Pressure cooker beef brisket

Dear Reader,

Readers who got here from Facebook know that I set up this site to try to get past the Facebook ban on Yummy Lummy. I’d appreciate your going to my main food blog and reading this recipe there and please subscribe too 🙂

You nearly received a post about corned silverside tonight, but it’s not to be. 

I wanted to make corned beef this weekend and went to find a nice piece of silverside. I couldn’t find one with a decent layer of fat on it.

I came across this lovely piece of brisket, and I thought I might cook it in the pressure cooker.

I’ve usually cooked brisket in the slow cooker; however, I’m in a bit of a pressure cooker frenzy at the moment. I figure it’s worth having a go. 

Saturday lockdown dinner. Pressure cooker beef brisket, pumpkin mash, purple broccolini, baby asparagus, and instant gravy.

Ingredients

  • Beef brisket
  • Black whole peppercorns
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Red wine
  • Beef stock
  • Brown onion
  • Royale red potato
  • Hot chilli flakes
  • Kent pumpkin
  • Purple broccolini
  • baby asparagus

Instructions

  1. Lovingly sharpen your cook’s knife as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend Proverbs 27:17 NLT.
  2. Quarter the onion and potato
  3. Place the beef into the pressure cooker.
  4. Add the peppercorns, barbecue sauce, chilli flakes, and some red wine in a large measuring cup with the beef stock.
  5. Mix everything in the cup.
  6. Pour the contents of the cup into the pressure cooker.
  7. Add in the onion and potato pieces.
  8. Check the seals of the lid of the pressure cooker, place it on the body of the pressure cooker, and set the seal.
  9. Cook the brisket for 1 hour.
  10. While the brisket is cooking, turn on an oven to 180 °C.
  11. Prepare the pumpkin by gently rub a little oil over the pumpkin’s surface, including its skin.
  12. Cook the pumpkin in the oven for about an hour.
  13. Place the broccolini and asparagus into a bowl and douse with olive oil, and season with iodised salt.
  14. When there are ten minutes left for the pumpkin to cook, add the broccolini and asparagus to the oven.
  15. If you want some gravy, go ahead and use the instant kind, no one will judge you. I certainly won’t think less of you. Instant beef gravy is delicious, and it is easy to make, and there is less of a hassle to wash up.
  16. Once the pressure cooker has finished doing its thing, remove the lid and allow the meat to rest in the cooking liquor for 15 minutes.
  17. Remove the potato, onion, and brisket.
  18. Allow the meat to drain a little.
  19. Carve the beef with your sharp cook’s knife. If you’re feeling decadent, cut lusciously thick slices.
  20. Serve everything on a warmed dinner plate and pour a liberal volume of gravy on the meat and vegetables.
  21. Give thanks to God for all things and your daily bread.

Final thoughts

  1. Have you ever cooked a brisket in a pressure cooker?
  2. Do you prefer instant gravy or gravy made from scratch?
  3. What are your favourite vegetables to enjoy with beef?
  4. How has your week been?

My week

My week has been good. It was busy, and I enjoyed some engagements with international colleagues. On the Wednesday and Thursday mornings, I had 6 am meetings, and on Tuesday night, I had an 8 pm meeting. Long days, but rewarding and edifying. I was in discussions with people from India, Japan, the USA, Canada, Switzerland, and the UK.

There was also good news about a friend who had an investigation. Praise God the result was good.

Custard addiction

I’ve been enjoying custard treats this week 😉

Saturday lockdown dinner. Laksa flavoured roast pumpkin soup.

Dear Reader,

Because Facebook has banned my main food blog, I’d really appreciate if you read this recipe on my main blog, otherwise feel free to read on here.

Last week I was chatting with a friend at work. She’s a “grad”. “Grads” are part of a workplace graduate program common across government departments in states, territories, and the Australian Government.

We were talking about cooking meat dishes, and she mentioned the cost of meat. It’s true; meat is expensive, and I know not everyone can afford to buy it often. 

We got to chatting about meat-free options and shared how we both like pumpkin soup made with roast pumpkin.

Saturday lockdown dinner. Laksa flavoured roast pumpkin soup.

Ingredients

  • Kent pumpkin (¼)
  • Red Royale potato (1)
  • White onion (1)
  • Coconut cream (270 mL)
  • Vegetable stock (1 cup)
  • Laksa paste (2 tablespoons)
  • Sourdough bread (1 slice)
  • Lurpak butter (1 nudge)

Instructions

  1. Take your cook’s knife and honing steel and hone the blade as iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend (Proverbs 27:17 [NLT]).
  2. Turn the oven on and set the temperature to 180 °C.
  3. Cut the pumpkin and potato into large chunks. I leave the skins on.
  4. Cut the onion in half.
  5. Spread the pumpkin, potato, and onion on a baking sheet and season with salt. I always used iodised salt because so-called exotic salts like Himalayan pink salt probably contain toxic heavy metals. Iodine is also healthful. Pregnant people and children must have sufficient iodine in their diets to avoid cretinism and intelligence deficits. I also drizzle a little golden syrup over the vegetables to assist with the caramelisation process.
  6. Put the vegetables into the oven for about an hour. Monitor the vegetables to avoid burning them.
  7. When the vegetables are soft, put them into a large saucepan with a cup of vegetable stock, the laksa paste, and bring them to a boil.
  8. With a stick blender and process the vegetables until the soup is smooth.
  9. Add the coconut cream and gently heat it through.
  10. Toast the sourdough bread and apply lashings of Lurpak butter with a trowel of some sort.
  11. Serve the soup in a bowl with the toast. If you wanted to, you could add some cheese to the toast for a cheese toastie which would be a lovely accompaniment.
  12. Give thanks to the Lord for wages to buy food and skills to cook food.

Final thoughts

Feel free to leave a comment in the comments box at the end of this post. I’d welcome your comments.

  1. Is meat too expensive?
  2. How often do you eat meat?
  3. Do you enjoy meat-free meals?
  4. Do you talk about food much with your workmates?

If you’re interested in a Facebook group I administer feel free to take a look.

Lamb forequarter chops and rice

Dear Reader,

It’s Sunday, and I’m doing two posts this weekend.

After last night’s pork belly and noodles, I thought I’d use the same template and replace the pork with lamb and the noodles with rice.

If you want to read this recipe on Yummy Lummy, click here.

I’d appreciate if you subscribed to Yummy Lummy if you got here via Facebook 😉

Today was pretty good. After sleeping in (about 5 am), I jumped out of bed and got dressed for a walk. Then I discovered it was raining steadily, so instead, I did some bible reading and praying.

Zoom church was pretty good. Because it’s the fifth Sunday of the month, we had a guest preacher. She’s a chaplain in the Australian Defence Force Academy. We are currently dissecting the Apostles Creed, and Merryn spoke about our belief in the Holy Spirit.

After a couple of work Webex meetings, I watched Battlebots on Netflix. A friend I used to work with knows my favourite animal is the Orca and hers is the Eagle. Via text messaging, we speculated on an Orca bot and an Eagle bot. Can you imagine mighty jaws to crush an opponent and a powerful tail to slap down opponent bots and to flip up on the upswing? A flying drone Eagle bot would be awesome with strong, sharp talons and a powerful beak to pierce armour.

I used a pressure cooker to cook the lamb. You could also use a slow cooker.

Sunday lockdown dinner. Pressure cooker lamb forequarter chops, potato, and mushrooms with fried rice and capsicum.

Ingredients

  • Lamb forequarter pieces (2)
  • Star anise (1 star)
  • Black whole peppercorns (1 tablespoon)
  • White Onion (1)
  • Vegetable stock (1 cup)
  • Sweet sherry (1 cup)
  • Barbecue sauce (1 vigorous squirt)
  • Chinese five-spice (1 tablespoon)
  • Bay leaves (2 or 3 leaves)
  • Potato (1 cut in half)
  • Capsicum (I used yellow, green, and red capsicum for colour)
  • 90-second microwave rice
  • Neutral oil (I used rice bran oil)
  • Flour

Instructions

  1. Flour the meat and brown it in a hot skillet.
  2. Place the meat into the pressure cooker vessel.
  3. Peel the onion, cut it along a sagittal plane, and cut each half again along a sagittal plane. Separate the layers and put them into the pressure cooker vessel.
  4. Add the star anise, peppercorns, sherry, stock, barbecue sauce, Chinese five-spice, bay leaves, and potato to the meat and onion.
  5. Inspect the lid of your pressure cooker to make sure the gasket is in place. If you don’t clean as you cook, look for foreign debris and remove it. The point of this step is to avoid a pressure leak. The other reason is to prevent a potentially fatal outcome if the escape valve is blocked and the pressure cooker becomes a bomb. Check out what happened at the Boston Marathon a few years ago when a pressure cooker bomb exploded. The carnage was extensive. Don’t be put off by this advice. Pressure cookers are safe if you maintain them correctly.
  6. Put the lid on and seal it closed.
  7. Turn on the heat, achieve cooking pressure, and cook for between 40 and 45 minutes.
  8. Allow the pressure to equilibrium to atmospheric pressure.
  9. Remove the lid.
  10. Pick out the lamb and potato with tongs. You could use your fingers, but I reckon you’ll burn the skin, and the pain will be most unpleasant.
  11. Strain the liquor to remove the solid material. Yes, liquor is the correct word. If you doubt me, look up a good English language dictionary.
  12. Pour the liquor into a small container and keep it in the refrigerator to reuse or grow fungus, whatever happens first.
  13. Cook the rice using microwave radiation according to the instructions for use on the packet.
  14. Heat a wok or a skillet and add some neutral oil. Heat the oil until it’s near its smoking point, and then add in the rice and the slices of capsicum.
  15. Stir fry the rice and capsicum until the rice starts to take on some colour.
  16. The rice should have changed from limp to firm, and the capsicum should have changed from firm to a little soft but not limp. You don’t want limp capsicum, and you certainly do not desire capsicum, which has lost its vibrancy.
  17. Move the fried rice and capsicum to a shallow bowl, and with cooking forceps (or fingers), take the capsicum and bring it to the top of the rice to show it off better.
  18. Add the lamb to finish the presentation.
  19. Thank God for wages to buy food, and thank Him for the skills to prepare and cook food.

Final thoughts

  • Do you like Battlebots?
  • What sort of Battlebot would you build and why?

Pork belly and fried noodles

Dear Reader,

Earlier in the week, I made this dish and posted the photo in the Facebook group, “Cooking meals for one”. One of the members, viz., Merryn, suggested I write a post on Yummy Lummy. 

I am happy to do this; it makes me giggle though that I’ll not be able to share the post on Facebook because the good people of Facebook have banned Yummy Lummy for breaching its community standards. If you want to read this recipe on Yummy Lummy, click here.

I’d appreciate if you subscribed to Yummy Lummy if you got here via Facebook 😉

I’ve tried to appeal this decision but to no avail. I don’t know what component of the Facebook community standards I breached. Maybe the good people of Facebook don’t like my take on fusion cuisine. Perhaps they didn’t like the videos I used to make and post. 

Anyway, there is nothing to be gained by crying over spilled milk. Not to worry, it is what it is, and the way I see it, it’s the good people of Facebook who are missing out!

I used a pressure cooker to cook the pork belly. You could also use a slow cooker.

Saturday lockdown dinner. Pressure cooker cooked pork belly and potato with stir-fried noodles and capsicum.

Ingredients

  • Pork belly strips cut into rough cubes
  • Star anise (1 star)
  • Black whole peppercorns (1 tablespoon)
  • Onion shallot (1)
  • Vegetable stock (1 cup)
  • Sweet sherry (1 cup)
  • Barbecue sauce (1 vigorous squirt)
  • Chinese five-spice (1 tablespoon)
  • Bay leaves (2 or 3 leaves)
  • Potato (1 cut in half)
  • Capsicum (I used yellow, green, and red capsicum for colour)
  • 2-minute noodles
  • Neutral oil (I used rice bran oil)

Instructions

  1. Sharpen your cook’s knife and ponder as always Proverbs 27:17 (As iron sharpens iron, so a friend sharpens a friend.)
  2. With long, firm strokes drawing the blade of your knife towards you (yes, this sounds counterintuitive, but it’s the most efficient way to cut pork belly strips), slice through the meat.
  3. Place the meat into the pressure cooker vessel.
  4. Peel the onion shallot, cut it along a sagittal plane, and cut each half again along a sagittal plane. Separate the layers and put them into the pressure cooker vessel.
  5. Add the star anise, peppercorns, sherry, stock, barbecue sauce, Chinese five-spice, bay leaves, and potato to the meat and onion.
  6. Inspect the lid of your pressure cooker to make sure the gasket is in place. If you don’t clean as you cook, look for foreign debris and remove it. The point of this step is to avoid a pressure leak. The other reason is to prevent a potentially fatal outcome if the escape valve is blocked and the pressure cooker becomes a bomb. Check out what happened at the Boston Marathon a few years ago when a pressure cooker bomb exploded. The carnage was extensive. Don’t be put off by this advice. Pressure cookers are safe if you maintain them correctly.
  7. Put the lid on and seal it closed.
  8. Turn on the heat, achieve cooking pressure, and cook for between 40 and 45 minutes.
  9. Allow the pressure to equilibrium to atmospheric pressure.
  10. Remove the lid.
  11. Pick out the pork belly and potato with tongues. You could use your fingers, but I reckon you’ll burn the skin, and the pain will be most unpleasant.
  12. Strain the liquor to remove the solid material. Yes, liquor is the correct word. If you doubt me, look up a good English language dictionary.
  13. Pour the liquor into a small saucepan and bring it to a boil.
  14. Add the instant noodles to the boiling liquor and cook for 2 minutes.
  15. Strain off the liquor and allow the noodles to drain for a few minutes.
  16. Heat a wok or a skillet and add some neutral oil. Heat the oil until it’s near its smoking point, and then add in the noodles and the slices of capsicum.
  17. Stir fry the noodles and capsicum until the noodles start to take on some colour.
  18. The noodles should have changed from limp to firm, and the capsicum should have changed from firm to a little soft but not limp. You don’t want limp capsicum, and you certainly do not desire capsicum, which has lost its vibrancy.
  19. Move the fried noodles and capsicum to a shallow bowl, and with cooking forceps (or fingers), take the capsicum and bring it to the top of the noodles to show it off better.
  20. Add some of the pieces of cooked belly pork to finish the presentation.
  21. Thank God for wages to buy food, and thank Him for the skills to prepare and cook food.

Final thoughts

  • Have you experienced problems with a pressure cooker?
  • Are you afraid of using a pressure cooker?
  • Do you like pork belly?
  • What do you think of this dish?
  • How do you feel about Facebook banning Yummy Lummy?

What’s with the bible verses and the mention of prayers?

I realise I’ve lost a few subscribers because I’ve outed myself (this seems to be the terminology used these days to reveal personal change or orientation or identity). At the beginning of the COVID-19 pandemic, a friend shepherded me back to faith after nearly two decades of life in the wilderness. 

Yummy Lummy is still a food blog, but you’ll read about the real me.

If the bible verses, mention of prayer, or the books I’ve been reading cause you to unsubscribe, I don’t mind. 

Tinned corned beef with lentils and vegetables

Regular readers know I set up this blog because Facebook banned Yummy Lummy. This post is also available there.

Dear Reader,

Canberra has entered its second week of lockdown, and I have mixed feelings about lockdown life.

On the one hand, lockdown life has not been too difficult because I’ve kept my routines. On the other hand, I do miss seeing work friends in real life. I have missed attending our church bible study as well as attending church itself. 

My routines include my morning walk, morning devotion time, making coffee, cooking breakfast, lunch, dinner, and evening devotion time.

Last Sunday, I attended my first Sunday morning church service by Zoom. It was good. While online church service isn’t the same as being with others, it is COVID-19 safe. It was a bit weird singing, praying, and listening to a sermon online.

Saturday lockdown dinner. Corned beef, lentils, slow cooker vegetables, with Brussels sprouts, and roast pumpkin.

Ingredients

  • Corned beef
  • Lentils
  • Shallot
  • Red onion
  • White onion
  • Yellow capsicum
  • Red capsicum
  • Mushrooms
  • Red wine
  • Cooking sherry
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Olive oil

Instructions

  1. Slice the shallot, onions, and capsicum and put them into a slow cooker with the mushrooms.
  2. Add a few good slugs of olive oil, Worcestershire sauce, red wine, and cooking sherry.
  3. Cook slowly for six hours.
  4. Remove the vegetables from the slow cooker and put them into a skillet, and add a can of washed lentils.
  5. Cook and combine everything thoroughly.
  6. Remove about two-thirds of the vegetables and lentils and put them into a container for use later in the week.
  7. Add a small tin of corned beef to the skillet and cook with the vegetables and lentils.
  8. Cook until the corned meat starts to caramelise.
  9. Serve with vegetables of your choosing.
  10. Give thanks to the Lord for the job to be able to buy food, the skills to prepare and cook food, ask that He nourish my body and mind, and make me a better disciple.

Final thoughts

  • Have you experienced lockdown?
  • How did you find the experience?
  • Do you have any tips?

Pressure Cooker Brisket

Dear Reader,

I’ve never cooked brisket in a pressure cooker before. I’ve only ever done it in a slow cooker. 

If I can cook something in the slow cooker, why can’t I do something in the pressure cooker?

At first, I thought I might be my usual lazy self and dump the entire lump of meat into the autoclave and just let it rip. Then, I thought, since I’m in lockdown, why not be a little more creative.

So using a Japanese meat cleaver, because that’s how I roll, I cut the brisket into large bite-sized (if you’re greyhound) chunks and roll the beef in flour and then ‘brown’ the floured meat off.

To keep it authentically unhealthy, I used beef dripping in the skillet to brown the floured brisket.

During the next week, I will eat the leftover chunks of brisket for lockdown dinners.

Pressure cooker brisket with potato, pumpkin, and cauliflower.

Ingredients

  • Beef brisket (1 kilogram)
  • Flour
  • Beef dripping
  • Red wine (1 cup)
  • Beef stock (1 cup)
  • Potato (1)
  • Brown onion (1)
  • Barbecue sauce (½ cup)
  • Worcestershire sauce (¼ cup)
  • Pumpkin
  • Cauliflower

Instructions

  1. Sharpen the meat cleaver and think about Proverbs 27:17 (Iron sharpens iron, and one man sharpens another). A sharp knife is a beautiful thing.
  2. Slice the brisket and dice the meat into large chunks.
  3. Put some flour into a bowl and coat the pieces of beef one at a time.
  4. Place the floured meat into a tray.
  5. Heat a skillet and add some beef dripping until it’s hot.
  6. Add the floured chunks of meat and brown the surfaces. Be careful not to overcrowd the skillet. You want the surface of the meat to fry and not steam.
  7. In the pressure cooker, add the beef, brown onion, spud, and all the flavouring ingredients from the list apart from the pumpkin and cauliflower. 
  8. Seal the pressure cooker and cook for 45 minutes.
  9. Rub some oil over the pumpkin and cauliflower and put them into a hot oven until you can penetrate each of them with a sharp paring knife and not feel any resistance.
  10. After the pressure cooker finishes, allow the pressure to equalise and open the lid.
  11. Remove the meat and place all of it into a container apart from a few chunks for dinner.
  12. Serve the brisket with cauliflower, pumpkin, and spud.
  13. Give thanks to the Lord and enjoy the meal while listening to a sermon podcast from a good preacher.

Final thoughts

The brisket tasted pretty good. It had a good mouthfeel and flavour. Cooking the meat in a pressure cooker was pretty easy. I think setting and forgetting in a slow cooker would be just as good.

What’s happened this week?

The biggest news is that Canberra went into COVID-19 lockdown. We have cases linked with the outbreak in Sydney, which has now spread across many regions in New South Wales.

The saddest news was reading about the death of my favourite teacher at school. If you have Facebook, you can read what I wrote here. I am pretty sad about the death of Mr Stephenson; he was a fantastic teacher. Good teachers are what we need for our young people. If you want to connect with me on Facebook, feel free to send me a friend request

The best things this week included dinner with friends from church and reconnecting with an old friend

Stay safe, friends.

Beef short rib fingers and lentils with roast Tabasco flavoured pumpkin and cauliflower, smothered with gravy

Good evening dear readers.

It was a busy day with work, so I sat at my table while the slow cooker did its thing.

Coles Beef short rib fingers

Ingredients

  • Beef short rib fingers
  • Lentils
  • Beef stock
  • Red wine
  • Barbecue sauce
  • Worcestershire sauce
  • Cauliflower
  • Pumpkin
  • Tabasco sauce
  • Instant gravy

Instructions

  1. In the slow cooker, add the lentils, red wine, beef stock, a good squirt of the Worcestershire sauce, and a few good squirts of the barbecue sauce.
  2. Cook for 8 hours.
  3. Place the pumpkin and cauliflower onto a baking sheet and rub olive oil over each.
  4. Squirt Tabasco sauce over the pumpkin and cauliflower.
  5. Cook the cauliflower and pumpkin in a hot oven for 45 minutes until a sharp paring knife penetrates both vegetables with no resistance.
  6. Plate up the beef on a dinner plate, add a few spoonfuls of the lentils, and then add the pumpkin and cauliflower on the plate.
  7. Serve with instant gravy.

Final thoughts

  • How are you going?
  • What do you think I’ll do with the leftover beef and lentils?

Slow cooker rump roast

Dear Reader,

Slow cooker Rump Roast with vegetables and gravy. Served with lentils, baby green peas, potato, and mushrooms.

It’s a cold, cloudy day in Canberra, with a maximum forecast temperature of eight degrees Celsius today. That’s 46 °F for any reader in the USA, Liberia, and Burma.

It felt like a good day to have the slow cooker on as well as the heating.

While grocery shopping this morning, I saw a nice lump of rump which looked like it would be perfect for this week’s meal planning.

I hope wherever you are, that you are warm and comfortable.

Have a good weekend.

Gaz

Ingredients

  • Rump roast
  • Barbecue sauce
  • White onion
  • Beef stock
  • Lentils
  • Potato
  • Instant gravy
  • Baby green peas

Instructions

Slow cooker

  1. Empty a tin of lentils into the cooking vessel.
  2. Lay the rump roast on the lentils.
  3. Cut a potato in half and place it into the cooking vessel.
  4. Cut the onion in half and put it into the cooking vessel.
  5. Squirt a good glug of barbecue sauce into the cooking vessel.
  6. Add a cup of beef stock to the cooking vessel.
  7. Cook for eight hours.

Baby green peas

  • Cook the frozen peas with microwave radiation.

Instant gravy

  • Prepare as per the instructions for use on the packaging.

Plating up

  1. Divide the rump into pieces for meal planning for the week. My plans include a pasta dish, some cold slices and salad for lunches, and perhaps a noodle soup.
  2. Divide the lentils and keep some aside for dinner putting the rest into a container.
  3. Slice a small piece of beef and put it onto a warmed dinner plate.
  4. Serve a spoon of lentils and the potato onto the dinner plate.
  5. Put the baby green peas onto the dinner plate.
  6. Pour the gravy over the meat and vegetables.
  7. Give thanks to the Lord for wages earned to buy food, cook food, and eat food to nourish my body and my enjoyment.

This week’s highlights in life

  • Work has been good. I remain blessed to work with amazing people. 
  • It’s reassuring to see people in Canberra more aware of their health and safety and cognisant that the δ (delta) variant must be respected. This week, I read a paper that revealed that the viral load associated with the δ variant is about 1000 times greater than with the original virus recovered from the beginning of the pandemic. Without wanting to be morbidly crass, I’m in awe of the biology of SARS-COV-2 and the ability of this virus and the infection it causes (COVID-19) to change and adapt. I’m sure if I wasn’t in a sequestered, safe bubble, like Canberra, I’d be feeling more anxious and worried. ^
  • It’s been worrying seeing what has been happening in NSW, Victoria, and Queensland.
  • I started reading John Owen’s Overcoming Sin and Temptation. This book is a collection of three of Owen’s seminal works on the “Of the Mortification of Sin in Believers”, “Of Temptation: The Nature and Power of It”, and “The Nature, Power, Deceit, and Prevalency of Indwelling Sin”. It’s a challenging read in a couple of ways. Owen writes in an archaic style, and the subject matter penetrates deeply. 
  • I’m also reading Tim Keller’s Prayer: Experiencing Awe and Intimacy with God. The two works are complementary, in my opinion.
  • I received a bunch of fresh free-range eggs from a friend this week. Fresh eggs are the best!

Final thoughts

  • Have you enjoyed fresh free-range eggs? How do you like to cook them?
  • How have you been coping this week with the pandemic?
  • Are you in an area where the δ variant is circulating in your community?
  • What’s the weather like where you are at the moment? Let me know in the comments how you’re enjoying the weather (or not).

^The Bible App I use today presented me with Proverbs‬ 12:25‬. (‭ESV)‬‬

“Anxiety in a man’s heart weighs him down, but a good word makes him glad.”

Lux congee

Last week I concocted a congee with Italian Arborio rice and tri-colour quinoa. I used pulled chicken thigh meat and bacon as the meat.

Tonight, I have pulled beef short rib and Speck for lux congee.

Lux beef short rib finger and Speck congee made with Italian arborio rice and tri-colour quinoa. Served with cucumber and soy sauce.

Ingredients

  • Beef short rib fingers (3)
  • Diced Speck (100 g)
  • Dried anchovies (1 handful)
  • Italian arborio rice (1 cup)
  • Tri-colour quinoa (1 cup)
  • Beef stock (6 cups)
  • Soy sauce
  • Fried shallots

Instructions

  1. Wash the rice and quinoa with cold water until the water is clear and not cloudy.
  2. Put the rice and quinoa into the vessel of a slow cooker.
  3. Add in the stock.
  4. Add in the beef short rib fingers and Speck.
  5. Cook on low heat for 8 hours.
  6. Remove the cooking vessel and pull out the rib fingers. Pick the meat from the ribs, pull the muscle fibres apart, and add the beef back to the cooking vessel. Unless you leave the beef short rib fingers out for a few minutes, you’ll find the process of removing the meat unpleasant as the tips of your fingers burn from the retained heat. I recommend waiting or trying to ameliorate the problem by wearing a couple of latex gloves on each hand to dampen the transfer of heat from the meat to your nerve ending enriched fingertips.
  7. With a wooden spoon (or a metal spoon if you don’t care about scratching your cookware), mix the beef through the congee (also known as jook).
  8. Remove the congee from the cooking vessel and aliquot into containers.
  9. Serve a bowl of congee with some soy sauce and fried shallots.
  10. Given thanks to the Lord and eat with a spoon.

Final thoughts

  • How would you make congee more luxurious?
  • Do you like adding dried anchovies to give your meals a little more umami?
  • What’s been the highlight of your week?

What’s happened this week?

This past week has been great. Work has been busy and exciting. I am so very grateful for the fantastic people with who I work.

Apart from work, I’ve enjoyed reading Don Carson’s book, “Praying with Paul”. I’ve also been bingeing on YouTube videos featuring Alistair Begg. I love his mixture of humour and seriousness with a gloriously compelling Scottish accent.

William Booth. “I consider that the chief dangers which confront the coming century will be religion without the Holy ghost, Christianity without Christ, forgiveness without repentance, salvation without regeneration, politics without God, and heaven without hell.

Notes

Lux is short for luxury.

Chicken and bacon congee

Dear Reader, 

How are you travelling with work and life at the moment?

Tomorrow, I’m presenting at a national scientific conference. My paper is on two Acts that occupy a good portion of my work time. I’m grateful to my workmates, who drafted the presentation for me.

This conference will be the first I will have attended for more than two years.

The conference is virtual because it is in Sydney, and Sydney currently has a significant outbreak of COVID-19. The NSW Government has implemented restrictions. 

I don’t mind the idea of virtual conferences. I know I will be safer, and I like the idea that I can participate and sleep in my bed and cook my food each day. It also means I can exercise the way I want. I like living without disruption. I like the routines I have developed. Pandemic life is my life.

Apart from work, I’ve been reading good books, listening to podcasts, and watching YouTube videos.

Over the last few weeks, I’ve read Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis, The Cross and the Switchblade by David Wilkerson, and David Wilkerson by Gary Wilkerson. I’ve also started the Westminster Confession of Faith.

My current favourite podcast is Gospel in Life, which drops a “show” thrice-weekly and features Timothy Keller, a reformed Presbyterian pastor and communicator from New York City.

I’ve been devouring YouTube videos from The Gospel CoalitionCrossway, and Desiring God. I’ve enjoyed the presentations by Kevin DeYoung, Sinclair Ferguson, John Piper, Jen Wilkin, Melissa Kruger, Rosaria Champagne Butterfield, R.C. Sproul, Sam Alberry, Joni Eareckson Tada, and Rebecca McLaughlin.

I’ve also been walking daily. I’m getting about 40 minutes each morning. I begin anywhere between 4 and 5 am, depending on when I feel like getting out of bed. On weekends, I also try to do the 6 km circuit of Lake Ginninderra each day. All up, I’m doing nearly 40 km each week. This gentle exercise has helped me feel better with less joint pain compared with this time last year.

Ingredients

  • Chicken thighs (2)
  • Diced bacon (100 g)
  • Italian arborio rice (1 cup)
  • Tri-colour quinoa (1 cup)
  • Chicken stock (4 cups)

Instructions

  1. Wash the rice and quinoa with cold water until the water is clear and not cloudy.
  2. Put the rice and quinoa into the vessel of a slow cooker.
  3. Add in the stock.
  4. Add in the chicken pieces and the bacon.
  5. Cook on low heat for 6 hours.
  6. Remove the cooking vessel and pull out the chicken thighs. Pick the skin and flesh from the chicken thigh bones and add the meat and skin back to the cooking vessel. Unless you leave the chicken thighs out for a few minutes, you’ll find the process of removing the skin and flesh unpleasant as the tips of your fingers burn from the retained heat in the meat. I recommend waiting or trying to ameliorate the problem by wearing a couple of latex gloves on each hand to dampen the transfer of heat from the meat to your nerve ending enriched fingertips.
  7. With a wooden spoon (or a metal spoon if you don’t care about scratching your cookware), break up the chicken flesh and mix it through the congee (also known as jook).
  8. Remove the congee from the cooking vessel and aliquot into containers.
  9. Serve a bowl of congee with some soy sauce.
  10. Given thanks to the Lord and eat with a spoon.

Final thoughts

  • Apart from work, how have you been spending your time?
  • What books have you been reading?
  • What podcasts have you been enjoying this last week?
  • What YouTube videos have you enjoyed lately?
  • Do you get much exercise?
  • Do you attend many professional conferences? How do you feel about virtual meetings?

Notes

  • I used Italian Arborio rice because I like using ingredients that aren’t typical. Mixing some Italian with my Chinese makes sense to me. It may not make sense to anyone else, but it works for me.
  • What is congee? Congee or jook is rice gruel. My Mum’s chicken jook is my favourite food.
  • Sinclair Ferguson is Scottish and has the most mellifluous speaking voice. 
  • In the 1980s, The Cross and the Switchblade was popular reading. Friends told me to read it then. I’m slow when it comes to recommended reading.