Branches

x
  • June Meat Market Update

June Meat Market Update

Easy tricks to speed up your favourite 'winter warmer' dinners

The weather is getting colder and we're all looking for dishes that give us the equivalent of a warm cuddle. But we still have the same amount of hours in the day, so what do you do if you want those big flavours without the big amount of time spent in the kitchen?

Easy — you learn a few little hacks to make those winter warmer dishes all the more efficient without skimping on flavour.

Perfect roasts

To nail the perfect roast you need only need two things:

1. Get the cook right. For crispy skin on any roast, you need to put it into the oven at a very high temperature for a short amount of time, and then drop the temperature back for the rest of the cook. This will render the fat and crisp up the skin by driving off moisture (the enemy of crackling), but then let you finish the cooking without compromising the crunch.

Make crispy, crunchy pork crackling

2. A great roast always needs a sauce or gravy. Make a great gravy to go with that crunchy roast.

You can, of course, make a gravy with your pan juices...

Or, there is no shame in using a Superior Food Services-bought helper, like a gravy powder or sachet of finishing sauce. They save time and you can add pan juices in if you like.

  • Powdered style gravy
  • Premade gravy sachets
  • Finishing sauces
  • Duck fat for potatoes
Jane de Graaff's easy roast pork tricks
Jane de Graaff's easy roast pork tricks (Supplied)

Get a cheat sheet for roast types and times.

Easier casseroles / slow cooks / bakes

The simple trick with any casserole, slow cook or baked dish is to make sure you nail the basics at the start.

Always cook down your onions and brown any meat. You can't get deep flavour from meats that have just been stewed and not browned, because you miss out on the caramelisation of the naturally occurring sugars. It sounds technical, but all you need to know is brown, brown, brown that meat and caramelise those onions.

The best way to do this is to get a pan that can go from the hob to the oven to save on washing up. But no drama if you don't have one — just brown it off and then tip into your baking pan.

After that, feel free to go to town on all the simmer, slow cook, bake and stewing sauces from Superior Food Services. There is everything from curry to stroganoff.

Because toppings. are. everything.

  • Get a pan that works on the hob and in the oven and go from one to the other
  • A topping always helps to really finish things off (dumplings, cheese, pastry)
  • Use fresh veggies instead of frozen for a better texture, but no drama either way
  • Make it the day before and reheat – the flavours will really infuse
Jane de Graaff beef dumpling stroganoff bake
Jane de Graaff beef stroganoff with dumplings casserole bake (Supplied)

Ingredients for beef stroganoff dumplings casserole

  • 1kg chuck beef, in 2cm cubes
  • 1 onion, diced
  • olive oil
  • 4 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 250g mushrooms, sliced
  • 1 x packet of stroganoff packet mix
  • 2 cups water (use stock if not using packet mix)
  • ½ cup red wine
  • 1 tablespoon corn flour
  • 2 tablespoons sour cream

Dumplings

  • 2 cups self raising flour
  • 50g butter, cubed
  • ½ cup parmesan, shredded
  • ½-¾ cup of milk, just enough to bring the dough together
  • freshly chopped chives, optional

Method:

  1. If possible, use a pan that can go from cooktop to oven. Brown meat in batches and remove from pan. Then, in the same pan fry off the onion and bacon. Toss in mushrooms and cook until mushrooms just soften then stir through the packet of stroganoff mix. Stir through the water/stock and red wine. Bring to the simmer. Simmer for 1 - 1½ hours and check meat to see if it's tender. Stir through 2 tablespoons sour cream to combine. Stir through the corn flour and simmer to thicken slightly. Make sure the casserole is in an oven proof dish - if it's not, transfer it to one now.
  2. To make the dumplings, rub the butter and flour together until you have fine crumbs. Stir through cheese, then the chives at this point if you're using them, and then add just enough milk to bring the dough together (do not overwork). Roll into balls and top the casserole stroganoff with the balls. I often make two batches of dumplings when my dish is wide. Scatter with extra parmesan.
  3. Bake for 20 minutes of until dumplings are puffed and golden and stroganoff is sizzling.

Super soups

Don't be fooled into thinking the only way to make soup is to throw everything into the pot and hope for the best. Sure, you can do it that way if you want, but there are some little tricks that will take your soup next level for winter.

  • Don't skimp on the early stages of cooking; cook down onion and any meats to get them caramelised and browned
  • Roast veggies if you have time. It's not essential, but it will add depth to your flavours and you can keep some for garnish too
  • Use a good stock (bought or homemade), or go big and use a packet or tin of soup to help out with an added flavour punch
  • Fresh veggies always have a better texture, but use what you have
  • Add noodles/rice at the end. Do not cook them in the soup, unless you want it all to melt together
  • Toppings take it next level – balsamic bacon / croutons and crumbs / gremolata - find what topping you like and go nuts on it

Superior Food Services' helpers - Use any of the tins/packets/packs on the market as a good base when you don't have stock, but always add more veggies and bits to them to make them go further. It's a great way to amp up the flavour.

Jane de Graaff's leek and potato soup
Jane de Graaff's leek and potato soup (Supplied)

More soup tips and recipes here...

The tricks to nailing classic winter soups

Roasting cheat sheet

Now, this is just a guide. It will depend on the size of your roast, the cut (i.e. bone in or out) and how you like the final result (from rare to well done). But here's a handy little helper to get you started.

Roast pork with crackling

  • 220°C for 20-30 minutes for crackling (keep an eye on it)
  • Then 180°C for 30 minutes per kg

Roast chicken

  • 220°C for 5-10 minutes for crispy skin
  • Then 180°C for 25 minutes each side, or until juices run clear

Roast beef

  • 220°C for 20 minutes
  • Then 180°C for 20 minutes per 500g (for rare meat)

Roast lamb

  • 220°C for 20-25 minutes
  • Then 180°C for 30 minutes per 500g

Note: Bone-in roasts generally take less time to cook as the bone conducts heat into the centre of the meat.

NB: original article published via 9Honey - all credit to Jane de Graaf. In no way does Superior Food Services claim ownership of this article.


November Meat Market Update

November Meat Market Update

The price of meat in Australia is set to continue to increase into the Christmas period, industry insiders have warned, as lingering effects from the drought and Covid closures stifle the industry.

Read Full Article