I started out this year a few kilo’s heavy after a fantastic holiday to Italy and Mozambique so came back ready to drop a few kgs. My girlfriend had been chatting about Keto and is pretty similar to banting which I have on good authority works.
This started a great adventure in No carb, no sugar cooking and this take on Lasagna, which uses brinjal instead of pasta and cauliflower with cream cheese instead of white sauce is amazing.
Give it a try, it is worth the effort 🙂 Picture gallery at the end of the recipe.
This will easily feed 6 people with a little left over. Serve with a salad.
What you need
1 kg mince
1 tin chopped peeled tomatoes
50ml tomato paste
2 teaspoons garlic
2 large onions chopped finely
Salt and pepper
1 Tablespoon Italian/Mixed herbs
300 – 500 ml chicken stock
1 x whole medium head of cauliflower broken into small pieces
1 x 250g tun cottage cheese with chives or similar
Lots of cheese, mature cheddar or a mic of mature cheddar and cheddar.
A good handfull of basil leaves
2 large brinjals sliced about 5mm thick
Salt toi remove the liquid from the brinjal
First, slice the bringals, place them on a baking sheet and sprinkle liberally with salt to extract the liquid. Leave them for about 30 minutes or so.
Now make the bolognese sauce.
Add the chopped onions to large pot and sweat on a medium to high heat.
Add the garlic and mince and cook until lightly browned.
Add the tomato paste and herbs and cook for a further 5 minutes or so.
Now add the tinned tomatoes, season with salt and pepper, mix it up and leave to simmer on a low heat for as long as it takes to do the rest. Give it a stir every now and then.
Tip: If you have time and a slow cooker, make the mince, pop into the slow cooker on low and leave it for at least 3-4 hours. The longer the better actually (We do ouirs over night)
Now steam/boil the cauliflower until semi soft, remove from the heat, drain the water and mix in the cottage cheese and set aside.
Next you want to take the brinjal that has been sweating and wash off any salt under cold water. Then place on kitchen towel to remove water.
Put a pan on high heat on the stove and cook the brinjal in a little olive oil until soft and lightly browned. Once done, remove and set aside.
Construct the brinjal lasagna in a large oven proof dish by making alternate layers of bolognese, brinjal, cauliflower and cheese. Finish off with bolognese and a layer of cheese.
Place in a 180 celsius oven for about 30-40 minutes or until the top is browned and the juices from the bolognese sauce are bubbling up the sides.
Sometimes only a boerewors roll will satisfy the hunger! If you have ever been driving around and racked your brain for the location of that guy making boerie rolls outside the supermarket or the butcher in the middle of the day and have traveled about 10km to find one, then you know you are a born and bred South African!
The rest of you may not quite understand the simple pleasure of biting down on a boerewors roll but for those of you who do understand, the next step is guaging the quality of the wors. Make your own and have that SA experience every time 🙂
What you need
2Kg Stewing beef or silver side
1.5 kg pork belly
20g Whole coriander
2ml Ground cloves
2ml Grated nutmeg
5ml Freshly ground black pepper
100ml White vinegar
Pop the coriander into a hot pan and toss it around for while until you smell that beautiful coriander fragrance quite strongly. Pop it into a pestle and mortar grind it down to a powder, removing any husks and then combine with the rest of the spices.
Cut all of the meat into small chunks and combine with the spices. Put the meat and spice mixture through a grinder or a food processor (make small batches if you are using a food processor). Now add the vinegar to the minced meat and mix thoroughly.
Set it aside for about 1/2 an hour to combine nicely.
Stuff meat lightly into casings and get the braai ready!
Mamas Lasagna recipe
Every now and then a recipe comes along that you just have to print and keep, bookmark or do whatever you need to so that you do not lose it and this old fashioned Lasagna recipe is one of those easy recipes. Don’t be put off by the number of ingredients, you will have most of them in your cupboard.
There is no low fat low salt this or that, it’s from a great friend of mine whose grandmother passed on the recipe and has been a favourite in their household for as long as anyone can remember. This is not to say that it is difficult or complicated, it is a lasagna recipe that is unpretentious, great tasting and home style food at it’s best so do what you need to and cook this one, you will be so glad you did. (serves 6) Dish size is 30cm x 20cm x about 8cm deep.
What you need
1 large onion finely chopped/grated
2 teaspoons crushed garlic
150g pork sausage meat
1 kg beef mince
2 tbsp tomato purée
3 tsp dried oregano
2 x 420g tins chopped peeled tomatoes
150ml beef stock
2 heaped tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons flour
600ml full-fat milk
pinch of nutmeg
250g lasagne sheets
Grated Parmesan cheese
Grated mozzarella cheese
Salt and pepper
If you are using boxed lasagna, boil the kettle and fill a dish with boiling water, place your lasagna sheets into the water one at a time and allow to stand for about 10 minutes or so so that they par cook. It is important to add them one at a time or they will stick together.
In a pan on a medium heat with a little oil add the onions and cook until they begin to sften, about 3 or 4 minutes. Add the pork sausage meat and fry for about another 3 minutes. You want to make sure that the meat is separated into a mince consistency. Add the beef mince and cook for about 10 minutes, moving it around so that it is all cokked. It may look a bit grey at this stage but have no fear that is how it is meant to look.
Now add the tomato puree, tomatoes, beef stock and oregano, mix it all up and allow to heat through, taste and season with salt and pepper and then leave it to simmer for about 30 minutes or so to reduce the liquid and thicken up while you make the white sauce.
Take a small pot and place on a medium heat, melt the butter and then stir in the flour. You want the flour to cook but not brown so make sure you are tirring all the time and that your stove is not too hot. This should take about 3 minutes with the butter and flour mixture foaming. Now add the milk little by little and stir furiously to get a smooth consistency and you ahve used all of the milk. Now add the nutmeg, give it a good stir and turn off the heat.
By this time your meat sauce should be ready as well and you are ready to get going.
Take a 20x30cm oven proof dish that is at least 6-8cm high and give it a light rubbing with some butter all over the base and add a thin layer of the meat sauce, then a layer of lasagna sheets, a thin layer of white sauce, a sprinkle of parmesan, then another layer of lasagna sheets and repeat until it is all finished. Sprinkle a nice thick layer of Mozzarella over the top with another fine sprinkle of parmesan.
Into a 180 Celsius oven it goes for 40 to 45 minutes or until the top is beautifully brown and bubbling.
That is the very best lasagna you will ever taste! Check out some of the other easy pasta recipes.
Beef short ribs are the ideal replacement for lamb shanks. Not only are they so tasty they are also quite affordable. Don’t be put off by the sinew and fat in the cut; they disappear when cooked in the wine and stock. The end result being a tender mouth watering dish that your friends and family will be talking about for a long time.
What you need
6 Thick cut short ribs (1.2 – 1.5 kg)
1 Large head of garlic cut in half horizontally
1 heaped tablespoon tomato puree
1 750ml bottle red wine
1 litre beef stock
150g bacon bits
250g button mushrooms cut into slices
Sea salt and black pepper
Chopped parsley to garnish
Feeds 4-6 people
Preheat oven to 170 degrees Celsius.
Season the short ribs well. Pour some olive oil in a deep-sided roasting pan. Place the pan on a stove plate and brown the meat on all sides. Add the garlic and the tomato puree and heat for a minute or two. Pour the red wine into the pan and scrape the bits at the bottom loose. Boil for 10-15 minutes until the liquid is reduced by half. Pour in the beef stock and bring to the boil while continuously basting the ribs.
Cover the pan with foil and place into the pre-heated oven. Bake for 3-4 hours until the meat is tender and falling away from the bone. Keep basting the ribs every now and then. Be sure to check the liquid in the pan at the same time so that it does not cook dry. Just add water when needed.
About 10 minutes before the ribs are ready to come out, fry the bacon bits and mushrooms until tender. When the short ribs are ready, take out of the oven and place them on a serving dish. Place the pan with remaining gravy on the stove plate and add the mushrooms and bacon. Bring to the boil. You can add a small amount of maizena to thicken the sauce if it needs to. Serve the ribs topped with the gravy.
Prime Rib on the Bone
I have recently moved into a new place and had a few friends over for dinner so decided a good roast was in order and what surprised me was the price of prime rib on the bone at under R60/kg. I used 1.8kg which was plenty for the 5 of us and it was so incredibly tasty it is something I will be doing over and again. (for 4-6 people)
Anyway, the dinner was a real hit, Prime rib roast, melanzane (they literally raved about it) and a potato bake with mushrooms that also got rave reviews to almost embarrassing proportions. So if you want a real winner, these are the recipes. (I laso served a few gem squash topped with cheese. (It’s not the healthiest meal bu man it was delicious!
A tip: When you select your prime rib ask the butcher to cut through the bone at the base so that you can easily cut the portions, I got mine from Pick n Pay on William Nicol near Parkmore and the butchery was very helpful.
What you need
1.8 to 2 kg Prime rib on the bone
Salt and pepper
Fresh Thyme stalks
100g softened butter
1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper
Heat your oven to 200 Celsius
Stuff a few stalks of Thyme into each cut at the base of the roast cut by the butcher. Turn it over, place on a roasting dish that is covered with tin foil (makes cleaning simple) and then use a generous coating of ground salt and pepper to cover the meat.
Place in the oven for 1 and 1/2 hours. This will give you medium and medium rare on the end 2 portions and rare portions in the middle.
Always leave it to rest for about 10 minutes after removing from the oven
To make the thyme butter, soften it in the microwave for about 20 seconds, add the chopped thyme and add a grind of black pepper and salt. Mix it up and then place on a piece of cling wrap. Roll it up and twist the ends until it is tight. Fold the ends and then pop in the fridge to harden.
Cut a slice of herb butter and place on top of each persons meat.
Mixed mince meat loaf
The mixture of pork and beef with a hint of sage in this meatloaf recipe is something quite marvelous. I am a big fan of meatloaf, it’s cheap, makes a great easy dinner and is fantastic on sandwiches. It’s really important to use extra lean mince especially with the pork and to keep it nice and moist either put a bowl of water in the oven when cooking it or put the loaf tin in a roasting pan with some water in it.
What you need
1 small onion grated
1 medium carrot grated
1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 1/2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage (or 1 heaped teaspoon dry sage)
300g lean pork mince
200g lean beef mince
1/2 cup breadcrumds
2 tablespoons tomato puree
1 teaspoon English mustard (optional)
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
Prepare a baking tray or small loaf tin(17cmx11cmx8cm) by smearing it with a little oil and heat your oven to 180 Celsius.
In a pan on a medium heat add the onion and carrot and cook for about 3 or 4 minutes until it begins to soften, add the garlic and cook, stirring every 30 seconds or so for another 3 or 4 minutes.
Now add the sage and give it a good mix through and then remove from the pan and place into a large mixing bowl.
Add the pork mince, beef mince, breadcrumbs, tomato puree, Worcestershire sauce and the mustard if you decide to use it. Now get you hands in there and mix it well to evenly distribute all of the vegetables. Give it a light seasoning with a bit of salt and black pepper and then a final mix.
If you are using a baking tray, place it into the center of the tray and form into a loaf shape or place into your loaf tin and pack it down quite well.
Place in the oven with an oven proof bowl containing about 500ml water.
Bake at 180 Celsius for 45 minutes until the loaf is firm. If you are serving it hot, allow it to cool slightly for about 5-10 minutes before turning out and slicing.
Serve with peas and mash or any of your favourite vegetables.
Here is a more traditional meatloaf recipe with tomato sauce topping.
Toad in the hole
Don’t let the few ingredients fool you on this Toad in the hole recipe, it is fantastic. The batter will rise and rise and you will be tempted to open the oven, but resist and you will be rewarded with a puffed up Yorkshire pud that is hard to beat. If the areas below the sausages are a little wet don’t fret, this is exactly what you are meant to have. (for 3-4 people)
What you need
6-8 pork/beef sausages
1 1/2 tablespoon oil
225g plain flour (it is important to measure it)
4 large eggs
250ml full cream milk
Heat your oven to 200 Celsius while you prepare, it is very important to place the dish in a hot oven.
You can use a metal roasting pan or an oven proof dish for this recipe that should be something close to 30cm x 20cm and have sides at least 7cm high.
Add the oil to your dish or pan and arrange the sausages in the base, place in the oven and bake for 10-15 minutes to cook the sausages while you prepare the Yorkshire pudding recipe. I cannot emphasis enough how important it is to get good quality sausages, some sausages have way too much fat in them and shrink down to these little tiddlers.
In a mixing bowl, add the flour, 3/4 of the milk and eggs, whisk it to a smooth consistency and then add the last of the milk in 2 portions mixing well between each addition. You will have a nice smooth, quite runny consistency. Season with a little salt and white pepper, give it a final whisk and transfer to a jug.
Take the sausage out of the oven and with tongs or a fork, move them around a bit so that none of the sausages are stuck to the bottom and try to leave equal spaces between the sausages. Now slowly pour the mixture in between the sausages so that they are almost covered.
Return to the oven for about 40 minutes and watch the Yorkshire pudding rise. It will rise above the edge of the dish. Check after 35 minutes or so to ensure that it does not burn. The Yorkshire pud should be a deep brown. puffed up and the sausages should be partly visible.
Serve straight away with a nice gravy. There is no reason why you could not use chicken sausages if you are averse to meat!
Carpaccio is a perfect hot weather starter and a few weeks ago I made it for a dinner party along with the Eton Mess as a dessert and it went down so well I will be doing it again and again. The main was a slow roasted pork belly done by a mate of mine who is legendary with pork.
The best part of this recipe is that it is so simple, takes so little effort and is incredibly delicious. You do need a very sharp knife for this one, without it you will battle. You need about about 50g of meat per person maximum and depending on how thin you cut it. I didnt have the time to let it freeze so mine was a bit thicker than normal and quite difficult to cut but went down just as well. (8-10 people)
What you need
500g Fillet steak trimmed of any fat
salt and pepper
Parmesan cheese (you want quite a hard piece so go to a good deli)
Salad greens (lettuse, rocket, red leaves, basil)
Baby tomatoes halved
Cover a chopping board with a nice layer of salt, pepper and sprinkle of paprika. Roll your fillet over the salt mixture giving it a nice coat all over.
Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan to very hot and sear the fillet so that the entire outside is beautifully golden all over. Remove it from the heat and let it cool for about ten minutes.
Now wrap it up tightly in some cling film and pop it into the freezer for about 2 hours or until about 15 mins before you are going to serve.
When you are ready to serve take it out of the freezer and set it aside while you prepare the platters by tearing the greens and placing the tomatoes all over the platter.
Now unwrap your fillet and with a very sharp knife cut thin slices and place them all over the greens.
Now take your parmesan and with a potato peeler slice up a whole lot of thin pieces and place them on top of the carpaccio.
Drizzle generously with olive oil and give the whole platter a good grind of black pepper and salt. For something really special get a bottle of capers in brine and sprinkle a few over the top.
It’s really yummy folks, give it a go on a special occasion.
This is a super quick, delicious meat dish that you will use again and again. Chinese food is generally very quick, easy and healthy and this one is no exception. It’s a fabulous week night meal that takes just minutes to make. I really love Chinese food and this one, along with the egg fried rice and sweet and sour pork are real favourites of mine. Good for 4 people.
What you need
350g rump steak
1 tablespoon corn flour
5 ml sesame oil
1 head of broccoli
4 spring onions sliced diagonally
1 clove crushed garlic
1 teaspoon finely grated fresh ginger
120ml beef stock
2 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons sherry or rice wine
2 teaspoons sugar
Remove the fat from the steak and slice into thin strips across the grain, this is really important or your steak strips can get tough.
Heat a wok/frying pan to very hot, add a little oil and fast fry the steak for about 2 – 3 minutes in 3 batches tossing them around so that they do not stew. You want them to sear on the outside but not cook completely, remove and set aside.
Now add the broccoli, spring onions, ginger, garlic and stock that has had the corn flour mixed into it and simmer covered for about 3 minutes. Mix the soy sauce,sherry and sugar together and add to the veg mixture. Add the beef back to the mixture and cook for another 2-3 minutes giving it a stir from time to time.
That’s that, you are done.
Serve it with egg fried rice or chinese egg noodles for classic Chinese food.
I have had a few requests for pie recipes lately which is probably on account of the weather cooling down and this weekend was perfect to try out a homely steal pie recipe. This recipe can easily be adapted to make a pepper steak pie by adding cracked black pepper so for those who have requested pepper steak pies, this is for you as well. You want a steak that has little fat on it like sirloin or some good chuck that has had the fat removed. The recipe can be used to make 6 individual pies in foil pie tins available from any supermarket.
What you need
500g frozen puff pastry that has been thawed
1 beaten egg
Oil for frying
2 medium onions chopped
500g steak (I used sirloin) cubed into 2cm pieces
1 and 1/3 cups beef stock (for those who like a wine flavour substitute the 1/3 stock with red wine)
30ml Worcestershire sauce
30ml tomato paste
30ml flour mixed with 60ml water
Salt and pepper (for pepper steak pie add about 1 teaspoon of extra cracked pepper)
Place about a tablespoon of oil in a pan on a medium to high heat on the stove and cooked the onions until they are softened but not browned. Now add the steak cubes and toss them around until the pieces are sealed on all sides.
Now toss in the beef stock, Worcestershire sauce, tomato paste and wine if you are using wine, reduce the heat to medium low and allow it to simmer for about 40 minutes with the lid off. Stir it occasionally and allow the liquid to reduce and the meat to cook through.
You will still have a fair amount of liquid in the pan so now we need to thicken it up by adding the flour and water mixture. Bring it to the boil after adding the flour mixture and stir it constantly for about 2 minutes. Remove from the heat and allow to cool while you prepare the pie cases.
Flour a surface and unroll the puff pastry, dust the top with flour and using a rolling pin or wine bottle, roll it out to about 3mm thick. If you are using individual pie cases cut a circle that will fill the pie case and flop over the edges a little as well as 6 further pieces to cover the top, press into the pie case and trim off the remaining pastry from the sides.
Fill the pie cases equally with the mixture, place the tops on and crimp the edges together with your fingers to seal the pastry. Pierce with a fork or knife on top, brush with the beaten egg and pop into a 200 Celsius over for 20 minutes or until the pastry is beautifully gold and crisp.
This steak pie recipe can easily be made in a large pie dish as well, I don’t put pastry on the base of the dish but cover with a thicker piece of pastry on top with is straight from the pack, no rolling, just cover, pierce and brush with egg.