Category Archives: Meat/Fish Dishes

Quick Lamb Biriyani

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One of the great rites of passage as a new mum is the first day you get to venture out alone without kids. My cousin’s little boy is just on 10 months and at about 6 months we decided a day out without baby was in order. The real dilemma was of course, where should we go? Shopping, pampering, movie-ing? What did we want to do now that we were somewhat out of the baby fog? When we saw tickets being advertised for the Good Food and Wine show, we knew we’d found the answer. We are both food-mad and watch the Lifestyle Food channel religiously. The prospect of seeing some of our culinary heroes in the flesh was too tempting to resist, and the call of food and wine was strong.

We planned our day around the demonstrations, keen to see Matt Moran and Gary Mehigan cooking live. We also lamented the absence of Paul West, the host of River Cottage Australia and one of our all time favourites. We didn’t have much time to dwell as we walked in and straight into a live cooking presentation by Matt. He wowed us with cheffy magic and regaled us with tales of Maggie Beer. He also cooked a slow cooked lamb shoulder and as our mouths watered, I declared that that would be the first dish I cooked in my newly purchased slow cooker.

As the day drew to a close, our hearts and bellies full and our heads a little foggy from perhaps a little too much wine tasting and stingy use of the spittoon, we walked right passed a booth with no food and a few people. My eye was drawn to a man in a blue shirt and signature beard. A double take and and a third glance to reconfirm told me I was in fact seeing Paul West. No cooking, no Digger, but the man himself. My cousin and I quickly ran into the booth, paid the exorbitant fee of two dollars (the money was going to a great cause) in order to secure a selfie with the man himself. Day, week, month made!

I did in fact return home and put my Matt Moran inspired lamb cooking tips to use and turn the poor lamb shoulder, long relegated to the freezer, into a melt in your mouth thing of beauty. But, being as we are only a family of four, a two kilogram piece of lamb generates plenty leftovers. In the spirit of Save with Jamie I always portion the leftover meet and freezer. Roast pork often gets turned in protein for noodle salads and chicken will adorn fried rice. Lamb though, gets the biriyani treatment. This has become a family favourite, something loved by adults and kids alike.

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Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. ginger garlic paste
  • 2 tbsp. ghee
  • 1 brown onion finely sliced
  • 2 tbsp. coriander finely chopped
  • 2 cardamom pods crushed
  • 2 cloves
  • 1 tsp. garam masala
  • 2 green chillies sliced
  • 1 roma tomato chopped
  • 1 tsp. fresh ground black pepper
  • 1 tsp. salt
  • 1.5 -2 cups shredded pre-cooked lamb (leg or shoulder works well) *
  • 2 cups rice, cooked.
  • 1 cup frozen peas/blanched green beans
  • Fresh coriander to garnish

Preparation

  1. In a large wok or frying pan add the ghee, ginger garlic paste, onions, cloves and cardamom. Fly until the onions are picking up some colour and the ghee is well perfumed.
  2. Add the green chillies, tomato, coriander and garam masala. Cook for a couple of minutes until the spices and onions are well combined and starting to soften.
  3. Add the cooked lamb and salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Add the cooked rice and stir thought until everything is well distributed.
  5. Add the peas and cover for a few minutes until they are cooked through.hp1b0880

* check out this recipe for a great slow roasted lamb, though I roast mine closer to 2-2.5 hours, or until fall-apart tender. https://www.donnahay.com.au/recipes/dinner/slow-roasted-dukkah-lamb-shoulder

 

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Filed under Lamb, Meat/Fish Dishes, Rice Dishes, Sri Lankan Food, Uncategorized

Black Pork Belly

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I got the idea for this recipe while still in the states.I was perusing my favourite blogs, and Lorraine at Not Quite Nigella, posted a review for a new restaurant in Sydney that was serving Sri Lankan food. One of the dishes she tried while she was at the restaurant was a Black Pork Belly Curry. As soon as I read that phrase, I immediately concluded it was the best idea ever! In fact I told anyone that would listen what an amazing idea it was. Naturally, their response was, “why don’t you make it?”. So I did.Many many times. This is about the 10th iteration of this recipe, and Mr Firehouse, who has tried every last one, is confident this is the best.

I won’t lie, this recipe is a labour of love.  It is time consuming and requires a horde of ingredients. But the results are more than worth it. It will also be the crowning glory on your table, if you invest time in this dish, you really don’t need much more. A salad, maybe a creamy dhal or potato, some steamed white rice and you will wow your guests. Trust me!

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Black Roasted Curry Powder

  • 2 tbsp. raw rice
  • 3 tbsp. coriander
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. fennel
  • 1 tsp. cardamon pods
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • curry leaves
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon

Pork Curry

  • 1.5 kg of pork belly with skin and rind on (whole)
  • 2 tbsp. onion flakes or 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. ginger minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 green chillis sliced
  • 1 tsp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 2 tsp. tamarind paste
  • 2 tbsp. ground cashew nut *
  • 1/2 tsp. sugar
  • olive oil and sea salt for crispy skin
  • Oil for deep frying

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Preheat you oven to 160C. Place all the ingredients for the curry portion, except for the pork in an oven proof sauce with a lid. Add 2 cups of water and stir until all the ingredients are well mixed. .Next add the pork belly, put the lid on and place in the oven for 2.5 hours.

In the mean time, prepare you curry powder.

In a dry pan roast the rice until brown, when you’re satisfied with the colour add the curry leaves, pandan leaf and cinnamon.

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Next add the fennel and fry for a few minutes. Next go the cloves, cardamon and coriander.

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Next to last is the cumin and finally the mustard seeds. Leave the whole mix on the heat until the mustard seeds pop.

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When cool to touch, place the spice mix in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.

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When the pork is done, remove the pot from the oven. Fish out the pork and place over some paper towel to dry. If I have the time, I’ll place it in the fridge over night to further dry out.

Decant the curry sauce into a jug and place in the fridge. Once the sauce has cooled, the fat will have solidified at the top, remove this and replace the cooled sauce back in the saucepan.

Place over a medium heat before adding 2 tbsp. of the black curry powder and 2 tablespoons of ground cashew nuts *.  Simmer for 5 minutes before adding the sugar and testing for seasoning.

Cut the dried pork belly into 2 cm, 1inch cubes. Deep fry over a medium heat until golden,crispy and browned. Because of the fat and water content, the pork will splatter. I use a deep fryer with a  lid to prevent splattering, if not, make sure you have a splatter cover for your pan. Drain well over paper towels.

When ready to serve, combine the pork and curry sauce and serve immediately.

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  • I’ve used cashew nut butter or almond butter or even macadamia butter in place of the ground nuts.

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Filed under "Something" Free Cooking, Meat/ Fish Curries, Meat/Fish Dishes, Pork, Sri Lankan Food, Uncategorized

Chorizo Sausage Rolls

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I’ve recently made a new friend who lives in the same “neighbourhood community” that we’re in now. Her daughter and Mister C are at the same daycare and have become fast friends. We met before we had officially moved, before our new addition joined us and before the real madness of life set in.  In fact, she was one of the people I texted when I headed off to the hospital to have little Miss M as we’d planned to catch up on the day itself. She kindly offered to let me call her up and scream in her ear if I needed.

When she finally did manage to visit us she bought a gift that signalled kinship, a set of “Jamie Oliver spice bottles”. When Mr Firehouse saw it, his first question was “how did she know?”. If you know me, or if you’ve read this blog for a while you would know that Jamie and I go way back. He’s not just one of my cooking heroes, his merchandise is everywhere in my house. There’s an entire shelf on my cookbook shelf (yes, I have an entire book shelf just for cookbooks) dedicated to just his books. Then she told me a story that solidified our friendship further, apparently she adored Jamie too, ever since her mother had taken her to MEET HIM! How could I not be friends with someone who had met Jamie?

As with many of my friends, we talk often of food and food related things. The subject of chorizo came up recently and she talked of her chorizo fried rice and I spoke of the recipe below. Something that I’ve made ever since I discovered unsmoked sausages at our local butcher when we lived in the Inner-West. I’ve recently re-discovered it at our new local, a butchery that is apparently famous for it’s sausages.

I’ve made these with chorizo but you really can make these with whatever your favourite sausage may be; Italian, lamb, chicken….go nuts people.

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Ingredients

  • 500g unsmoked chorizo sausage
  • 2 sheets of puff pastry thawed
  • sesame seeds to sprinkle
  • I egg lightly beaten

Method

  1. Preheat oven to 220C/400F. Line a baking tray with paper
  2. Take the skin off the sausage so you are just left with the meat. I find it easier to mash it a bit at this point so you can divide and portion easily.
  3. Cut the pastry sheets in half.
  4. Divide the sausage filling into 4 portions.
  5. Place eat portion on one long-side of each pastry sheet and form into a sausage shape. Brush the long side with a little egg and roll up to enclose.
  6. Cut each roll into about 4 and place on the baking trays. Seam side down.
  7. Brush top with eggs, cut a few slits for steam to escape and sprinkle with sesame seeds.
  8. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden and delicious.

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Filed under Beef, Meat/Fish Dishes, Pork, Short-Eats

Salmon Curry with Coconut Milk

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A few weeks ago, Seattle got a shipment of Copper River Salmon, it made the news. The Pacific North-West makes a huge fuss over this firm red fleshed fish. So much so that when I saw a piece of salmon, frozen in the deep freeze I contemplated getting rid of it. What was I doing not eating the freshest tastiest salmon from the markets? Especially the markets that were teasing me with loud, in your face signs telling me that they had “Copper River Salmon”. Instead I decided to make a curry with this salmon, something a little different!

Ingredients

  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 1 small white onion finely chopped
  • 2 green chillies sliced (optional)
  • 1 clove garlic chopped
  • curry leaves
  • 2 tomatoes finely chopped
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • 1/2 tsp. unroasted curry powder
  • 1 cup coconut milk
  • 200g salmon cut into 2 cm cubes
  • 1/2 lime juiced

Preparation

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In a small saucepan, add the oil and wait until heated. To the oil  add the onion, green chillies, garlic and curry leaves. Saute until the onions and garlic are soft and fragrant.

To this fragrant mixture add the turmeric, curry powder and tomatoes. Keep cooking until the tomatoes begin to break down.

At this point add the coconut milk, stir  and  bring the whole mixture to  boil.

When the curry is boiling, turn the heat down to a simmer and add the cubed salmon. Simmer for about 5 minutes until the salmon is just cooked (firm to the touch) and finish with the lime juice.

Serve immediately over lots of soft, fluffy white rice.

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Filed under Fish, Meat/Fish Dishes, Sri Lankan Food, Uncategorized

Spicy Beef Patties

 

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I was cleaning out my freezer and made the awesome discovery of a box of these frozen from a couple of months ago. Yay. Suffice it to say, these spicy, delicious morsels freeze really well. They’re a labour of love but amazingly worth it.

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Ingredients

For the pastry

  • 500g flour
  • ½ cup butter cold chopped
  • ½ lime juiced
  • ice cold water
  • egg yolk
  • extra flour for dusting

For the filling

  • 250g (1/2 lb) beef/pork mince
  • 1/2 small onion chopped finely
  • 1 clove garlic finely chopped
  • 4-5 curry leaves
  • 1/2 tbsp. chilli flakes
  • 1/2 tsp. curry powder (roasted)
  • 1/2 tsp. cumin seeds
  • ½ tsp. turmeric
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 medium potatoes parboiled and chopped into small cubes
  • oil for deep frying

Instructions

In a medium fry pan (skillet) place the mince and fry until golden. Add the spices. When the mince is brown add the onions, garlic and curry leaves. Fry until the onion is soft and add the potatoes. Cook until the potatoes are cooked through and have a bit of colour.  Leave the mixture to cool.

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In the meantime.  Place the flour in the bowl of your stand mixer (or food processor)and add the butter. Mix slowly until the mixture resembles bread crumbs. Add the lime juice and egg yolk and mix well. Now add the ice cold water a little at a time until the dough comes together. Knead for a few minutes until the dough is smooth. Leave the dough to rest for about 15 minutes.

Roll the dough till it’s about 1/4cm or 1/8inch of an inch thick. Use plenty of flour to keep it from sticking or use baking paper on your bench top. Using a pastry cutter or cup, cut circles from the dough. My circles were about 4 inches/10cm

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Using a single circle at a time, place a tsp. of filling onto one half of the circle, keeping close to the middle. Brush egg white (or water if you prefer) along the edge and fold the pastry over, making a little crescent.

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Now use a fork to press along the edges.

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Deep fry the patties in hot oil until golden brown and crisp on the outside.

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Drain well and serve with plenty of tomato or chilli sauce.

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Filed under Beef, Short-Eats, Snacks and Sides, Sri Lankan Food

Jamie’s Mexican Beef Chilli


HP1B6339 Mr Firehouse’s choice of food is usually meat, spice and more meat. So chilli or more correctly chilli con carne, really fits the bill. When a couple of dear friends from Australia visited us last year, he decided he wanted to make them the quintessentially American “chilli”.

He found a recipe in a blokey cookbook of his and set about collecting ingredients. It had the typical beef, beans and tomato, all fairly accessible. But it also called for masa harina (white corn flour) and chipotle (smoked jalapeño) chillis in adobo sauce. He took it upon himself to find the ingredients and took a trip out to a fairly big supermarket in the area. He came home with not the 4 tbsp. of masa the recipe called for, but a 4 lb (nearly 2 kg) bag. It’s still sitting in the cupboard, begging to be used. He also called me in distress from the supermarket claiming there was no chipotle chillis in sight. Since most stores here have a Hispanic food aisle, I made sure he’d checked that aisle specifically. He had! I said not to worry, we still had a week and I was  sure I could find the chillis. Maybe a trip to a Mexican grocery store was in order?

A few days later I received an email from Mr Firehouse detailing the address of a Latino grocery store, about 15 minutes drive away. I took the trip, braving the drive into unknown territory, a venture into an impossibly small store with a large stroller and the even the tumbleweeds that littered the otherwise abandoned strip mall. We finally had all the ingredients and the resulting chilli was delicious!

Now for the good bit. I was walking through the aisles of our relatively small local supermarket and what should I find but can upon can of chipotle chillis in adobo sauce. Mr Firehouse was mortified, and I always point them out when I see them as we’re shopping.

Jamie’s recipe calls for oven baking, but I did mine on the stove. He also uses beef shin which I didn’t have accessed so I used a cheap stewing beef. Feel free to use whatever cut of beef you prefer. Stick to cheap, well marbled cuts and bone in is preferred through not essential.  Simply adjust the cooking times, to cook until the meat “falls” off.

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Ingredients

  • 2 red onions chopped
  • 4 cloves garlic chopped
  • 2 chipotle chillis in adobo sauce ( or substitute with red chillis)
  • 1 bunch fresh coriander
  • olive oil
  • 2 teaspoons ground cumin
  • 2 teaspoon paprika
  • 2 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 kg beef stewing meat, chopped into largish chunks
  • 2 x 400 g tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tin of beans (chickpeas, cannelini, red kidney or a mix)
  • 1 red capsicum chopped

Preparation

In a large heavy based saucepan or casserole dish add the oil and chopped onion and garlic. At this point also add the finely chopped stalks of the coriander. When the onions have softened add all the spices, including the bay leaves and cook until the spices have lost their “raw” quality.
Season the meat and add to the pan and coat well in spices. When the meat it coated add the tomatoes. Bring the mixture to the boil, turn the heat town and put the lid own.

Cook until the the meat is falling apart (about 2-3 hours), checking every 1/2 an hour or so to make sure that the pan is not catching at the bottom. At this point, remove the lid and add the capsicum and beans. Stir and leave to simmer and thicken. Add the coriander leaves just before serving,

Serve with salsa, sour cream and some fresh guacamole.

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Sri Lankan Beef Curry

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I was an incredibly fussy eater as a child. The list of foods I didn’t eat was a lot longer than those that I did. I was very anti tomato. I despised mushrooms and if there was anything in my rice; turmeric, vegetables or sultanas (ahhh) my poor parents would have to ask for plain.white.rice. I think they especially enjoyed this when we were at friends places for dinner. I was fussy with fruit, I only liked crunchy, sour types like granny smith apples. I did not eat bananas and okra and eggplant were a bit contentious.

I’m well and truly getting my come-uppance now, Mister C’s tastes change almost daily. Yesterday and today he ate a kiwifruit in a sitting, and now that I’ve gone and bought a bag of the really nice expensive, organic variety, I bet you he’s not going to try any of it.

As I got older I thankfully got over most of these ‘issues’, nowadays there are only a few things I don’t eat, bananas being one of them. I did however stop eating red meat as I finished Uni.  We didn’t eat it much at home, except for mince, and therefore I couldn’t cook it well. By the time I got married I didn’t eat it at all and it was only moving to the US that got me eating it again. Beef is huge here, where you’re likely to get pork or lamb in Australia, Washington especially prides itself on beef (with the animal’s name and favourite variety of grass printed on the menu) and fish. So if you’re not eating much fish, it’s mushrooms for you! When I was pregnant there was a limit to the amount of fish I could eat, I couldn’t eat a lot of cheese (common in the vegetarian meals) and so beef it was.  Now that I started, I’ve been enjoying learning to cook it better and identifying different cuts and of course learning to cook the perfect steak.

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Ingredients

  • 1kg (a little over 2 pounds) of beef stewing meat cut into 2.5 cm (1 inch) chunks
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1 medium red onion, roughly chopped
  • 1tbsp. ginger, roughly chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bird’s-eye chilli, roughly chopped
  • 2 tablespoons ghee
  • 4 cloves
  • 4 cardamon pods bruised
  • 1 cinnamon stick
  • curry leaves
  • 1 tbsp roasted curry powder
  • 1/2 tbsp. curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 1 tsp. of chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 4 large vine-ripened tomatoes pureed in the food processor or 1 tin chopped tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. sugar

Preparation

Marinate the  beef with the salt, pepper and vinegar. Set aside for at least 1/2 an hour.

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In a food processor chop the onion, chilli, ginger and garlic. If you don’t have a good processor just chop all of these up finely.

In  a large heavy bottomed saucepan add the ghee, curry leaves, cloves, cardamon and cinnamon. Wait till the spices start getting lovely and fragrant and add the chopped onion mixture.

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Cook this mixture off until the onions are soft and sweet. Add the spices (chilli, curry powders, turmeric) to the oil and onions and fry until the spices are no longer “raw” .

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Now add the marinated beef and coat evenly with the spice mixture. Finally add the tomatoes and the sugar to the curry. Simmer the curry on medium heat with the lid on for at least an hour or until the sauce is thick and the meat is lovely and tender.

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Filed under Beef, Meat/ Fish Curries, Meat/Fish Dishes, Sri Lankan Food, Uncategorized

Loku Amma’s Chilli Chicken

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This recipe is a family favourite. Something my mother’s older sister (Loku Amma) makes for us whenever we visit. She’s an amazing cook just like my mum and serves this chicken with yellow rice, eggplant pickle and potato curry.

The day we cooked this we were cooking for guests. This means a thorough cleaning of the Morawakella Bungalow and unlocking the pantry cupboards to unearth the “fine china”. The set that comes out is beige with a  gold line and blue accents.  It’s as old as the hills and my Great-uncle Nanda recently told me about when he first saw the set.

Nanda Aththa, as we call him, came to Delwala (my maternal grandmother’s ancestral home) in search of a bride. He hailed from Kandy and this was a day’s journey, if not more. Having arrived in Delwala he was  served lunch as was traditional in the fine blue and beige china. He was served alcohol, slightly less traditional but he remarked that he felt entitled to it so he asked. Then he was served tea, at this point he was worried. The bride (my grandmother’s sister Susila) had not yet appeared.   I turned to Susi Aththamma, who was standing and listening, and asked her what took her so long?

She looked at me slyly over her cup of tea and smiled as she said  “I refused to come out”. When I asked why, her answer was simple. “I had some better offers at the time.”

Now the story ends happily and the two did eventually marry. Maybe she came out and found her prospects were better than expected. Whatever the case may be, these blue and beige dishes have served some important  events and bought together some important people.

This recipe, as you see it today was cooked on a wood fire stove. Don’t you find that amazing? No knob to control the heat, not exhaust, no light.


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Ingredients

  • 2 kg of chicken (thighs and drumsticks work best I find)
  • 1 tbsp. crushed ginger
  • 1tbsp. crushed garlic
  • 1 tsp. turmeric
  • pepper
  • 2 tbsp. soy sauce
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar

Sauce

  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 1/4 cup tomato sauce
  • 2-3 tbsp. sugar ( or to taste)
  • Oil for deep frying

Instructions

1. Marinate the chicken with the first set of ingredients and leave for no more than an hour (the vinegar will start to cook otherwise)

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2. Place the marinated chicken in a pot with some water . When the water comes to the boil, turn the heat down and place the lid on it, cooking until the chicken is cooked through. Drain the chicken and reserve to cooking liquid, this is what will become the sauce.

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Heat the oil in a large frying pan and deep fry the chicken pieces until golden browns and crispy. Drain well on kitchen towels to absorb the excess oil.

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To the reserved cooking liquid add the remaining ingredients for the sauce. Leave the sauce on medium heat until the sauce becomes thick and syrupy.      

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Serve hot with lots of fluffy white rice!

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Black Pork Curry

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A black pork curry is a quintessentially Sri Lankan dish. I’ve never tasted anything quite like it anywhere else in the world. The black comes from pepper, very dark roasted curry powder and either tamarind or goraka (another similar souring agent). During our recent holiday, my cousin Ruvi commented that while spending time with her Grandmother and Great-Aunt in their home in Moratuwa they would feast on Black Pork Curry, served ever so simply with white rice and freshly grated coconut!

Since Podi Achcho, Ruvi’s great-aunt was around at the time I immediately asked her if she would show me how to make it! When I came home that afternoon from the day’s wanderings Podi Achcho and Achcho (Grandmother of the Firehouse clan) had prepared a cooking lesson of sorts just for me.

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The curry itself is simple but requires slow cooking and careful attention to detail on the curry powder. I’ve made this curry before and my mistake has always been to merely “brown” the rice and spices. Silly when I think about it now, black pork requires virtually blackene d spices. Also, I was informed by Podi Achcho that there is an “order” in which the spices have to be placed in the pan. It all makes sense, different spices brown at different rates obviously.

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Black Roasted Curry Powder

  • 2 tbsp. raw rice
  • 3 tbsp. coriander
  • 2 tbsp. cumin
  • 1 tbsp. fennel
  • 1 tsp. cardamon pods
  • 1/2 tsp. mustard
  • 1 pandan leaf
  • curry leaves
  • 1/2 stick of cinnamon

Pork Curry

  • 1.5 kg of pork (you need a bit of fat, I used butt and belly) chopped
  • 1/2 red onion finely chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • 2 tsp. ginger minced
  • salt and pepper
  • 2 green chillis slices
  • 1sp. black pepper
  • 1 tbsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tbsp. tamarind paste
  • 1/4 cup of white vinegar

To make the curry, place all of the curry ingredients in a heavy bottom sauce-pan with 1 cup of water and place on the heat.

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When it comes to the bowl, turn the heat down to a simmer and cook for an hour or until the pork is tender.

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While the pork is cooking  make the curry powder. In a dry pan roast the rice until brown, when you’re satisfied with the colour add the curry leaves, pandan leaf and cinnamon.

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Next add the fennel and fry for a few minutes. Next go the cloves, cardamon and coriander.

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Next to last is the cumin and finally the mustard seeds. Leave the whole mix on the heat until the mustard seeds pop.

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When cool to touch, place the spice mix in a grinder and grind to a fine powder.

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Add 2 heaped tablespoons of the curry powder to the tender pork curry and simmer with the lid off until the liquid has all but evaporated. Add about a teaspoon on top just before serving for  a traditional presentation.

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Bourke St Bakery Style Sausage Rolls

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A friend recently asked my what traditional ‘Aussie’ food was and my immediate reply was meat pies and sausage rolls. I don’t know that they’re uniquely Australian, the English eat pies after all.  But to me, pies and sausage rolls  speak of Australia. Hot pies in metal cases streaming out of the canteen, eating a sausage rolls at a party with flaky pastry covering your face and of course it isn’t the same without oodles of tomato sauce (distinct from high-fructose corn syrup laden tomato ketchup).

The best sausage roll I’ve had in Australia has to be the offering from the Bourke St Bakery. Flaky, crispy and buttery on the outside with a pork and fennel filling within. It’s amazing. Perhaps some of it’s inherent appeal lies in the fact that I’ve always eaten it on a sunny day in Centennial park followed by one of their amazing tarts. Bliss!

This is a version of that sausage roll with my homemade rough puff pastry which I made based on the recipe from here, Guy Awford’s blog. If you don’t have to go to the trouble of making the pastry, embrace it. Pampas is your friend.

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Ingredients

  • 2 garlic cloves crushed
  • 1 tbsp. oil
  • 10g fennel seeds chopped
  • 1.5 thyme sprigs
  • 50g onion chopped finely
  • 50g celery chopped finely
  • 50g carrots chopped finely
  • 400g pork mince
  • handful of bread crumbs
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 3 sheets of puff pastry
  • egg wash for brushing- 1 egg and milk

 Preparation

In a small fry pan fry the garlic, onion, celery and carrot ( I chopped mine in the food processor) until soft. When the vegetables have softened add the thyme and fennel and cook for a few minutes. Leave the mixture to cool.

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In a bowl combine the minced pork, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and cooled vegetables mixture. Use your hands to mix it all together.

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Lay your pastry flat and make a sausage of mince about 2-3 cm from the edge of the pastry. Using your hands is the easiest way I’ve found to do this.

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Now take the edge that is bare and wrap it over the sausage roll. Tuck the pastry in and keep rolling until you have wrapped the whole log of meat in pastry plus a little extra for the “seam”. Brush a little water at the edges to make it stick. Cut to your desired size at this point.

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Eggwash the tops of the rolls and add a few fennel seeds on top. Place the seam down on a baking tray at bake in 350F/180C oven for 45 minutes.

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