Smoked Pork Hock Terrine

Smoked Pork Hock Terrine

Smoked pork hocks are amazing during winter, they make the most warming and comforting pea and ham soup. Thick crusty homemade bread slathered in rich butter certainly doesn’t hurt either. In summer though that’s not great. As awesome and delicious as pea and ham soup is no one actually wants to eat it when it’s 35C outside in Adelaide. As a result we were bringing home all our smoked hocks and I had to find something to do with them rather than stockpiling them in our freezer.

I found a couple of recipes for smoked hock terrine. It seems fairly straightforward. Simmer your pork hock for a while and then pack it into a mold until it’s set. Simple, right? Yes, yes it is.

I put aside two fairly big hocks aside for this experiment. In hindsight, I should have used 4 or 6 (even numbers because we’re OCD like that). Two hocks don’t make a lot and doesn’t make things better when I forget to add in a couple of ingredients when I was layering the terrine.

You do need to simmer the hocks for 3-4 hours depending on the size of your hocks just so that the hocks pull apart. If you don’t want to overheat your house unnecessarily during summer do this outside, also the smell of simmering smoked hocks isn’t great. After it was all done I put aside the carrot and celery that was in the stock pot so that I could layer them in the terrine. Good plan, failed to execute. I completely forgot to put them in. It definitely adds to the visual and I think it adds to the taste as well.

It's so pretty! Flaked hock meat mixed with parsley and seasonings!

It’s so pretty! Flaked hock meat mixed with parsley and seasonings!

There’s a lot of recipes that call for pulling everything out of the cooking fluid and then strain the fluid and then keeping a cup of it to mix with gelatine and then pouring that into the terrine to make it set. I didn’t bother with the gelatine. Mostly cause that sounds way to fiddly. I like food but I do not like fiddly. What I did was strain the stock instead and let the stock boil down to about a cup.

Pack your lined terrine mold tight with your mix and vegetables (if you remember them) and spoon some of the boiled down stock over the mix. What that stock should do is gel up as the mix cools and keeps everything together, making it all easier to cut. You don’t need much, just enough to fill the gaps.

We have giant terrine presses. If you have a small one that’s gold. I don’t have a small one and my mix wouldn’t have even covered the bottom of our giant presses. I grabbed our smallest loaf tin instead and lined it and filled it with my mix. Lining it is really important, you’re not going to lift out the mix otherwise. Since I didn’t use a press I had to weigh my terrine down. I just filled a takeaway container with water and placed that on top of my wrapped up terrine. It didn’t press down on the whole lot but I’ll take what I can get.

Should have definitely made more!

Should have definitely made more!

Glad wrapped within an inch of it's life makes my life easier. It just flips out of the tin and I can unwrap it and cut it!

Glad wrapped within an inch of it’s life makes my life easier. It just flips out of the tin and I can unwrap it and cut it!

The whole lot sat in the fridge overnight and by the next I couldn’t stay the wait anymore and while Neil was out feeding pigs I was feeding myself the smoked pork hock terrine. It’s smoky and porky and I may have been a little heavy handed with the parsley but even that couldn’t deter from the fact that my terrine is better than Neil’s 😛

It’s so easy to personalise this to your own taste. Keep tasting it as you make your mix add whatever you think will work. Different spices and herbs are you friends.

 

Smoked Pork Hock Terrine

Ingredients:

  • 4-6 Smoked pork hocks
  • 1 carrot
  • 1 stick of celery
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tablespoon black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon mustard seeds
  • Handful of chopped parsley (coarseness is personal preference)
  • A couple of bay leaves
  • 1-2 teaspoons of your choice of mustard (seeded, English, mild)
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Method:

  • Cover hocks, carrot, celery, and onion with water in a pot and bring to the boil.
  • Turn heat done to a gentle simmer and add pepper, mustard seeds, and bay leaves.
  • Simmer for 3-4 hours until meat is soft and pulls apart easily.
  • Pull the hocks, carrot, and celery out of the pot and set aside.
  • Strain the cooking fluid into a second pot and boil the cooking fluid down to about a cup and set it aside.
  • Flake the meat into a bowl with parsley and mustard and mix together. Season to personal taste.
  • Slice the cooled carrot and celery into batons.
  • Line a terrine mold or loaf tin with plastic wrap.
  • Layer the hock mixture and carrot and celery batons into the mold, pressing down firmly.
  • Fold the plastic wrap over the mixture and place a weight on top.
  • Place in the fridge overnight.
  • Unwrap and slice when you’re ready to try it out!
  • It should keep for up to a week.
The perfect beer snack. Or mid afternoon nibbles. Or midnight pig out.

The perfect beer snack. Or mid afternoon nibbles. Or midnight pig out.

BBQ Beef Ribs

BBQ Beef Ribs

We love BBQ ribs but I have to be honest with you, I haven’t really been using the BBQ lately to do my ribs. They’re more like oven baked ribs because I’m too lazy to turn the BBQ on 😛

Big chunky beef ribs. This spice rub works well with any type of ribs, I also use it on my beef brisket.

Big chunky beef ribs. This spice rub works well with any type of ribs, I also use it on my beef brisket.

You can change the quantities and the ingredients as you like. I sometimes add some chilli flakes, I always mean to add mustard powder but somehow always forget, and if I have some thyme (fresh or dried) I’ll throw that in there too. I think the brown sugar is important though. It makes it a little more caramel-ly but I’m sure you can use regular sugar if you don’t have the brown sugar.

If you have too much spice mix, put it in a jar and save it for next time.

If you have too much spice mix, put it in a jar and save it for next time.

I like to coat the ribs the day before if I can and if I have a bottle of cola around I’ll cover the coated ribs with it. I didn’t this time so it was just a dry rub. It ends up being one of those meals where it can sit in the fridge for a few days before I can get around to cooking it and by the third day I suddenly remember I have something that needs to be cooked right now. It’s sometimes a life saver when I don’t know what to have for dinner 😀

You can drizzle a bit of BBQ sauce on it before it goes into the oven.

You can drizzle a bit of BBQ sauce on it before it goes into the oven.

Once it’s all be coated and marinating for a while I pull it out and discard the cola (if using) and throw it in the oven for a few hours in a baking dish covered tightly with alfoil or a tight fitting lid. I was careless with it once and there was a bit of a gap in my alfoil, the verdict around the table was that the ribs were too dry. So now I’m really careful about no gaps!

It does look a bit dry but it's fine! There's actually a lot of fluid in the bottom.

It does look a bit dry but it’s fine! There’s actually a lot of fluid in the bottom.

But a good coating of BBQ sauce makes it all better. And it does help to keep the meat moist.

But a good coating of BBQ sauce makes it all better. And it does help to keep the meat moist.

At the half way mark I pulled it out to take a look. I was using a roasting pan with a lid so it’s easier that alfoil to lift up to take a peek. It did look dry but it may have been because I hadn’t used fluid when I was marinating. But I powered through and basted the ribs with a BBQ sauce. A store bought BBQ sauce L I actually had one cooking at the time but it wasn’t ready for me to use and I didn’t think I could wait any longer because I was worried the meat would dry out if there wasn’t any fluid. (There was actually a lot of fluid in the bottom but it was mostly fat) Also, my BBQ sauce turned out to be more of loquat onion relish… And! The ribs weren’t dry at all!

Ideally, you would leave your ribs in the oven for the 3-4 hours and then once it’s all melty and soft you would pull it out and baste with BBQ sauce while grilling it on the BBQ. It makes it all shiny and tasty! And sweet. And shiny. But also tasty.

Since I’m too lazy for BBQ’ing and let’s be honest, since I destroyed my father in laws BBQ by burning to almost the ground I don’t like to go near them anymore, I finish the ribs in the oven. What you can do at the end of the cooking time is baste the ribs with BBQ sauce every 10 or so minutes until you’re happy. I’d be likely to do it once and call it done, I didn’t baste at the end this time mostly because I was running late and I should have. It makes the whole thing look tastier.

Why I don’t BBQ anymore and thankfully we had a spare BBQ in the shed.

Why I don’t BBQ anymore and thankfully we had a spare BBQ in the shed.

If I have time I like to do potato skins and if I’m really organise some jalapeno poppers. But today it was just a baked potato and coleslaw.

Soft and melty and tasty!

Soft and melty and tasty!

BBQ Beef Ribs

Ingredients:

  • 2 kilos of beef ribs
  • ½ cup of brown sugar
  • 1 tablespoon mild paprika
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 2 tablespoons onion powder
  • 2 tablespoons garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoon pepper
  • Chilli flakes/ground cayenne pepper/chipotle pepper (optional)

Method:

  • Mix all the ingerdients together and coat ribs. Leave to marinate overnight or for at least 2 hours.
  • Preheat oven to 180C.
  • Place the ribs in an oven proof dish and cover tightly with alfoil. Place dish in the oven and cook for 3-4 hours.
  • During the cooking time, check the ribs and baste with some BBQ sauce if you think it’s necessary.
  • Uncover ribs and baste with BBQ sauce and put tray back into oven for 10-20 minutes or grill on BBQ until done.

*You might up end with more BBQ rub than you need, it’s easy enough to put the unused leftover into a jar and keep it for the next time.

 

 

 

Chuck Pot Roast

Chuck Pot Roast

A few weeks ago we took a big Black Angus cow to be processed so we could take it to the market. It was for the October long weekend we figured people would want a whole bunch of BBQ cuts and very few roast. We had sausages, steaks, rissoles, and a bunch of other things. We’re given a list of cuts by the butcher and it tells us what we can have done with the cuts. It’s very straight forward. As we were going through the list we’d ticked things off as mince, which could then be turned into sausages or rissoles, but for some reason I had gotten to the chuck and I said “I’ll take the chuck as a pot roast, thank you” instead of getting it minced and turned into sausages. In hindsight, not the greatest idea. What was I thinking?! At the time I didn’t even know how to cook a chuck pot roast and I was trying to sell it at the market! Also, no one wants a pot roast on a 35C day. *I actually wrote this blog a few weeks ago, so the time line doesn’t quite make sense. But it makes for a good story right?!

Chuck is one of those cuts that you normally get to do a casserole, use as pie filling, and anything else that involves slow cooking. Which for me is perfect, I can get it going and not worry about it. Seeing as I had a spare chuck pot roast or two in the freezer I figured I’d give it ago. Turns out it’s really not hard. In fact, it’s dead easy.

Look at how pretty it is!

Look at how pretty it is!

I used my trusty cast iron pot (I discovered I owned a much smaller one than the one I had been using and it fits my little rolled roast perfectly). I browned my veggies with chunks of bacon I found in the fridge. I added some apple cider vinegar to lift the goodness off the bottom of the pan. I put my roast on top of my vegetables. I put the lid on and then I put the whole thing in the oven and left it for 4.5 hours. I came back took the lid off for a half hour. Rested my meat, made gravy, and had an awesome dinner. I want to say quick dinner but it took hours to cook so not really a quick dinner. But I did only spend 20 minutes putting stuff together. I did make some mash! I forgot about that!

Using the vinegar was something I hadn’t done before and I wasn’t sure how it was going to turn out. I thought I had added literally a glug too much. I put in one glug and I thought “that’s not enough, I’ll go another” and as soon as I put in the second one I thought “nope, that’s too much” but I couldn’t do anything about it then. But! It didn’t matter, you could taste the vinegar but it wasn’t overpowering. Next time I’ll stick with one glug though. I’m sure glug is a real unit measure …. 😛

chuck pot roast 2

Crisp tasty beef fat!

Chuck Pot Roast

* The recipe also works for the rolled rib roast that we bring to the market as well.

Ingredients:

  • 1.5kg chuck roast
  • 3 carrots (cut into large chunks)
  • 3 sticks of celery (cut into medium lengths)
  • 1 onion (quartered)
  • Bacon chunks (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
  • Thyme

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 180C
  • Brown carrots, onion, celery, and bacon (if using) in a heavy bottomed oven- safe pot
  • Add apple cider vinegar to pot and using a wooden spoon lift any bits stuck to the bottom
  • Place roast on top of the vegetables, put the lid on, and put the pot into the oven
  • Cook for 4-5 hours
  • For the last half an hour take the lid off the pot to crisp up the fat and check the temperature of the roast with a thermometer (well done is 77C)
  • Take the meat out of the pot and rest covered with alfoil for 30 minutes
  • Remove the vegetables from the pot and use what’s left in the pot to make the gravy

Notes:

  • Instead of apple cider vinegar use a cup or two of red wine, it adds more liquid to the bottom and the resulting gravy is amazing.
The first time using a chuck roast. I was not disappointed.

The first time using a chuck roast. I was not disappointed.

 

Banana Bread

I’m always searching for recipes. My sister was surprised when I said I have to go find a banana bread recipe one day because she just assumed that I’d have one tucked away in my memory banks somewhere. I don’t have that type of memory. I have to google everything and often what I cook becomes a mash of different recipes I vaguely recall reading. So, I thought since the family has a blog why don’t I just add all my vague recipe ideas here!

I’m starting with banana bread! Neil *hates* waste and sometimes I buy too many bananas and they get way too brown way too quick. Peyton freezes some for smoothies but often the rest go into banana bread. I just want to say that even though I call it banana bread let’s be honest here, it’s cake. It’s not healthy and I do eat it for breakfast with my coffee.

I also use my food processor for this.

Ingredients:

210gm Self raising flour

160gm Coconut oil

160gm Sugar

3 mashed medium banana

2 large eggs (I use duck eggs)

1 tablespoon Vanilla essence

Crushed walnuts

Method:

  • Preheat oven to 160C and line loaf pan
  • Add sugar and coconut oil to food processor and whizz till combined
  • Add eggs, banana, and vanilla essence and whizz some more
  • Add flour and walnuts and mix till just combined
  • Pour batter into pan and bake for 50 minutes or until a skewer comes out clean

Notes:

I want to say that if you only have 2 bananas you can use 3 eggs instead. I’m going to have to give that a go though. Might be too eggy, maybe just stick with 2 bananas and 2 eggs.

I like coffee flavoured things so I added a ¼ cup of very strong coffee. Worked well!

You can substitute butter for the coconut oil but in terms of weight you’ll need a touch more, maybe 170gm of butter instead.

I added a diced medium sized apple and a tablespoon of cinnamon because of the moisture in the apple I also added 40-50gm more flour and accidentally cooked it for an extra half hour. It didn’t burn and it looks good but it doesn’t need that much extra time. Next time just an extra 15 minutes.

Banana bread. Apple, cinnamon and coffee version.

Banana bread. Apple, cinnamon and coffee version. It was still a lot warm when I cut into it and I probably should have left it for a little longer. Smells amazing though.

Slow Cooked Corned Silverside

I think before I came to live on the farm the only time I would have had silverside would have been as a cold cut from the deli. Eating silverside as a roast was just not something I was familiar with doing. The first few times I ate silverside it was made by Neil’s dad, cooked in a pot for a couple of hours with some aromatics. It was delicious and different. Once I understood how to cook a silverside I took over cooking it for the family. Still delicious and different. Then I read about how people where cooking it in their slow cooker and I decided I had to try that too! There was not a single person in the family that thought this was going to turn out ok. But guess what! It did! *relief*

Silverside is a very lean cut and often in Australia you only get it in the form of corned beef, meaning it’s been brined. I like to think of it as beef ham. When people get it home it’s often cooked in a pot of water with some onion, celery, carrot, brown sugar, bay leaves, peppercorns, cloves and some malt vinegar. That’s exactly what I did to ours, only I did mine in the slow cooker.

Death start onion!

Death start onion!

I like to call my onion studded with cloves my Death Star onion. I don’t know why it reminds me of the Death Star, it just does. We don’t normally eat the vegetables the meat cooks in but I’m sure you could if you wanted. Once I had my vegies sorted I added my meat to the slow cooker as well as the malt vinegar and the rest of the aromatics and filled the slow cooker with water until the silverside was mostly covered.

I think this is the point where Neil’s dad came in to see what I was doing. He was not impressed. To be fair this doesn’t look great.

I think this is the point where Neil’s dad came in to see what I was doing. He was not impressed. To be fair this doesn’t look great.

Turned it over. Still doesn't look great.

Turned it over a few hours before it was ready. Still doesn’t look great.

I left the silverside to cook for 7-8 hours without touching it. It wasn’t until later in the day when I noticed that some of the roast was still out of the water so I flipped over the silverside just to be on the safe side. At the 9 hour mark I pulled the silverside out and rested it under some alfoil and a tea towel for about 20 minutes. I was starving, after about 5 minutes I was demanding Neil carve it so I could have dinner. He was adamant it rest for at least 20 minutes. I did give me a chance to make up my seeded mustard cheese sauce and beans though 😛

It wasn’t until about half way through dinner that everyone confessed that they had no faith in the slow cooker silverside. Everyone. Everyone thought it was going to a fail, a massive fail. Be it too dry, too tough, or just too much fail. No one thought it was going to be good. Thankfully, everyone thought it was the best silverside I’d ever cooked. The meat was so soft and falling apart a little as Neil carved it up and it wasn’t at all dry. This will definitely be how I cook all our silversides from now on.

Our was a 2kg silverside, it fed 4 adults for dinner, 4 adults the next day for lunch in sandwiches, I used some pulled apart and mixed through mash to make mash patties, Neil took some to work for lunch, and I snacked on it a little too when no one was looking. Basically, a 2 kg silverside is a lot of meat and will probably feed you forever.

So much yum! Mash and beans go really well with mustard cheese sauce.

So much yum! Mash and buttery beans go really well with mustard cheese sauce.

Slow cooked corned silverside

Feeds at least 8 people.

Ingredients:

2kg corned silverside

1 carrot

1 stick of celery

1 cup of brown sugar

1 cup of malt vinegar

1 onion studded with cloves

A couple of bay leaves

A tablespoon of peppercorns

Water

Method:

  • Place everything into the slow cooker with the silverside on top
  • Fill the slow cooker with water until the water level is above the silverside
  • Turn the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours
  • Check halfway through and turn the silverside over if necessary
  • Remove the silverside from the slow cooker, allow it to rest covered in alfoil for at least 20 minutes
  • Carve and serve with your favourite sides and some cheese sauce (we like mustard cheese sauce)

***If you want to do this in a pot instead, put everything into the pot and cover with water, let it come to a boil, turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, and simmer for 1.5-2 hours.

 

 

Lamb Yiros

I think about food a lot. All the time. I’m constantly asking Neil what he wants to eat, sometimes because I’m really hoping what he wants to eat is what I want to eat but I haven’t said out loud what it is and then get disappointed that we didn’t want the same food 😛 But sometimes I think about food a little too much. So much so that our dinner plan changes every hour, back and forth until it’s too late and we have to go out for pizza. It almost happened on Saturday but I was saved! We ended up not selling two of our lamb legs at the market and with my sister and her partner coming over for dinner it was the perfect amount of meat and the perfect cut of meat to make yiros! Or Gyros or souvlaki or kebab or whatever else they’re called in your part of the world.

The basic idea behind a good yiros is really simple. Tasty meat on some sort of flat bread with some garlic sauce and salad. How you make is going to depend on how you like it. As a teenager I’d have my yiros with mayo, bbq sauce, and cheese. I’m not even ashamed, it was delicious! As an adult I make my own tzatziki for my sauce and quinoa tabouli as my salad, I still have cheese though 😀 If I’m being good I’ll even make the flatbread. It sounds like a lot of work because you’re making a few different things but when you take it step by step and if you have time make it over a couple of days it’s really very simple.

We’ll start with the meat. I had two 1.6kg lamb legs, they were the top part of the leg, so a little less meaty than lower down but still just as tasty. If I’m strapped for time like I was, then I’ll coat the meat in olive oil and Nostimini. Nostimini is our go to BBQ seasoning, I want to say it’s heavy on the cumin and oregano. If I have time to marinate overnight, I’ll do it in olive oil and a combination of fresh herbs and spices, still heavy on cumin and oregano.  My lamb had a nice layer of fat on it and probably didn’t need the oil but I went with it anyway out of habit more than anything and I only had 45 minutes of marinating time.

2x1.6kg lamb legs

2×1.6kg lamb legs

Seasoned!

Seasoned!

When we first started at the farm we did our own meat chickens and we bought a rotisserie attachment for our BBQ, it was one of the greatest farm purchases to date. We rotisseried everything! We rotisseried so often ours stopped working and we took out the one we bought for my sister as a Christmas present and used hers. I think we still owe her one… A gas BBQ is pretty straightforward, you only use the burners on either side of the spinning meat. We’ve upgraded to a heavy duty charcoal BBQ for our rotissering now. If you know what you’re doing and you don’t mind risking some arm hairs it’s awesome. Welding gloves come in handy too. Nothing beats the charcoal smoky-ness.

Cooking! Coals at either end and a drip tray in the middle.

Cooking! Coals at either end and a drip tray in the middle.

You might have to google the finer details of using charcoal but from my understanding you heat up the charcoal on either side of where your meat will be and wait for it to become white and the flames have died down. Position the meat on the rod and away you go! Having a drip tray under the meat is a good idea, also watch the meat in the beginning. We’ve sometimes had dinner catch fire because there was no drip try and the fire was directly under the meat. If we aren’t cooking for a long time we start with the temperature at 200C and it’ll drop a little bit during the cooking time. If you’re cooking for any longer than a few hours you’ll need to top up the charcoal. Our lamb cooked for about an hour and a half and rested for an hour. It’ll probably work just as well in the oven and if you wanted to you could cut your meat into strips and fry it in a pan or a BBQ plate.

Done! After an hour and a half. The black bits are the best!

Done! After an hour and a half. The black bits are the best!

While the meat was cooking and resting I managed to get the other bits done.

Tzatziki is best started a day ahead. If you have the time and the patience, put your greek yoghurt into some cheese cloth (I use a new bit of chux) and let it drain. It makes the tzatziki thicker and richer. I didn’t have the time to wait so I didn’t drain mine, if you have a thick yoghurt to start with it’s not going to matter but if you have a thin yoghurt your tzatziki will be runny. Still tasty but runny. I used 3 continental cucumbers to a litre of yoghurt, though the number of cucumbers is up to personal taste. You will need to squeeze the water out of the cucumber, mix in a tablespoon of salt and let it sit for a few minutes before squeezing out the water, the salt makes it easier. Everything else in the tzatziki is purely up to your own taste.

We love tzatziki at home. We'll eat it with almost anything.

We love tzatziki at home. We’ll eat it with almost anything.

I have never been a fan of tabouli and I think it’s because the ones I’ve eaten have too much parsley, so while I’m calling this tabouli others might think of it as quinoa salad. Also, I don’t think I’ve ever seen burghul in the supermarket and that’s why I use the quinoa. I prefer the flat leaf parsley for no other reason that I like how it looks over the curly leaf parsley. Also a cup of quinoa makes a lot of cooked quinoa, I learnt that lesson the hard way the first time, and we were eating it for days! Making this a day before serving is fine.

So many pretty colours! And so easy to make!

So many pretty colours! And so easy to make!

I would never buy store bought tzatziki to me that seems crazy but having said that I do buy flatbread all the time when I’m being lazy. But flatbread is a much much simpler process than tzatziki! I use this flatbread in place of naan if we eat curry and just don’t roll it out as thin. I’ve grilled it the next day to make it crispy so I can shovel leftover tzatziki in to me. It’s versatile and easy. I should make it more often! But I have to confess. I cheat when I make this, I don’t spend 10 minutes standing over it kneading like you’re supposed to. I throw all the ingredients into my food processor and my machine does it for me. The herbs are optional, I like the little green flecks and I had leftover parsley. Sometimes I throw in a tablespoon of Nostimini, other times I leave it plain. It’s completely up to you. We had a bit of a panic moment when we made these, they seemed a little thin and a little brittle but we adjusted the thickness when we rolled it out and we covered the stack with a damp tea towel as we were cooking and we didn’t have any burst yiros! If you reheat it in the mircrowave the next day and you want it to be soft, sprinkle some water on it before covering and reheating.

From the flatbread quantities I managed to make 14. I had my sister helping me while the meat was resting. I didn’t mean to make 14 but I was pulling out chunks from the food processor. If you want to be really precise about it grab the whole lot and divide it up evenly. Ours were rolled out to about 3-5mm thickness and then fried in a dry pan (no oil) on medium heat. They should puff up at the right heat, you might need to mess around with the first couple before you find the right heat.

Using my food processor to knead my dough for me.

Using my food processor to knead my dough for me.

Looking good but still trying to find the perfect temperature.

Looking good but still trying to find the perfect temperature.

I managed to get the tzatziki, flatbread, and tabouli done while the meat was cooking and then resting. That worked for me because aside from prepping the meat I had nothing else to do with it, I didn’t even take it off the rod and slice it. If you’re doing it without help you’ll want to do this with lots of time to spare.

My 3.2kgs worth of meat was enough for 8 serves but you have to remember the cuts of lamb I used had a little more bone in it than the lower end of the leg.  So depending on the cut you use you may have more meat. We had the leftovers the next day as breakfast yiros. I warmed the meat in a fry pan and fried it until it was crispy all over. It was the greatest breakfast ever. 😀

Yup there's a bit of fat but that's what makes it so tasty!

Yup there’s a bit of fat but that’s what makes it so tasty!

 

Lamb

2×1.6 legs of lamb

Oil to coat lamb

Seasoning (Nostimini OR your own mix)

  • Coat lamb in marinade and oil and refrigerate until ready. Preferably overnight but as little as 45 mins will do.
  • For a Rostisserie: Get charcoal/bbq/oven ready and preheat to 200C
  • Position meat and mount on rotisserie unit
  • Cook for 1.5 hours or until meat thermometer reads your desired temperature. (med/well done)
  • For a BBQ plate: Slice meat to preferred thickness and cook on high heat on the plate until done
  • Allow meat to rest, covered under alfoil
  • Don’t forget to mix the meat through all the resting juices, it’s the best part!

Tzatziki

1kg greek yoghurt

3 continental cucumbers (peeled, deseeded, and grated)

Small handful of mint leaves (optional)

1 tablespoon salt

1-2 tablespoon lemon juice

1-2 teaspoons of crushed garlic

  • Strain the yoghurt of excess whey through cheese cloth (optional)
  • Mix salt through cucumber and sit for 10 mintues
  • Squeeze out excess water from cucumber
  • Mix yoghurt, cucumber, and remaining ingredients together
  • Store in fridge until needed

Tabouli

1 cup quinoa

Half bunch parsley (finely sliced)

3 medium tomatoes (diced)

Half a purple onion (diced)

Tablespoon of lemon juice

Tablespoon of olive oil

Salt and pepper to taste

  • Cook the quinoa according to packet instructions and allow to cool
  • While the quinoa is cooling season with salt, pepper, lemon juice, and olive oil
  • Mix in the rest of the ingredients and store in fridge until needed
I love looking at the tabouli! It makes me happy!

I love looking at the tabouli! It makes me happy!

Flatbread

Makes12-14

500gm flour (I used bakers flour but plain flour is fine)

300gm water

20gm oil

2 teaspoons yeast

1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh herbs (optional, can be replaced with dried herbs)

Pinch of salt

  • Mix all the ingredients together
  • Knead on a floured surface for 10 minutes
  • Let it rest in an oiled bowl for 15 minutes, covered with a tea towel or cling film
  • Divide the dough into balls and cover them with a tea towel. Roughly 12-14 balls.
  • Roll out each ball with a thickness of about 3mm, try not to stack them but keep them well floured if you do stack them
  • Fry the flatbread in a dry pan until bubbles form on one side and then flip
  • Stack the cooked flatbread and cover with a damp tea towel

 

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder

OK, I have an obsession I know! But this is my second to last slow cooked roast blog. Maybe. I love them a lot! This one also involves the slow cooker!

So! Pork shoulder. It’s a hard working bit of meat. Free ranged pigs in particular have big shoulders. They are forever rooting around finding tasty things to eat and digging holes, this builds the muscles and it is muscle that you eat. It’s dense and it has fat running through it, which makes for good slow cooking meat.

I’m not going to lie, I was beyond sceptical about this method of cooking pork that would also give me crackling. How can pork sit in a slow cooker without any fluid for 8 hours still give me crackling?! That’s crazy. But my friend Adam told me it could be done. And if Adam can do it then so can I! Also, I love crackling and I love one pot cooking.

My rolled roast sitting on my trusty trio of veg!

My rolled roast sitting on my trusty trio of veg!

 

I’m using a pork shoulder prepared by our butcher. It’s been boned and rolled and as a handy bonus the skin is scored. To prepare the crackling I used the same method as the Asian hock. I poured boiling water only on the skin, rubbed it down with salt, and left it in the fridge overnight covered with some paper towel. My mum has tried to explain to me another method that involves lemon and salt and doesn’t take all night. I’m not really clear on the details but I’ll definitely get her to show me how it works and I’ll give that a try next time.

The next morning I pulled out my pork shoulder, sprayed it with some oil, and placed it in the slow cooker on a bed of my 3 favourite vegetables. Carrot, onion, and celery. I turned the slow cooker on low and left it for roughly 10 hours.

 

Yup, that looks unappetising.

Yup, that looks unappetising.

The very first time I used the slow cooker for pork Neil was ready to call out for pizza because he was not convinced it would work. To be fair, it does not look good at the 10 hour mark. Skin looks a bit gelatinous and the meat looks grey. But you have to trust it and push on. A half hour before you pull your roast out of the slow cooker crank the oven as high as it’ll go and when its’s reached the right temperature grab your roast and place it into an oven safe container and put it in the oven. Once I put my roast in I try to remember to turn the oven back down to 220C and I leave the roast in there for about a half hour. And then you cross all your fingers and toes and hope you get crackling!

With this roast, I did get crackling but I was worried about how much crackling I was getting and how long the roast had been in the hot oven. I think my problem was the orientation of the skin. Instead of being on top of the meat it was around the meat, it might not be a problem but in my head that was the problem I was having. It might also be that my oven is literally falling apart. (I’m using cardboard to wedge the door closed. I had contemplated using Neil’s 5 foot fencing stick or crowbar as he likes to call it to prop the oven door closed until Neil’s dad came up with a much much better idea J )

But back to the crackling! At the half hour mark, I had crackling but not all of it had crackled and I was worried about my meat drying out, it had at that point been cooking for ten and a half hours after all. I pulled the roast out of the oven and my plan was to separate the meat from crackling and put the crackling back into the oven so that the meat could rest. In theory this was a great plan, in practice not so.

I have no pictures of this part of the process so you’re going to have to really use your imagination.

I have previously pulled crackling from pork and put it back in the oven with great success. Not so this time. In the past it had been from whole cuts of meat, not meat that was being kept together with netting. My problem with this roast is that my half crackling had stuck to my netting. Instead of being able to pull the crackling off as a whole sheet it was coming off in bits and pieces and flat out sticking to the netting. The whole process got a lot messy and to add to my mess, my pork was so tender that it was falling apart in giant chunks. In the end, I did get my crackling off and on to a tray to go back into the oven and it crisped up beautifully. Next time though, once I get the meat out of the slow cooker I’ll remove the netting before it goes into the oven just in case I have to take the meat out and let the crackling crisp up a little more.

 

Crackling and pork!

Crackling and pork!

Even though this was messier than I had wanted, it turned out really well. The meat was tender enough that instead of carving the meat, Neil pulled it apart with two forks. I did get crackling and it was beautiful. I also did a tray of roast veggies to go with dinner. It fed 5 adults with more than enough left over for a couple more people and we had it as a celebratory dinner for my sister’s engagement! Yay for Sally and Tim!

 

Slow Cooked Pork Shoulder Roast

Feeds at least 6 adults with big appetites.

Ingredients:

2kg boned out and rolled pork shoulder

2 carrots in large chunks

2 sticks of celery in large chunks

1 onion quartered

Method:

  • Pour boiling hot water over the skin only of the roast, rub in salt, cover, and refrigerate overnight.
  • Next morning, place your vegetables in the bottom of your slow cooker bowl with your pork sitting on top. Turn your slow cooker on low and leave for 8-10 hours.
  • Half an hour before you’re ready to take your pork out of the slow cooker turn your oven to its highest heat setting.
  • When the oven is ready, remove your pork from the slow cooker and place it into an oven safe dish, spray the skin with some oil, and place the dish into the hot oven. Turn the temperature down to 220C.
  • Check your roast after 30 mins. If the crackling is done remove the roast from the oven, cover it in alfoil and let it rest for 30 mins. If the crackling is not done, take the roast out of the oven and separate the meat from the crackling, place the crackling back on a tray and put it back into the oven until the crackling has crisped up. Cover the meat and rest for 30 minutes.
  • Use the pan juices from the slow cooker to make gravy. Serve pork with roast veggies and gravy!