Swedish Meatballs

Swedish Meatballs

  • 450g minced beef
  • ¼ cup breadcrumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. dried parsley
  • ¼ cup warm milk
  • ¼ tsp ground allspice
  • ¼ tsp ground nutmeg
  • 1 med onion, finely diced
  • ½ tsp garlic powder
  • ¼ tsp black pepper
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 egg, beaten
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter


  • 4 Tbsp. butter
  • 2 Tbsp. flour
  • ½ tsp turmeric
  • 500ml beef stock
  • 1 cup thickened cream
  • 1 Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp. Dijon mustard
  • salt and pepper to taste


  1. Mix the parsley into the warm milk and allow to soak for a few minutes.
  2. Mix the milk and parsley into the breadcrumbs
  3. Combine ground beef, crumbs, parsley, allspice, nutmeg, turmeric, onion, garlic powder, pepper, salt and egg.
  4. Stand covered, in the refrigerator for at least an hour, or overnight.
  5. Roll into 20 or so meatballs.
  6. Heat olive oil and 1 Tbsp. butter in a heavy pan
  7. Brown the meatballs all over then turn down the heat and cook until the meatballs are done.
  8. Put the meatballs aside in a bowl and cover with foil
  9. Melt 4 Tbsp. butter in the pan and add the flour and turmeric
  10. Whisk the flour into the melted butter and stir until bubbling
  11. Add the stock while whisking constantly until the mixture thickens
  12. Turn down the heat and add the cream, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard
  13. Continue whisking until the sauce returns to a simmer and thickens
  14. Taste and add salt and pepper as necessary.
  15. Put the meatballs into the sauce and simmer gently for 2 minutes or until the meatballs are reheated through.
  16. Serve with mashed pumpkin and kumara and green beans.


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Perfect Pork

The whole thing about roast pork is getting the crackling right without overcooking the meat.   Overcooked pork is dry and unpleasant.  When it is just a little pink in the middle it is juicy and flavoursome.  Contrary to the current belief of some, it is quite as safe to eat “undercooked” pork as it is to eat rare beef and pink lamb.

The secret of getting the crackling right is to scald the rind with boiling water and to dry it thoroughly.  Oil and salt it, then to blast it with heat.



  1. Cut slices into the rind. The butcher has usually already done this, but do more.  The more the better.
  2. Stand the roast rind side up in a colander or on a trivet in the sink
  3. Pour an entire kettle of boiling water over the roast. This will open the rind up.
  4. Thoroughly dry the rind.
  5. Place uncovered in the fridge for a couple of hours to further dry out the rind.
  6. Set the turbo oven to 240 degrees (or preheat a conventional oven half an hour before the meat is due to go into the oven.
  7. Rub the rind with olive oil and a coarse rock salt, and place in the baking dish.
  8. Cook at 240 for 20-30 minutes until the crackling blisters and goes hard.
  9. Reduce temp setting to 180 degrees and cook a further 40 minutes per kilo.
  10. Rest the roast for 10-15 minutes before slicing.

Some people say the high temperature cook should be at the end not the beginning.  When I try that I inevitably overcook and dry out the meat.


Posted in Pork, Roast, Traditional, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

Blue Tarte Flambée

Known as flammekueche in Alsatian and flammkuchen in German, tarte flambée is incredibly simple. Typically made on a piece of thin, rolled-out bread dough, it has only three other main ingredients:  cheese,  onion, bacon.

This not-pizza is traditionally made with fromage blanc.  But I don’t have any.  What I did have was almost an entire wedge of Mainland blue vein cheese that had dried out, forgotten, in the back of the dairy compartment of my refrigerator.

I also had some dregs of basil pesto in a jar, some shallots, some frozen bacon pieces, and a little Kraft parmesan.   That is what I had, so it is what I used.

My not-pizza is probably not traditional flammekueche either.  But it was delicious.

The base is a frozen naan.   I spread it with pesto, chopped shallot, crumbled blue vein cheese, bacon pieces, and a sprinkle of Parmesan.

Under the grill (or into the turbo oven) for about ten minutes and done.

Posted in Bacon, bread, Breakfast, cheese, Con-fusion cooking, fusion, Indian, Italian, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , | 1 Comment

Caramel Experiment

There was a post on Facebook suggesting an easy way to make powdered caramel from sugar was to bake sugar in the oven at a relatively low temperature for a long time.   I hypothesised that it should therefore be possible to do it in the slow cooker.

I decided to try.  I have a container of sugar that has been sitting in the cupboard over a year, as I rarely use sugar except in baking – and I haven’t been doing much of that.  Turning it into caramel seemed like a good idea.  I could maybe find a use for caramel.

Slow cooked caramel:

Two days on low. Result:  Warm sugar.

Two days on high. Result: Warmer sugar.

One day on Reheat. Result. A black mess of burnt-tasting toffee.  Very difficult to clean out of the pot.   Damn.

Conclusion:  Probably not the best way to make caramel.

burnt toffee.JPG

Epic Fail.

Posted in cakes and confectionery, slow cooker, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

Mini Cupcakes

Why do online recipes start with like a two page intro about what was going on in the author’s life when they made the food?
I don’t care about your summer in Tuscany, tell me how to make mini cupcakes asshole.
Because it’s my fucking blog, dickbrain.   
I haven’t been to Tuscany, but if I had I’d fuckin’ well tell you about it.
I don’t make mini cupcakes.  But if I did, this is how I would do it:  
  • 1 ½ cups self-raising flour
  • 175 g butter @ room temperature
  • 4 eggs
  • 1 tsp vanilla essence
  • ¾ cup sugar
  • zest of one orange and one lemon
  1. Cream butter and sugar until fluffy
  2. Add eggs one by one while beating.
  3. Add vanilla and zest
  4. Add flour slowly while beating
  5. Spoon batter to half fill each paper cup
  6. Bake for 15 minutes at 180C.
  7. cool before icing


  • ½ cup icing sugar
  • 3 Tbsp butter @ room temperature
  • 1 Tbsp lemon juice
  • Food colouring(s) optional
  1. Beat ingredients until fluffy
  2. Spread on top of the cakes

Photo credit: Someone on the interweb.

Posted in cakes and confectionery | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Crusty Soft White Bread

Since coming to Australia I have had enormous difficulty with home-made bread.  The specialty bread mixes available here are not a patch on those we could get in New Zealand.  Even the so-called high-grade flours give a very disappointing cakey crumb. The bread I made did not stay fresh for much longer than the first few hours and was not even very good for toast, unless you wanted to make crunchy croutons.

So I decided to try an experiment.   I bought a new brand of ‘bread mix’ and made a loaf of bread.  Disappointing, as I had rather expected.  So I dried it in the oven and turned it into breadcrumbs in the food processor.    This was my control experiment.

I then started again, except this time I add a tablespoon of gluten per cup of flour.  I also add an eighth of a teaspoon of xanthan gum.  I am not sure, however, if this contributed to the difference in the product.  I shall have to experiment further.

Out of the oven came bread that was decidedly edible.  Soft and white with a crust like a French loaf.  Two days later, though it is admittedly not staying as fresh as commercial soft bread does with all its additives,  it is excellent for toast.  Suits me.  Now we are getting somewhere.  Next we shall try making whole grain bread.  My favourite commercial Soy and Linseed bread is $8 a loaf at the store, when it is available.  I am going to try making my own. If I can get the flour.

I have a feeling I need no longer travel a day’s journey for high-grade flour for white bread. With my own gluten on hand I can stick with the local Black and Gold brand plain flour.



For crusty white bread:

  • 500 g (3 cups) “bread flour”  (read “flour”)
  • 3 Tbsp. gluten
  • 1/8 tsp xanthan gum
  • 1 Tbsp. olive oil
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 10 g dried yeast
  • 1 ½ cups lukewarm water (which in my home at this time of year is just water straight from the cold tap and left to stand for a while to give it a chance to cool down)
  1. Mix all the ingredients in the Kenwood Chef with a dough hook and knead for 8-10 minutes.
  2. Cover with oiled clingfilm and leave to stand in a warm place until doubled in size.
  3. Preheat oven to 200oC
  4. Uncover and knead again for a bit
  5. Divide into four balls and place two balls each in two oiled loaf tins.
  6. Cover with oiled clingfilm and stand in a warm place until the dough has risen above the loaf tins
  7. Bake at 200oC for 20 – 25 minutes or until golden brown and the loaves sound hollow when knocked
Posted in bread, Breakfast | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments