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My ultimate slow cooked ragout is a bastardisation of Heston Blumenthals recipe which i got from here:
and the official Bolognese as decreeed by the Acadmeia Italiana della Cucina in 1982 from here
This makes a reasonable pot which would probably serve, and clog the arteries of, 8 very hungry people or 12-14 less hungry people

The quantities are vague as i’m a total airhead

Meat Sauce
500gm Osso bucco
500gm pork fore shoulder
2 carrots
1 large onion
3 sticks of celery
full cream milk
red wine
chicken stock
150gm of pancetta
50gm of Jamon (probalby not neccessary, i just had some left over)
5 spice power
6 large cloves of garlic
6 bay leaves
olive oil
dried chilli flakes
1 tub tomato paste

Tomato Compote
can of diced italian tomatoes (again probably dont have to be italian, its just what i had handy)
dried chilly flakes
150ml olive oil
6 large gloves of garlic
5 spice powder
tsp coriander seeds
cracked pepper


For the meat sauce
a/ Soffrito
fry chopped up pancetta and jamon in the pot until fat has rendered
add in crushed and chopped garlic
Add chopped up carrots, garlic and celery
until raw onion smell has gone

b/ Meats
Cut up the meaty bits into chunks
brown in hot pan with olive oil ( i saved some pancetta to render with the meat)
throw meats, including bones and beautiful tendon/cartilege pots into the pot with the soffrito
Deglaze the pan with red wine and add delicious burnt bits into the pot

Pour in 500ml of red wine (i think any wine would work really) (total, i kept adding small amounts every hour or 2)
about 500ml of hot milk (total, i kept adding small amounts every hour or 2)
pour in 2 cups of chicken stock
1 tub tomato paste
Add in bunch of peppercorns, bay leaves, and 5 spice powder, and a sprinkle of dried chilli flakes
cover and simmer for as long as you have patience for

at about 6 hours i scooped everything out and hand tore all the meat into fine shreds (pretty easy as its beautifully tender) and pulled the meat off the bones
i love the cartilege and tendon bits so i tore that up too
pulled out the peppercorns and sad looking bay leaves
Chucked it all back in

Tomato Compote
on low heat with olive oil i put in maybe 15 dried chilli flakes for that bit of warmth
on medium add in the crushed garlic and finely diced onion
add in can of tomatoes
pop in a good amount of cracked pepper, and a sprinkle of 5 spice powder and the corriander
pour in a generous amount of oil and fry the snot out of it to give a nice roasted flavour.
pour off any olive oil that wasn’t absorbed by the compote.

Chuck the tomoto compote in with the meat sauce
and cook together for another couple of hours.

at this point you can fiddle with any extra salt or pepper that you think it needs
You can now freeze whatever you dont need

To finish

get as much sauce as you think you’ll need in a fry pan and fry off excess liquid – you can choose to leave a bit if you want it a touch more saucy. I made mine pretty dry
Make pasta as per instructions – lots of salted water and 15 min- i like them a touch chewy so i use the lower end of cooking time
drain pasta
throw in about 50g of butter and mix it through the steaming pasta and jiggle it vigorously. I prefer not to rinse as the little starchy bits add interest to this next bit.
Just before serving, put some butter in a pan on a med-high heat and put pasta in to brown so you get lovely crispy bits

This is an astoundingly rich dish so a small portion will probably suffice
Place a small scoop of pasta on plate, a dollop of sauce and grated parmesan


we were at a fancy shindig, and in the manner of students everywhere, keen to sample all the free food and grog available.
A tray of sushi was wafting enticingly around

student “Excuse me, is that vegetarian?”
waitress, after processing this and thinking mightily “I think it’s Japanese”

good. glad that was cleared up

So I probably should be studying for imminent exams, but made up a new dish.

Snapper and pasta aglio et olio

you need
1 firm fishy fillet(i used snapper, blue eye cod/trevalla or similar)
4 bits of proscuitto, pancetta or smokey bacon. (enough to wrap around fish. I used 8 super thin bits of proscuitto)
chilli flakes
extra virgin olive oil
Masterfood tuscan herbs seasoning (or similar. make it yourself. i’m too lazy)
lemon juice



light drizzle of olive oil over it
a sprinkle of herbs
bit o pepper
squirt o lemon

cook pasta as normal
while that is happening heat up some olive oil in the pan, and quickly fry the fish on both sides (like 30sec each) and then chuck it under the grill. (or oven at 200 degrees or so for like 10-15min. i’m scared of my oven so i use the grill)
in the same pan, put some chilli flakes and garlic and some more oil on low heat. soften the garlic.

about 2min from pasta doneness, chuck in the asparagus/broccolini
then drain when pasta is done and the vege has gone bright green
stick it into pan with the garlic and chilliflakes and toss it round
with generous amt of pepper

chuck pasta onto plate
chuck fish onto plate

So this is a grossly simplified and bastardised version of Simon Bryant’s dish (of Cook and Chef fame and head chef at Hilton Adelaide), which I’ve never had, but sounded nice. I probably should mention that it tastes pretty good and while probably not as nice as Simon Bryant’s version, it does take a heck of a lot less time and stuffing about.

laziness hint – good packet miso soup works fine as the broth and comes with seaweed in it. (i use the S & B ones which seem to be ubiquitous in Miso soup in australia)
you still need miso paste for the marinade though. You can get them in handy 1 use sachets which is great if you don’t make a lot of miso.

this is set for 1 portion


Piece o Fish – i used barramundi, but Kingfish or other firm meaty white fish would work
70gm Soba noodles
100ml mirin
2 tspn sugar
asian greens (i used bok choi and choi sum)
enoki mushrooms
shitake mushrooms
50gm miso paste
nori seaweed
silken tofu
chilli oil or chilli flakes
spring onion

bring 100ml of mirin and a dash of sake to a gentle boil
add in about 20gm per piece of fish of Miso paste
mix in 2 teaspons of sugar and mix well
dash of chilli oil or sprinkle of chilli flakes
leave it simmer for 5 min until it reduces a bit and is a little bit glazy

put the fish in a bowl and cover with the marinade for 30min at room temp

After marinade,
heat some oil in a pan and cook the fish so that its got a lovely caramelised glaze
about 3-5min each side

Noodle and broth
Bring water to boil, chuck in miso paste and nori seaweed
put in a sprinkle of chilli flakes/dash of chilli oil
stick in soba noodles
chuck in asian greens and cubed tofu about 2 min after noodles
chuck in mushrooms about 3 min after noodles
stir for another min.

To serve:
put in noodles, tofu and vegetables and mushrooms in a bowl (arrange as your artistic fancy takes you)
pour in broth
place the fish on top of it all
sprinkle with finely chopped spring onion

During term time food gets to be pretty basic variants of pasta, noodles, rice and penut butter an jelly sandwiches

But its holidays and there is time to experiment a bit so I bring you

Grilled Trout with Anchovy-Caper butter sauce on steamed bok choy

You need for 1 serve:
1 big Bok Choy or 2 baby
1 Ocean trout or Salmon fillet with skin
tablespoon Butter
2 Marinated Anchovy fillets
tablespoon o Capers
1 big clove Garlic
Lemon/lemon juice
Olive oil

Super simple and easy

Bok Choy
So steam some bok choy

Liberally cover the skin side of fish with salt and a touch o pepper


smash up garlic
dice/smoosh anchovy filets
heat pan with a dash of olive oil and butter in it.
Once it starts sizzling chuck in garlic and anchovy and capers
add a dash of lemon juice and sizzle away till garlic is browned

Place bok choy on plate
stick fish on top of it
pour sauce on top of fish


While I was in France, I had the pleasure of eating this particular entree which was spectacular. It consists of a nice chevre (goat’s cheese), cut like a sandwich with olive jam smeared through the middle. Then a green salad with sticky basalmic vinegar (i use Chris Jarman’s) topped it off. Simple delicious.

A shop called Olivier’s & Co on Rue Mouffetard, 5 eme Paris, stocked a version of this olive jam which also has lemony goodness in it – its salty and sweet and has this incredible complex yumminess to it.
Unfortunately everyone in Australia looks at you strangely if you ask for an olive jam.
BUT I found an online recipe at The traveler’s Lunchbox. Check it out!

If however you are teh LAZY like me I made up a simpler version

  • Buy a nice kalamata olive tapenade – mine was a wonderful mix of kalamata olives, olive oil, garlic, pepper, dijon mustard and anchovy.
  • Boil some water with lemon zest, some slices of lemon, honey, green apple and sugar. Fiddle with proportions as you see fit.
  • (For the record I made a small container – approx 150gm of olive tapenade, 300ml water, 1/3 lemon + zest, 1 green apple, 5 teaspoons honey, 4 teaspoons sugar.)
  • Boil your mixture down a bit until the apple goes somewhat mushy.
  • Strain and squash out as much juice as you can. I keep the smooshy apple bits to put in the jam.
  • Pop the olive tapenade into a small pot, whack in the liquid and smooshy apple bits, and reduce on low heat to desired thickness. Keep tasting and fiddle – depending on how salty your tapenade is, you may want to add in a bit more sugar/honey, or a bit more citrusy lemon.

Stick in the fridge. and tomorrow you will have a fantastically tasty olive jam. Spread it on nice crusty bread or do the above recipe. I did this for PBL minus the green salad – just smear a bit of chevre onto a wafer cracker, bit o’ jam and a tiny drizzle of sticky basalmic.

Being holidays, I thought I’d try and eat proper real food before launching back into the student staple of insta noodles



Lamb Ragout with Pasta

diced lamb
dill, parsely
tomato paste
red wine
beef stock

Coat the lamb with cornflower and quickly seal in a pan. (do some garlic while you’re at it) and then whack into a big pot of tomato paste and carrots and red wine and beef stock. Let it go simmer for 1.5hrs or so, add in brocolli, zucchini, mushrooms and simmer for another 10 minutes

meanwhile, cook up your pasta – I used some lovely hand rolled thingys.

Chuck it all together and enjoy with some red wine.