Category: Winter Warmers

Porcini Soup

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Porcini-Soup-webI love mushrooms and eggs and this soup  recipe is a great winter warmer


4 tbsp coconut or extra virgin olive oil

2 tbsp grass fed butter

Sprig of mint or oregano

4 large fresh porcini mushrooms, cleaned and roughly chopped

5 cups vegetable stock (broth)

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 cup freshly grated Parmigiano cheese

2 free range eggs 


In a pot, heat the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. Throw in a sprig of mint or oregano. Add the fresh porcini to the pot and let them cook for a minute so that the mushrooms absorb all the flavors. 

Add a ladle of vegetable stock (broth) and allow the porcini to cook for another minute, or until the broth has been absorbed. Season with salt and black pepper, and pour in the remaining broth. Bring the soup to a boil, and then lower the heat. Let the soup simmer for 30 minutes. 

Before plating, add the Parmigiano cheese and 2 eggs. Stir very well for a minute and serve hot.

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Beef Agglassato

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Beef-Agglassato-webBeef Agglassato is another Sicilian dish and its said that it originated in Palermo. It uses the eye of the rump (round). The rump eye is a cut taken from the tip of the rump. It resembles the fillet but is a lot tougher than the fillet (loin). 

This recipe is a great use of the rump eye. The Sicilian word “agglassato” means “glazed” and this dish is finished with an onion and wine glaze. 


2 big onions, roughly chopped

750 gm (1.7 lb) beef eye rump (round)

2 bay leaves

1 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves, whole

2 garlic cloves, halved

6 cherry tomatoes

1 tsp each salt and fresh ground black pepper


80 ml – ⅓ cup white wine

3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil 


Cut 4 slits, about 10-12mm (1/2 inch) deep evenly along the meat and fill them with the halved garlic cloves and half of the rosemary. 

Pre-heat oven to 175C (350F). 

Tie the meat with some kitchen string evenly in 4-5 places. This step is not essential, but it keeps the meat in shape while cooking and makes for a better final presentation. Season with salt and pepper by rubbing all over the beef and then set aside to rest for 10-15 minutes. 

In a cast iron casserole pot heat the oil and when hot place the meat and seal all sides and ends. Remove from the heat and add the onions, bay leaves, rosemary, tomatoes, olive oil. Add enough water till its up to ¾ of the meat from the top. 

Now cover the pot and place in the oven and cook for about 1 hour or until the meat is cooked through. Remove from the oven and place the meat on a warmed serving plate and cover with foil (tenting) and rest for 5-8 minutes. 

If the water has not completely evaporated after this time place the pot on the stove on a medium heat and simmer until the sauce has reduced and is slightly think. 

Add the meat back to the dish and add the white wine and simmer 3 minutes turning the meat to baste it. Remove from the heat and place the meat on a cutting board. 

Slice it into thin, 0.5 cm (0.2 inch) slices. 

Serve warm with the onion sauce on the top and balsamic fried mushrooms and rustic potato or sweet potato fries.

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Farsumagru Steak Stuffed With Meats and Eggs

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Farsumauru-webFarsumagru is steak stuffed with meats, cheeses, eggs and vegetables and then rolled to look like a roast and is a very traditional dish from Sicily. While it looks simple once its sliced it reveals a myriad of ingredients and taste. 

It can be served at room temperature, but it’s terrific hot out of the roasting pan, the delicious meat juices drizzled over the slices. Have your butcher butterfly the steak you buy to facilitate pounding.


1 bunch spinach or Swiss chard
7 tablespoons extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
1 small onion, finely diced
1kg (2.2 pounds) rump (round) steak, or similar cut of beef, cut into single slice not more than 12mm (1/2-inch) thick and butterflied
1/4 cup grated pecorino cheese
1/4 dry rough ground shiitake mushrooms (you will have to grind them)
100g (1/4 pound) mince (ground) veal, lamb, beef or pork
1/4 cup chopped Italian parsley
Salt and fresh ground black pepper

2 large eggs
3 hard boiled eggs
400g (1 pound) equal amounts various cold cuts and cheeses. This should include salami, prosciutto, provolone or caciocavallo cheeses, cut in medium dice or julienne strips
1/2 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 cup dry red wine
1 cup veal, beef or chicken stock (broth), homemade preferred
2 tablespoons tomato paste


Remove hard stems from spinach, wash well and drain. Place spinach, with only wash water clinging to leaves, in medium saucepan. Gently cook over medium heat about 10 minutes, or until tender. Remove pan from heat and let spinach cool. Drain and squeeze to remove as much water as possible, then set aside.

Heat 3 tablespoons olive or coconut oil in sauté pan. Add onion and sauté until just golden then remove from heat. Place in large bowl big enough to hold all the fillings later on.

Pound out steak slice to 4-5mm (1/4-inch) thickness with mallet or flat side of heavy cleaver. Do not tear meat.

Mix pecorino cheese, mince and parsley in bowl with sautéed onion. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Add raw eggs and mix again, combine well. Spread mixture evenly on pounded meat. Place hard-cooked eggs lengthwise, in row, on meat mixture. Scatter cold cuts and cheeses, peas and spinach evenly on top of ground-meat mixture and hard-cooked eggs. Roll meat tightly over stuffing into shape of log and tie with string in several places to secure during cooking.

Brown meat roll in large skillet in remaining 4 tablespoons oil, turning often. When meat is browned, place in heat-proof casserole dish. Pour in wine and stock (broth). Add tomato paste and stir liquids well to disperse paste then bring liquid to boil, then immediately reduce to simmer. Finish cooking meat on top of stove on simmer, or in 165C (330F) oven, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, turning meat often to baste with liquid. There should be about 1 cup liquid to use as sauce in dish, left in pan when meat is done.

Remove meat from casserole, let stand in warm place about 10 minutes, then remove string. Cut into 5mm (1/4-inch) slices and serve on heated plates with sweet potato mash or salad or seasonal vegetables. Spoon on remaining pan juices.

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Crusted Herb Pork Roast

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Roast_Pork_WebI love this yummy herb crust pork, its real comfort food. 


1 kg (2.2 lb) rolled free range pork roast

1 tbsp each, fresh rosemary, sage and thyme leaves, cut fine

3 onions, halved

3 garlic cloves, crushed

1 tbsp olive or coconut oil

1 tbsp Dijon mustard

Salt and fresh ground black pepper 


Pre-heat oven to 200 C (400 F) 

Season the roast with salt and pepper.  Make a paste with the herbs, garlic, oil and mustard, then spread all over the roast. 

Place the halved onions in the bottom of a roasting pan and place the pork roast on top of them.   

Roast at 200 C (400 F) for 30 minutes, then lower the temperature to 175 C (350 F) and continue to roast for 1 hour and 15 minutes. 

Once the roast is cooked remove from the oven, cover with foil (tenting) and rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.

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Lamb Leg (Shank End) Stew

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Lamb_Leg_Shank_End_platedI picked up a 1kg  (2.2lb) leg of lamb on special yesterday and when I got home I was pondering what I was going to do with it. It was like a very large lamb shank and what came to mind was a stew.

Rather than bone it out I decided to cook it to one of my lamb shank recipes, Orange Rosemary Lamb Shanks and then cube it, add some vegetables and finish it as a one pot stew with sweet potatoes.


1 1kg (2.2lb) New Zealand Quality Mark lamb leg, shank end

2 tbsp fine diced bacon
1 400g (16 oz) can crushed Italian tomatoes
1 tsp smoked paprika
4 tbsp olive or coconut oil
2 onions, diced fine
2 tsp chopped fresh garlic
2 cups beef stock (broth)
1 cup orange juice
Grated rind of 1 orange
1 sprig fresh rosemary 100mm (4 inch)
1 large sweet potato, pealed and diced, 10mm, (1/2 inch) cubes
1 carrot, diced, 10mm, (1/2 inch) cubes
1 cup of additional vegetables of your choice, fine diced


This dish is in fact a twice cook style of recipe. While the ingredients list looks large it comes together easily.

Preheat oven to 165 C (340 F)

To start, brown off the lamb leg in a skillet with 2 tbsp of oil on all sides and them place it in a casserole dish.

Heat the remaining oil in the frying pan and add the onions, bacon, paprika and garlic. Stir and cook for 4 minutes .

Stir in the tomatoes, beef stock, orange juice, rind and add the rosemary sprig. Cook for an additional 4 minutes. Pour over the lamb in the casserole dish.

Cover and bake for 2 hours or until the meat is tender. Remove the meat to a dish to cool.

Add the sweet potato and vegetables and cook in oven 30 minutes.

Once the lamb has cooled enough to handle cut the meat off the bone. Cut into 10mm, (1/2 inch) cubes and add to the casserole dish and return to the oven for 30 minutes.

Serve in warmed bowls.

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Braised Italian Herbed Lamb Shoulder Chops

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Braised-Italian-Herbed-LambBraised lamb shoulder chops is a meal I remember from my very young days. I remember my mother cooking this when I was 5 and she used to get me to help. She explained to me one time why it tasted so good, it’s the fact that the shoulder chops have marrow bones in them and the slow cooking releases the flavour of the marrow into the sauce. 

Shoulder chops are quite often on special and this recipe is a good one to make for a family of 4 for well under $NZ20. This recipe is easy to scale up. 

Serves 4 


1kg (2.2lb) Quality Mark New Zealand lamb shoulder chops

1 medium onion, cut into quarters

3 large garlic cloves, thinly sliced

2 tbsp butter, ghee, olive or coconut oil

1 dried bay leaf

1 tsp dried thyme

1½ tbsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried oregano

1 400g (16oz) tin Italian diced tomatoes

Sea salt and fresh ground pepper to season

½ cup chicken or vegetable stock (broth)

½ cup dry white or red wine (optional) 


Preheat the oven to 150C (300F). 

Over medium heat melt the butter or oil in a skillet or frying pan, sauté the onion and garlic for 5 minutes then add the herbs and cook for another 2 minutes. Remove the pan contents and set aside. 

Turn heat to high, Pat dry the lamb chops then place in frying pan. Brown on both sides in batches and place the browned chops in one layer in a large baking dish. 

Turn heat to low and add the tomatoes and herbs. Bring to a simmer and add the onions. Season with salt and pepper and simmer for 5 minutes. 

Pour the sauce over the lamb chops, cover with foil or lid then place the dish into the oven. After 1 hour remove the foil and cook for a additional 2 -3 hours or until the meat is very tender and breaks up easily. Do not let the baking dish dry out and add a little more water or stock as needed. 

Reserve the pan juices and serve as a sauce over the meat and serve with mash and seasonal fresh vegetables.

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Italian Herbed Lamb Cut-Offs Stew (Slow Cooked)

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Seasoned_Lamb_cutoffsA simple, easy to make Italian flavoured lamb dish with balanced flavours. Lamb cut-offs are from the shoulder and have some bone in which adds wonderful flavour to this.

Lamb cut-offs are a trimming from a lamb shoulder roast when the butcher is getting the roasts ready for sale. Its a yummy cut and some of the bone that is attached to the meat has great marrow in to which helps boost the flavour of the dish.

Serves 4. 


900 to 1 kg (2.2lb) Quality Mark New Zealand lamb shoulder cut-offs

Coconut or olive oil
2 onions quartered
2 400g (16oz) cans of Italian (roma) crushed tomatoes
4 cloves garlic crushed or 1 teaspoon crushed garlic
1 teaspoon dried basil
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon dried thyme
2 bay leaves
4 cups of fresh diced mixed vegetables of your choice
1 cup beef, chicken or vegetable stock
Salt and freshly ground pepper 


Pre heat your oven to 165°C or if using a slow cooker, turn it on low setting. 

In a medium sized plate or bowl season the lamb cut-offs with salt and pepper. 

Heat a heavy based fry pan or skillet to a medium-high heat and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Once the oil is warm add lamb and brown on all sides in batches if required and then transfer to a medium sized casserole dish or slow cooker bowl. 

Lower the heat to medium and add 2 tablespoons of oil. Add the onions and garlic and cook off for about 5 minutes till the onion has softened. Add the tomatoes and the rest of the ingredients, season with salt and pepper to taste and bring to a simmer. Cook for 5 minutes stirring occasionally. 

Pour the sauce over the lamb, cover and cook in the oven for 3 ½ hours or cook in the slow cooker on low for 8 hours. 

Serve with mashed kumera (sweet potato) to soak up the sauce. 

Tip:    You can replace the cut-offs with 3-4 lamb shanks, just brown them off and follow the recipe. Once cooked remove the shanks, remove the meat from, dice chunky and return to the sauce to warm up just before serving. 

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Honey Mustard Glazed Topside Beef Roast

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2 tablespoons fresh ground black pepper

1 tablespoon coarse sea salt

1 2kg (4.4 pound) New Zealand Quality Mark beef topside or bolar roast

6 tablespoons raw honey

3 tablespoons wholegrain mustard

3 tablespoons balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon olive or coconut oil 


Preheat oven to 180°C (400°F). Season the beef roast by rubbing all over with pepper and salt and place on a rack in a roasting pan. 

Roast the beef undisturbed for one hour.

While the beef is roasting whisk together the honey, mustard, vinegar, and oil in a medium bowl and let it rest. After the beef has been roasting for 45 minutes brush beef all over with honey mixture. 

Continue to cook 15 minutes then reduce oven temperature to 350°F. Roast 10 to 30 minutes more, until roast has reached desired degree of doneness, brushing it every 15 minutes with glaze. 

Once the roast is cooked to your desired doneness remove from the oven, tent (cover) with foil and let the meat rest for 15 minutes before slicing thinly. 

Serve with your choice of vegetables with the pan juices drizzled over the top of the meat slices.

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Leftover Meat and Mushroom Sicilian Sauce Brunch

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Chicken_Mushroom_Sicilian_SThis recipe can be made with so many different cold meats from a previous meal. It’s a great brunch and you can spice it up with some chilli. 


2 cups of cold meat cubed, I love to use lamb or chicken

1 large onion, diced

2 cloves of garlic, crushed

½ cup chemical free, grass fed bacon, diced

2 cups of button mushrooms, sliced

2 cup celery, dices

1 400 g (16 oz) tin Italian crushed tomatoes

½ cup of stock (broth) of your choice

1 tsp dried rosemary

1 tsp dried thyme

1 tsp dried oregano

2 tsp dried basil

Diced Italian parsley to garnish

Olive or coconut oil for frying

Fine grated parmesan cheese

Salt and fresh ground pepper to season. 


In a large skillet or heavy based fry pan over a medium to high heavy add 2 tbsp of oil. Once it hot add the onions, garlic and bacon. Sweat the onions off for about 5 minutes or until they start turning transparent. Stir frequently to ensure the garlic does not burn. If it does it can turn bitter. 

Add the celery and reduce heat to medium heat and cook for 5 minutes. Add the stock (broth) tomatoes, herbs and stir to combine and bring to a boil. Season with salt and pepper. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 30 minutes, stirring occasionally. 

Add your cubed meat 5-10 minutes to warm up. Once warm serve in warmed bowls, top with grated cheese and parsley. I also put some sour cream on the top.

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Chicken in Cider Sauce

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Cider-chickenServes 4

4        chicken skinless breasts or quarters, washed and patted dry

2 tbsp           olive oil or ghee

25g     butter or the same in clarified butter (also known as Ghee)

1        large onion, chopped into quarters

1 tbsp           Gluten free general flour or coconut flour

½ tsp ground ginger

1 tsp   paprika

500ml  2 cups cider

1 tbsp           tomato purée

1 tbsp raw honey

1 tbsp           freshly chopped parsley

salt and fresh ground black pepper

Heat the ghee with olive oil in a large frying pan over a high heat.  Add the chicken pieces 2 at a time and brown evenly on all sides. Remove with a slotted spoon, set aside and then brown the remaining two, setting aside when browned.


Add the onion to the pan and fry until soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Sprinkle in the flour, ginger, and paprika and cook for 1-2 minutes, stirring continuously .

Now its time to add the Cider. You need to add the Cider a little at a time and mix well till its absorbed and then add some more. Stir for 1-2 minutes between each addition.

Once you have added all of the Cider add and stir in the tomato purée, sugar and parsley.

Return the chicken to the pan, season with salt and pepper and baste well with the sauce. Cover and simmer for 30 minutes, basting every 10 minutes.

Alternatively, cook in the oven at 180C (360F) for 30 minutes.

Serve hot with seasonal fresh vegetables and creamy mashed sweet potato (Kumara).

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