Archive for the ‘Beef’ Category

I’ve never eaten truffles – of the dug-by-pigs variety… chocolate truffles? sure! … but pig-dug? – nope.

I’ve always wondered if they taste as wonderful as everyone says…


I bought this:

I was only a little bit hungry at dinner-time, Rick was out at a Christmas party – so there was only me to cook for… I cooked a piece of steak and sprinkled it with the Truffle Oil…

Was it good?


Yoshi is sitting on the arm of my chair, waiting for his chance to lick the plate...


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Arugula to some of you.

Our rocket has… well… rocketed. And you know me, I hate to waste anything -so I searched the interwebs, thinking to make rocket pesto, but came across this instead.

150g rocket (it’s a LOT of rocket)
8 Tbsp Olive Oil
1 tsp salt
1 tsp pepper
1 clove garlic
Put everything into a food processor and wazz it to bits.
Put it into a jar and top with a little more olive oil to seal the top.

The colour of this is amazing – the photo doesn’t do it justice, it is GREEN!

And the flavour is good too – very clean and peppery.

It was perfect on top of a medium-rare steak.

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Tender Steak

We have finally finished eating Boris, and to be honest, I don’t think we’ll be in a hurry to eat his cousins… they live very well, the Boris family – in open fields, eating all the lovely grass and wandering the gentle hill-sides. They have good strong muscles, which made for steaks that were… tough. Tasty, but… tough.

I wish I’d known this trick for tenderising steak.

I can’t remember where on the interwebs I found this. It came with scientific explanations of the reasons why it works – none of which I can remember. There were also comments from readers who had tried it – and had it work beautifully… so I had a go the other day.


You take your beef, dry it and then sprinkle it liberally with flaky salt… and you leave it for as long, as the steak is deep. For example, if your steak is 3/4 of an inch thick – you leave it for 3/4 of an hour.

Then you rinse off the salt, dry the steak again and cook it as usual (don’t salt it again though).

Like I said, I don’t know why this works, but it DOES! The steak (which I got from the supermarket – as a test) was perfect and so amazingly tender… supermarket steak is not usually tender…though we are lucky here – all our beef is grass-fed and has had a good life.

Spell-check does not like ‘steak’… sigh

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My blogging twin Ina made this delicious looking Dijon Herb Bacon-Wrapped Pork Loin  recipe recently at


It sounded so good I had to try it… only I didn’t have pork loin. I found veal at the supermarket and had that waiting for inspiration in the fridge, so I decided to use that instead.

Veal is not often available here, it is such a delicate tasting meat and a bit of a treat. I always feel a bit sad when we drive past fields in spring-time, and the little calves are in a pen on one side of the fence – their mamas on the other side – each side bellowing at the other… the babies waiting to be taken away…

It’s a very good thing I don’t have to kill my own meat – I would NEVER be able to do that (I bet I’d eat a lot of fish and shellfish though).

Ina is right about this recipe when she says it is deliciousness at its best! So simple to do, and so tasty – though I have to say that bacon-wrapped ANYTHING gets a big thumbs-up from me! The left-overs are GREAT for breakfast too (I love this caveman thing… :-))

And speaking of bacon – I tried making my own the other day. It is so easy – you get a piece of pork belly, take the skin off (which I didn’t do, but will next time), then you rub some herbs, spices and salt into the meat – put it into a ziplock bag and put it into the fridge. You turn the bag every day for 8 days, and you’re done! Soak the belly in cold water for a couple of hours (or you might find the bacon too salty), pat it dry with a clean tea-towel, slice it thinly and it’s ready to eat. So easy.

Your bacon will look brownish in colour because there are no chemicals to keep it looking pink.

I found it really hard to slice thinly, but there is nothing wrong with thick-cut bacon in my humble opinion 🙂

I’ve been lurking on the blog of two British boys recently. They’re as rude as hell, so if you’re completely unaware that boys think about sex ALLTHETIME! – don’t go here: http://www.modernpaleowarfare.com

Their recipes sound great (they’re also doing the paleo/primal thing), but they have an amazing knack of turning a recipe into pornography which I find hilarious (not sure what that says about me… not sure I WANT to know either – thank you :-))

Anyway the boys have a recipe for Bacon Jam – they call it Man Jam – it sounds a little strange and a lot delicious… I’m going to try making some this weekend… I’ll let you know how it goes…




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We had friends around for dinner the other day. The Rugby World Cup is on in NZ and The All Blacks were playing Japan – so we wanted the dinner to have a Japanese ‘flavour’.

I also wanted something I could make ahead and the crock-pot is perfect for that.

3kg Oxtail (brown it if you want – the caramelization does taste good, but I couldn’t be bothered), 1 cup fresh ginger cut into matchsticks (yes, that is a LOT of ginger – I used this toy to cut the matchsticks:

My friend Kyoko’s mother sent it from Japan for me. They are now available here and are worth looking for  – I use it ALL the time), 1 cup gluten-free soy sauce – or tamari, 1/2 cup sake and 1/2 cup mirin (you can get both of these at the supermarket).

Bung everything into the crockpot. Add a little gluten-free stock and cook for a few hours.

Turn it off, leave it to cool and fridge overnight.

Next morning, take the fat off (there was HEAPS) and re-heat in the crock.

When it is done it will be falling-off-the-bone good. I served it with the bones (they are GREAT to suck) – if you need to be a bit posh, you can take the meat off the bones. We had mashed potatoes into which I had mixed 3 tsp of wasabi paste and a salad of pickled carrots.

I forgot to take photos.

There were six of us, and I had leftovers the next-day.

This is the dining room before the candles were lit… I’m struggling here folks… 3 1/2 hours before I can get Yoshi…

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If this is an example of Greek food – I like it! I already like Greek salad – the kind with tomaotes and cucumber and olives and feta cheese…. and I used to like baklava – in the pre-celiac, pre-paleo days… and my friend Vanda makes a marvelous moussaka, so I guess I shouldn’t be too surprised that I like this, right?

I made triple this recipe in the crock-pot. I used the last of Boris-steak which had proved just too well exercised to eat as a grilled steak. Slow cooked – he is delicious. Thank you Boris – you are much appreciated.

As an aside – I am thrilled to hear that Bull-fighting has been banned in one area of Spain. Torturing a creature for ‘entertainment’ makes me sick to my stomach. All beasties deserve to live as Boris did (in my humble opinion).

1KG beef – cut into bits, onions – small or big, 20ml red wine vinegar, 150ml red wine, cinnamon stick, 1/4 tsp grated nutmeg, 1/2 tsp ground cloves and ground cumin, 1 bay leaf, 3 cloves garlic – peeled and sliced, 1 tbsp tomato paste, 400g tinned tomatoes in their own juice – chopped, 1 tbsp brown sugar, salt and pepper.

Pile all this into your crock-pot, add some water or stock – not too much – unless you like lots of gravy (which I do – you can thicken it when it is cooked)

Turn the crockpot on and go and do other stuff.

Come home later to luscious smells. Cook a pile of cauliflower and broccoli, thicken the beef if necessary.

Eat – try to stop self from making mmmm-mmmmm noises. 🙂

Put left-overs into pottles and freeze for those days when you just can’t be bothered…


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A while ago we bought part of a beef-beastie from Rick’s cousin who has a small farm not far from here.

Boris the beastie (not his real name), lived a good life. He ate grass (not nasty grains) and he roamed the hills with his brothers.

All that roaming on hills led to his having strong thighs… which is where, eventually, our schnitzel came from. I crumbed and fried some of Boris’ schnitzel a few weeks ago… it was a tough as old boots (Boris’ revenge? :-)). Lesson learned, this time I decided to make him into beef stroganoff in my slow cooker.

My much nicer twin sister Ina, from British Columbia posted a recipe here: http://glutenfreedelightfullydelicious.com//?p=8392

And it was – delightfully delicious – tender, full of flavour. Rick had seconds 🙂 Thanks Ina xxx

Percy 4 August 2011


Yoshi 3 August 2011

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There are good things about trying new recipes.

One. There is one less post-it note to deal with…

so many recipes - so little time...

Two.  Uhm…

Last night’s dinner smelled really good as it was cooking… and it looked really good…

however, it was way too salty.

I should have known – 250ml of soy sauce is a LOT of soy sauce (and since it was a gluten free soy sauce it was blimmin expensive


It was edible, but it had us both up in the night grabbing lots of drinks of water – and I had really strange dreams – of wedding dresses and babies dressed up as bumble bees !!!!!!!

I do NOT want to know what this dream means - thank you!

The recipe was an Ooops! BUT, I’ve now realised what I did wrong and I think I have fixed it. The basic flavour was nice, just the salt content was way too high – it should be ok now. If anyone risks it – please let me know how it goes 🙂

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I wish you could smell my kitchen right now.

I put this on to cook first thing this morning, and now the aromas of star anise and ginger are all through the house.

It is another glorious day, but it started out cold – no frost this morning, but we must have come close. I’ve gotten two loads of laundry all-but dry on the line outside, and I’ve spent the afternoon painting Wet n Forget (a moss and mould remover) onto our deck. A few weeks ago our next-door-neighbour came to visit. She slipped on our deck – gouged a huge hole in her shin (seriously, I could see the bone!), and broke her shoulder in three places. She is 83 and one of the bravest and best women I know.

Fortunately she is healing really well and though she didn’t slip on a mossy bit, we thought we would clean the whole deck up as we don’t want another such accident. I had to do it at a time when the deck would dry before the cats walked on it. So, with Percy asleep in Rick’s chair and Yoshi still tucked under the blankets in our bed (having been silently, but comprehensively sick – on the bed – in the middle of the night(!) – thanks little mate ), I started painting the deck.

So it is really nice to come inside to be greeted by these delicious smells…

UPDATE: When I made this I made a mistake converting the recipe to be made in the slow-cooker… I know you have to use less liquid, so I reduced the amount of stock, but did NOT reduce the amount of soy sauce. I am an idiot – no WONDER it was so salty! I’ve updated the recipe – it should work now!….

2kg beef cut into biggish pieces – I used blade steak

3/4 cup firmly packed brown sugar

45ml gluten free soy sauce (3 tbsp)

2 tbsp grated fresh ginger

4 star anise

4 cinnamon quills

1 tbsp freshly ground black pepper – or you could use Szechuan pepper

1 medium red chilli – split lengthways, I took the seeds out. If you like things a bit spicy you can leave them in.

Beef stock

Bung everything into the slow-cooker and stir it all up with an immaculately clean hand.

Cook it till you want it.

I will fish out the whole spices, thicken it, put some fresh home-grown coriander (cilantro) on top and serve it with some steamed rice and broccoli

The coriander and parsley are doing really well outside our back door

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It’s COLD!

We needed something to warm our cockles…

Oxtail Stew

Put oxtail, onion, garlic and a wobble of beef stock (I made my own beef stock last week. I put a whole pile of beef bones into the slow-cooker and forgot about it for a few hours – the resulting stock set so firm you would be able to carve it up and put it in your pocket – should you be so inclined) – into a slow-cooker and cook on high for about 8 hours.

Thicken, season, eat… suck the bones, lick the juice off your elbows,fight off pussy-cats… lick plates, feel warm.

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