Category Archives: Beef

Chorizo Sausage Rolls




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.



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


  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.





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

Spicy Beef Patties





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.



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


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.


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


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.


Now use a fork to press along the edges.


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



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

Leave a comment

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.



  • 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


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.


Leave a comment

Filed under Beef, Meat/Fish Dishes, Uncategorized

Sri Lankan Beef Curry


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.




  • 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


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


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.


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” .


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.






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

Moroccan Meatballs with Egg and Tomato

IMG_5937In my humble opinion, nobody does cooking shows quite like the British. Paula Deen, butter and all, has nothing on Nigella. The Pioneer Woman’s frontier is pretty amazing but doesn’t quite have the appeal of River Cottage or Hugh and his curly locks. And really, can anyone compare to Jamie Oliver (the correct answer is NO). Having grown up with British chefs, getting used to the American style of cooking show has been quite a challenge. Maybe I’m looking in the wrong place but the shows I’ve seen are generally set in studios  with lots of “somethings” that have been prepared earlier. They lack Nigella’s sass, Jamie’s enthusiasm and passion and Hugh’s sense of adventure.

One of the chefs I miss the most is Rick Stein. The British chef from Cornwall with a passion for all things fish. When I’m homesick I sometimes watch cooking shows on YouTube and Rick Stein’s European Odyssey is a firm favourite. It was while watching his sojourn through Morocco that I saw the basis for this recipe that was originally cooked in a Tagine.

I ‘ve adapted it and probably removed some of the authentic Moroccaness, but I still love this recipe on a cold winter’s night and really makes me want to see Morocco.


  • 450g minced beef
  • small bunch of fresh parsley chopped
  • 2 tbsp. ground cumin
  • 2 tbsp. paprika
  • 1 tsp. chilli powder (or to taste)
  • 1 medium onion chopped
  • 2 tins of chopped tomatoes
  • 2 cloves garlic crushed
  • 4 eggs
  • Fresh parsley or coriander to serve
  • Salt and Pepper to taste
  • Oil


In bowl mix together the mince, parsley, 1 tbsp. of cumin, 1 tsp. of paprika and some salt & pepper. Using your hands, fashion them into about 40 small meatballs. 


Add a little olive oil into a deep casserole dish that has a lid and brown the meatballs. Be careful not to overcrowd the pan. I fried mine in two batches. Using a slotted spoon, remove from the pan when they’ve got a bit of colour and transfer to a plate.


Add another splash of oil into the pan and add the onions and garlic. Cook them until the onions are soft and have a little bit of colour. At this point you can use a touch of water to de-glaze the pan if there’s lovely brown flavour stuck to the bottom. Now add the remaining cumin, paprika and chilli, if you’re using, and fry off the spices for a few minutes.


Finally, add the tomato. Simmer the sauce for 10 minutes until it’s thickened and the flavour has intensified. I know that’s a bit airy fairy but you want to be able to taste all the spices and a deep tomato flavour.


Add the meatballs back into the sauce and give it a stir, place the lid on and cook for 10 minutes until the meatballs are cooked through.


Now make four spaces in the sauce and crack the eggs into the pan. Place the lid back on the pot and turn the stove off. The residual heat should just “set” the eggs and leave the yolks lovely and runny.


Sprinkle some fresh parlsey on top and serve with a green salad and some fresh crusty bread or fluffly white rice!



Filed under Beef, Meat/Fish Dishes, Uncategorized