if that’s your scene.

But for now – less talky, more cooky.

Put all ingredients onto a chopping board to photograph them before you cut them up

…and then maybe cut it all up and take anther photo

High heat sizzle sizzle

Noodles and condiments is good times for my face

So much about this makes me happy to be alive


SINGAPORE NOODLES WITH SMOKED PORK (serves 4)

400-500g smoked pork (or some kind of meat or non meat substitute)
Rice vermicelli
1 medium brown onion or a few shallots (scallions), sliced
2 cups of chopped vegetables – today my refrigerator had celery and zucchini for me and then I found some sugar snap peas in the garden
1 thumb sized piece of ginger, grated or chopped
3-4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon oyster sauce
1 tablespoon light soy sauce
2 tablespoons curry powder or garam masala
1 tablespoon lemon juice
Chopped chilli, crisp eshallots and fresh shallots to serve

Place noodles into a bowl that is big enough to fit them plus some. Cover noodles with room temp water for 20 minutes.
Now for another opportunity to impress your friends with your smoking hot wok antics. So yes, you will be needing a smoking hot oiled wok… or possibly a very large pan… or maybe even two regular sized pans.
Add the vegetables, garlic and ginger and give them a couple of minutes of fiery stir frying.
Now add all remaining ingredients plus the pork (or substitute meat or non-meat product) into the pan.
Give that a quick heat through and get it on the table… or possibly on a plate followed closely by onto the table, garnished with chilli and shallot.

Goodnight

Cowboy beans! Yeehaw!

4 Comments


So I made some cowboy beans.

Actually, I’m not even sure what cowboy beans are, but this is what I imagine they may be. But they may not be this at all. Definitely do not tell your friends these are OG cowboy beans as that may not be fact. I would even go so far as to say there is a high chance it would not be fact. It could even be said that you pretty much just shouldn’t take any of the words on these here pages, or indeed those that pass my lips, as being fact. I’m pretty much a big fat faker. This is not gospel and I am not the lord. Onto those beans…

I feel they would be most authentic served from a big pot on the back of the chuck wagon. That is a fact.

Time for oven loving

Now it’s get into my face time


COWBOY BEANS

(For the family. Like the whole family. Like extended family, neighbours, stray kids and those carnie folk just barely clinging onto life in the cage under your back stair case… and then there will probably still be some to freeze down for later.)

500g navy beans, black beans or whatever the frick kinda dried beans you have floating about in the back of your wagon, soaked over night and then cooked until tender
500-800g whatever meat you have floating about in the back of your wagon. BBQ leftovers are the best for this – smoked brisket, pork ribs, actually any cut of pork or sausages… roast left overs… or just some nice smoky porky things from your local man
1 teaspoon each onion powder, garlic powder and hot sauce
1 tablespoon each American ballpark mustard and Worcestershire sauce
2 tablespoons Big Red Rub or your favourite BBQ dry rub
½ cup tomato ketchup
3x 400g tins crushed or chopped tomatoes or something similar
Salt and pepper
Fried eggs (or crack them straight into the beans and bake for an extra 5 minutes for tasty-assed one pan glory), chopped fresh herbs, jalapenos and toast to serve

Chop meat/s into bite sized chunks.
Heat a splash of oil in a large oven pan over medium heat. Add meat/s and sauté until browned a little.
Add all other ingredients and cook out for 5 minutes.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary (that’s what your salt and pepper is for).
Place into 180-200C oven for 45 minutes, stirring every 15 minutes. Add a splash of water if mix starts to dry out – kinda saucy is kinda good I reckon. (You could finish these beans totally on the stovetop if you don’t feel like lighting your oven… or you just don’t actually have an oven… but they really do benefit from a little oven bubbly caramelized tomato bits. Jus’ saying)
That’s it. Serve it up – breakfast, lunch or dinner. Pretty simple, just how the cowboys would’ve liked it. Yeehaw.

Some people do actually listen to us…

7 Comments

Look at this.

IMG_9205
Sometimes people do actually listen to us and go forth and make kick-ass food for their brethren to enjoy, thus rocketing to the top of the local “Cool Kids” charts like a mother effing bullet.

Just saying…

If you need something to read you can find the actual recipe here.

Easy Peasy Smoked Pork Belly with Sticky Barbecue Glaze

19 Comments

SAMSUNG CSC Smoked pork belly roasted with a sticky BBQ glaze. Put quite simply, go and find yourself a piece of smoked pork belly, make a bare-bones, basic as, easy-peasy BBQ glaze to get that shit all lovely and sticky, much like your sheets on a Friday night, and then roast it for a couple of hours while you sit back and dream about how good this is actually going to be. These things come out of the oven looking pretty black (or lighter tint challenged, if I were to be a little more PC), but they were not burnt no, no, no. Burnt was Anakin Skywalker in “Revenge of the Sith”, the third episode of the Star Wars series. Furthermore, these things were definitely edible and damn tasty, unlike Anikin after his scorching. I am not lying to you when I say this pork was damn tasty. It would go against everything I stand for if I were to sit down to a pork dinner that just wasn’t that good. I’ll be flying to Africa with the express purpose of dirty dancing (”I had the time of my life” plays softly in the back ground) with a sweaty, feverish local to take a hit of ebola before I subject myself to a shitty pork dinner. The point I’m trying to get across (yes, there is a point) is that you should find a piece of smoked pork belly (preferably not in the park or on the street. That pork may not be the best) and give this shit a try.

Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven

Seasoned up and ready for some R & R under the warm rays of the oven

Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking

Make a bean salad while the pork is cooking

The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker

The damn tasty version of Anakin Skywalker

STICKY SMOKED PORK BELLY (for 4) 1kg smoked pork belly, cut into 2cm pieces 1 tablespoon oregano 1 teaspoon garlic powder (don’t worry about it if you don’t have some lying around) 1 teaspoon ground white pepper A pinch of cayenne pepper or a splash of hot sauce 1 cup home made or store bought BBQ sauce ¼ cup light soy sauce Green bean and feta salad, to serve • Season pork with oregano, garlic powder and pepper and place on a lined oven tray • Cover and bake at 180C for 40 minutes • While pork is baking, mix together remaining ingredients to make the basting sauce • After 40 minutes remove cover from pork and baste with sauce • Continue to bake ribs uncovered for another 40 or so minutes, until pork is tender, basting and turning every 10-15 minutes. If pork starts to caramelize or blacken too quickly turn the oven down to 160C • Once cooked, pork will be tender and the glaze will be thick and dark, much like it has been soaking over night in a bucket of sump oil • Serve it with green bean and feta salad, and whatever else you see fit

That beans salad. Everyone bass their version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it's vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork

That beans salad. Everyone has their own version of a bean and feta salad but this one, with it’s vinegar-y onion-y twang, was perfect with the sticky smoky pork

GREEN BEAN, FETA AND HERB SALAD 500g green beans ½ red onion, fine dice 100g feta ½ teaspoon dried oregano 1 handful each coriander and parsley, coarsely chopped 1 tablespoon red wine vinegar 2 tablespoon good olive oil Seasoning • In a bowl, combine onion, vinegar, oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and allow to sit for 10 minutes to infuse • Blanch beans in boiling water for 3-4 minutes, so they still have a heap of crunch about them. Strain beans and immediately add them to onion mixture. Add half of the herbs and toss until combined • Crumble feta over the top of the salad and garnish with remaining herbs

Macaroni Cheese with Smoked Boar Belly… and Boys Night

28 Comments

SAMSUNG CSC
It’s boy’s night at our little abode. No, not the type of boys night where we sit around playing cards, drinking whiskey a eating nachos that are served to us by a waitress who can best be described as looking like she has just come from the beach… wearing high heels. This is the kind of boys night where is it just me and my two boys, Seba and Obi, and we hang out, watch quite a few episodes of “The Clone Wars” animated series and eat whatever the hell we want (usually not served to us by scantily clad waitresses) that is definitely not in accordance with or following any of the dietary requirements of Jennee’s gluten intolerance or paleo diet. We are sans mother and wife, and by golly we will do whatever the eff we want. We are man, hear us roar!

“Meow”.

Yeah, you get the picture.

Boys night’s are high on the list of things that make me happy. These nights make me so happy that even my smile smiles. My smile actually texts it’s friends to tell them how fucking happy it is right now. What more could a man need? Quality time catching up on cartoons, sitting around in my knickers, eating a pile of “sometimes food” and spending time with my damn fine kids.

Today I was hell bent on cooking up some mac n cheese, but the local store was void of the macaroni my heart so desired. So, with nary a hat wearing, feather doting Yankee with the magical ability to conjure up my macaroni in sight, I thought my next best option was going to be penne. So penne it was (although with hind sight I would say there is really no substitute for the macaroni). Also, I had a heap of smoked wild boar belly in the freezer (this came into my possession via the same source of the goat I used for that goat curry I posted not so far in the past. I think I should clarify that it did not come from the actual goat, as that would make it cross bred billy goat/razor back which is going to freak me out and remain barren of any votes from me. No, this boar was merely provided by the same supplier I got my goat from. I need to end this ever-so-pointless story right now), and boar is kindred to the pig so that was going to get it’s smoky ass in there, too.

A nice looking lump of smoked boar

A nice looking lump of smoked boar

The smell of this stuff cooking made me go a little week at the knees

The smell of this stuff cooking made me go a little week at the knees

Nom nom nom

Nom nom nom

SMOKED BOAR BELLY MAC N CHEESE with penne (for 4)

400g smoked wild boar belly, bacon or speck, sliced into lardons
1 cup grated gruyere cheese
1 cup grated honky dory tasty or cheddar cheese, plus 1 cup extra to top
2 tablespoons of your favourite mustard (I used that cheap American ball park stuff, but Dijon would be the goods)
1lt milk
50g flour
50g butter
400g dried macaroni (yeah, I know it’s almost a full packet but that extra 100g is that little bit too much), cooked per packet instructions and refreshed
A large handful parsley, chopped
Chopped spinach, kale or frozen peas if you need to get some greenery in there

• Fry the lardons over medium heat for 5 minutes, until browned and simmering in a pool of their own rendered fat. Discard most of the rendered fat or, if you’re keen, save it in the fridge for next time you roast potatoes. Let’s get that stuff in the fridge, eh? Put the lardons aside while you get the rest ready
• To make a béchamel sauce (white sauce. Like what you use for cauliflower cheese) first melt butter in a saucepan over med-low heat. Add flour and cook out for a couple of minutes (to get rid of the raw floury taste), stirring constantly. While stirring slowly add milk until you have a smooth, sauce-like constancy. If it doesn’t end up nice and smooth, get some whisk action onto it and beat those damn lumps into submission. Add cheeses and mustard and stir to combine
• Add the lardons, pasta and parsley and combine
• Transfer to baking dish, top with extra cheese and bake in 180C oven for 30-35 minutes. You want it bubbling and golden so don’t be afraid to chuck it back in the oven for another few minutes and even turn it up a little to get the result
• A nice little leafy salad is probably a pretty good accompaniment. That and the company of your favourite kids (hopefully the fact that they’re your favourite kids alone should mean they’re yours, but if not soz… just soz)

If you have some left overs the next day feel free to slice it into squares, crumb it up and deep fry the crap out of them for tasty fried mac n cheese bites a la Paul’s Caul.

Smoked chicken, fennel and potato stew type thing

2 Comments

I had this meal in the pot in 5 minutes, which left me with plenty of time to go out to the verandah and sit back in my old rocking chair, smoke my corncob pipe and pay some more attention to my collection of dirty magazines from the early eighties.

This is a great recipe for lazy-assed, single man, Jamie’s fifteen minute meals type cooking. Or in my world it’s damn tasty and super easy which leaves me with plenty more time to beat my screaming children… errr, spend some quality time with my kids.

J (this is what wordpress does to a smily face)

IMG_4976

Get all of your goodies into a pot

 

With the potatoes

With the potatoes

IMG_4981

Add some chard if you have some. Our garden is full of it at the mo’

 

Looking good

All in and looking good

Eat it with a spoon if that's how you roll...

Eat it with a spoon if that’s how you roll…


Smoked chicken, fennel and potato stew type thing

Any leftover chicken from the one you smoked last night, frame included
A bit of smoked pork if you have some on the fridge (I like to keep some in there at all times. It can save your bacon (pun intended) in times of need. It’s kind of like keeping band aids and tampons in your first aid cabinet… No point in having one if it doesn’t complete it primary purpose)
1-2 brown onions, sliced
1 large bulb fennel, sliced
1 stick celery, sliced
Some chard from the garden?
3-4 cloves garlic if you have them, sliced
1 tablespoon ground coriander seed
1 tin of French (du puy) lentils
4-5 smallish potatoes, or their larger counterpart equivalent, chopped into 4-5 pieces

Don’t forget the seasoning

  • Put everything except the lentils, potatoes and chard into a pot and sauté with a good hit of olive oil
  • Once things are starting to smell a bit sexy, and starting to colour up just a touch, add the potatoes and a litre of chicken stock (or tap stock if you don’t have any chicken stock… which I didn’t… so water it is then!)
  • Cover and simmer for 30 minutes or until the potatoes are just about cooked
  • Add lentils and chard and simmer for another 5 minutes
  • Check seasoning
  • Serve with big lumps of fresh bread, olive oil and herbs of your choice