Smoked pork hock soup with black eyed beans, kale and peas


This soup was a two-stage process using a pressure cooker. I can’t give exact measurements for the soup, but you probably won’t need it. The first part involves pressure cooking a pork hock in about 3 litres (3 quarts) of water containing 2 onions, 2 carrots, 2 stalks celery, half a head of garlic, all roughly chopped, 2 bay leaves, 1 Tb cumin ground, 1 tsp cinnamon ground, and 1/2 cup apple cider vinegar. Once up to pressure, I cooked it for 3 h, then left it to cool overnight. I then sieved out the meat, retaining the liquid. I picked out the best parts of the hock and kept aside. I then re-used the liquid to pressure cook the beans (2 cups dry) with 1 large bunch kale minced, 1 minced onion, 3-4 minced garlic cloves, 1 large can diced tomatoes, 1 Tb coriander ground, 1 Tb oregano dried, and 1 tsp black pepper ground. I topped up the liquid to about the 3 litre mark.  Once up to pressure, the beans cooked for about 30 minutes with a quick pressure release. Keeping the burner on low, I added 2 cups of frozen peas and the meat, cooked another 10 minutes, and then salted to taste. I served it with toasted bread and butter. 

Categories: Uncategorized

Roast sumac chicken and martini


This is an easy one pan dish for the oven. 1 whole chicken, 1 onion, 1 stalk celery, 4 carrots, 12 mushrooms, 12 small chat potatoes, 1 red bell pepper, 1 green bell pepper, 4 cloves garlic, handful of parsley, 2 Tb sumac, 1 Tb oregano, 1 tsp thyme, 1 Tb coriander seed, salt and pepper to taste, 1/2 bottle white wine. Cut vegetables roughly, except keep potatoes and mushrooms whole. Sauté vegetables in oil using an oven proof dish for about 5-10 min. Add the chicken, then the herbs and spices, salt and pepper (about 1 Tb salt is enough), then pour in the wine. Place the dish in the oven, 180 C (350 F) for 1 h, turning the chicken at the 30 min mark.

The martini has nothing to do with the dish, rather I just like martinis, but it did go very well with the dinner. I bought a Spanish gin that was distilled with olives, rosemary, and juniper, and mixed 2 oz with 2 oz dry vermouth, and 1/2 oz triple sec, grated lemon rind, and green olives. It all went down very well!

Categories: dinner

Raw food diet for dogs

March 14, 2015 Leave a comment

I’ve adopted two dogs recently, and I made my first attempt at a raw food diet for Max and Rosella. Max especially likes it, while Rosella still prefers her dry food. It’s easy to make, but you need a food processor or grinder. Essentially, mince and grind all the ingredients until relatively smooth, and then portion into 1 lb (500 g) portions and freeze until the day before needed. The recipe is after the photos (not pretty but the dogs love it!)

6 lb (3 kg) meat, minced or mince quality (I used a mixture of beef and kangaroo)

2 lb (1kg) lamb kidney

2 lb (1 kg) lamb liver

1 apple, cored

1 large stalk celery

1 large carrot

1 bunch parsley

4 eggs, shells included

2 Tb natural digestive mix, which contains psyllium husk, carob, linseed, and slippery elm bark

Braised chicken with mixed vegetables

January 5, 2015 Leave a comment



Simple and effective. Roasted Maryland chicken cuts (leg and extended thigh, with skin) in a mixture of great vegetables, served with mashed potatoes. In an oven proof deep dish on the stove, brown the chicken, set aside, and then sauté the vegetables accordingly. Add the wine, reduce the liquid by half, then add the tomatoes and the herbs and spices. Add the chicken, lightly cover with foil, and cook in the oven at 180 C (350F) for 1 to 1.5 h. Serve with mashed potatoes made only with butter, whole milk, salt and black pepper.

Here are the details!

Chicken pieces for 3 to 4 people
1 brown onion, minced
2-3 small eggplant, minced
1 red bell pepper and 1 yellow bell pepper, minced
4 small carrots, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
500 ml (2 cups) white wine
1 can diced tomatoes 12 oz (350 g)
1 Tb fennel seeds
1 Tb oregano dried
1/2 Tb thyme dried
Salt and black pepper to taste

Smokin’ turkey

December 3, 2014 Leave a comment

I’ve posted this photo before, but no detail on the recipe. For Thanksgiving, I based the marinade for the turkey on a recipe from the NY Times, out of Florida. I marinated turkey legs, wings, and breast overnight, and then smoked the legs and wings for 7 h, and the breast for 3 h.


The recipe for the brine can be made smaller or larger, depending on the amount of meat. Ultimately, the meat just needs to be, for the most part, soaking in the marinade. If you use a zip-bag, the amount of marinade can be reduced. For this recipe, I spread the marinade around on 6 legs, 6 wings, and 2 breasts.

The marinade

1 L (4 cups) fresh orange juice

juice from 12 limes

2 Tb salt

2 Tb ground cumin

2 Tb ground coriander

1 tsp ground allspice

1 head garlic, thoroughly smashed

Marinate the meat overnight. I then cooked the meat in a Texas (off-set) smoker for about 7 hours (breast for 3 h), heated by red gum coal at about 120 C (250 F), supplemented by pre-soaked hickory wood at regular intervals (about every 2 h) for smoke. I also basted the meat in the leftover marinade at about the same interval. The result was great.

November 9, 2014 Leave a comment

Each go at the smoker is slowly getting better. This time it is pork ribs (american style) and beef brisket. Each meat had their own marinade, smoked with a mixture of hickory and apple wood, and basted with a home-made BBQ sauce in the final hours. The final cooking time was about 8+ hours. Details below.


For the pork ribs, I marinated 8 racks for 24 h in:

1 cup brown sugar

2 Tb salt

2 Tb ground cumin

2 Tb ground coriander

2 Tb ground paprika

1 Tb ground allspice

1 Tb ground cinnamon

2 Tb oregano

Half a dozen fresh coriander roots, minced


For the beef brisket, I marinated two slabs weighing in total 2 kg (4 lb) for 24 h in:

2 Tb salt

1/4 cup of my corned beef spice mix (below, and details here)

6 cloves garlic, minced


Pickling spice (master mix)

2 Tb black peppercorns

2 Tb mustard seeds

2 Tb coriander seeds

2 Tb hot red pepper flakes

2 Tb allspice berries

1 Tb ground cardamom

2 cinnamon sticks, crushed into small pieces

24 bay leaves, crushed into small pieces

2 Tb whole cloves

1 Tb ground ginger


For the BBQ sauce, sauté  the following in 1/2 cup butter:

1 red onion, minced

3 cloves garlic, minced

Then add:

1/2 cup raw apple cider vinegar

1 can diced tomatoes (12 oz, 330 g, approx.)

1/2 cup brown sugar

1 Tb oregano

1 Tb ground cumin

1 Tb ground coriander

1 tsp allspice

small bunch of fresh coriander (cilantro), ripped apart

Cook for about 60 minutes on low heat, then strain through a fine sieve.


For the smoked meat, I heated the offset (Texas) smoker using natural red gum charcoal, and added a mixture of hickory and apple wood chips (pre-soaked in water) at regular intervals. I maintained the temperature between 80 – 90 C (175-195 F), rotating and moving the meat at regular intervals, and basting the meat two times in the last 2 hours. Total cooking time was 8+ hours.


Pulled beef ribs

October 25, 2014 Leave a comment

I’m not the greatest fan of beef ribs on the bone. Sure, they’re great, but pork, chicken, and lamb ribs are better! The main reason is certainly not the flavor, but rather the amount of fascia (connective tissue) and fat that does not melt away at times. So, I decided to slow cook the ribs, pull the meat off, discarding the bad bits, and stewing it into a rich, pulled beef to serve with soft dinner rolls. This isn’t a BBQ, per se. The ribs are braised in heaps of red wine, garlic, onion, celery, oregano, and other spices, then left to cool. Then the bad bits are taken out, and the resulting mass is stewed. Served on soft rolls, with a side of veg, yum!

The detailed recipe is after the photos…




2 kg (4 lb) beef ribs

2 medium brown onions, minced

6-8 garlic cloves, minced

2 stalks celery, minced

500 ml (2 cups) red wine

1 medium can diced tomatoes (250 g, 8 oz)

2 bay leaves

1 Tb oregano

1 Tb cumin

1 Tb sweet paprika

1 Tb salt

Brown the meat using a bit of oil in an oven-proof dish, then add the onions. Once the onions are sweating, add the garlic and celery. Saute a bit, then add the red wine. Cook down the red wine by a third, then add the rest of the ingredients. Place a layer of parchment paper over the meat, then cover well with foil or lid, etc., and cook in the oven at 150 C (300 F) for about 3 h. Once cooled, pick out the bones, cartilage, fascia, etc., then transfer all the remaining meat and vegetable pulp into a deep dish, and reduce down over low heat until thick and rich. I served it with a side of broccoli and corn, sautéed in a bit of butter, cumin, and black pepper.


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