Aaaaand we’re back! After taking a break, Ann and I are back with our Monthly Mystery Munchies. Sometimes life gets busy and a reshuffling is in order, but we always intended to continue with our monthly blogging challenge. This months’s theme: roast.
The Husband and I recently went away to a small town called Tulbagh. It was snowing and we spent the majority of our time visiting wine farms. Breakfast: wine tasting. Lunch: wine tasting and food. Dinner: more wine. And cheese. So much cheese. During our trip, we discovered a gem of a restaurant in the Tulbagh Hotel. The Husband was so taken with their roast pork belly that we made three trips to the hotel. I promised to attempt it when we got home, but I was nervous about the crackling. So many different recipes and instructions on the Internet, but I tried, and this happened. It worked! Crackling, it turns out, is not difficult if you use the right temperatures and dry the pork in the fridge for a few hours before cooking it. So, here it is – rolled pork belly.
Ann, it’s great to be back! I am super excited to continue our Monthly Mystery Munchies and to try your recipe. Folks, please hop over to Grubbs n Critters for delicious recipes. Thank you for the continued friendship. Also, here’s to keeping those ducks alive!
Rolled roast pork belly with crackling
1kg pre-rolled boneless pork belly
2 tablespoons cracked sea salt
1 tablespoon cracked black pepper
1 sprig rosemary
1 sprig thyme
3 garlic cloves, sliced
Making it Happen:
Mix all the ingredients, score the pork but be careful not to cut into the meat. Rub the ingredients all over the pork, and underneath, making sure you rub salt into the scored fat. Place two sheets of kitchen towel on a plate, position the pork on top and refrigerate, uncovered, for four hours.
Remove the pork from the fridge half an hour before roasting to let it reach room temperateure.
Preheat oven to 220°C (450°F). Place pork on a wire rack on top op a roasting tray. Fill the tray with boiling water, and roast for 40 minutes until the skin is crackling.
Turn down the oven to 180°C (350°F) and roast for another 1 hour. After 30 minutes, cover the pork with tin foil (shiny side in). Pump the oven back up to 220°C (450°F) for the last 15 minutes.
Remove pork from the oven and let it stand for 20 minutes, covered, until you slice it. Serve with mashed potatoes and gravy.
Follow me on Instagram here
Follow Ann here
I love a recipe that calls for an entire bottle of wine! February’s Monthly Mystery Munchies between myself and Ann from Grubbs ‘n Critters is beef and bacon, two ingredients synonymous with bouef bourguignon. It’s a mouthful – English please! Beef Burgundy is a traditional French stew that’s usually cooked in a Dutch oven. However, that’s one thing I don’t have, so let’s make another plan: Crockpot! Fry some ingredients, place in a crockpot (slow-cooker), and let it stew for 6-8 hours. Glory be!
I fried the first six ingredients in batches using the same skillet, transferred to the crockpot, poured an enormous amount of wine into it, with a hint of beef stock* and let is stew, let it stew, let it steeeew. Two hours before the end, I removed the lid to let the booze evaporate, and added the mushrooms an hour before the time was up. Y’all, I’m so into this recipe. The Husband said “I’m so glad this is February’s blog challenge”. He approves. My life is complete. Isn’t it supposed to be the other way around, “happy wife, happy life”? Well regardless, this one was a hit!
To see what the lovely, dear Ann produced this month, please do yourself a favour and hop over to Grubbs n Critters. Also, if you’re into jokes, anecdotes about raising kids, and life in general, she’s your gal. This is our 33rd monthly recipe challenge, and Ann has really, impressively, stepped it up a few dozen notches. She uses interesting ingredients, she thinks ‘out the box’, and every month I eagerly await her recipe.
200g bacon, chopped
1kg stewing beef, cut into 1 inch cubes
2 tablespoons white flour
4 baby onions, peeled
8 medium carrots, peeled and sliced
500g baby potatoes, unpeeled and whole
2 teaspoons minced garlic
50g tomato paste
1 herb bouguet (3 bay leaves, 5 sprigs parsely and 5 sprigs thyme)
3 cups red wine blend
1 cup beef stock (list name)
400g white button mushrooms, cut into quarters
Salt and cracked black pepper for seasoning
Serving: 1 cup rice (white or basmati), or a baguette.
Making it Happen:
In your skillet heat one tablepsoon of olive oil on medium and fry the chopped bacon for about 5 minutes. Remove and set aside. Don’t clean the skillet.
In the bacon juices, add another tablespoon of olive oil and on medium-high heat, place the cut beef into the skillet. You would probably have to fry the beef in two batches. Sprinkle one tablespoon of flour over the beef per batch. Seer the beef on both sides until lightly brown, about two minutes per side. Remove and set aside.
Deglaze the skillet with a quarter cup of red wine.
In another tablespoon of olive oil, add the garlic and fry the onions, carrots and potatoes for five minutes on medium-high. Add the tomato paste after four minutes. Set aside.
Fry the mushrooms until cooked. Cover and set aside for later.
Transfer all ingredients into the slow-cooker. Start with the beef and bacon at the bottom, then add your onions, carrots, and potatoes.
Pour in 750ml/3 glasses of red wine plus one cup beef stock. Add the herb bouquet, season with salt and pepper. Do not stir.
Cover and cook on high for 30 minutes. Adjust heat to low and simmer for another 7.5 hours. Two hours before the end, remove the lid. One hour before the end, add the mushrooms.
Do not stir.
Serve with rice (I used basmati), or a baguette.
Follow me on Instagram here
Follow Ann on Instagram here
Caaaaan you even believe it – Ann and I are four recipes away from our two year anniversary! I am as excited and enthusiastic about our monthly blog challenge as if it were recipe number one! Oh yeah! So you may have noticed that it’s the end of the year (where tf has time even gone?). It’s a time where everybody feels exhausted, over it, and soooo ready for a break. This month for our Monthly Mystery Munchies, my criteria was simple: marinade meat, either on the barbeque, or grilled in or on the oven/hob. You see, it’s braai (BBQ) season in South Africa. Actually, we braai in the rain too; we’re that committed. However, the sun is out, summer is here, and the fridge is stocked with beer (his) and white wine (mine) in anticipation of this quintessential South African pastime.
When I was tossing ideas around, The Husband happily agreed to oblige me because beer. He loves nothing more than standing around open flames, talking about whatever, having a beer (six pack) and enjoying the weather. Marinades are easy, delicious, and fun to play around with. The reason I chose ostrich fillet is because it’s something different. Although grossly expensive, it’s such a treat. It tastes like beef but it’s the healthier red meat alternative. It’s not fatty, on the outside or inside, and it’s just yuuuum.
Ann and I were on a roll. We have our Monthly Mystery Munchies specs planned until March. So much excitement. Ann always comes up with the best challenges, like her satay medley for this month. That’s right, not one, but two types of meat – chicken and beef. It’s winter in her neck of the hemisphere, so barbeques are no bueno, but she never shies away from an idea. Never ever. I adore her. Always game and enthusiastic! Ya know what? Head over to her site anyway… She has sheet loads of awesome recipes, jokes, anecdotes, you name it.
Here we go with marinaded ostrich fillets. Easy and delicious, the way it should be!
Marinated Ostrich Fillets
500 grams ostrich fillets
125ml red wine
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, or 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Making It Happen:
Mix all ingredients. Pour over ostrich fillets, cover and refrigerate for at least one hour.
Fire up your barbeque or griddle pan and remove the meat from the fridge 10 minutes before cooking it.
Cook for 2 minutes per side, and serve immediately. See? Monkey easy.
For this month’s Monthly Mystery Munchies, Ann and I went for a main course using fruit. I had so much fun playing around with different meat and fruit. What inspired this theme was that I found figs at my local supermarket. Fabulous, thought me, let’s try something with this. So I did, and I decided to adjust it, so I bought more figs, and yay, we have a winner. Round three: this time I needed to take pics. No frikken figs. Like, anywhere. Whyyyy? I swiftly changed tactics after finding pomegranate pips, which, by the way, I stockpiled to avoid a repeat. I haven’t done steak for a while, and I fancied the idea of making a caramelised sauce with a piece of red meat. I mean, a sticky and sweet reduction on Porterhouse steak? Yes, people, YES! Ann always impresses me with her ideas, so please check out Grubbs n Critters for her take on this month’s theme: baked chicken cutlets in orange-plum sauce. She always brings it, and this month is no different, even though she’s in the process of emigrating! The fact that Ann still had time to do this really amazes me. I love her dedication and commitment!
Steak with Caramelised Cranberry and Pomegranate Sauce
200ml cranberry juice
125g pomegranate pips
2 tablespoons brown sugar
1 teaspoon paprika
4 Porterhouse steaks
Sea salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Fresh rosemary for garnishing (optional)
Making It Happen:
1. Mix the first three ingredients together, reserving half of the pomegranate pips. Marinade for an hour.
2. Spray a griddle pan with non-stick spray. Pour the marinade in, bring to a boil and simmer for 5 minutes until it starts reducing. Season the steaks with salt and pepper, sprinkle the rest of the pips on them, and fry on medium-high heat until cooked to your preference. (For a 2cm steak: 2-3 minutes per side for rare, 4 minutes per side for medium, and 5-6 minutes per side for well done.)
3. Serve the steak hot, and garnish with rosemary (optional).
I am so excited about this month’s challenge. Not only did I have a great deal of fun creating (and tasting) this recipe, but Ann and I have reached our half-year mark of our Monthly Mystery Munchies challenge and it’s been an incredibly fun, challenging and exciting experience. Thanks, Ann, for the wonderful idea!
This month Ann chose well! The theme? Stew with beans. My take? Waterblommetjie bredie. Don’t worry if you can’t pronounce it, it’s a South African stew with an Afrikaans name; literally translated it means ‘small water flower stew’. It’s indigenous to the Western Cape region of South Africa (proudly South African, proudly Capetonian) but if you’re not in South Africa, you can substitute the waterblommetjies with green beans, as that’s what they taste the most similar to.
I added chillies to give it a bit of oomph and used the most traditional stewing meat – lamb. Expensive but definitely worth it if you’re looking to treat yourself and your guests. Of course, I’m incapable of making a stew without potatoes and I used butter beans in keeping with Ann’s theme. I’d never normally think to add beans to this stew, but it came out abslutely beautifully and bursting with flavour! Who would’ve thought flowers (more like weeds) picked from ponds would taste so good? The Khoikhoi, that’s who. They taught the early settlers how to cook with waterblommetjies. How cool is that?!
Mosey on over to Grubbs n Critters and take a gander at what Ann came up with this month. No doubt it’s delicious!
500g waterblommetjies, soaked and hard parts removed
1kg lamb knuckles
1 large onion, chopped
2 green chillies, sliced (optional)
5 garlic cloves, crushed
500g baby tomatoes
1 sprig rosemary, leaves removed from stalk
1 teaspoon coriander
1 cup beef or lamb stock
1kg baby potatoes, halved
1 lemon, halved
1 tin butter beans, drained
Salt and freshly cracked black pepper
Making it happen:
1. Clean and soak the waterblommetjies in salted water for a minumum of 1 hour or overnight. Before you cook them, cut the tough parts off.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil in a pan and brown the lamb on all sides. Set aside.
3. In a large pot, heat another 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the onion, chillies and garlic on medium for 5 minutes.
4. Add the lamb to the pot. Add the tomatoes, rosemary and coriander and fry on medium for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.
5. Add the potatoes, stock and juice of half a lemon, stirring well. Bring to a slow boil and simmer for 20 minutes.
6. Add the drained beans and waterblommetjies and simmer for an hour. Do not stir too vigorously or overcook, you don’t want the waterblommetjies breaking apart or turning to mush!
7. Serve with rice once cooked, or cook in advance as stews get better with time!
I would do anything for loaf… An old classic, meatloaf is an easy and scrummy dish that never goes out of style. Why? Because it’s delicious, packed with flavour and cost-effective too. So many people aren’t into it. I was one of them, until I tried my first meatloaf a few years back. I was happy to eat my words, as long as I could have a second helping of meatloaf! Tangy and sweet, you don’t need extra salt because you’re using Worcestershire sauce. Bonus!
Sidebar: When I Googled meatloaf, the singer, Meatloaf, came up. Amusing but not quite what I was looking for. Do we know yet what he meant by “I would do anything for love but I won’t do that“? What is “that“? WHAT? Why are you still doing this to me, Mr Meatloaf? Not cool! It’s one of the greatest mysteries of the modern world. Answers are welcome in the comments section.
Meatloaf (The Food, Not The Singer)
500g lean mince
1 chopped onion
1 chopped green pepper
1 teaspoon minced garlic
1 teaspoon hot sauce
¼ cup milk
½ cup ketchup
1 large egg, lightly beaten
2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
2 slices dry white bread for crumbing
Making it happen:
1. Heat your oven to 180°C.
In a pan, heat 2 tablespoons of olive oil and fry the garlic, green pepper and onion on medium for 5 minutes until soft. Stir in the ketchup and milk and simmer for another 3 minutes.
2. Remove the crusts from the dry bread and blitz in a food processor until you have bread crumbs. Heat non-stick spray in a pan and fry the bread crumbs on medium until crispy and golden brown. Alternatively you can use ready-made bread crumbs and skip this step.
3. In a bowl, mix the mince, bread crumbs, lightly beaten egg, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce. Mix with a wooden spoon, don’t mash it though. Stir until well combined. You can also use your hands, sometimes that works better. Up to you. (You don’t have to tell anyone.) Add the fried veggies to the mince, mixing until thoroughly combined.
4. Spray a bread tin with non-stick spray. Spoon the mince mixture into the bread tin and smooth the top with the back of a tablespoon.
5. Bake for 1 hour, remove from the oven, let it rest for 10 minutes and then cut it into slices.
If you haven’t had a chance to go over to Grubbs n Critters yet, here’s Ann’s Greek dish – Kreatopia. It’s a meat pie with one of my favourites – phyllo. Treat yourself to this dish – it’s only half an hour of prep time and then wham, in the oven, whip it out and feast! Click on the link for more yumminess.
Source: Monthly Mystery Munchies #5: Kreatopita – Greek Meat Pie with Phyllo