Archive for the 'Pork' Category

Bangers and mash recipe – with video


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Our cooking method for sausages adds extra flavour to the sometimes ho-hum “bangers and mash” by creating a chunky onion and tomato gravy out of the pan juices. Along with the obligatory mashed potato, this dish really does need some greens as well – green beans or broccoli, plunged into boiling water for just a few minutes. Perfect.

This is a reasonably quick dish – suitable for a weeknight dinner. It’s easy to scale up the recipe for extra guests – say, two sausages minimum per person. Continue reading ‘Bangers and mash recipe – with video’

Uncle Kev’s sausage rolls

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Go to the recipe for sausage rolls

This is my Uncle Kev’s sausage roll recipe, and it’s fantastic for parties. Or you can even make a double or triple batch before Christmas, Thanksgiving or local festive holiday and freeze them, then heat them up in the oven for a really quick finger-food for a big group of people. Continue reading ‘Uncle Kev’s sausage rolls’

Braised pork belly like Mao used to make

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Pork belly – it’s the cut of the moment, isn’t it? On the menu everywhere. Very now. And very cheap, if you buy it in the right places (look beyond the supermarkets, which have copped on to its foodie appeal and adjusted the price accordingly).

This is a recipe that we don’t do often enough. And it’s attributed to Chairman Mao himself, who always made sure he was eating well while starving the rest of the nation. Being left to starve and told to survive on revolutionary zeal alone was good enough for the masses, but let’s face it, you couldn’t lead them through the Great Leap Forward on an empty stomach! Continue reading ‘Braised pork belly like Mao used to make’

Rice to the occasion


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Lenny is a whiz with fried rice. Last time she made it I was well impressed, to the point that I would eat it over stuff from a Chinese restaurant any day.

And that’s saying something. I reckon it’s really hard to replicate the flavours of your better-than-average Chinese takeaway. Maybe it’s down to MSG, which in some Asian cultures is literally known as “taste” (oh, if only you could buy good taste in powdered form). We’ve got nothing against MSG, really – it’s either in the food we buy or it isn’t – but we don’t have it in our kitchen, and don’t have any idea how, or how much of it, to use. Continue reading ‘Rice to the occasion’

We larb turkey


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The leftover Christmas turkey was on its last legs, and sandwiches had long since lost their appeal … time for what Lenny calls a “flavour changer”.

Larb is a simple Laotian dish of spicy mince (usually pork or chicken) that is eaten with sticky rice, also known as glutinous rice. In Laos the rice comes in a little hopper-style basket made of bamboo and woven grass. The lime and chili flavours are heaven together, and ground rice powder adds a bit of crunch. Continue reading ‘We larb turkey’

Your momo says …


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Waz and I LOVE dumplings. Pretty much wherever we travel, we try to experience the local yum cha – or dim sum as it’s called throughout much of the world. So we often find ourselves traipsing through Chinatown in various far-flung cities sampling the lovely little morsels in their steaming wooden baskets that make up the dim sum experience.

London has a surprisingly small Chinatown, and, sad to say, we’ve had some very dodgy yum cha on Gerrard Street, which is this Chinatown’s main drag. I would say the variety and quality of dishes is better in such establishments as China House and King of Kings in Brisneyland (that’s Brisbane in Queensland for you non-locals). Even good old Edmonton in Canada had some very fine dim sum establishments. Continue reading ‘Your momo says …’

How To Eat An Island

Click here to view the videoWith epicurean delights like maple-smoked sturgeon and salmon, home-made apple cider and excellent local wines on offer, why wouldn’t a quartet of wandering gourmand-wannabes stop by Ile d’Orleans in Quebec?

After a week on the road we picked up our old friends Cristy and Robert (“Speedy” to his mates) in Ontario and whisked them away to the heady delights of French-speaking Canada – cosmopolitan Montreal first, then Quebec City with its old-world charms. Ile d’Orleans hides in the St Lawrence River not far from the capital and is a little rural haven with much to offer a travelling palate.

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Excellent local ingredients also made this a perfect stopover for our next “Canadian Safari” episode of CTK. Continue reading ‘How To Eat An Island’

We’re on a (cabbage) roll

Click here to view the videoWe never thought we’d draw culinary inspiration from a place called Vegreville. But that’s just what happened when we dropped into this prairie town on the first leg of our Crash Test Kitchen “Canadian Safari.”

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Vegreville, like much of Alberta, has a substantial Ukrainian population, and the town’s giant “pysanka” (Easter egg) is apparently the world’s largest. No, we didn’t make Easter eggs – we whipped up a version of a staple item that you’d probably find among the leftovers in any Ukrainian refrigerator. Continue reading ‘We’re on a (cabbage) roll’

Your sausage habits exposed

Click here to view the videoI was doing some web research after our sausage excursion to Calgary and was disturbed at the extent to which the corporate sausage machine has been keeping an eye on our snag tastes.

I’ll elaborate, but first a little on this episode of CTK. We prepare a simple dish that for want of a better name I call “sausagey pasta”. We hadn’t cooked it for a while, so our memories were a little fuzzy on the exact list of ingredients. A bit of Googling and some head-scratching, though, and we came up with a recipe.

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But back to the sausage evil empire. This company called Devro has broken our habits down to pie charts and line graphs. Apparently 31% of us want our sausages straight, but 66% don’t care whether they’re straight or curved. Of more concern, 55% don’t know what’s on the outside of a sausage – natural casing made of gut, or that synthetic stuff we mentioned in the last post. Continue reading ‘Your sausage habits exposed’

Blessed are the sausage makers

Click here to view the videoSo what do you want in a sausage? Are you content with a cellulose or collagen tube filled with anonymous, homogenous mystery-meat paste containing who knows what?

If you’re like us, you demand sausages filled with real ingredients that you can see, taste, feel and smell. Not to mention the texture — and when you bite through that natural sausage casing, a really good “snag” should hit you with a burst of flavour and aroma.

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For a long time, our sausage benchmark was set by Tony’s Super Meats in Toowoomba, Queensland, Australia. I remember Tony entered the annual Sausage King contest for the first time a few years back and blitzed the competition with his continental creations. Continue reading ‘Blessed are the sausage makers’