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I make all these dishes regularly from these recipes and know from first hand experience they are delicious. (Except the baked possum, which I honestly haven't tried yet - as they are a protected species - but thought it might be good recipe to know just in case you get lost in the bush with a packbag full of beer & sweet potatoes.)



Marinade for meat:

10 spring onions (scallions), thinly sliced
100 g chives and/or garlic chives, roughly chopped
6 tablespoons minced red Asian shallots
12 cloves garlic, minced (4 tablespoons)
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 tablespoons fish sauce
4 teaspoons dark soy sauce
5 tablespoons honey

500 g minced pork
500 g pork belly, finely sliced
1 egg, lightly beaten

500 g rice vermicelli noodles, cooked

1 bunch perilla, leaves plucked
1 bunch fresh Asian basil, leaves plucked
1 bunch fresh Vietnamese mint, leaves plucked
1 bunch fresh mint, leaves plucked
1 bunch chives and/or garlic chives, chopped finely lettuce leaves

Broth / dipping sauce:

ratio: 1 sugar : 1 1/4 vinegar : 1 fish sauce : 10 pork broth)
Example: for 540ml broth enough for 4 people, you will need: 40 ml sugar : 50 ml vinegar : 40 ml fish sauce : ml 400 water pork stock

In a medium saucepan, combine all the ingredients above and cook over low heat until the broth is luke warm (not boil).

Pickled Papaya:

1/2 small green papaya
Make follow this direction: 1 vinegar: 2 sugar: 2 water
Thinly slice papaya (1 cm sq ) Make the liquid enough to cover surface. Leave at room temperature for at least 2 hrs

Table Condiments:

• 1 small red chile, diced
• 1 clove garlic, diced
• 1 lime, quartered

Directions - Night Before:

In a mixing bowl, combine the spring onions, garlic chives, shallots, garlic, black pepper, fish sauce, honey and soy sauce.

In separate bowl, combine half the marinade, minced pork, and egg and mix well.

Add the sliced pork belly to the remaining marinade. Cover and marinate both meats in the refrigerator for 2 hours, or overnight for a better result.
Make pork broth by simmering some pork bones or some of the pork mince for about 20 minutes. Cool. Strain and put in fridge overnight.

On the Day:

Skim the fat off the top of the pork broth, add the ingredients for the dipping sauce above and warm (do not boil.)
Cook the rice vermicelli in boiling water for about 12 minutes. Drain and plunge in cold water twice. Drain and cut into manageable pieces with scissors. Place in a bowl on the table.
Cut the herbs and lettuce leaves with scissors until manageable size. Place in a bowl on table.
Place the condiments in a small dish on table
Heat a charcoal grill or barbecue to medium high.
Form the pork mixture into small round balls with oiled hands, then slightly press down on each ball to form patties, about 2 inches/5 cm in diameter and 1/2-inch/ 1 cm thick and grill the patties for 4 minutes on each side. Grill the pork belly for 2 minutes on each side or until brown. Place the meat on a dish.
In each bowl, place chopped chives or garlic chives, two kinds of meat and some sliced pickled papaya. Place the remainder of the meat on a platter and put on table.

To eat: Take a mixture of noodles, herbs and meat and dip into the warm broth.



2 T-bone Steaks
2 tablespoons fresh Sage
1 tablespoon fresh Oregano
1 tablespoon fresh Rosemary
sea salt to taste
Extra Virgin Olive Oil


Roughly chop herbs and place on steak with plenty of salt on both sides. (No pepper at this stage.)

Heat a grill with a little olive oil and grill steaks about 10 minutes on one side and then 7 minutes on the other.

Remove steaks from heat, cover with foil and rest for ten minutes. Add fresh pepper and more salt.




1 1/2 pounds thickly sliced bacon, diced
6 pounds boneless lamb shoulder, cut into 2 inch pieces
1/2 teaspoon salt 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper 1/2 cup all-purpose flour 3 cloves garlic, minced 1 large onion, chopped 1/2 cup water
4 cups beef stock 2 teaspoons white sugar 4 cups diced carrots 2 large onions, cut into bite-size pieces 3 potatoes 1 teaspoon dried thyme 2 bay leaves 1 cup white wine


1. Place bacon in a large, deep skillet. Cook over medium high heat until evenly brown.
Drain, crumble, and set aside.
2. Put lamb, salt, pepper, and flour in large mixing bowl. Toss to coat meat evenly. Brown meat in frying pan with bacon fat.
3. Place meat into stock pot (leave 1/4 cup of fat in frying pan). Add the garlic and yellow onion and saute till onion begins to become golden. Deglaze frying pan with 1/2 cup water and add the garlic-onion mixture to the stock pot with bacon pieces, beef stock, and sugar. Cover and simmer for 1 1/2 hours.
4. Add carrots, onions, potatoes, thyme, bay leaves, and wine to pot. Reduce heat, and simmer covered for 20 minutes until vegetables are tender.


4 cups of potato water (no chlorinated water. Use a bottle of natural spring water for this.)
3 cups of unbleached flour ( I use about ¼ rye to ¾ white.)
1 tble honey


Cut 3-4 potatoes into quarters (skin on) and boil for ten minutes. Strain. Discard potatoes
(or make hash browns next morning).
Place flour in bowl. Add hot potato water.
Add honey. Stir until a sticky dough.
Cover with a plastic bag. Not too tightly.
Place in a moderately warm place for 3-4 four days. Next to the stove is good. In a warmed-up oven (not too hot.) In a couple of days, watch for bubbles rising to the surface and a subtle beer fragrance. When this happens, it has ‘caught’ some natural yeast and bacteria from the
air and begun to ferment. This is good! You can add a cup more flour and a little more spring water to ‘feed it’. (The starter yeast extracts its food from the flour and leaves the rest.)
Do not add salt. Salt kills starters. Do not use chlorinated water.
I keep a bottle of natural spring water next to the bowl.
If you plan to make bread regularly, it is not necessary to refrigerate. Just feed it every now
and then with more flour. If it starts to fill the bowl, tip some out. (1 tble of starter can activate several cups of flour.)

When ready to make bread, mix 3 cups of flour with enough water to make a crumbly dough. Add all the starter or as much as you need to get the dough nice and workable. Knead well. DO NOT ADD SALT YET.
When the dough is flexible, at this point you can cut off a piece and use this as your next starter or add it to the previous starter. Now add some salt to the remainder of the dough, knead again well, cover with a plastic bag,and leave in a warmed-up oven overnight. In the morning, make your bread.

If you plan to go away or not make bread for awhile, put the starter in the fridge and it will go to sleep until you are back.




3 pounds yellow onions, cut into 1/8-inch pieces
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 teaspoon table salt, plus more as needed
1 pinch sugar
8 cups water , plus more as needed
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 sprig fresh thyme (save some for finish!)
1/4 cup dry white wine
1 baguette , crusty
8 ounces Gruyère cheese-I sliced it thick and placed it over the top of the crock…..the cheese melted mostly into the soup and a little off to the sides, but it created a thick, even layer this way


1. Melt butter in a large Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat.
2. Add the onions, 1/2 teaspoon salt, and sugar. Toss to evenly coat.
3. Cover and cook for 10 minutes.
4. Take the cover off, and cook, stirring frequently, until the onions are lightly browned. I cooked mine for a little less than 90 minutes.
5. At this point, stir every 5 minutes and add water (a tablespoon at a time to loosen up the dark brown stuff that forms on the bottom of the pan).
6. Continue to cook until the onions are an even dark brown color, an additional 30 minutes longer or so.
7. Add the flour and stir for two minutes.
8. Add 8 cups water and thyme to the onions and bring to a boil.
9. Lower heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
10. Add white wine and simmer 10 minutes longer.
11. Add salt to taste.
12. Meanwhile, heat the oven to 325 degrees and adjust a rack to the upper middle position.
13. Cut the baguette into 3/4 inch slices and arrange on a single layer on a cookie sheet.
14. Bake until the bread is dry, about 10 minutes. Remove bread slices and set aside.
15. Heat broiler and place 6 heatproof bowls in a baking sheet. Fill each bowl with about 2 cups soup. Top each with two baguette slices and evenly distribute cheese slices over the bread. Sprinkle over some fresh thyme. Broil until well browned and bubbly, about ten minutes. Cool for five minutes before serving.



Ginger & Chili

2 tbles shredded ginger
1 large red chili – seeds removed & sliced
70 g castor sugar
60 ml water
2 tables lime juice
1 tble fish sauce

Combine all ingredients and heat in pan but do not boil. Allow to cool before using.

Soy & Sesame

60 ml soy sauce
2 tbles Chinese rice wine
1 teas sesame oil
1 tble castor sugar
1 teas grated ginger
¼ teas 5 spice powder
1 teas sesame seeds toasted

Combine all ingredients and heat in pan but do not boil. Allow to cool before using.




And I quote from Chef Annie: " I don’t really have a written down recipe so quantities I go by look and feel. But basically you cut the lemons into quarters. Scrub them clean first. Put them in a bowl and add coarse salt. Probably at least a cup for about 5 or 6 lemons. Rub them all over with the salt. Then put them in the sterilised jar layering with cinnamon sticks, bay leaves, cloves, peppercorns. Pour all the salt in. Really squash them down to release some juice and pack them in. Put them in a cool, dark cupboard and invert every couple of days. You can use them after a month."



Although I have made this dish a hundred times, I have never taken my own photo of the presentation. Here is the original photo from the American Time-Life cookbook I learned this recipe from. This is exactly how I serve it - on a large metal dish.


3 1/2 pounds corned beef brisket, corned silverside or plain beef brisket
15 peppercorns
8 whole cloves
bay leaf
(salt, if using plain brisket)
parsley, minced
10 baby beets
10 small new potatoes, peeled
10 small carrots, peeled
10 small onions
1 small head cabbage, cut into fourths


1 Put the brisket in a 5 or 6 quart Dutch oven and cover with an inch of water. If you are using corned beef brisket and it does not come already packed in seasoning, add peppercorns, cloves, and a bay leaf to the pot. If using plain brisket, add a teaspoon of salt for every quart of water. Bring to a simmer and then cover, lower the heat until it is barely simmering. Keep at a low simmer for four hours or until the meat is tender (a fork goes through easily).

2 Remove the meat and set aside, keeping the meat warm. Add the all vegetables to the pot - except the beets. (Or you can cook these vegetables in plain boiling water if you prefer a cleaner taste). Cook the beets separately in boiling water in their own pot. Squeeze off the skins. Check the broth for taste. If it is too salty, add a little more water to taste. Raise the temperature and bring the broth to a high simmer. Cook at a high simmer until done, about 15-30 minutes longer, depending on the size of the cut of your vegetables. Remove the vegetables and keep warm. Remove the meat.

3 Slice the meat in thin slices against the grain. You may find it easier to slice if you first cut the roast in half along the same direction as the grain of the meat. Then slice smaller lengths against the grain.

Place sliced meat on a large serving dish surrounded by onions, potatoes, carrots, cabbage quarters and beets. Sprinkle some minced fresh parsley over the top. Serve with horseradish, mustard and dill pickles.


I discovered a way to tweak this into a more perfect pizza crust using some bread improver.



I noticed that Nigella's tweaked this herself since I first made in back in 2003.




175g/6oz butter, softened, plus extra for greasing 100g/31⁄2oz golden syrup 125g/41⁄2oz golden caster sugar 1 lemon, zest only
3 free-range eggs, lightly beaten 175g/6oz self-raising flour
To serve
4-5 tbsp golden syrup custard

Preparation method:

1. Generously butter the inside of a 1.2litre/2 pint pudding basin, and cut a circle about two times larger than the pudding basin diameter, of baking parchment and and aluminium foil
2. Spoon 50g/2oz of the golden syrup into the base of the pudding basin and set aside.
3. Beat the remaining 50g/2oz golden syrup, butter, sugar and lemon zest with an electric whisk until light and fluffy. Whisk in half of the eggs followed by half of the flour. Whisk in the remaining beaten eggs and flour. The mixture should be just a dropping consistency. (Add a splash of milk if the mixture is very thick.)
4. Spoon the mixture into the pudding basin and smooth the surface.
5. Pleat the baking parchment by folding over an inch of parchment in the centre. Repeat with the foil. This allows for expansion of the pudding as it cooks.
6. Cover the basin with the circle of baking parchment, with the pleat in the centre of the pudding. Cover the parchment with the circle of aluminium foil, again with the pleat in the centre. Tie the pudding very tightly around the rim with string. Create a carrying handle by tying the excess string across the top of the basin and tying it under the string on the opposite side – this will help you lift the pudding out of the pan once it’s cooked. Trim any excess baking paper and aluminium foil, leaving a 2.5cm/1in border, and turn the edges in on themselves to seal.
7. Put an upturned heatproof saucer or small trivet in a large, deep saucepan, and place the pudding basin on top. Add enough just-boiled water to the pan to come halfway up the sides of the basin. Cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid and place over a low heat. Allow to steam in the gently simmering water for 13⁄4 hours, adding more water to the pan if necessary. (Make sure the pan does not boil dry.)
8. The pudding is done when a skewer inserted into the centre of the pudding (through the aluminium foil and baking paper) comes out clean. When done, turn off the heat and carefully lift the basin from the water. Leave to stand for 5 minutes.
9. Cut the string from the basin and discard the aluminium foil and paper. Run a cutlery knife around the edge of the pudding to loosen the sides, carefully invert onto a deep plate and remove the basin.
10. To serve, spoon the extra syrup over the pudding, cut into generous wedges and serve with custard.

AND A BIT EXTRA . . . . . .



This is an authentic New Zealand dish of possum baked with sweet potatoes.


1 large possum, skinned, dressed, and washed
1 quart beer
4 tablespoons tabasco sauce
1 1/2 tablespoons salt
2 onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
2 tablespoons worcestershire sauce
4 sweet potatoes
2 ribs celery, chopped
1 ounce whiskey


1. Mix the beer, whiskey, salt, Tabasco sauce, and Worcestershire sauce together.
2. Place possum in a large roasting pan. Sprinkle the celery, onions, and the garlic all over the possum.
3. Pour the liquid mixture over the possum as well. Cover and refrigerate overnight.
4. Preheat oven to 350 degree F. Place the sweet potatoes around the possum. Bake covered for 1 1/2 hours. Baste once or twice with the marinade from the pan as the possum cooks.


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