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Beef Short Rib Fricassee

Beef Fricassee Recipe

As anyone that reads this blog knows, I have a certain something for rustic, French cooking. The kind of food that gets cooked in houses and small restaurants throughout France. The food that has honestly made France what it is culinary-wise, and I am sure will continue to do so well after I have put my knives and pans away.

A “Fricassee” is right in the heart of French country cooking. A rustic stew of meat and vegetables, enriched with some form of cream. The great thing about a dish like this is that it can be as rustic, or as refined as you like. Some upmarket restaurants go all crazy with alleged fricassee’s of lobster and crab. “Alleged” because like so many terms in French cookery, this one tends to get bent around a bit.

Click to see the recipe and more photos

Beef Wellington

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Two words:

OLD SCHOOL

OK, I promise to never say that again. EVER.

But come on, it is. The origins of this little dish are contended among food historians, but one thing everyone can agree on, it wasn’t exactly dreamed up by a poncy new chef wanting to do something different.

Some say that it was Duke Wellington’s favorite dish, and hence is called Beef Wellington. Others say it is of Irish decent, from a dish called steig Wellington of Ireland. Heck, the French even have a version somewhat similar called “fillet de boeuf en croute”. Personally, I don’t care to ever argue food history, especially when it comes to “what is an authentic blah blah blah”. Bollocks to all that, this is what it is – a fillet of beef, wrapped up with mustard and mushrooms, foie gras pate (if you like that kind of thing) and finally wrapped in puff pastry. Call it Shirley if you makes you happy.

Now, as any reader of this blog knows, I tend to go out of my way to avoid anything to do with pastry. I run even faster, and even further when it involves pastry and a not exactly cheap cut of meat, the beef tenderloin. So screw up the pastry, and you have wasted a very good, expensive cut of meat.

No pressure.

Click to continue to see this Beef Wellington Recipe

A guest post for RasaMalaysia.com – seared elk backstrap, red wine & juniper reduction

Ohhh, my first ever guest post for someone! I have long been a fan of the RasaMalaysia blog. Her food, and her photography are both top notch, simple and clean. Talk about great food styling and photography – the shots always remind me of Donna Hay. Everytime I go to her blog, I end up leaving hungry. It is seriously good.

So, imagine my complete joy when I got an email out of the blue from the blog author, asking if I wanted to do a guest post on her site. Talk about honored! Her blog is huge, really well known, and full of great stuff. I was floored.

Continue reading about this elk recipe, and guest post

Beef, mushroom and rice noodle salad (Goi Bo)

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Yep, the meat trip continues. This time though it really isn’t my fault. Honest Gov. You see, this lovely friend of mine, Jaden from SteamyKitchen emailed me a little while back and asked if I would take a couple of photos for the fabulous looking cookbook she has been writing. She needed some product shots done for the ingredients chapter of the book.

Ohh, that sounds like fun I thought. Then the nerves of course set in. I have never taken a shot for a cookbook before – never taken a shot for anything but my blog in all honesty. What if I screwed it up? She is on a tight deadline, and might not have time to reshoot. I ummed and arrred.. Then she told me I could be paid in beef. Kobe beef to be exact.

Continue reading this post, and see the Beef Noodle salad recipe

Braised Oxtail Ragu

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I was in two minds whether to post this. I am rather unhappy with the photograph – the lighting sucks (mainly thanks to me not using my scrim to diffuse light coming through the window), the composition ain’t great either. It put the whole photograph together in a rush. I wanted to eat the ragu, and eat it fast.

But, here it is. I wanted to talk about oxtail a bit, so deal with the photo..

contine reading braised oxtail ragu…

Duck and Cognac Rillettes

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I got a few requests in both comments and emails for recipes from the meat party that we just hosted.

Some of the recipes are on my blog already, but some are new.

This little bad boy of a rillette is new. So new in fact that I had never cooked it before I did for the party. Heck, this was actually my first time making duck confit.

So what is a rillette? If you ask me it is possibly the best potted food. EVER. The basic rule here is that you take some slowly cooked meat, shread it, and then beat it together with some fat, and often top it with fat (helps seal it you know…). Lets be honest, it is already sounding pretty good.

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Seattle Food Bloggers Meat Party!!!

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(photo credit: Dawn and Eric: www.wrightangle.com)

Are you sitting comfortably? This might be a long post….

I am not quite sure how to start this post to be honest. This event has been a few months in planning. Planning, which has been in my mind since I attended quite possibly the best party ever, hosted by WhiteonRiceCouple. Back in August they hosted a food bloggers party in California, and Danika and I were lucky enough to be invited. It was quite honestly one of the best evenings of my life. On our flight back to Seattle a day afterwards, I decided then and there that we needed to do something like it back in the Pacific Northwest.

Me, being me, wanted it to do it ASAP. Danika brought me down out of the clouds. Events take planning. Especially if you really haven’t catered for a lot of people before. Heck, cooking for more than 6 normally freaks me out. “Matt, lets do it after the New Year” she said.. “Rubbish, I want to do it now!!” was most likely my response (I really don’t remember now my exact words). Thankfully, she convinced me – she is normally the voice of reason in Mattika to be honest.

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Pheasant Pasty – pheasant, juniper berry and thyme

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Ahhh, the Cornish Pasty. Actually, you will note I haven’t called this a “Cornish Pasty”. I certainly don’t want a self respecting Cornish person to come and lynch me in the middle of the night.

A cornish pasty is traditionally made with beef, and anything else otherwise certainly wouldn’t be a Cornish Pasty.

But, much like Bouillabaisse, and countless other “heritage” dishes, the Cornish Pasty has so many bastard variations it just ain’t funny. So, all you Cornishmen out there – this is my bastard version.. come get me.

Contine reading after the jump – with a recipe for this Cornish Pasty

12 Hour Roast Pork Shoulder, crackling, Puy lentils, parsley butter

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Pinky to the corner of your mouth folks.. It is mini-post time!! (a short post, with few pictures, but still dead interesting!)

Again, more simple, rustic food. YAY!

So, those that didn’t get grossed out by the terrine post before (apparently quite a few people don’t like pate! nutters), I also served up a hunking great lump of pork to the veggers. I promised some more info on it, so here we go.

Continue reading this Roast pork shoulder recipe after the jump

Mutton Noisette, flageolet beans, mutton jus

OK.. the presentation kinda sucks with this one. But bare with me, this was something special indeed.

When we were at Sea Breeze Farm a couple of weeks ago (see previous post). I heard the M word, shouted out from the owner, in the kitchen. In most kitchens, that M word starts with “mother” and ends in… well you get it. Not here though. George said that magical word “Mutton”.

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I want to move to Vashon Island, and eat at Sea Breeze Farms every week

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This is going to be a long post.. Sit down and get comfy.

YEP, we are back from our holidays. Two weeks of fun with our little lad Drake. Much needed I must add. The first week of vacation was spent in California, visiting family, friends, and going to Disneyland.

The second week is what I want to talk about. One of the most amazing, and simply most enjoyable weeks of my life.

Contine reading about this Vashon Island Vacation

Rosemary Roast Chicken – and my first ever (and possibly last!) video post

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It takes a certain kind of bloody idiot to want to roast a chicken in 90F weather. It takes an even bigger idiot to think “wouldn’t it be great to roast three of them!!”

That’s me folks. Some of Danika’s family were coming over to dinner. One I would describe as a picky eater. The last time I cooked for them it seemed like almost everything that was on their plate was something they didn’t like. That was my bad – I didn’t ask before cooking (but in my defense, it wasn’t any freaky ingredients).

Continue reading for this Roast Chicken Recipe

Prosciutto, Spinach and Basil Frittata

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This is the Frittata that nearly didn’t make it. At the weekends I have recently been tormenting myself with what to cook for lunch. We normally get Drake (our son) down for a nap, which can last from 30mins to 3 hours depending on… er, depending on god knows to be honest.

Continue reading this frittata recipe

Braised Pork Belly, Dragon’s tongue and fava beans, pickled shallots, braising liquid sauce. (or Pork and Beans!)

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I had been wanting to do something like this dish for a while now. Danika’s Dad has always liked those crappy cans or pork and beans in tomato sauce, to the point where it is a bit of a family joke. I mentioned to Danika a while back now that I wanted to do a bit of a play on the whole pork and beans thing.

Originally I wanted to do something with a lot of the neck and face meat (including tongue) – maybe roll it together, braise and then roast it (French Laundry style). However, I know that if Danika’s parents asked what it was I was I cooking for them, there would be no way in hell they would eat it. A big shame really, because tongue, jowl and so forth is really bloody tasty.

Continue for this braised pork belly recipe

WFD: Braised Pork Spare rib and belly, lard roasted parsnips and fingerlings

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I have a confession to make. I love pork fat. Yep, in this ridiculous day an age, I realize that isn’t a stylish thing to say among some, but er, screw that. People, go read Real Food.

I am particular about my pork fat. Not all fats are created equal, heck no. The fat has to come from properly pastured pigs, naturally raised and from a brilliant breed. I am being a food snob? I don’t care if I am. Taste the difference between properly raised decent breeds of pig, and the stuff you find at a supermarket, and I would be surprised if anyone didn’t agree with me.

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