Friday, March 29, 2019

Autumn Leaves Cocktail

  • 3/4 oz Wild Turkey rye whiskey
  • 3/4 oz apple brandy
  • 3/4 oz  vermouth
  • 1/4 oz Strega
  • 1/4 oz cinnamon bitters
  • 1/4 oz Cointreau (optional)

Shake over ice and serve with a twist of orange peel.

Saturday, February 16, 2019

Sourdough Pancakes


2 cups flour
4 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon baking soda
2 tablespoons sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 cup sourdough starter
1.5 cups milk
1 egg
2 tablespoons oil


Sift dry ingredients together, then add the rest of the ingredients and mix together. Cook in 1/4 cup dollops on a greased, hot cast iron pan. When bubbles have appeared flip the pancake over for a further minute or so until cooked. 

Sourdough Bread

Sourdough Starter

The starter needs to be fed every 12 hours.

To feed the starter weigh it then take out what you need for baking (see bread recipe below, cracker recipe or pancake recipe. You need to save a minimum of 140g of starter to be going on with.

Generally I feed my starter with its equal weight so for 140g of starter I add 70g of strong bread flour (high grade) and 70ml of almost luke warm water. You can change the formula if you prefer a wetter starter so 60g of flour and 80ml of water. If you want to grow the starter faster then add 140g of flour and 140ml of water to the 140g of starter.  Stir it well, doesn't matter if its a bit lumpy, then place in a sealed glass jar on a bench etc but out of direct sun and head.

If I am planning on baking that day I feed it at 7am and can then use it to bake from about 11am - 2pm.

The starter can keep in the fridge for a week. If you want to cook on Saturday then get it out and feed it Friday night and Saturday morning.

Sourdough Bread 

3 sizes are shown below depending on how much starter you want to use:
  • 130 / 260 or 390 grams of sourdough starter
  • 25 / 50 or 75 grams of rye flour
  • 25 / 50 or 75 grams of wholemeal flour
  • 250 / 500 / 750 grams of strong bread flour (high grade)
  • 1.25 / 2.5 / 3.75 teaspoons of salt
  • 250 / 500 or 750 mls of lukewarm water (approx)

Place all in a mixer with a dough hook and mix for about 5 mins. Alternatively knead it by hand for about 10 minutes until it is smooth and stretchy. The mixer dough will be a bit sloppy compared to mixing it by hand but you do want a very soft loose dough either way This video shows how wet it can be.

Tip into an oiled bowl, cover with glad wrap. It is ideal if every 40 minutes or so you get your hands into it and lift, stretch and fold the dough over itself several times.  If you can do this 3 or 4 times it makes a good difference. This stretches the gluten. Leave the dough to double in size. This will take a long time.  If I make it at 11am it might not have doubled until 3pm. This is because of the natural yeast. My favourite way is to leave it to rise overnight in the fridge.  This also makes the next step heaps easier.

Once it has doubled in size push it down vigorously then portion it out shaping it into oiled tins or make cobs. (Find a video on You Tube for this step - its really hard to explain.)If its too sloppy to shape then just get it into tins. SEE variations below. Sprinkle with flour and leave to rise again. Ideally you really want to do one of the rises slowly in the fridge.

Preheat your oven to 250c. Place an empty dish into the oven with about a cup of water in it. Slash the tops of the risen loafs several times using a razor blade.

Place the loafs in the oven, along with the dish with water, and bake for 45 minutes, dropping the temperature down to 220c for the last 10-20mins if the loaves have browned too much. Rolls and focacia may only take 30-35mins.

Remove from tins and cool on a rack. Sourdough keeps really well and also freezes well.


  • I use the 390g of starter recipe and place it in 2 loaf tins. The dough fills 2/3rds of tin and rises to the top. This produces a big loaf great for slicing and toast.
  • I sometimes spread dough out into a big lamington tray and make focacia. eg stud it with cubes of cheese and teaspoons of onion marmalade, or olives and cheese, pushed into the dough. Once the dough rises brush it with oil and sprinkle with Maldon sea salt or herbs.
  • If you hand knead the dough you will be better able to shape it into rolls, baquettes or cobs. I have used a baneton quite successfully, cooking it in a preheated Dutch oven. 
  • Replacing a quarter of the flour with seeds works really well: sunflower, pumpkin, linseed and sesame is a good mix. Also adding walnuts, apricots, raisins and mixed spice.

Thursday, November 29, 2018




  • 2.5-3kg brisket roast (trim fat to 1/2 cm)
  • 500g streaky bacon


  • 1.5 tablespoons packed brown sugar
  • 1.5 tablespoons smokey paprika
  • 2 teaspoons ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons salt
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper


  • reserved bacon from cooked brisket
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup cider vinegar
  • 1/3 cup packed brown sugar
  • 1-2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce
  • Chilli flakes


  1. Heat oven to 135 deg C.
  2. Mix the rub ingredients together in a bowl.
  3. Rub dry rub all over brisket and poke holes all over with a fork. Place half of bacon going crosswise in a roasting dish and place brisket fat side down on top of the bacon. Lay the rest of the bacon crosswise on top of brisket, wrapping it down around the sides, and tucking any excess under. 
  4. Cover pan with foil and place in oven for 4 hours then remove from oven and turn the brisket over so the fat side is up. Replace foil, turn oven off, and return to oven for another hour.
  5. Pour juices from brisket into measuring jug and placde in fridge for fat to rise to top. 
  6. Remove bacon from brisket and chop into pieces. 
  7. Cook bacon in medium saucepan over medium heat for about 5 minutes, until fat has rendered. Add onion and cook until softened, 4-5 minutes. Take off heat and add vinegar and dark brown sugar. Return to heat and simmer until reduced to a syrupy consistency, about 5 minutes.
  8. Skim fat from meat juices and add chicken stock to make a total of 3 cups. Add to mixture in saucepan and reduce until about 3 cups in volume, 8-10 minutes. Take off heat and add ketchup. Mix well and strain if desired. 
  9. Turn oven to grill. Brush brisket with 1 cup sauce and broil until top is lightly browned and fat starts to crisp. 
  10. Cut brisket against the grain into 1/4-inch slices and serve with extra sauce.

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Vicky's Pancakes


  • 2 cups flour
  • 3/4 cup sugar
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 2 teaspoons cream of tartar
  • 2 eggs
  • 450ml milk


Sift dry ingredients together, add eggs and milk, beat to combine. Remove spoon from the mix and leave it to sit while pan heats up. Might need thinning as it thickens on settling. Pour mixture into pan and cook pancakes.

Brendan's BBQ Ribs


  • Baby back pork ribs - 3 racks
Spice rub
  • 1 part Lawry's seasoned salt
  • 1/4 part white sugar
  • 1/8 part McCormicks Montreal steak seasoning
  • 1/8 part spice to your liking: eg cumin, garlic powder, onion powder, corriander
  • 1/8 - 1/4 chilli powder / cayenne / smoked paprika etc (ie a pepper)

Combine rub ingredients, pat it 'in' to the ribs, leave to rest for about half hour (sweaty meat)

Put in your smoker or oven (indirect heat) for 135 degrees for about 3 hours. Scratch test (spice rub kind of set not flaky). Not  too much smoke - a kiss of smoke (3 fist sized chunks and briquettes - 135 degrees)

We cooked these on a Weber - Ceramic kamdo grill dome (see photo)

Remove from heat coat in sieved brown sugar, then sprinkle on 2 or 3 tblsps of liquid per rack: apple juice / peach juice / pineapple juice / ginger lemonade).

Wrap in tinfoil like a burrito, put back in heat ie oven 135 degrees for about an hour,  toothpick test to see it goes straight meat without tension

Remove from heat, divide into ribs.

*Big hunk of meat, white pepper and little bit of rub, smoke until internal temp of 43 - 48 celcius then sear edges, then slice into a pan with all the drippings and season with the rub again.

Martha's Coconut Biscuits


  • 8oz butter
  • 1/2 cup sugar plus 2 tblsps
  • 3/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 egg
  • 1.25 cups flour plus 2 tblsps
  • pinch salt
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 4 cups coconut chips


Cream butter and sugars. Add egg. Fold in half the coconut and half the dry ingredients, then the rest of the coconut and dried ingredients.

Roll into balls, squash and cook about 15mins until golden. 350 degrees.