Beef Wellington and a chicken liver pate recipe

Whole scotch fillet 1.5 -2 kg
1 kilo packet puff pastry sheets Or see homemade puff pastry recipe:
1 egg

Chicken liver pate

500 grams chicken livers
1 tablespoon butter
½ small brown onion
1 clove garlic
2 rashers fatty bacon
30 ml brandy
2 tablespoon fresh basil leaves
1 tsp thyme leaves salt and cracked pepper
60 ml cream

To make the pate sauté the livers peeled garlic and onion and the roughly chopped bacon in the butter, add the herbs, and cream and simmer for 8 minutes or until the livers are just cooked. Puree and season with the salt and pepper and refrigerate until cooled and set.

Pate in the Thermomix: peel garlic and onion, bacon and livers in the bowl, chop 2 seconds/ speed 3. sauté 100 c/speed 1/3 minutes add cream and herbs and cook 100C/speed 1/five minutes the livers should be just cooked. Puree speed 10/ 1minutues season with salt and pepper and refrigerate until cooled and set.

To make the wellington, trim sinew and seal on all sides in a hot pan. Refrigerate until cool. Cover the meat in the pate and wrap with sheets of pasty, using egg wash to seal the meat and with having minimal patches of thick layers of pastry as this will be take longer to cook and be soggy rather than golden and crisp.

Bake in a 180 C oven for about 40- 1 hour to be cooked to medium use a meat thermometer for the best results and it will be best left to rest for at least 20 minutes (it will continue cooking in this time). Slice and serve.

beef wellington

Pumpkin, cauliflower and red lentil Dahl

This is a very quick dinner idea and my kids love it but I leave the chilli out when making it for them. also great to have a few serves in the freezer for a quick healthy dinner or lunch in the thermos. You can pretty much use any veggies you have i made it recently with eggplant and zucchini.

2 cm piece ginger
2 garlic cloves
1 onion
1 red capsicum
1 large carrot
1 teaspoon oil
1 cup red lentils
1 ½ cup cauliflower
1 ½ cup pumpkin
1 cup water
20 grams palm sugar
1 teaspoon garam masala
½ teaspoon mustard seed
1 teaspoon ground coriander
0-1 teaspoon chilli
200 ml coconut milk
400 grams crushed tomatoes
Juice of ½ lemon
Salt and pepper

Crush garlic, ginger and chop onion, pepper and carrot into a fine dice and sate in the oil in a heavy based pot. Chop the cauliflower and peeled pumpkin into a 1 cm dice, and add as well as all the all the other ingredients to the pot and simmer for about 20 minutes until the lentils and vegetables are cooked, * if you are feeling fussy the pumpkin can be added after 10 and then the cauliflower after 5minutes of cooking but quite like them overcooked and mushy in this Dahl.

In the Thermomix: Peel garlic and ginger and crush speed 4/ 5 seconds. Add onion, red capsicum, carrot and chop speed 4/ 3 seconds. Add oil and sauté speed 1/reverse/100C/2 minutes. Add all other ingredients and cook 100C/speed 1/reverse 15- 20 minutes. * if you are feeling fussy the pumpkin can be added after 10 minutes and then the cauliflower after another 5minutes of cooking but quite like them overcooked and mushy in this Dahl.

Serve with nann bread or some wraps to dip in and natural yogurt


Moroccan spiced chickpea and vegetable curry

Use any vegetables that are available in this curry. Vegetables that can be overcooked quickly such as broccoli and beans can be blanched in boiling water separately for a few minutes then added in the last few minutes with the cooked chickpeas. The sauce can be made ahead of time and also frozen, and then with a tin of cooked chickpeas from the pantry makes a simple and healthy weeknight meal. Dried chickpeas are a more economical way to purchase them, they need to be soaked overnight and need to be boiled for about one hour.
Teaspoon olive oil
medium onion
2 cloves garlic
¼ teaspoon chilli
1 teaspoon crushed fennel seed
½ teaspoon crushed coriander seed
½ teaspoon ground ginger
1 teaspoon cumin
½ teaspoon sweet paprika
300 ml vegetable stock
400 grams tomato
2 carrots
2 parsnips
1 cup diced pumpkin

2 cup cooked chickpeas
1 cup cabbage
2 cups spinach
Sauté the diced onion and crushed garlic in the olive oil in a large heavy based pot over a low heat for about 2 minutes until soft. Add fennel, coriander, ginger cumin and paprika and continue sautéing for a further 2 minutes. Add stock and tomato and cook for 10 minutes. Season with the salt and pepper and leave for the flavours to infuse for a least one hour, refrigerated overnight would be good.
Bring the sauce back to a light simmer and add the peeled and diced pumpkin, carrot and parsnip and simmer for about 12 minutes until they are cooked. Add chickpeas and spinach and heat thorough serve with rice or cous cous and sour cream or natural yogurt.

Beef and noodle soup

I had a delicious beef and udon soup at Orizuru (Mures, Hobart) earlier in the week and was keen to make something similar at home, also to try new dishes rather than the same old with the side of beef in the freezer. I used a small piece of rump and a small poterhouse, both end bits. I didn’t have a chance to shop for new ingredients so I was pretty thrilled with the end result made from what I had in the pantry. I will try this again with a homemade beef stock to add some more depth to the flavour.

serves 2

1 onion
¼ teaspoon chilli
1 tablespoon miso paste
1 teaspoon soy sauce
1 tablespoon honey
700 ml beef stock
1 large carrot
1 stick celery
1 red capsicum
10 snow peas
200 grams cooked noodles
200 grams steak (eye fillet, porterhouse, rump)

Finely slice onion and chilli and sauté in a medium size pot. Add miso, soy, honey and beef stock and bring to a gentle boil. Season with salt and pepper and more chilli if you like.

Slice the beef thinly, slice all remaining vegetables and put the beef and vegetables into the simmering soup, quickly to heat, about 30 seconds to 1 minute and serve immediately on top of the hot noodles



Side of beef

Ok, so I have worked my way through the side of lamb and part of the pork, now its time for the beef. If you have the freezer space purchasing by the side is a economical way to buy meat and most importantly you know where your meat has come from and what you are getting. If you are a smaller family maybe go halves or thirds with another smaller family to turn it over quicker.

It’s a lot of meat 60 – 80 kilos, its ends up about 30 percent prime cuts such as scotch fillet steaks and topside roasts and 70% mince and stewing steak and mince, which is probably more prime cuts than the average family with young kids (if like mine there favourite meals are meatballs and lasagne) would purchase normally. I like to order one at the beginning of winter because I enjoy slow cooking food during winter.

When my 78 kilos of meat and about 15 kilos of bones arrived, although I was dreading such a boring job when I woke up in the morning, I vacuum packed all the prime cuts, T-Bone steaks, eye fillet steaks, scotch fillet steaks, porterhouse steaks, topside roasts, blade roasts. And it’s always well worth going to the effort of packing them well it makes a massive difference on the quality when defrosted and grilled.

For the stewing steaks and mince I just packaged them in a freezer bag as it’s probably not going to make that much difference to the end product if it has been cooked for a few hours compared to the effort and expense involved in the vacuum packing.

I froze some bones and roasted most to go in 2 large stockpots with carrot leek, thyme, celery, parsley and pepper corns to be simmered for 8 hours to make a rich beef stock then reduce down with tomato and red wine to create a thick, gelatinous demi-glace to freeze in small portions to defrost at a later date and use as the base of a sauce. I did feel wrong when I used a little gravox in a sauce to serve with my wellington at Easter not only does it worry me what is in a commercial stock powder they don’t have any depth of flavour.

DPP_343the bones simmering to make a delicious demi glaze to use as a base for sauces and gravies

To make a delicious mushroom sauce with my demi I will simply defrost sauté some fresh mushrooms in a little butter add the defrosted demi a dash of cream, reduce slightly and serve simple. Other variations could be green pepper corn, red wine and sage, caramelised onion and I will add these recipes and more as I make them….

I also made a brine of salt water, cinnamon, cloves and brown sugar and pickled 6 portions of silverside its the first time I have made my own! It needs to pickle for at least five days

DPP_344the silverside in the brine for 5 days to make corned beef

And I made a tray of hamburgers for the freezer, we love a homemade hamburger with the lot with lots of salad for an easy dinner.


on my blog already there are plenty of beef recipes but I will add more as I make them. Here are some ideas to use the different cuts of beef:

T bone          BBq or grill
Porter house  BBQ or grill
scotch fillet  BBq or grill
eye fillet   BBQ or grill, bake, stuff with cheese or oysters
rump      schnitzels, marinated steaks, stir frys
 mince    burgers, lasagne, bolognaise, pies, meatloaf, meatballs, chow min, chilli con carne               silverside     roast or pickle for corned beef
oyster blade: slow braise ie beef and red wine
stewing steak   : slow cooked beef dishes, goulash, slow cooked curries, slow cooked for pie fillings
topside: roast, schnitzels (bashed thin) stir frys, marinated steaks
blade : roast, slow cooked



Pinkeyes and homemade Aioli

Buggar the CSIRO diet this week! I couldn’t resist the “freshly dug pinkeye” sign in copping on the weekend.

I used the potatoes to make the most delicious salmon salad with home made aioli, if you have never made your own aioli or mayonnaise it’s a must try, it tastes so better than a packaged.

The Potatoes where so fresh that the skin almost all peeled off with a wipe of a cloth. To cook the potatoes, clean them by giving them a scrub or scrap with a butter knife, the fresher the potatoes makes them easier to clean. Pink eyes that have been stored for a long period almost need to be peeled. Cover with water in pot with a lid and let simmer for about 25 minutes (depending on the size of the potato) drain and cool.

1 large clove garlic
1 egg yolk
1 tablespoon white vinegar
350 approx ml olive oil
salt and pepper


In the blender or TM, Crush the garlic, add yolk, vinegar and blend (with TM add butterfly speed 4) and very slowly add the oil in a thin stream, season with the salt and pepper.

For the salad, I served the diced cooled potatoes tossed with aioli, chives, parsley and a tin of tassal roast salmon. Simple.


Making Ham

I was inspired by The little Quoin farmhouse recipe in the Bream creek farmers market cookbook for baked ham to make my own ham this Christmas. First pickling the pork in a salty brine and then boiling the pork to cook and then baking to glaze. I had a whole leg of pork and made a brine of salt (800grams), brown sugar (cup), cloves (tsp)and mustard seed (TBS) and weighted the pork down with a stack of clean plates in the brine, 100 grams of salt per kilo of meat. refridgerated for 7 days turning every couple of days.  I had to use a large eski heaps of ice and a large container to fit my 8 kilo leg of pork!


after the seven days I then simmered the leg for about 4 hours in a large pot of fresh water.


Then I removed the skin keeping the fat on and scoured the fat without cutting the meat.

Then I Baked the ham with a Honey and honk mustard glaze
120 grams honey
1 tablespoon honk Mustard
2 cups sweet white wine, I used a sparkling
1 tablespoon brown sugar

Tune the oven onto 180 C. Put all ingredients in a pot and bring to a gentle boil, put the ham in a heavy based baking tray and pour about a fifth of the glaze over the leg and put it in the oven, it will need to bake for about 1 1/2 hours brushing new glaze over it every 20 minutes or so.



And it was delicious! and artificial preservatives free.