May 16, 2010

Maleny - Part 2

Well the lead up to this blog post has been interesting to say the least.

Did I kill the wabbit? Or didn't I?

The answer is...gentle readers...no, I didn't kill the wabbit.

Why??? Well because I couldn't. I really didn't like the idea of eating rabbit and with the dish being the main meal, if everyone didn't like it, we would have had some very hungry bellies...and that's not how I roll...AT ALL.

Maybe a tasting plate in the future...distant future.

If you remember from my prior posts, this time it was my turn to cook the main meal and the challenge is that it had to be cooked in a camp oven. I had only been introduced to a camp oven on the last Maleny adventure, so I was keen to learn how to cook with this unknown beast.

I found this recipe at the 11th hour...and as soon as I saw it, it made me smile...a HUGE smile. I just wanted to cook it...desperately. Here is what I cooked. I kept this a secret right up until the day we were cooking :)

Veal Shin with Sage and Garlic
(Adapted from Gourmet Traveller May 2010 p. 133)

Prep time 25 mins, cook 3 hrs
Serves 6

50 ml olive oil
6 pieces of veal shin on the bone (2.8 kg)
3 Spanish onions, thinly sliced
1 head of garlic, cloves separated
1/4 cup (loosely packed) sage leaves
3 fresh bay leaves
350 ml dry white wine
Thinly peeled rind of 1 lemon
1 cup of flour
Salt
Pepper

Cous Cous
3 cups cous cous
3 cups hot chicken stock
4 tablespoons olive oil
2 tablespoons olive oil for cooking
4 teaspoons salt
4 teaspoons butter
1 onions, finely chopped
2 celery stalks, finely chopped
100 ml dry white wine
Flat leaf parsley (to taste)
1 tablespoon finely chopped chives
Finely grated rind of 1/2 lemon

Preheat oven to 150oC. Put flour in a bowl and season. Coat the veal pieces in the flour. Heat olive oil in a large casserole over high heat, add veal and cook, turning occasionally, until browned (4-6 minutes), remove from casserole and set aside.

Reduce heat to low-medium, add onion, garlic, sage and bay leaves and sauté until onion is tender and beginning to caramelise (7-8 minutes). Deglaze pan with white wine, then return veal to casserole, add 1 litre water and bring to the simmer. Add lemon rind, season to taste, cover with a lid and cook in the oven until meat falls from the bone (2 1/2 - 2 3/4 hours).

Meanwhile, for cous cous, 20 minutes before veal is ready, heat olive oil in a pan, add onion and celery and sauté over low-medium heat until very tender (10-12 minutes). Add white wine to deglaze the pan.

Bring chicken stock, oil and salt to the boil in a large pot. Add cous cous. Turn off heat and add lid to the pot. Leave stand as per packet direction or until tender and liquid is absorbed.

Add butter, onion and celery combination, parsley, chives and lemon rind. Stir through. Season to taste. Serve hot with veal shin.

Unfortunately, when I was buying my groceries, I couldn't source veal shin. Luckily I had a brain wave in the middle of Woolworths and I thought to buy Veal Osso Buco pieces instead. They worked marvelously well.

Veal Osso Buco

I deviated from the original recipe out of the Gourmet Traveller in a number of places. I like to modify recipes and in this instance I included coating the meat in flour before frying off for colour.

The onion, garlic, sage and bay leaf combination smelt amazing.

Onion, Garlic, Sage and Bay leaves

I browned the meat and layered it on the bottom of the camp oven. Then I sweated off the onion combination in the frying pan and turned it out over the veal. Then I deglazed the pan and poured the juices into the meat and onion mixture. Then I added the stock/water into the camp oven and put the lid on.

Never having used a camp oven before, I was lucky that Neil was giving me a hand with it.

The Camp Oven

So with me doing mains, on this trip is was Monique and Brett on entree. They had chosen to do Roast Quail with Caramelised Fig and Sherry Stuffing. The dish was absolutely gorgeous. Such a beautiful combination and the flavours were divine.

I think the highlight of this dish for me was the stuffing. We have decided to put together a Little Dog Down book of recipes and this one will definitely be included. I think that the stuffing mixture could be borrowed and used in other dishes.

Quail with Caramelised Fig

The mains were in the camp oven for a good couple of hours 2 1/2 to 3. What emerged was a beautifully tender dish with good flavour. It was essentially slow cooked in the camp oven, so it had all the characteristics of a good slow cooked dish. My biggest fear was that the food would catch and burn on the bottom of the camp oven...it didn't :)

The original Gourmet Traveller recipe called for the dish to be served with risotto. But because I had done risotto at the last Maleny adventure I decided to serve with cous cous.

Veal Osso Buco with Garlic and Sage

And if all of that wasn't enough, Kylie and Neil on dessert chose to do a chocolate cake that was shown on My Kitchen Rules. The Victorian team had presented it on the show and Kylie liked the look of it...and might I say...the girl has taste.

Kylie served the chocolate cake with creme fraiche which hasn't come out too well in the photo but was a good balance to the sweetness of the cake.

The chocolate cake was the CLEAR winner of the meal. Absolutely amazing. It's a chocolate cake that really only requires 3 ingredients eggs, butter and chocolate. So it's flourless...which is GREAT for me!!! The delightful thing about this cake is that with all of the eggs that go into it, while it bakes it forms a chocolate crust on the outside and remains gooey almost custard like inside.

Chocolate Cake

Just a note, a piece the size of the one in the photo is not advisable. It is seriously a rich cake...we barely made it through our servings...but it was so worth it!!!

Merlot was the wine theme this time round and it really was well suited to the weather and the food. By this stage...a fair amount of Merlot had been drunk.

Kylie wants in!

And the boys seeing that there were photos being taken decided to have a brother-in-law moment.

The boys have a moment

Kylie and Neil have a gorgeous Jack Russell Terrier. I just had to put this photo of her on here because...well it's mischief to a tee. I WANT A DOG!!!

Mischief dog

On the next Maleny adventure I am doing dessert and I think that something with chocolate is in order. The wine is Tempranillo which is apparently a new type to Australia. It's a Spanish red wine so I am looking forward to trying that one.

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