Lamb rack roast and roast pumpkin

Lamb rack roast with roast pumpkin and gravy.

Ingredients

  • Lamb rack
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Sugar
  • Salt
  • Sesame oil
  • Olive oil
  • Chilean spice rub

Instructions

  1. Dice a kent pumpkin and, in a mixing bowl, rub the pumpkin with some olive oil, salt, sugar, sesame oil, and Chilean spice rub.
  2. Spread the pumpkin on a baking sheet and put it into a moderate oven for about 45 to 50 minutes.
  3. Sprinkle salt, sugar, and Chilean spice rub onto the fat of the lamb rack roast.
  4. Cook in a moderate oven until the internal temperature reaches 55 °C.
  5. Allow the lamb rack roast to rest for about 10 minutes.
  6. Carve the roast and plate up with the pumpkin.

My first eggplant parmigiana experience

For the full recipe including the backstory to this meal, please check out Gary makes eggplant parmigiana over on Yummy Lummy!

Some new readers here may not know, the main purpose of this blog is to direct readers to my food blog so I can post links to Facebook. For reasons beyond my comprehension, Facebook has blocked all links to Yummy Lummy. I don’t know why.

Eggplant Parmigiana with steamed broccolini

Sous vide eye fillet steak with potato gem poutine plus mushrooms and crispy Brussels sprouts

Saturday night dinner is sous vide eye fillet steak with potato gem poutine (provolone and smoked cheddar cheeses and gravy) plus mushrooms and crispy Brussels sprouts.

My personality

I was chatting with a friend today about my personality.

Introverted99%
Observant56%
Feeling51%
Judging51%
Turbulent63%
My personality scores

People who really know me won’t be surprised by how introverted I am. I live alone and for now, I’m happy about that. I enjoy my own company. I’ve lived a full life, I’ve been married, I’m divorced, I’ve learnt a lot about myself, what makes me happy, what upsets me, what unsettles me, and what I think I want for my future.

One thing I know about my future, is food will be a feature. Cooking and eating. Perhaps even growing some of my food. Growing up as a little boy, my maternal grandfather spent long periods of time living with us. Mum was pretty ill when she was pregnant with my youngest brother. She’d already had two very difficult births. My grandfather converted our backyard into a market garden. I don’t have a green thumb and the thought of gardening fills me with horror, but I do have fond memories of picking and eating fresh vegetables. Fresh fruit and vegetables taste so much better than what you get in a supermarket.

Faith will also feature more in my future. I’ve been in the wilderness for a long time and around this time last year, a friend started a good thing in my life. It’s been a year of revelation and self reflection and growth.

Saturday dinner. Sous vide eye fillet steak with potato gem poutine (provolone and smoked cheddar cheeses and gravy) plus mushrooms and Brussels sprouts.

Ingredients

  • Eye fillet steak
  • Iodised salt (ground)
  • Black pepper (freshly cracked)
  • Oregano leaves (dried)
  • Potato gems (Tater tots in North America)
  • Provolone cheese (grated)
  • Smoked cheddar cheese (grated)
  • Gravox instant gravy
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Mushrooms
  • Beef dripping
  • Butter

Instructions

Steak

  1. Remove the meat from the wrapping and season liberally with salt, pepper, and oregano leaves.
  2. Vacuum seal in a food safe plastic bag.
  3. Cook sous vide in a water bath at 54 °C for 2 hours and 15 minutes.
  4. Remove the meat from the plastic bag and dry the meat with absorbent kitchen paper. Try to dry the surfaces as much as possible.
  5. Take some mushrooms and roughly break them up with your fingers rather than slice them with a knife. You want a rustic rough look to them. Although, if you feel refined, you can slice them, I was feeling like being a bit rough and rustic tonight. Not that I’m ever refined and sophisticated 🤣
  6. Heat a skillet (cast-iron if you have it) until it’s just smoking hot and add in a little beef dripping to smear the surface.
  7. With long kitchen tongs, place the meat in the skillet and press down firmly for about ten seconds and repeat this with all surfaces of the meat.
  8. After the first turn, add in some more beef dripping and butter and the mushrooms so while the meat is searing, the mushrooms are cooking and the butter is browning.
  9. Remove the meat from the skillet and set it aside.
  10. Spoon the mushrooms and sizzling dripping and butter over the steak.
  11. Allow the meat to rest for 10 minutes.
  12. Slice into just under 1 cm thick slices and hope the meat has a deep red blush to it.

Gary’s “Poutine” and Brussels sprouts

  1. Grate the cheese fresh.
  2. Slice the Brussels sprouts in half and toss in a mixing bowl.
  3. Splash in some olive oil and season the Brussels sprouts liberally with salt and pepper.
  4. Toss the Brussels sprouts with the oil and seasoning to ensure good even coverage.
  5. Heat an oven to 250 °C and place frozen potato gems (tater tots) into a baking sheet (keep to one side) and on the other side add the Brussels sprouts.
  6. Cook until the Brussels sprouts have become crispy.
  7. Remove the Brussels sprouts and then top the potato gems with the grated cheese.
  8. Cook until the cheese begins to brown. The potato gems should be crispy.
  9. Make the gravy according to the packet instructions.

Plating up

  1. Use a spatula to scoop the cheesy potato gems onto a dinner plate.
  2. Add the Brussels sprouts next to the potato gems.
  3. Lay the slices of steak over the cheesy potato gems.
  4. Place the mushrooms next to the meat and then spoon gravy over the meat, Brussels sprouts, and cheese potato gems.

Final thoughts

  1. What do you think of my version of poutine?
  2. Do you like your steak done like this?

Leftover roast beef with spaghetti and tomato sauce

Leftover roast beef with spaghetti and tomato sauce for want of a better name!

Last night I made dinner with a slow cook family roast (beef).  

Tonight I’m using some of the leftover meat with spaghetti and a tomato sauce.

Leftover roast beef with spaghetti and tomato sauce

Ingredients

  • Leftover roast beef
  • Spaghetti
  • Iodised salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • Cooking sherry
  • Olive oil
  • Butter
  • White onion (diced)
  • Garlic
  • Red chilli flakes
  • Mutti tomatoes
  • Dried oregano
  • Basil leaves
  • Capers
  • Black olives (pitted)
  • Pickled jalapeño peppers (chopped)
  • Spring onions (sliced)
  • Provolone cheese (grated)
  • Nutmeg
  • Broccoli (steamed)

Instructions

Spaghetti

  1. I cooked the spaghetti early in the afternoon to induce resistant starch production to improve my microbiota.
  2. Bring some salted water to a rolling boil.
  3. Add the dried spaghetti and cook for the time recommended on the packet.
  4. Scoop about a cup of the starchy pasta water for adding to the tomato sauce.
  5. Drain the spaghetti, and then put it into a bowl. Cover the bowl with plastic film, and place it into the refrigerator.
  6. When it’s time to reheat the spaghetti, remove the bowl from the fridge, remove the plastic film, and add the cold spaghetti to the developed tomato-based sauce.

Leftover roast beef

  1. Remove one of the containers of leftover meat and choose one or two of the muscle bundles.
  2. Cut the meat across the muscle bundle’s grain to ensure tenderness when you place your meat in your mouth. You’ll find because the beef was a slow cook family roast, the meat will lose its integrity when stirred through the tomato sauce. The loss of muscular cohesion is a good thing.

Tomato-based sauce

  1. In a stainless steel skillet, gently sweat some onion, garlic, and red chilli flakes in butter and olive oil. I don’t like to aggressively sweat onion and garlic, because I don’t want the onion and garlic to impart a burnt flavour.
  2. Turn up the heat to make some fond, i.e., the brown stuff that sticks to the pan’s bottom.
  3. Deglaze the fond with some cooking sherry.
  4. Add the tin of Mutti tomatoes and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Add in the oregano leaves, basil leaves, capers, olives, and pickled jalapeño peppers.
  6. Cook for a few minutes while everyone gets to know one another in the skillet.
  7. It’s now time to put the cold spaghetti into the sauce.
  8. Stir the spaghetti through so the sauce coats and adheres to the surface of the pasta.
  9. Add in the slices of meat and stir through, so the skillet contents all get to know one another intimately.
  10. Add in the saved cold pasta water to help thicken the sauce a little.
  11. Turn off the heat and add a couple of nudges of butter and stir through.

Plating up

  1. Transfer the skillet contents into a shallow bowl.
  2. Add some grated provolone cheese.
  3. Add some freshly grated nutmeg using a Microplane.
  4. Serve the steamed broccolini as a side dish in the style of my BFF.

Final thoughts

  1. How would you name this meal?
  2. Did you know the brown stuff that forms on the bottom of a pan is called fond?

Slow cook Family Roast

Slow cook Family Roast

I wasn’t sure what to cook today. It’s a colder day and overcast with some poor weather in Sydney.

At Coles, I saw some short ribs, and then I saw what I assume is an eye fillet roll.

Slow cook roast beef in packaging
Slow cook roast beef in packaging

Ingredients

  • Slow cook family roast (1.5 kilograms of meat)
  • Carrots (diced)
  • Onions (chopped)
  • Celery (sliced)
  • Beef stock (1 Litre)
  • Cooking sherry (1 cup)
  • Mustard powder (2 teaspoons)
  • Worcestershire sauce (2 tablespoons)
  • Brussels sprouts (halved)
  • Horseradish cream
  • Broccolini
  • Baby green peas

Instructions

Meat instructions slow cook family roast

  1. Heat your oven to about 150 °C.
  2. Unwrap your meat from its tight plastic coating.
  3. Dry your meat with absorbent kitchen paper.
  4. Season your meat with lots of iodised salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  5. Prepare your carrots, onions, and celery and place them into the bottom of a large casserole.
  6. Place your seasoned meat onto the bed of carrots, onions, and celery.
  7. Pour in the litre of beef stock as well as the cooking sherry and Worcestershire sauce. 
  8. Add in the mustard powder.
  9. Place the lid on the casserole and put it into the oven for four hours.
  10. After four hours, remove the lid from the casserole and continue to cook for 45 minutes.
  11. Add the halved Brussels sprouts to the casserole around your meat and atop the hot fat rendering from your piece of meat.
  12. After 45 minutes, remove the casserole from the oven and rest your meat. Because your meat will be firm with heat, you want your meat to relax and loosen up for that perfect mouthfeel of fatty, juicy and moist meat on your tongue.
  13. Lift your meat from the casserole and place it into a shallow bowl and cover with aluminium foil for 15 minutes.
  14. Remove the Brussels sprouts and place them into another bowl.
  15. Once your meat has rested, dissect it along the muscle planes. Place the large muscle bundles into plastic containers for the refrigerator for future meals. 
  16. Place half of the Brussels sprouts into plastic containers, too, for future meals.
  17. Leave aside the fat cap, which has become crunchy on top during the final 45 minutes of cooking. You’ll notice the fat has rendered, and the remaining connective tissue has become crispy. The fat cap meat may be cooked well-done, but because of the amount of fat and the loose muscle fibre structure, this meat is not only tender but delicious.

Vegetable instructions for the slow cook family roast

  1. Wash the broccolini and then saute in a skillet.
  2. Add the frozen baby green peas to the same skillet and some of the fatty meat liquid from the casserole and put a lid on the skillet for 3 minutes.

Plating up instructions for your slow cook family roast

  1. In a shallow bowl, spoon in the peas to act a comfy bed for your meat.
  2. Place your meat atop the peas.
  3. Place the broccolini next to the meat on one side of the bowl and the Brussels sprouts opposite.
  4. Add a large dollop of horseradish cream to your meat.

Final thoughts on your slow cook family roast

  1. What’s your favourite way of cooking large pieces of beef?
  2. What other vegetables do you enjoy with beef?
  3. Do you like horseradish cream?

One pork knuckle gave me six meals

One pork knuckle gave me six meals.

On Saturday night, I cooked a pork knuckle for dinner and had enough leftover for four more meals. Here is what I did with that one pork knuckle for readers on a budget and cooking for one.

Saturday night

Pork knuckle with crackling on potato mash with green vegetables.

Pork knuckle with crispy crackling, potato mash, Brussels sprouts, and baby green peas.

Sunday dinner

Laksa-flavoured pork knuckle curry

Sunday tea. Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli.

Monday lunch

Pork knuckle meat with cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

Pork knuckle, cherry tomatoes, and cucumber

Tuesday dinner

Oven-cooked laksa-flavoured pork knuckle curry

Leftover oven baked pork knuckle laksa-flavoured rice curry with asparagus and Brussels sprouts. Cooked in the oven to make the rice crunchy.

Wednesday lunch

Pork knuckle meat with cherry tomatoes and cucumber.

Pork knuckle Cherry tomatoes Cucumber Coffee

Wednesday dinner

Pork knuckle meat with a tomato-based sauce

Leftover oven-baked pork knuckle with tomatoes and bocconcini plus lentils and broccoli

Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli

Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli

Sunday tea. Laksa-flavoured leftover pork knuckle meat with coconut creamed rice and a side of broccoli.

Ingredients

  • Leftover pork knuckle meat
  • Rice
  • Coconut cream
  • Lime leaves
  • Laksa paste
  • Lemongrass paste
  • Spring onion
  • Broccoli florets

Instructions

  1. Thinly slice some leftover pork knuckle meat.
  2. Crush some lime leaves in your hands to release the oils and aroma of the lime. If you don’t have strong hands (like me!) you can crush the leaves in a mortar with a pestle or beat them with a wooden stick like a rolling pin.
  3. Heat a wok and add in some laksa paste, lemongrass paste, and crushed lime leaves.
  4. Add in a tin of coconut cream and mix everything and bring it to a simmer.
  5. Cook for a few minutes to ensure the flavours and aromas all intermingle.
  6. Add in the sliced pork knuckle meat and bring everything to a simmer and keep cooking for a few minutes until the pork knuckle meat is warmed through.
  7. Stir in some cooked rice and bring it back to a simmer and allow the liquid to reduce and thicken.
  8. Turn off the heat and mix through the green part of some sliced spring onion.
  9. Aliquot some of the curry into a bowl and the rest into a container to refrigerate for a meal later in the week.
  10. Cook the broccoli with microwave radiation.
  11. Serve the broccoli as a side in the style of my BFF.

Pork knuckle and vegetables

I’m using a pre-cooked pork knuckle from Coles.

Pre-cooked pork knuckle. Slowly cooked and packaged for reheating.

While the Coles product is pre-cooked, to get the crackling crispy and crunchy it needs some more cooking.

I went with this because during the week I had a lovely pork belly dinner but the crackling was disappointing. It was soft and limp. I needed some crispy crunchy crackling stat im.

Ingredients

  • Coles pork knuckle
  • Queensland nut oil
  • Flaky iodised salt
  • Brussels sprouts
  • Baby green peas
  • Birds Eye potato mash

Instructions

Pork knuckle

  1. Remove the pork knuckle from the vacuum bag.
  2. Remove all the jelly and solidified fat that is clinging to the pork knuckle.
  3. Put the jelly and fat into a small skillet and gently simmer to reduce to a thin sauce.
  4. Dry the surface of the pork knuckle with absorbent kitchen paper.
  5. Rub a little Queensland nut oil over the surface of the pork knuckle and then liberally season with flaky iodised salt.
  6. Place into a baking tray and then into a hot oven (220 °C) for about 50 minutes.
  7. The endpoint you’re trying to achieve is crackling which feels hard when you tap it with a knife.
  8. When the pork knuckle is ready, remove it from the oven and coddle it with aluminium foil keeping the crackling exposed to avoid it going soft and limp.
  9. Allow the pork knuckle to rest for at least 10 minutes in its “space blanket”.
  10. Remove the aluminium foil and peel off the crackling and then cleave off the muscle bundles and slice.
  11. Keep the remainder of the meat aside and refrigerate for consumption later.

Potato mash

  1. Put the bag onto a plate and then into a microwave radiation oven.
  2. Set the timer for 2 minutes and 30 seconds. Because my oven is malfunctioning, in that the “2” button doesn’t work, fiddle and cook in two instalments so the total cooking time is 2 minutes and 30 seconds.
  3. Allow the potato mash to rest in the bag for 1 minute.
  4. Cut the bag open and extrude the potato mash onto the pre-warmed dinner plate and spread artistically on the plate.

Vegetables

  1. In the reduced simmering pork knuckle jelly and fat add some Brussels sprouts and baby green peas and cook to your liking.
  2. I also finished mine in the oven because I could.

Plating up

  1. Lay some pork on top of the potato mash.
  2. Top the pork meat with the crackling.
  3. Place the green vegetables next to the potato mash.

Final thoughts

  • Do you like pork?
  • How do you like your pork?
  • Do you prefer having your pork prepared by someone else before you finish it off and put it in your mouth?