Wholefood Cooking

Category: Grass Fed Meat

Make Me this Weekend

BEHOLD THE BRISKET

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But, not quite yet. I couldn’t start with a photo of all that meatyness – whilst it tastes mighty delicious, it doesn’t look quite as beautiful. This is a photo of the rose I call Rosiebella – planted for our beautiful dog Rosie some years ago. It is in fact Souvenir de la Malmaison – a vigorous climber and a prolific flowerer. The crystal bowl is also quite special and a new addition to my home – bequeathed from my aunt to my sister – sadly both have passed on. My sisters house was sold recently and the girls as they were packing thought I would love this. I love it a lot.

But to the brisket – I promised you the recipe that Jean and the girls put together for the student group dinner recently (you can see the photos of the dinner on facebook). Brisket is a hugely underrated cut – incredibly cheap only requiring a little bit of your attention and a lot of time in the oven. I used Warren and Lori Pensinis Blackwood Valley Beef – when we were visiting the farm, Warren was saying that they are unable to sell many of the lesser cuts – people only want the prime cuts such as roast and steak, perhaps a bit of chuck here and there. But, a cow has many other parts to it and we need to use all of them. This is a superb cut for a hungry family (read growing boys) and will provide an enormous amount of meat to use when cooked, and for the week.

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Once rubbed with the spices, it needs to cook over a long period of time at a low temperature – we cooked it 100c in a fan forced oven for 13 – 15 hours, but you can do a little higher (approx 120c) for 8 hours.  Before you flip out at that, consider that you could put this on at about 7pm on a Friday or Saturday night, and have it ready for lunch the next day (with leftovers). It takes about 10 minutes to prep and 20 minutes to shred at the end. That’s it. And it’s cheap. You can see from the picture that this is a big piece of meat – 2 – 3kg whole (as a slab) with the fat still on – this is how you want it.

Having shredded the meat once cooked, Jillian is separating the meat from the juices, to reduce the juices down into a thick sauce.

This would be delicious served with roast vegetables, salad and superb stuffed into a burger – it would be especially delicious with a cultured beetroot pickle. 

So, having spent the last week unpacking the commercial kitchen into my home and having a mini collapse of exhaustion, I also made a wedding cake for a small wedding – I thought you’d like to have a peek. It’s an heirloom carrot cake (freshly pulled from my garden) thick with beautiful nuts, shredded coconut and very little sugar (rapadura). I used the recipe from Wholefood, heal, nourish, delight – reducing the sugar and using rapadura. The clients wanted very little sugar – the trick was in the icing, as they also wanted a lovely creamy, fully iced cake. We settled on the Better Buttercream, as it enables one to use a semi refined golden icing sugar in small amounts – as you whip the butter it lightens the colour of the icing so it is not as brown – I also replaced the lime with lemon. You can find that recipe in Coming Home to Eat (Wholefood for the Family) and Wholefood for Children – Nourishing Young Children with Whole and Organic Foods. It’s not hard at all, I promise and a beautiful way to celebrate spring.

Margo and Bills wedding cake with season blossom – I especially love the rocket blossom around the base

 I hope you enjoy them both …. x Jude

BRISKET

Make sure you ask for brisket as a slab on the bone and ensure it is covered well. If you are cooking it in a baking tray and need to cover with paper and foil, be very careful that is won’t fly apart in the movement generated by a fan in the oven. This will dry the meat out over a long cooking period. Cover that baby well !!

2.5 – 3kg brisket

1 tablespoon wholegrain mustard

1 tablespoon sea salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cinnamon (ours was very strong, so you may need more)

1 tablespoon juniper berries

1 tablespoon dried oregano

1/2 teaspoon smoked paprika

125 ml vino cotto

700 gm crushed tomatoes

3 garlic cloves – crushed

2 generous sprigs fresh rosemary

Pre heat oven to 120c (fan forced, increase the temperature for a conventional oven).

Place the brisket in a heavy duty roasting pan with a snug fit. 

In a small bowl combine the dry spices with the mustard. Rub the mixture on the brisket. Pour the crushed tomatoes and vino cotto into the bottom of the pan with rosemary sprigs.

Cover with parchment paper and aluminium foil (or a lid if you have one rather than the foil – if using a lid, still cover the meat with parchment). If using foil, take care to ensure it is well sealed and there are not air holes. 

Place in the oven and cook until the meat is literally falling off the bone – at least 8 hours. You should be able to pull the bones out by hand and the meat should come apart with gentle persuasion from a table fork. Remove from the oven and allow the meat to cool a little in the juices. You may need to skim some of the rendered fat from the surface of the juices (you can keep this for cooking!).

Shred the meat, discarding any of the fatty pieces and return it back to the pan juices for serving.

OF FOOD AND FARMS

Eating is an Agricultural Act (the words of Wendell Berry) and we put it into action

Myself and Katrina with some of the students.

After 10 very intense weeks, the Whole and Natural Foods Chef Training Program for 2012 is coming to a close. It’s been a deeply rewarding experience for me as I see the students blossom and begin to piece everything together. As much as I teach them (as does Holly Davis and Jean Martinez and all who come into our kitchen) they teach me daily. It’s quite a blessing. But, time is short, the night is getting on and I wanted to get this up. Tomorrow is the Student Group Dinner which we are repeating on Wednesday evening also. We are booked out with friends, farmers and public coming to enjoy the dinner – an opportunity for the students to put into practice what they know and have learnt, and to experience doing so. 

The photos are a mix of our trip down south to the town of Balingup, hosted by Katrina Lane from Taste of Balingup.  Katrina is a woman that walks her talk and works to connect and support local farmers. Which, at the end of it all is why we go to visit the farmer, because this is what it’s all about – our weeks in the kitchen, learning what we learn all comes together at the farm. It is here it is produced – and how thankful we are for farmers that nourish the soil and provide us with real food. How thankful we are for farmers that care about the vegetable and the animal, and raise both with integrity and a view to sustainability. In the wholefood kitchen, this is where it all starts and the food choices we make support this kind of farming and nourishment.

As the day came to a close, we were still going. Visiting the pigs. Photos by Jessica Kenney.
Mama Pig and the Piglets  – check out that lush grass
539891_4162821102168_1228200385_a.jpg Warren Pensinis’ cured meats in trial stage

Not the best photo I know, but it is late tonight ! Check out that grass. Visiting Warren and Lori Pensinis’ grass pastured, bio dynamic beef herd – it’s brand name is Blackwood Valley. The small photo above it is Warren and Loris’ developing project to use the cuts no one buys – things like silverside and topside. It is a tragedy that people only buy the prettier, quick and easy to cook cuts like fillet, t bones etc – because an animal has many other parts and we can’t simply kill the animal and only eat the ‘prettier’ cuts. The students are using the brisket for dinners tomorrow night and let me tell you it was looking mighty pretty and smelling insanely delicious. I’ll post the recipe and photo when it’s all ready (tomorrow, but give me a couple of days to get it up).

And up early the next morning to visit the organic garlic grower
A bountiful table – the girls cooked dinner with Balingup produce and Warren’s meat, we included vegetarian options also :) – the farmers joined us. This is the complete food chain – farmers, growers, retailers, cooks and consumers. We all need each other and need to nourish and support each other.
Rhubarb and strawberry rustic tart
Vegetables for the dinner tomorrow night

Lemon Blueberry Scones

Lemon and Blueberry Scones

BERRIES, BAKING AND BUTTERMILK HERB CRICKET CHICKEN

This is most likely going to be my big blog before Christmas, as things are begining to get a little hectic. During this next 2 weeks, I am trying to slow down, but also still need to get quite a few things done still – pay those bills (tick), clean my house and make some sense of the mess, write my Christmas cards, Christmas shopping and get my Christmas Cake cooked !!! It sits there on the kitchen bench soaking away in brandy and vino cotto – I will get to it – but at least all that soaking should result in a mighty fine cake. I’m sure it’s a bit like this for you too. So, too the best bit – the food. These are the weeks I really, really like to make a bit special, and make a little more effort. I like the house to be full of the smells of food baking, roasting and cooking, and without doubt, these are the smells  of the 2 weeks before Christmas, all mingled with the glorious pine of the Christmas tree (it’s not up yet, we go to cut that baby down on Friday). It’s got to be a real tree for me, and we get one from the Christmas tree farm. When it’s finished, the leaves (thin as they are) get used to mulch the gardenias (or azalea’s) but when dried, also make the best kindling for the winter fire. The log is dried over summer, ready to use for firewood during winter – so nothing has gone to waste.

But shall we get onto the food?

Fat, ripe blueberries 

It’s berry season here, and we often go blueberry picking at about this time. I know this is a traditional time for cookies, but these lemon and blueberry scones are so delicious and  easy to make. Perfect with a cup of tea, warm out the oven for breakfast or morning tea, I find them a more substantial than cookies.

The Buttermilk Cricket Chicken? Well, we go to the evening 20/20 cricket ( a short version of the game)  and I believe in taking a delicious (but easy) picnic. No packets of chips or commercial dips, or other seriously dodgy foods that I see most families eating when we are there, I want real, good food. This is the easiest thing to make, transports well, eats well and provides leftovers. What more can a woman want? (mind you, asking that question I can think of a few other things ….Santa Baby….. love that Christmas song, Eartha Kitt has the best version). I like to cook the chicken with small chunks of potato (toss them in a little Extra Virgin Olive Oil and salt first) and tuck them around the chicken. The juices and fat from the chicken end up coating and baking with the potatoes. I find it’s important to cook the chicken well, that chicken juice will have the opportunity to reduce and begin to gel around the potatoes – making them even more delicious. The chicken fat will also make them extra crispy. When serving remember to scrape off all those sticky chicken juices from the tray – that gelatine will help you digest the meat. Together with a yummy green salad, you have a delicious dinner. Dessert ? That will be mini pavlova with all my left over egg whites :) Topped with creme and berries. You know how much I hate hot summer days, but those evenings – glorious, outdoors where one should be on a summer night.

The finished Cricket Chicken

I love using left over chicken in salads and sandwiches – mixed with mayonnaise and herbs – it makes a quick and exceptionally nutrient dense lunch. If I have pesto floating around (and I do !) I would add that  – even more delicious.

Lemon Thyme Mayonnaise – you can find the recipe in Wholefood for Children

I wish you a wonderful and joyous Christmas season – Happy Holidays!!! Thank you for sharing the year here with me, and may many blessings find there way to you. May there much joy and deliciousness in your life and at your table…………..

Flattened, Buttermilk and Herb Crispy Chicken:

 

This is the simplest meal to put together, and left overs are excellent for lunch. Cutting out the backbone of the chicken allows you to flatten it, and thus cook quicker. You will need to marinate this 24 hours ahead of time. If you run out of time to marinate, just omit that step – it will still be delicious, and if you want an even quicker and crispier end result, you can cut the chicken into smaller pieces.

To Marinade

 

1 organic, grass pastured chicken

500 ml buttermilk

handful fresh herbs

The Herb Mix

 

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

4 tablespoons finely chopped fresh herbs such as parsley, lemon thyme, thyme and sage

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

Extra virgin olive oil for drizzling

Potatoes for everyone – skin on, scrubbed and roughly cut into small – medium chunks

Lay the chicken breast side down on a chopping board. Using your kitchen or poultry shears cut out the backbone (freeze for stock). Turn the chicken over and flatten. Place in dish and pour the buttermilk and fresh herbs over the chicken, ensuring the buttermilk is evenly distributed. Cover and place in the fridge for 24 hours.

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Pre heat oven to 200c or 180 c if fan forced

Prepare the herb mix by mixing the herbs and lemon together. Remove the chicken and place on a baking tray (the flatter the tray the better) and roughly pat dry – make sure to leave some buttermilk on the skin especially. Gently loosen the skin from the breast and stuff 2/3 of the herb mix under the skin. Sprinkle the rest on the chicken, with a generous amount of pepper and salt. Drizzle with a small amount of olive oil. Toss the potatoes separately in a little olive oil (and herbs if desired) and scatter on the tray, close to the chicken – even tuck some underneath the chicken. Bake until the skin is crispy and golden approx. 40 –  60 minutes, or until the juices in the thigh run clean. If you find the skin is burning rather than just becoming golden, reduce the temperature.

Remove from oven and leave to sit for 10 minutes before serving.

Lemon Glazed Blueberry Scones:

1 cup / 130 gm white spelt flour or 130 gm white, all purpose wheat flour

1 cup / 145gm wholemeal spelt flour or 130 gm wholemeal wheat flour

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 ½ tablespoons rapadura sugar

grated zest of 1 small lemon

½ teaspoon baking soda

100gm very cold unsalted butter, cut into rough 1 cm pieces

1 cup fresh blueberries

1 teaspoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup full cream, non – homogenised milk (+ 1 – 2 tablespoons more if using wheat)

½ cup buttermilk or yoghurt (+ 1 – 2 tablespoons more if using wheat)

For Dairy and Butter free:

 

80 ml macadamia or almond oil

1 tablespoon apple cider vinegar

½ cup rice milk

½ cup coconut milk

Lemon Glaze:

 

2 tablespoons brown rice syrup

2 tablespoons lemon juice – you may need more depending on the acidity of the lemon

Preparing to Bake:

 

Pre heat the oven to 200c or 180c if fan forced.

Line a baking tray with baking paper.

Put the flour, baking powder, sugar and zest in a bowl and sift in the baking soda. Mix through with a whisk to combine ingredients and break up any lumps of flour.

Add the vinegar to a cup measure, and add the milk and buttermilk. Set aside.

Cut the butter into the flour until the mixture resembles coarse breadcrumbs – some bits will be the size of a pea, this is fine. Add the blueberries and toss through to evenly distribute. Add ¾ cup of milk (the full cup if using wheat) and mix with a large spoon to just combine – take care not to over – mix as this is the main cause of heavy scones.  Add the extra milk as needed, for spelt you will use just about the whole cup, for wheat you will use the whole cup and may need to add another 1 – 2 tablespoons. The mix should form into a moist, but not at all sloppy, dough. For dairy free, cut the oil into the flour as best you can, forming coarse breadcrumbs. Mix 3/4 cup of milk with the vinegar, and add as described.

Turn the dough out onto a floured surface. Depending on wether you want a wedge or a square, cut the dough.

To make wedges pat (don’t knead) the dough to form a rough circle approx 20cm x 2.5 cm thick. You may need to lightly flour your hands.  Using a sharp, floured knife, cut 12 wedges (you may well need to re flour the knife in between cuts) and place on the lined tray. You may need to use your knife to pick up the scones and don’t worry too much if they fall out of shape a bit, that is part of their charm. Alternatively, form (don’t knead) the dough into a rectangle approx 21cm x 16cm and approx 2.5cm deep. Cut 4 x 3.

Bake for 15 – 20 mins, or until golden and lightly browned and just cooked in the middle (you can break one open to check). Drizzle with the glaze and serve warm.

To make the glaze, add the ingredients to a small bowl, and mix together well – taste and adjust as needed the lemon juice as needed.

 

Seasonal Seminar Series: Summer 2009

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Everyday with Wholefood – Summer:

Food for the Warmer Weather and Celebration

Sunday 22nd November 2009

About ‘Everyday with Wholefood’ Seminars

‘Everyday with Wholefood’ is a new seasonal seminar series bought to you by Whole Food Cooking to answer the BIG questions: how do I incorporate more whole foods into my everyday cooking; where do I get the ingredients; what can I cook for breakfast, lunch & dinner and all things in between!

During these seminars, you will hear from and meet local growers, producers and retailers. You’ll learn what’s in season, where to get it and how to use it.

The Summer ’09 Seminar will focus on Fish (Seasonal, Local, Sustainable and Unfarmed) and Grass Fed Meat, with a focus on easy dishes for outside eating and barbeques. We won’t forget about Christmas either with some delicious and simple suggestions for celebration.

Jude will also discuss how to plan your menu around what’s in season to provide yourself and those you love with wholesome and delicious food – everyday.

Event Program

Guest Speakers

Dr Jeremy Price – Fish for the Future

Director, Biospherics Pty Ltd

Edith de Burgh – Grass Fed Meat

Farmer, Baramba Biodynamic Beef

Sensational Summer Sorbet in just 60 seconds!

Special presentation by Thermomix

Jude Blereau – Wholesome, delicious summer!

Natural Food Chef, Whole Food Cooking

Booking Details

Sunday 22nd November

Time: 2pm – 4.30pm (Doors open from 1.00pm)

Venue: FJ Clarke Lecture Theatre

P Block, QEII Medical Centre, Nedlands

Access off Caladenia Ave (via Monash Ave)

Price: $35 (seating is unallocated, tiered theatre-style)

Books, local produce and other merchandise will be on display and sale from 1.00pm

Online bookings have now closed for this event. There will be door sales however if you wish to RSVP please send an email to events@wholefoodcooking.com.au

I’ll look forward to seeing you there x Jude