Recipes Of The Month
BEEF FAJITA WITH BAKED SWEET POTATO WEDGES
Prep time: 10 – 15 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
2 sweet potatoes (about 1 ½ lb), cut into 1 inch wedges
3 tablespoons olive oil or coconut oil (you can also use good quality fat if you like, such as duck fat, lard or tallow)
sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
1 lb tri-tip beef, fat and sinew removed and cut into strips
juice of ½ lime, plus extra to serve
½ teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
½ teaspoon chipotle powder or chili powder
1 onion, sliced
1 bell pepper, deseeded and sliced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 x 14 oz can diced tomato
Cilantro sprigs and lime wedges, to serve.
Preheat the oven to 400°F.
Lightly coat a large baking tray with oil.
Place the sweet potato wedges in a bowl, add 1 tablespoon of the oil or fat and some sea salt and pepper and mix well. Spread wedges on the prepared tray in a single layer. Bake for 20 minutes, then turn the wedges over and bake for another 20 minutes, or until tender and golden.
Meanwhile, place the beef strips, lime juice and spices in a non-reactive bowl and season with salt and freshly cracked pepper. Toss the meat until well coated. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to marinate for 15 minutes.
Heat a frying pan with another 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté for 3 minutes or until softened and translucent. Add the bell pepper and continue to sauté for 5 minutes or until slightly softened.
Add the garlic, and sauté for 30 seconds or until fragrant. Pour in the tomatoes and stir in ¼ cup of water. Reduce the heat to medium-low and simmer for 15 minutes. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
Place another frying pan over medium-high heat with the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the marinated meat strips in batches and sauté for 2 minutes until slightly charred and cooked to medium-rare, or cook to your liking. Add the vegetable sauce and gently mix through to combine.
To serve, garnish the chili beef fajita with cilantro and serve with sweet potato wedges and lime wedges.
ITALIAN LAMB SHANK SOUP WITH VEGIES
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 2 ½ hours
Serves: 6 – 8
1 ½ lb lamb shank
Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil or coconut oil (you can also use good quality fat if you like, such as duck fat, lard or tallow)
2 large onions, finely sliced
4 large cloves garlic, sliced
1 tablespoon dried oregano
2 x 14.5 oz cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
2 qt broth, or water
2 zucchinis, halved lengthways and sliced
1.3 lb pumpkin, peeled, cut into ¾ inch dice
Zest and juice from half lemon
2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley
Season the lamb shank with salt and pepper. Heat the oil or fat in a large saucepan over medium–high heat and add the shank. Brown on all sides, about 6 minutes, then remove from the pan. Reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and sauté, stirring occasionally, for 6-8 minutes until softened.
Add the garlic and oregano to the pan and sauté for 1–2 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook for 3–4 minutes. Pour in the broth or water, then return the shanks to the pan and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat to medium–low and cover with the lid. Simmer the soup for 1 ½ hours.
After 1 ½ hours of cooking, add zucchini and pumpkin, season with salt and pepper. Simmer for a further 40 minutes or until the meat is falling off the bone.
Remove the lamb shank from the stew and when the meat is cool enough to handle, remove the meat from the bone and shred or chop the flesh. Return the meat to the pan and stir through the soup. Adjust the seasoning and stir in the lemon juice.
Ladle into warm bowls and sprinkle with parsley and lemon zest to serve.
SATAY PORK SKEWERS
Prep time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 8 - 10 minutes
2 lb pork collar butt, cut into 1 inch cubes
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
cilantro leaves, to serve
lime wedges, to serve
1 ½ teaspoons lime zest
1 ½ tablespoons lime juice
1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted, plus extra for cooking
2 tablespoons tamari
1 ½ tablespoons fish sauce
3 garlic cloves, crushed
1 ½ tablespoons finely grated ginger
1 ½ tablespoons ground turmeric
1 ½ teaspoons ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
pinch sea salt
Macadamia satay sauce
1 cup macadamia nuts
1/2 cup almond butter
2 tablespoons finely grated ginger
1 long red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 tablespoons tamari or coconut aminos
1 tablespoon sesame oil
1 tablespoon maple syrup (optional)
Combine the marinade ingredients in a large bowl and mix well. Add the pork and toss until thoroughly coated. Cover with plastic wrap and place in the fridge to marinate for at least 2 hours, or overnight.
Soak eight bamboo skewers in a shallow dish of cold water for 20 minutes. Drain.
Meanwhile, to make the macadamia satay sauce, combine the macadamia nuts and almond butter in a food processor bowl and pulse until well ground. Add the ginger and chilli and process until blended. Pour in the tamari or coconut aminos, sesame oil and maple syrup (if using) and blend well. Gradually pour in ½ cup of water and pulse until the sauce is smooth. If the sauce is a little too thick, simply add more water. Season with a little salt, if desired.
Heat a barbecue plate or chargrill pan to medium–hot. Thread the marinated pork cubes onto the prepared skewers and season with salt and pepper. Cook the skewers, basting with the marinade, for 3 minutes on each side until browned and cooked through. Scatter the coriander leaves over the skewers and serve with the lime wedges and the satay sauce on the side.
HOW TO PREPARE YOUR GROUND MEAT AT HOME
2lbs tri-tip beef or
2lbs pork butt collar or
2lbs flat iron
Using a sharp knife, trim off any sinew, tendon, connective tissue or cartilage that may be still on the meat and throw it away.
When grinding the meat, these tissues will be noticeable in the ground meat and will be unpleasant and chewy to eat if you don’t remove them.
Leave all the fat on the meat and cut the meat into 1 inch cubes. Proper ground meat that you get from the butcher or grocery store contains fat so be sure not to cut this off. Leaving the fat on the meat will make the ground beef cook better and stay juicy.
Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper. Place the meat pieces spread out on the tray slightly apart from each other so they don’t touch. You may need two trays.
Transfer the baking sheet to the freezer and freeze for 20 – 30 minutes or until partially frozen. Place the blade and bowl of the food processor in the freezer, too. Chilling the meat, blade and bowl gives you cleaner cuts and keeps the fat from melting during the chopping process.
Working in batches, add the semi-frozen beef cubes to a food processor, and pulse 4 – 6 times until finely chopped. Don’t over-process as you don’t want it to become a paste. Pick through the ground meat to see if any large chunks remain, and regrind those pieces.
Use the ground meat immediately, or refrigerate or freeze until ready to use.