Tasty, tasty food gets cooked each week at Ministry of Game during term times. If you have been wondering “How are those tasty chicken nuggets made?” or “What was in that beef goulash last night?” Here is where you’ll find the answers!
Chicken Nuggets (or crumbed chicken)
1 ½ kilo chicken breast
1 ½ cups bread crumbs
¾ cup parmesan
3 teaspoon salt
3 teaspoon thyme
3 teaspoon dried basil
1 200ml Plain yoghurt
Preheat Oven to 200 C
Bake for 10 – 20 minutes.
1) combine all the dry ingredients (bread crumbs, parmesan, salt, thyme, basil) and mix
2) cut chicken into cubes or strips or whatever shape you want.
3) dunk chicken in yoghurt to coat the chicken, then drop yoghurt chicken in the dry mix and roll it around until it is crumbed properly.
4) place on baking tray.
Easy! This makes enough nuggets to feed about 6 or so people (so I tend to multiply it by 4 or so when making it for Ministry of Game)
Sausage and Apple Plait with Root Vegetable Crush and Apple Compote
(Props to here, where you can find the original recipe I adapted)
Sausage and Apple Plait
1 kg sausage mince (this is not regular mince, it’s made for sausages)
1 medium onion, chopped
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon mixed herbs (or whatever herbs you like)
200g more breadcrumbs if you’ve got them lying around
1-2 medium Granny Smith apples cored, peeled, wedged
2 sheets puff pastry, defrosted
2 eggs, beaten (preferably from two chickens, unbeaten)
1) Preheat oven to 180°C.
2) Fry chopped onions in the tablespoon of olive oil till they’re warm and glossy, but haven’t changed colour.
3) Mix the sausage mince with 200g breadcrumbs, the sautee’d onions and herbs. (Warning: sausage mince is some seriously sticky goo. Use the breadcrumbs like you would flour to make it less sticky – ie cover the meat in it and rub it in.)
4) Split the mince mix in half, and shape it into the two halves of the log it’s going to eventually become. In the bottom one, press a valley into the middle, and fill it with wedges of apple. Then put the other half on top and squish it into its final log form. Remember: don’t make the log longer than a piece of puff pastry, since…
5) Wrap the log in the puff pastry. With 1kg, it takes more than one but less than two sheets of puff pastry. If you wanted to make it prettier, you could cut off some of the excess puff pastry and then use it to cross-hatch the top or something.
6) Use the other 200g of breadcrumbs to make a bed on the oven pan for the log to lie on, and then place the now pastry wrapped log on the breadcrumb bed. (This isn’t necessary, but does help prevent sticking to the pan. I didn’t do it – I’m lazy.)
7) Coat the log in the beaten eggs. Just lather it on there, make sure you cover all the pastry.
8) Stick it in the oven for an hour on 180°, then 30 mins on 150°.
Root Vegetable Crush
5 cloves of garlic
(Other options could include squash, butternut pumpkin, sweet potato, parsnip – honestly, go nuts. Whatever you end up using, use enough of it to feed however many people you’re feeding. I used 2kg carrots, 2kg potatoes, 1kg swedes, 1kg turnip, 1 celeriac, 1.5kg Spanish onions, and about 4 whole garlics and 250g butter. This made way too much. I could have used half that to feed about 30 people.)
1) Peel and roughly cut all the vegetables. “Peeling celeriac” is a euphemism for cutting all the crusty skin stuff off it with a big knife.
2) Put all the cut veges onto an oven tray. You can put a little oil in the tray if you like, but I find that utterly unnecessary because there will be a little vegetable juice from the veges as they cook.
3) Put veges in the oven for the last 50-60 minutes of your cooking of the plait. If you’re making this without a plait, then 180°C for 40 minutes would do well.
4) Put the roasted veges into a bowl, throw in the butter, and crush them all together.
1kg Granny Smith apples (You can use other apples, but Grannys really work best for serving with a pork dish in my opinion – they’re not too sweet.)
100g caster sugar
400ml apple juice
1) Core, peel and dice the apples into medium sized bits.
2) Put two-thirds of the diced apple into a saucepan with the apple juice on a medium-ish heat.
3) Add the caster sugar.
4) Stir it around until the apples are getting to a stage where you could begin mushing them. Then add the other one-third of the apples, and cook it for about 5 more minutes.
Emergency Beef Stroganoff with Roasted Potatoes
500g stroganoff beef strips (pre-cut, sweet)
1 packet of beef stroganoff sauce mix (premade, excellent)
A little bit of oil (everyone has oil)
100ml or so sour cream (or however much the packet mix says)
frozen pre-chopped onions (not fantastic, but serve their purpose, and pre-cut)
1 green capsicum, rough cut into squares
500g little mushrooms (small mushrooms can go in whole, you see – no cutting)
800g bag of frozen seasoned roast potatoes
1 packet Cajun seasoning
This recipe is simplicity itself, and great when you need to cook a large amount of food in a hurry, because it is pretty much infinitely multiplying so long as you have oven/stove space. Also, almost everything comes pre-chopped.
1) Put a bit of oil in the bottom of a pan, and toss in the meat on a medium high temperature to brown it.
2) Add onions, let them soften, then also add mushrooms and capsicum.
3) Add the packet mix along with with some water (if called for), and let it cook for however long it needs.
4) Stir in sour cream about 10 minutes before you serve it.
1) Preheat oven to about 180°C (or whatever the packet says) and put your potatoes on a baking tray.
2) Sprinkle liberal amounts of Cajun seasoning over the potatoes.
3) Bake the potatoes according to the instructions on the potatoes.
Serve the stroganoff atop the potatoes. Voila, emergency beef stroganoff.
Chicken garlic pizza subs with clear chicken soup
The pizza sub part of this simple recipe was the invention of an Afghani man by the name of Waheed Baluch, whose family owned Tony and Vince’s Pizzeria in Mona Vale. Obviously you can make any kind of pizza this way.
We made chicken pizzas because that’s a little bit fancy, and also easy to make in bulk. We boiled the chicken and used that process to make soup. Also, boiled chicken breast is very easy to shred for placing on pizzas.
To make one pizza sub, you need:
1 store bought garlic bread
150g chicken breast
4 tablespoons tomato paste (BBQ pizza base would work great with chicken)
A handful of grated mozzarella cheese
Other pizza ingredients: thinly sliced capsicum, onions, mushrooms, sun-dried tomatoes, pineapple, olives – whatever you want. You know what you like on a pizza
1 carrot, 3 mushrooms, half a parsnip, half a green capsicum, and other soup-style vegetables (you could add pasta too if you wanted more body)
For Ministry of Game, we had 26 garlic breads, and about 5 kilograms of chicken. Obviously this recipe works a little better in bulk.
1) Cook your chicken. We did this in bulk, which is why we boiled our chicken breasts. This is simplicity itself. Cut up your carrots into large, rough chunks. Do the same with the other soup vegetables (except the mushrooms!). Toss them in a large pot (except the mushrooms!). Add as much salt as you want, to your own taste. With the chicken breasts, just give them a once-over to make sure there aren’t any leftover bits of bone and stuff. Otherwise, they need very little trimming – the fat will melt into the soup, giving it the chickeny flavour. Toss the breasts into the pot too. Bring this whole thing to the boil, then let it simmer for as long as you like, but at least 45 minutes or so. The longer you simmer it, the lower the heat you should use, and the more flavour will infuse the soup.
2) Take your garlic bread, and slice it cleanly in half from the top of the roll down to the bottom. Don’t cut the roll from side to side – the premade slits in the garlic bread will make it fall apart if you do that!
3) Spread tomato paste over open halves of garlic bread. Some people like to put a sprinkling of cheese on at this point. Apparently it helps ingredients stick or something. I don’t bother.
4) Remove the chicken from the soup. It should be well and truly cooked by now. What you want to do next is shred the chicken breast. You can do this with a fork, or you can just mush it up with your fingers. The latter is easier.
5) Place chicken and other pizza ingredients on pizza. Then place cheese on top. Then place sub into the oven. 180C for about 15 minutes should mean the cheese is golden brown, the garlic bread is thoroughly cooked, and the other pizza ingredients will be hot, moist and succulent. During this last 15 minutes, put the mushrooms into the soup too. I wouldn’t even chop the mushrooms up – small mushrooms can just be thrown right in.
And there you have it, a two course meal fit for a bunch of gamers.
Beef and Herb Dumpling Goulash
This is an absolute winner. I love this recipe. It comes from a magazine they gave out at Franklins.
To make it for your family, you need:
1kg cubed beef
1/2 cup seasoned flour (ie put some flavour in the flour – mixed herbs or whatever you want)
1/4 cup oil
2 chopped onions
1 clove crushed garlic (or a spoon of precrushed garlic in a jar)
250g button mushrooms quartered
1 tablespoon ground paprika
1 cup beef stock
1/3 cup sour cream
salt and pepper to taste
To make the dumplings, you need:
2 cups self-raising flour
60g chopped butter
1/4 cup chopped herbs of your choice (parsley is good)
3/4 cup stock
1) Toss meat in seasoned flour to coat it. Heat oil in a large pan that has a bit of depth. Brown the meat in the oil. Remove meat.
2) In the same pan, now put the onion and garlic, and saute till tender. Then add mushrooms and paprika and cook for 1 minute.
3) Add the meat back in. Pour beef stock in. Bring to the boil, then simmer for an hour.
4) After this has simmered for an hour, stir in sour cream and salt and pepper. Put it all in a casserole dish (we use those disposable aluminium foil dishes you can buy at the supermarket).
5) Now, to make the dumplings. You’re meant to sift the flour into a large bowl. I don’t sift for anything but desserts, personally. Rub the butter into the flour. Yes, with your fingers. Oh, trust me, it gets worse. Add the chopped herbs.
6) Make a well in the mixture, and then pour in the stock. Mix it all in with your fingers. It becomes wet and sticky. It’s awful. It gets under your nails. Just go with it.
7) Drop spoonfuls of the dumpling mixture over the stuff in the casserole dish. Try and make a lid to the casserole out of spoons of the dumpling mix.
8) Bake at 200C for 15 minutes or so. This will cook the dumplings, they will go golden, and will be delicious. Just like the goulash below.
Braised bangers in cider sauce
Oh wow, who knew this was going to be so awesome? This recipe was adapted from one on the internet, so props to them. To make it at home for people, you need:
200g of cubed bacon per person (use the cheapest bacon you can find – but cut off the hard rindy bits)
Eight or so little onions (better than big onions, because you don’t need to cut them up, and it’s nicer having whole ones in the food)
1 heaped teaspoon of flour
1 clove crushed garlic (or a tablespoon of garlic from a jar)
Some chopped thyme
1-2 apples, cored and sliced into rings
Butter for frying said apple rings
At least one bottle/can of cider (375ml or so)
If you multiply this recipe, you don’t need to multiply the cider directly. Just make sure you’ve always got enough to boil everything in. It will reduce anyway.
So, here’s what you do!
1) Braise (fry) the sausages in a little oil. You want them all nice and brown looking. Then remove the sausages, and fry the cubed bacon and onions.
2) Then sprinkle the flour into the pan, to soak up the sweet, tasty fat and oil. Now put the sausages and the contents of the fry pan into a casserole dish, and fill it with cider. We used passionfruit cider at Ministry of Game, only because it was the cheapest. But any cider will do. Add the thyme at this point.
3) Bring it to the boil, then stick it in the oven for 30 minutes with a lid on. Then take the lid off and cook it for 20-30 more minutes. If transferring it between the stove and the oven is too much, just simmer it on the stove top for an hour. That’s what we did.
4) When you’ve got about 10 minutes to go, heat some butter in a pan, and fry the apple rings. Then put them on top of the casserole/stew thing when it’s done. The sweetness adds something really great to it, I think.
Oh, and don’t forget to make mash potato and serve that too. If you need to know how to make mash potatoes…
1) Peel potatoes (unless you are super lazy, in which case at least take out the eyes).
2) Cut them up and boil them till they’re soft.
3) Drain them.
4) Mash them with a little milk and as much butter as you can spare.
Slow Cooked Roast Pork a la Lamb with Cashew Salad
This recipe was originally meant for a lamb roast. But lamb wasn’t on special and pork was, so that’s what I ended up with. Of course, some of the ingredients for lamb didn’t go as well with pork, so I made some changes to both the roast and the salad.
Ingredients for the roast
1 pork forequarter roast (about 2kg)
2 tablespoons coarse salt
8 teaspoons of minced garlic
6 sprigs oregano, chopped up good
1 tablespoon coarse ground black pepper
100ml sunflower oil (olive oil would be nicer)
100ml apple cider vinegar
1 packet lime leaves
Juice of one lemon
For the salad
2 tablespoons sunflower oil
1 lime’s worth of juice
1 red onion, diced
2 tomatoes, diced
1 large bunch parsley, rough cut
Salt and pepper to taste
To prepare the roast, preheat your oven to 150C. If you buy the roast from coles, it will come wrapped in that netting stuff. Cut that open a little bit – enough to expose the skin and top of the roast. Score the skin with a knife if it isn’t already. Then put the roast into a roasting dish. Put the oil, pepper, salt, oregano and garlic into a bowl and mix it up. Then spread it all over the roasts, paying special attention to the now bare skin. Stuff a little into the open side too. Then give the roast a douse with the vinegar. Then put the lime leaves on top – and you can stuff some of those in too if you have enough. Finally, put about 100ml of water into the roasting dish. Finally, cover the roasting dish with aluminium foil and roast this sucker for at least 2.5 hours. I did mine for closer to 3 hours.
Once that’s done, take the foil off, up the temperature to 220C or so (or use the grill element of your oven if you have one) and give the top skin bit of the roast a good blasting for about 5 minutes. I did mine closer to 8 minutes under a grill, but they weren’t as close to the element as I’d have liked. Once you take the pork out of the oven, you should have one quite nice roast. Cut it up however you want (it should carve pretty easy – mine did!) and them squeeze the lemon juice over the pieces. You could also spoon some of the vinegar/meat juice mix over it too, if you like.
At some point in time when the roast is nearly done, you can get onto the salad. Dice your onion and your tomatoes, and put them in a bowl with your parsley. Add the salt and pepper to it and give it a good stir. Now put the oil in a frypan and heat it up nice and hot, like medium high. Then put in the cashews and give them a bit of a fry, so they change colour and go darker brown, but don’t let them go black. Take them off and put them straight into the salad – it should go sizzle, and that’s cool. Stir those in too. Now squeeze the juice of the lime over the top (I squeeze it straight out of the lime, but you can pre-squeeze it – who cares, right?).
Then serve them on the same plate, and you’re done. If you’re wondering what the extra thing was that I had to sprinkle onto the meat, it was the lime peanut soy mix from Coles, also browned in the frypan.
Beer Can Burger Bombs
First things first, I need to do a shout-out to the recipe I used to come up with this bad boy of a recipe: check out this link for the original recipe. They do it way better than I was able to, for several reasons I’ll discuss below.
For this recipe you need:
Mince (I used beef mince: a mix of beef and lamb mince would work too)
Binding agent (I used eggs, about 2 per kilo of mince. The original recipe uses long rind bacon and high fat mince, which I think is the better solution, but I couldn’t afford it for MoG dinner)Crushed garlic (probably a tablespoon or two per kilo of mince)
Stuff to stuff the burger bombs with (I used onions and capsicum, which I fried in yet more garlic. The original recipe has so many more options!)
Cheese (to melt over the burger bombs)
A cold can of something (traditionally a beer can, hence the name. I used Pepsi Max cans because quite clearly that’s in the MoG spirit)
I also made a heap of mash potato to serve the burger bombs in. That was just potato, butter, milk and a touch of mustard.
To make the burger bombs, get your mince, mix in the eggs and crushed garlic with it (or not, if you’re using bacon). Make nice, fairly hefty kind of burger patty balls (I think mine were about 200g each or so). Plunge the cold can into the ball, and then press the ball around the base of the can. The idea is to make the ball into a cup sort of shape. The coldness of the can helps it to form and stick, as does the high fat content (and the egg). Then twist and remove the can. It should come our fairly easily, leaving you with the shape you’re looking for (the original recipe link has a video so you can see this process in action). If you’re using bacon, wrap the length of the bacon around the burger bomb before you pull the can out.
I then put the burgers into the oven to start them cooking. They are pretty big lumps of meat. I used an oven because I was cooking so many. I’d definitely prefer to use a barbecue to get the grilled flavour of them if I could. But in an oven, 160C for about 15 to 20 minutes did the trick.
While they were in the oven, fry up the onions and capsicum in a bunch of garlic. You essentially want to stir fry these vegetables. A little oil certainly wouldn’t go astray to help with that. When the capsicum has withered a bit and the onions are looking nice, you can then take the bombs out of the oven, and fill them with this stuff. The original video, as I say, has heaps of other suggestions on what to make into them.
Add a touch of tomato or bbq sauce if you want (I waited till post-serving, so people could choose their sauce. When you’re making these for yourself, obviously you can add this early). Then whack a slice of cheese over the top to cover the bomb, and stick them back into the oven for another 15-20 minutes. You could probably even raise the temperature to 180C to give them a bit more brownness.
DO NOT close the meat over the filling. This superheats the filling and people will burn their mouths on it when they bite in. I learned this from a sad experience (of someone else’s cooking) with lamb burgers filled with rosemary jelly lava. Delicious, but deadly.
If you don’t know how to make mash potato, I pity you. Google it. Then ladle out big heaps of mash and plonk a burger bomb in the middle, and serve.