the BASTARD BURRITO


Until last week, I had not eaten a burrito for over 20 years. That is one thing I know about.

Things I do not know about are how to build a traditional burrito, if in fact the burrito is traditional Mexican cooking at all. But I am in luck because I have a default setting that is triggered by such events and tells me I will be fine and I should just crack on and make something that I think would fit pretty happily into the description of a burrito. Then I should give it a name that will ensure the peeps out there know I have zero actual knowledge of the burrito and am trying to bluff my way through as per usual.

So here is my bastard burrito.

You are very welcome.

That’s the pigs head in the coals
Some things that will go together to make pico de gallo
It may be a bit full on for some, but it really is a thrifty arsed, tasty piece of pig


THE BASTARD BURRITO

(makes 4 fatties)

3 cups cooked seasoned meat of some description. This could be smoked brisket, pork, lamb or chicken, or mince sautéed with onion, garlic and Mexican seasoning, or even a dirty old pigs head, as was the case today
1 avocado, sliced
1 ½ cups grated tasty cheese
1 ½ cups cooked brown rice
1 cup braised black beans (recipe follows)
½ cup pico de gallo (recipe follows)
4x 12” tortillas

It’s probably best to watch the attached video for the explanation of the assembly and rolling of the burrito. It’s just easier that way. You’ve got this far. You may as well just press play now.
If you do not want to press play, the gist of it is this; place ingredients on the tortilla, roll, wrap it in foil, toast in a pan over medium heat, eat it. Well, first pull the foil back and then eat it.

PICO DE GALLO

2 ripe tomatoes, diced
½ red onion, diced
½ fresh jalapeño chilli, finely diced
1 handful of coriander, chopped
1 teaspoon lime juice
Salt

Stir all ingredients together to combine. Now you’re pretty much done.
Leave for 10 minutes or so for flavours to amalgamate.

BRAISED BLACK BEANS

2 cups or so cooked black beans
½ onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon ground cumin
2 cups water
1 tablespoon lard or bacon fat for cooking if you want to feel sexy

Sauté onion and garlic in animal fat if you have it, otherwise vegetable oil will be fine.
Once onion has softened and is starting to colour, add all other ingredients and simmer on low heat for an hour or so until beans are starting to overcook and get a little mushy, and most of the water has evaporated.
Season with salt.
Keep warm for your burrito or where ever a home for tasty-simple beans may present itself.

Seafood chowdeeer


The air is cold but the chowder is definitely warm.

The origins of chowder are a little cloudy, much like a swagger of other regional specialities such as bouillabaisse, paella, laksa, pho and so on. This is how I make mine. I certainly shall not be claiming to be the original or the best. Top three maybe, but not the best I don’t think. But it is chockers full of good stuff that is 100% guaranteed to warm the belly and soul of even the saltiest of old sea dogs.

I know this is one of the most obvious things a person could say when making a recipe for any type of rustic soup, but make sure you have heaps of crusty bread on hand to mop up when you’re done. That’s half the fun with this sort of thing.

We’re pretty used to the sunshine in the Northern Rivers of NSW, but sometimes the air gets cold and makes crunchy grass while we sleep.
You can cook inside or pretty easily on a fire or BBQ too.
Season, garnish and get it in your face with a pile of your favourite bread.

SEAFOOD CHOWDER

Serves 6

300 g (10 ½ oz) firm fresh fish of your choice, 2 cm (1 inch) dice
300 g (10 ½ oz) fresh prawn meat
4 rashers bacon, chopped
1 brown onion, cut into 1 cm dice
1 carrot, cut into 1 cm dice
1 stick celery, sliced
3 cobs fresh sweet corn, kernels cut from cob
1 large potato, cut into 1 cm dice
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 lt (1½ pints) thickened cream
500 ml (17 fl oz) full cream milk
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley and BBQ / southern seasoning, to garnish
Crusty bread, to serve

In a large pot sauté the bacon, onions, carrot, celery, potato, corn, garlic and thyme.
Once it is softened and starting to colour add the milk and cream and simmer until potatoes are just cooked. This should take about 20 minutes.
Add the fresh fish and prawns and simmer for another 10 minutes. Stir it a couple of times but do it gently so you don’t break the fish up too much.
Remove from heat.
Check and adjust seasoning.
Serve garnished with parsley and a sprinkle of BBQ seasoning, and bread on the side.

Beef and beer stew with secret lentils

I put a tin of lentils in here just because it’s probably something you think you hate. You will not hate them in this. In fact, you will most probably fall in love with them and want to marry them. Plus, your bowel will thank you for getting a little roughage in your diet.

Get all of the stuff together and the go and get comfy next to the camp fire
Get it all into the pot and then let it simmer away for a few hours while you sit back and get slightly simmered yourself


BEEF AND BEER STEW WITH SECRET LENTILS

(Serves 6)

1 kg some kind of beef slow cooking cut – chuck, shin, brisket, etc – cut into 3 cm dice (no need to get the ruler out. Just make it a decent sized piece or even ask your butcher nicely and they might do it for you)
2 onions, diced
2 carrots, diced
2 sticks celery, diced
5 cloves garlic, chopped
3 anchovies. Don’t even think about it, just do it.
2 bay leaves
A sprig of rosemary or thyme if you have some in the garden
3x 375 ml cans dark beer
1x 700 ml tomato passata
1x 400 g tin lentils
Salt and pepper
Chopped parsley, to serve
Soft polenta, mashed potatoes, parsnip puree, pasta or something along those lines, to serve

Heat a splash of oil in a heavy based pot or cast-iron camp oven over a medium-high heat. Add onion, carrots, celery and garlic, and sauté until starting to brown a little.
Season beef with salt and pepper and add to the pot (normally you might brown everything off separately but this is going to be an all-in type thing) along with anchovies and herbs. Sauté for 10 or so minutes until they are browned and tasty bits are starting to grip a little on the bottom of the pot.
Add beer and tomato and stir to get all of the good bits off of the bottom of the pot and into the gravy.
Turn heat to low, cover and simmer for 2 ½ hours, stirring every half hour or so.
Check that the beef is tender – it should be ready for Nan to gum to death by now. If not, simmer for another 30 minutes or until soft, adding a splash of water if the gravy starts to thicken up too much.
Check seasoning and adjust if necessary.
Finish with a handful of chopped parsley.
Eat it.

If it’s easier for your eyes to watch these things you can find the video at foodisthebestshitever youtube channel.

Beer battered fish

There’s a lot to be said for a good beer batter. I like it to be puffy and I really like it to be crisp. I want to know it’s there, but not so much that the fish doesn’t get a look in. I want it to be a part of something that is going to make the world a better place.

This is such a beer batter.

This recipe was given to me by my mate Perry who was gifted it by a guy who ran a busy fish and chip shop, so I was immediately pretty sure he would know something of a good batter. After trying this batter recipe I knew for a fact that he did indeed know a thing about a good batter.

Now that was another bloody cracking anecdote now wasn’t it.

Also, i’ve got a youtube channel now and this recipe is on it and the link is at the bottom of the page.

BEER BATTERED FISH

Serves 4

600-700g fresh fish fillets, pin bone and skin removed

1 cup plain flour, plus extra to dust

1 cup self-raising flour

1 can (375 ml) of whatever beer you have in your hand

1 tablespoon canola oil, plus enough to fill your deep fryer

Chips, tartare and lemon, to serve

Fill deep fryer with oil to level.

Get oil up to temperature. Around 180 C (350 F) is good.

To make the batter, mix flours, oil and beer. Whisk until your batter is quite smooth and is thick enough to coat your finger nicely. Not too thick is the key here. If it seams a little thick you might want to add another splash of that beer you’re drinking.

Coat fish fillets with plain flour, shake slightly to leave only the slightest dusting of flour and then dip them into the batter.

Drag them out of the batter and ever-so-slightly drag them across the side of the bowl to remove excess.

Deep fry for 3 minutes or so, until fish is cooked and batter is crisp.

Season with salt and serve with chips, tartare and lemon, and maybe a nice little salad.

TARTARE SAUCE

1 ½ cups good mayonnaise. I believe that something that tastes like it belongs in your mouth is key here.

2 tablespoons chopped dill pickle

2 tablespoons chopped capers (even if you think you don’t like capers, you should still use them in here)

2 tablespoons chopped spring onion (shallot)

Combine all ingredients in a bowl and get that thing all mixed up so you might serve it with your fish.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gNC08ID_yaw

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.

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