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Wood Smoked SweetAs Kumara Salad

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The lovely Kumara (sweet potato) from Kaipara Kumara is wonderful smoked over fruit woods and charcoal. It offers a wide range of uses in recipes from the addition to fresh seasonal salad, mashed and filled back into its skins, diced into small bites on a skewer with blanched vegetables and char grilled and added to shredded fish to make flavourful fishcakes.

I prefer a medium fast smoking for the Kumara. Preparation is easy and takes about 1 1/2 hours.

Ingredients

4 medium to large SweetAs Kumara’s
4 tablespoons butter, meltedCoarse sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
6 by 75mm sprigs of fresh rosemary lightly rubbed between the palms of your hand to release some oils

Your choice of seasonal greens, rocket, diced cherry tomatoes and sliced spring onions

Method

Fire up your charcoal bbq and heat to 150C (300F) and let the bbq become stable at this cooking temperature.

Clean under running cold water and brush any dust or dirt off the skins then gently dry with paper towels. Cut in half longways and pat dry again. Place in a foil roasting tray and brush all over with the melted butter. Season with salt and pepper and lay the rosemary sprigs over the top of the Kumara pieces.

Place the Kumara in the center of the grill and add some small chunks of fruit woods, apple, plum or cherry. Close the bbq cover (lid) and cook the Kumara until the skins are nicely browned and the flesh is becoming tender but not cooked all the way through, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Lightly brush a little more melted butter and close the lid again and cook for about 30 minutes or until the flesh is cooked but still slightly firm.

Remove from the smoker and let the Kumara cool. Dice into small cubes and add to your mixed salad.

Serve slightly chilled.

A Fine Onion Bourbon Bone Marrow Jam

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We all know how much I love my onion and bourbon jam with almost anything BBQ and with the addition of some smoked bone marrow it takes this a “goto” to impress. The smoked bone marrow adds a sweet, rich background base that attaches it so well to pulled pork or brisket.

In general red onions are sweeter and make great onion jam and cooked to this recipe its like a relish.

I happily dilute with a bit more bourbon then warm it up when I want a thinner sauce more like a gravy with a fuller bourbon flavour.

Ingredients

100g butter
6 cups medium sliced red onions,
1/2 cup bourbon, My goto is Jack Daniel’s Old No:7
4 tbs honey, 
1 cup smoked bone marrow (recipe below)
3 tbs balsamic vinegar,
1 tsp sumac,
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to season.

Smoked Bone Marrow

About 8-10 marrow bones split lengthwise by your butcher to expose the marrow
Salt and pepper to season
Oil

Give the marrow bones a careful wipe off to remove any little bone fragments that may be there.

Season the marrow in the bones with salt and pepper and some oil and place in your smoker for 90-120 minutes, indirect cooking at approximately 300f. I like a little bit of applewood smoke to add a light, sweet smoke flavour.

Remove and rest to cool enough to handle and scrap out with a teaspoon into a small bowl.

Making The Jam

Melt the butter in a heavy-based saucepan over medium heat, do not let it bubble/cook to a point when it starts to darken in colour. Add the onions, reduce to medion low and cook, stirring occasionally, until they’re very soft and stringy but not brown, 12 to 15 min.

Add the bourbon, sumac and honey and continue to cook over medium low if you haven’t already, simmer, stirring occasionally until the mixture is thick and jammy, another 20 to 30 min.

Add the vinegar and smoked marrow, season with salt and pepper to taste and simmer for another 10 minutes on low. Taste and adjust seasoning if required.

You can bottle as is or blitz in a food processor to a medium or fine blend.

Bottle in a warm jar, seal and store in fridge. Use within 2 weeks.

Making A Beef Burger That Will Impress

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Mincing your own beef mince is a life changing experience if you have never done it before. The flavour you get from it makes you realise that there is no better way. Just ensure there is a good amount of visible fat in the mix. If you don’t like the fat, well maybe a perfect burger is not for you.

You can blend in your own choice of herbs and spices for the best burger taste in town.

I have a Kenwood with mincer attachment and use a 10mm plate for a course (ground) mince. I work to achieve a 20/80 ration of fat to beef. 30/70 is the ratio when I am making pork burgers.

Brisket and chuck are my two preferred options for beef burgers.

Once you have ground the beef and fat to your desired ratio, in a big bowl add your chosen seasoning and spices (flavours) and mix around with your hands to combine. If you’ve used different cuts make sure they are mixed through. Be gentle when you are combing and don’t over work the blending.

Note: When mincing in the seasoning I only add a small amount of salt at this stage, a quarter of the normal salt added. Salt at normal levels too early will cause the muscle proteins start to dissolve resulting in a dense, sausage like patty. I season with salt about 10 minutes before cooking.

Form the mince in to balls and weigh them adding or removing to get tour desired weight. I usually make 200g patty’s. I don’t go below 125g in size. Press down the balls with your hand to form the patty. Again, don’t overwork the meat or it will be too dense.

Cooking

For that perfect flavour in the patty I direct grill over charcoal. You can smoke them, reverse sear them, sear on a flat plate – but as this is about the perfect burger patty I love the flavour of the charcoal.

Cooking the patty’s in this way for me maximises that crunchy exterior formed by the maillard reaction while still extracting the extra flavours that come with charcoal and wood-fire based cooking.

Take your patties out of the fridge and season with salt and pepper.  I put the lightest smear of oil on the patties just to help the seasoning stick. Be liberal with your seasoning, especially the pepper, as this is what will form that delicious crust.  

Put your patties on the grill, flipping once a good crust has formed.  Make sure you have a solid scraper/spatula as you need to be confident when sliding it under the patty or else you’ll leave half of it on the grill.

Cook to your desired doneness. I like to cook to a “just becoming medium” around the 135-140f (57-60c).

If you opted for a thick patty, 200g or more you may find you need to pop the lid on your Que for a touch to help the patty cook through a little faster.

Apply cheese once you’re a couple of degrees off your desired doneness and pop the lid back on to melt and then rest a couple of minutes and build your creations and serve. More about this in another post.

Harringtons Black Pudding Bacon and Egg Brunch

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I love a tasty brunch and this was quick to plate and perfect the other week. I had some cubed roasted vegetables leftover from the night before and with some of Harrington Small Goods in the fridge, their yummy dry cured streaky bacon and black pudding so I made myself and a couple of friends very happy.

I have been cooking with Harrington Small Goods for years and love their range. Check out their website for a wide selection is very traditional small goods that are well worth trying.

http://www.harringtonsmallgoods.co.nz/our-products/

Serves 4

Extra virgin olive oil
2 cups of diced, leftover roasted vegetables
Harringtons black pudding, cut into eight (1cm/½in) slices or 4 long slices) as in the image
8 rashers of Harringtons dry-cured bacon
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 eggs (as fresh as possible), poach more if desired
Salt and freshly ground black pepper

Crusty bread, to serve if desired

Preheat oven to 170C

In a baking tray spread the leftover roasted vegetable cubes and give them a light coating of olive oul and season with salt and pepper. Bake for 10 minutes and turn oven down to 160C to keep them warm.

Heat a frying pan over a medium heat and add one tablespoon of the olive oil. Add the black pudding in 2 batches and cook for one minute on each side until tender. Transfer to a plate lined with kitchen paper. Once drained add to the top of the vegetables in the oven to keep warm.

Increase the heat a little, add the 4 bacon slices and sauté until lightly golden. Remove with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper and then add to the black pudding to keep warm. Repeat

To poach the eggs, bring a saucepan of water to the boil. Add the vinegar to the water, season with salt and reduce to a very gentle simmer. Carefully break the eggs into the water and simmer for three to four minutes until just cooked but still soft on the inside. Remove the eggs with a slotted spoon and drain on kitchen paper, trimming away ragged edges of egg white.

In 4 wide bowls serve the roasted with the black pudding, bacon and egg(s) on top of the vegetables. Enjoy!!!

Honey BBQ Sauce Pork Spare Ribs

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Pork Ribs With Honey BBQ Sauce

The Sauce

1 cup Manawa Honey
1 ¼ cups tomato sauce
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1/4 cup molasses
1/4 cup pineapple juice
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
¼ cup water
1 tablespoon worchestire sauce
1 teaspoon dried sumac (optional)
2 ½ teaspoons ground mustard
2 teaspoons smoked paprika
½ teaspoon garlic powder
1/4-1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper use less or more to taste
1 ½ teaspoons fine plain salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Combine all the ingredients in a medium sized pot and bring to a boil, reduce and simmer for five minutes or until all the sugar has dissolved. Serve immediately or cover and store in fridge for up to 1 week.

The Ribs

1-2 rack of meaty pork ribs, about 1 to 1.5kg each
1 tablespoon onion powder
1 tablespoon garlic powder
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat your oven to 140C.

Select a large baking pan to fit ribs in one layer. Line with heavy duty foil. Place baking rack (a cake rack works fine) inside lined pan to keep ribs from resting on the bottom of the pan.

Remove the thin membrane (silverskin) from the back side of the ribs (if not already done by the butcher).

Sprinkle both sides of the spareribs liberally with onion powder, garlic powder, salt and pepper. Place seasoned ribs, bone side down, on the rack in the baking pan.

Divide the sauce in to 2 containers and from 1 container using a pastry brush cover the ribs with the sauce covering all exposed areas.

Cover pan tightly with heavy-duty foil. Bake about 90 minutes then baste the ribs with sauce. Recover and bake for abother hour. Baste again and bake 1 more hour.

Uncover the ribs and baste heavily and bake for 45 minutes. Remove from oven, baste and rest for 15 minutes.

Serve spareribs with reserved barbecue sauce.

Drunken BLACK Pork Spare Ribs

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Serves 2

1kg rack of pork spare ribs
2 tablespoons (60ml) Stabler & Steel’s Sauce “Black”
3 cloves of garlic, crushed
100g dark soft brown sugar
600g tomato tomato paste
½ cup bourbon
1 tablespoon (30ml) chilli sauce (optional, adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to season

Preheat your oven on medium low to 150˚C (130˚C) fan.

Peel and roughly chop the onion, quite rustic chop. Place a frying pan over a medium heat until its hot and sdd the olive oil and onions. Cook turning for 3-4 minutes and then add the garlic and season with salt and pepper and cook for another 5 minutes.

Add the chilli sauce (if using) and brown sugar and cook, stirring, for a further 1 to 2 minutes until the sugar has melted.

Add the tomato paste and the Stabler & Steel’s Sauce “Black” and bourbon then stir it to combine. Bring to the boil and then reduce the heat to a simmer for 10 minutes or until the sauce thickens.

Place the ribs into a deep-sided roasting tray and pour the sauce all over the ribs.

Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 2 hours.

After 2 hours increase the temp to 180˚C (160˚C) fan, remove the foil and cook for 30 to 45 minutes turning and basting every 15 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let the ribs cool down so they are not too hot to handle before serving.

Serve while warm with finger bowls of warm water and lemon juice.

BBQ Sauce with Stabler & Steel’s Black

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A while ago I was working with Stabler & Steel’s Sauce “Black” and I decided to make some bbq sauce with it. I was completely taken aback with the superb result and love making small batch bbq sauce for special dishes.

I use this bbq sauce when I am entertaining and require a sauce with a delicate bbq flavour that complements meats and vegetables that have been cooked oner charcoal or on a gas bbq.

Forget the worcestershire sauce, once go use Stabler & Steel’s “Black” you won’t be going back.

Makes about 500ml

Ingredients

2 tablespoons Stabler & Steel’s Sauce Black

1 1/2 cups of tomato purée
1/3 cup fine chopped red onion,
2 tablespoons cider vinegar
2 teaspoons sugar or honey
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon sumac
2 teaspoons smokey paprika or a good quality BBQ seasoning
100ml bourbon (optional)
1/4 teaspoon salt

Directions

Put the Stabler & Steel’s Sauce Black Sauce,tomato purée, onion, cider vinegar, sugar/honey, sumac, smokey paprika, garlic powder and salt in a heavy, medium saucepan and bring to a simmer over medium heat.

Add the bourbon if using and reduce the heat to very low and simmer, uncovered, stirring frequently, for 10 minutes to blend the flavors. Remove from the heat.

Bottle in a hot jar with lid and store in the fridge. Use within two weeks.

Black Caramelised Onions with Bacon and Sweet Potato

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A great tasting spoon starter when you are entertaining and easy to bring together.

Makes about 1½ cups (Caramelized Onions)

Ingredients

2 tbsp Stabler & Steel Sauce Magic Black

1/4 cup good olive oil
1 tbsp honey
1/2 cup thin sliced and diced smoky bacon
1 tbsp lemon juice
3 large red onions
1 tsp dried thyme
2 marge sweet potatoes, pealed, cooked and cubes
1 tbsp diced chilli (optional, adjust to taste)
Salt and pepper to taste

Method

Slice the onions in half, then slice very thin.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add the onions and bacon then season with salt and pepper.

Stir constantly until the liquid starts to evaporates from the onions, about 8-10 minutes and then add the honey and lemon juice. You must stir so the onions so they don’t steam in their own juices otherwise they will not caramelize. This takes about 15 minutes.

Reduce the heat to a medium low, add the thyme, chilli (if using) and Stabler & Steel Sauce Magic Black, stir well and cook an additional 20-25 minutes, stirring frequently, until the onions are a rich golden brown.

Add the diced sweet potato cubed and lightly turn to mix and warm up, check seasoning and adjust to taste.

Server in warmed (to the touch) tasting spoons and garnish with some diced chives or parsley.

Slow Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Smoky Dragon Chipotle Sauce

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Smoked Beef Short Ribs with Smoky Dragon Chipotle Sauce
(Available from www.hotsauce.kiwi)

Serves 4

Ingredients

2kg (4.4lbs) beef short ribs, trimed of silver slin, cut in 2 if desired

¼ cup extra virgin olive oil

½ cup rub your prefered beef rub

For the Finishing Liquid

1-2 tbsp Smoky Dragon SH!THOT Chipotle (Adjust to taste)
(Available from www.hotsauce.kiwi)

1 cup dry red wine

1 cup beef broth
2 tbsp butter

Method

Preheat smoker to 110ºC/225ºF degrees with charcoal and fruit wood and get the tempratrue settled and stable.

Rub ribs with olive oil and season liberally with your choice of rub. If the rub does not have salt and pepper season the ribs before applying the dry rub.

Cook in the smoker for 2 hours maintaining a constant hear.

Combine finishing liquid ingredients in a pot and warm to a simmer for 10 minutes, just before the first 2 hours of smoking is finishing.

Remove the ribs and place in dish large enough to hold them.

Raise the internal temperature of your smoker to 190ºC/375ºF.

Cover the dish tightly with aluminum foil after pouring the finishing liuqid over the ribs and place in the smoker for 2½ hours.

Remove from smoker and baste, recover and cook for another 1-2 hours or until the ribs are fork tender and have pulled down the bone and an internal meat temprature of 95ºC is achieved
(Look for the meat pulling back off the bone and a good dark brown/black colour).

Remove from the smoker, baste the ribs with the sauce and wrap in foil tightly to rest for 20-25 minutes.

Remove the liquid to a small saucepan and mix 2 tsp cornflour with 3 tbsp of red wine. Add to the liquid and sinner over a low heat until its thickened slightly for a yummy sauce. Serve barbecue with sauce on the side.

Serve with your choice of sides

Cornbread Muffin Cups

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2 cups coarse cornmeal (available in New Zealand as maize flour or maize meal )
2 cups flour (use gluten-free as required)
1/4 cup caster sugar
1 1/2 tablespoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 eggs
2 and 3/4 cups milk
1/2 cup sour cream
1/4 cup vegetable oil
1 1/2 cups cheddar (tasty) cheese, grated
Fine diced fresh chilli to taste (optional)

Preheat oven to 200C (400F) degrees, making sure its well warmed up.

Grease a standard size muffin/cupcake tray.

Hot sauce match – Smoky Dragon Chipotle

Mix dry and wet ingredients in 2 separate bowls. Pour the dry over the wet and combine the ingredients gently taking care not to overmix, the batter should be a little lumpy.

Pour into the muffin tray compartments, filling each to ¾ full.

Bake for 10-12 minutes until firm to the touch and lightly browned.

Let muffins cool completely and using a teaspoon or a small knife cut or scoop out the middle of the muffin, making a deep well for your filling.

Add your choice of warmed filling, leftover pulled pork is perfect. Top with a poached egg, garnish with diced chilli if using and serve.

Hot sauce match Smoky Dragon Chipotle