Friday, 17 July 2015

Pork and Beef Ragu

 I have been having technical problems lately including the shift key on my laptop doesn't work, the USB cord that connects my iphone to the computer only works spasmodically so I have had problems downloading photographs form my phone.  Then I spent 30 minutes removing a paper jam from the desktop printer this morning, googling to find out how to open the back of the printer when finally I had the insight to just unplug everything and turn it upside down to find a delightful arrow where I could open the back and remove the offending paper.  Sometimes common sense has to prevail.

As we have had a chilly few days with temperatures as low as 10 C it has been good weather for warm comfort food, such as this amazingly good tasting Pork and Beef Ragu which I have wanted to share with you since winter started in June.

This is a classic dish, which has become personalised over time and is always welcome at our table.


Pork and Beef Ragu

500g pork neck, fat removed and chopped into 2 cm pieces
500g beef chuck steak, fat removed and chopped into 2 cm pieces
1/3 cup olive oil to fry
1 large onion
1 bay leaf
1/3 cup red wine
500ml passata - red tomato puree or 2 tins chopped tomatoes
1 teaspoon sugar
3 cloves
salt and cracked black pepper to taste
continental parsley chopped, to serve

Pasta of your choice to serve.

Heat a high sided non stick pan over medium high heat and fry the meat in batches until browned, remove to a plate and set aside.
Add a little more olive oil and fry the onion and bay leaf.  Drain off the juices that have collected on the plate with the meat and return the browned meat to the pan.
Stir, then pour over the red wine, keep stirring for 2 minutes before adding the tomato puree and cloves.  Place on lid and bring to a low boil, then reduce heat to simmer, add sugar, salt and pepper to taste.  Cook for 1 hour 15 minutes, or until meat is tender.  Stir occasionally and remove cloves if you can find them.

Bring a large saucepan of water to boil, add 1 tablespoon salt and pour in your pasta, stirring.  Put timer on for 12 minutes depending on the variety used.  Bring back to boil and stir occasionally.
 I cook spaghetti for 12 minutes and penne for 14 mins.

Drain pasta, place on your serving plate and pour ragu over the top.  Serve sprinkled with parsley and grated parmesan cheese.  Along with crusty bread, a bowl of olives and a fresh salad on the side, Your dinner is served and your guests will be delighted by this amazing pork and beef ragu.


Tell me how do you deal with your computer problems?

Buon appetito, enjoy, Merryn xx

Monday, 6 July 2015

July Garden Share Collective all about avocadoes and limes

This is such a wonderfully warm Australian winter with enough rain and plenty of sunshine.
There are so many vegetables and fruit to pick including limes, avocadoes, mandarins, oranges and lettuce.

Chillies, long red cayennes and jalapenos

The middle garden bed is proudly displaying lettuce, rocket and fennel.

Tomatoes of all shapes and sizes are so fresh and delicious.

Where tomatoes grow, so do weeds.  
In this case chickweed is omnipresent and requires continual attention.

I have just picked the first custard apple, it weighs 1.250kg and will taste delicious.

There have been so many limes, continually picked now for 3 months.
I prefer to cook with limes rather than lemons, preferring the sharp citrus flavour of limes.

Lemonades on the dwarf tree, they will be ripe this month.

Cauliflower heads slowly but surely growing.
These look so perfectly white and uniform.

Broccoli heads also growing, still two weeks away from picking
but so green and firm.  They will be delightful.

Spinach, always growing, being picked for us and also as greenage for the chickens.

Look at this Sorrel "Bloody"  I recently purchased.
I have grown the normal sorrel, with a slight lemony flavour but
this sorrel "bloody" has a peppery flavour similar to rocket. 

I love that there is always so much diversity in the winter garden.
Snow pea plants are 60cm high and will soon put out flowers.
Corn is almost ripe for picking.
The citrus are so plump and sweet.

This is part of the Garden Share Collective to see other members gardens it is fascinating seeing with other members grow, click here to see the other Garden Share Collective Members gardens.

Buon appetito, enjoy Merryn xx