Masterchef Braised Pork Ribs

Screen shot 2010-05-24 at 9.21.19 PM

Years ago, when we were watching this episode of Masterchef Australia where they made the ribs, my husband gazed over in my direction with this longing look in his eyes…. It’s not as romantic as it sounds because the next words that came out his mouth were “you HAVE to make those!!” 🙂

I’ve made them twice and they come out so well each time. Get the BBQ flavour out of your mind as this doesn’t taste anything like BBQ ribs. They are AMAZING though and have a rich, spicy flavour to them that keeps you coming back for more. Make sure you have a day at home for these as they do take some time and need attention every now and then. But they are so worth it!

Oh, and please don’t be intimidated that its a ‘Masterchef’ recipe! There are a lot of ingredients, but its VERY simple to make!

1.5kg pork spare ribs, quartered

¼ cup olive oil

lime cheeks, to serve

Rub Ingredients:

1 tbs brown sugar

1 tbs salt

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 tsp mustard powder

1 tsp ground cumin

1 tsp dried oregano leaves

½brown onion, finely chopped

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

Cooking Marinade Ingredients:

1 cup brown sugar

250ml malt vinegar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1 tsp chili powder

1 tsp hot English mustard powder

2 tbs tomato sauce

2 tbs Dijon mustard

125ml bourbon whiskey

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tomato, finely chopped

2 bay leaves

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp smoked paprika

1 jalapeno chili, finely chopped

1 orange, peeled rind

1 and a half tsp salt

– Preheat oven to 180°C.

– Combine rub ingredients in a large bowl. Add ribs to the bowl, using your hands, rub the mixture into the meat to coat completely. Set aside in the fridge for 2-3 hours to marinate.

– Heat a BBQ or char grill plate over high heat. Drizzle olive oil onto ribs and toss to coat. Place ribs fat-side up and cook for 3-4 minutes each side or until sealed.

– Place cooking marinade ingredients in a saucepan and bring to the boil. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook for about 10-15 minutes until thickened slightly.

– Transfer ribs to a large, non-stick roasting pan and pour over hot marinade. Cover with foil and cook in the oven for 1 ½ hours or until falling off the bone, turning 3-4 times throughout.

– Serve ribs with lime cheeks.

This is Gary Mehigan’s recipe from Masterchef Australia.


Tuna Sashimi and Strawberry Salad

Tuna sashimi salad pic

This makes a fantastic starter as its packed full of flavour and is light! It looks so pretty on a plate too and will definitely impress. Just make sure your guests are sushi lovers as it could go a bit wrong if they don’t like raw fish! 🙂

1 x 800g fresh tuna fillet

8 radishes

1 x 400g punnet of strawberries

4 bulbs of baby fennel

Pickled ginger for serving

Freshly ground black pepper to taste

For the dressing, mix together:

2 minced small shallots

2 Tbsp Soya sauce

2 tbsp Rice wine vinegar

1 Tbsp Lemon juice

– Thinly slice the tuna and divide between four chilled plates

– Thinly slice the radishes and cut the strawberries into bite size chunks, then arrange on top of the tuna.

– Run the blade of a vegetable peeler down the fennel bulbs to create shavings, then scatter over the tuna.

– Drizzle over the dressing and serve with a few petals of pickled ginger and a good crack of black pepper.

If you can find then,  a few edible flowers on the plate will make it look beautiful! 🙂

Recipe from the Woolworths Taste Magazine.

Teriyaki Beef Fillet with Apple Juice, Red Onion Marmalade, Toasted Walnuts and Basil Pesto Drizzle


I recently went to a restaurant where this was on the menu but sadly not available on the night that I went. So I did some research and found some recipes and decided to re create it in my own way as the combination really appealed to me 🙂 The flavours in this marinade are to die for! Just delicious!

Teriyaki Beef Fillet 

600g beef fillet (cut into steaks)

1/3 C Rice wine vinegar

3 tbsp Apple Juice

1/3 C Soy Sauce

1 tbsp honey

1 tbsp freshly grated ginger

– In a glass baking dish combine vinegar, apple juice, soy sauce, honey and ginger. Stir well and add the fillet steaks. Pierce the steaks several times all over with a sharp knife. Roll the steaks around coating them well and then cover with a lid and refrigerate .

– Marinate in the fridge for at least 1 hour and up to 48 hours. The longer it marinates for the juicier and more flavourful it will be.

– Turn the steaks once during the marinating process.

– When you are ready to cook, remove the steaks from the marinade and place in a pre heated non stick pan or griddle pan and cook to your level of doneness. Basting as you cook. You want as much of that marinade on that steak as you can get!!

– Rest the steaks for 5 minutes before serving.

– Serve with the red onion marmalade, toasted walnuts and pesto drizzle.

Red Onion Marmalade

(you can make this at the same time as you make the marinade and keep it in the fridge for when you cook the fillet)

2 Tbsp (30ml) olive oil

1.5 tsp (8ml) brown mustard seeds (optional)

4 large red onions – sliced

1 – 2 medium red chillies, seeded and sliced

2 Tbsp (30ml each) soft brown sugar and red wine vinegar

3 Tbsp (45ml) balsamic vinegar

100ml water

Salt and milled pepper

– Heat oil in a large saucepan

– Add mustard seeds. When they begin to pop, add onions and chillies. Saute onions for about 5 – 10 minutes or until glossy.

– Add sugar and stir to dissolve.

– Add remaining ingredients. Cook over a low heat for about 35 minutes or until soft and gooey.

– Spoon into a sterilized glass jar until you are ready to serve with the steak. (Get it to room temp before serving on the steak)

Basil Pesto 

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

– Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

– Add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

Toasted walnuts 

1/2 C walnuts, chopped in half

– Heat a non stick pan over medium to high heat and place the walnuts in when the pan is warm and stir until they turn a lovely golden colour. Set aside.

Serve with chips and salad 🙂

Basil Pesto


Home made pesto is the way to go – and its SUPER easy! Just make sure that you have a good glug of olive oil covering it so that the colour does not turn.

2 cups packed fresh basil leaves
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup pine nuts
2/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil, divided
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 cup freshly grated Pecorino cheese

– Combine the basil, garlic, and pine nuts in a food processor and pulse until coarsely chopped. Add 1/2 cup of the oil and process until fully incorporated and smooth. Season with salt and pepper.

– If using immediately, add all the remaining oil and pulse until smooth. Transfer the pesto to a large serving bowl and mix in the cheese.

– If freezing, transfer to an air-tight container and drizzle remaining oil over the top. Freeze for up to 3 months. Thaw and stir in cheese.

This recipe is from the food network. It’s a great one!

Lemon-Garlic Chick Pea Dip for Veggies and Chips


1  can chick peas, drained
1 clove garlic, peeled
1 lemon, zested and juiced
4 to 5 sprigs fresh thyme leaves, stripped from stems
Coarse salt and pepper
A few drops hot sauce, to taste
1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil (eyeball it)

– Combine the chick peas, garlic, lemon zest and juice, thyme, salt and pepper and hot sauce in food processor.

– Turn processor on and stream in the extra-virgin olive oil until a good dip consistency forms.

– Transfer the dip to a dish and surround with veggies and chips

Groovy Green Goddess Dip


60g anchovy fillets, drained
1 small shallot, chopped or a small, 5cm piece red onion
1/2 cup flat-leaf parsley
12 blades fresh chives, chopped (about 3 tablespoons)
2 tablespoons chopped tarragon leaves
3 tablespoons white wine vinegar
1/2 lemon, juiced
1/3 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 cup sour cream
Black pepper

– In a food processor, combine first 6 ingredients. Turn processor on and stream in the olive oil.

– Transfer dip to a bowl and stir in sour cream and black pepper. Serve with veggies and breadsticks for dipping.

Recipe by Rachael Ray

Ricotta Dip for Vegetables


4 medium garlic cloves, skin on
1 teaspoon kosher salt
3 sprigs flat leaf parsley (1/4 cup leaves)
1 cup ricotta
1 teaspoon finely grated lemon zest
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
Freshly ground black pepper

– Put the garlic cloves in a microwave safe bowl and cover with plastic wrap. Cook the garlic on high power in the microwave, until very soft, about 1 1/2 minutes. (Alternatively steam the garlic until soft.) – Let cool, and gently press the cooked garlic out of the skin onto a cutting board. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon salt, and mince together with the parsley leaves to make a paste. Using a fork, blend the garlic-parsley paste with the ricotta, lemon zest, and olive oil. Season with pepper and serve with vegetable crudités such as broccoli, cauliflower, bell peppers, and button mushrooms.

Keep in airtight container refrigerated for 2 days.

Recipe from the Food Network.

Lamb and Apricot Couscous



Another one of my favorites! This has a real Moroccan feel. The flavours are different but brilliant together. If you have a tagine dish to cook this in that’s your first choice, but if not, a normal pan with a lid is fine.

350g lamb fillet, diced (or get your butcher to cube and debone a small leg of lamb)
1 onion, sliced
1 tbsp vegetable oil
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground turmeric
1 leek, sliced
2 red peppers, deseeded and chopped
150 g ready to eat dried apricots
Grated zest and juice of 1 lemon
450mls lamb stock
125g couscous
2 tbsp fresh parsley, chopped
Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

– Fry the lamb and onion in the oil to brown the lamb. Add the cinnamon and turmeric and cook for one minute, stirring. Add the leek, pepper, lemon zest and juice and stock. Cover and simmer gently for 1 hour. Add the apricots and simmer for another 30 minutes.

– Stir in the couscous, put the lid back on and cook over a gentle heat for 5 minutes. Stir in the parsley and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper and serve.

Gordon Ramsay’s Creme Anglaise


Creme Anglaise is just a fancy term for home made custard. There are a few different ways of preparing this and some can be quite intimidating. This is Gordon Ramsay’s recipe and I’ve made it a few times and it always turns out well and oh so delicious!

250mls whole milk
250mls double cream
50g caster sugar
1 vanilla pod, split
6 large free range egg yolks

– Put the milk, double cream and 1 tbsp of the sugar into a heavy based saucepan. Scrape the seeds from the vanilla pod and add them to the pan. Heat until almost simmering. Then take off the heat.

– Meanwhile, in a large bowl, beat the egg yolks with the remaining sugar until creamy.

– Gradually pour the hot creamy milk onto the sugary yolks, whisking as you do so. Strain the mixture through a fine sieve into a clean pan.

– Stir the mixture over a low heat until the custard thickens enough to thinly coat the back of a spoon. Do not allow the mixture to boil as it will curdle.

– Remove from the heat and strain the custard again through a fine sieve into a cold bowl (unless you are serving it hot right away). Leave to cool, stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

Chocolate Pecan Brownies with Choc Fudge Sauce

Chocolate pecan brownies with choc fudge sauce

These are amazing, even without the sauce! But just have a small one, they are dangerously good! 😉  You can make the mixture the day before and leave it in the fridge and the sauce will keep for 3 days. You can also freeze them for lunch box treats.

275 g dark chocolate

225 g butter

400 g castor sugar

5 eggs, beaten

1 tsp vanilla extract

200g plain flour

100 g pecan nuts, toasted and roughly chopped

For the sauce

140 mls double cream

35 g light muscovado sugar

35 g butter

100g dark chocolate (Lindt 70% is best)

1. Heat oven to 180 C (160 c fan assisted). Melt the chocolate and butter together in a glass bowl resting on a pot of water. When melted and smooth, add the sugar, then the eggs and vanilla, a little at a time, stirring, and finally the flour, a pinch of salt and the pecan nuts.

2. Transfer to a lined baking tin and cook for 25 – 30 minutes.

3. Meanwhile, make the fudge sauce. Heat the cream, sugar and butter in a pan until the sugar has dissolved. Remove from the heat, stir in the chocolate and allow to melt.

4. Cut the brownies into small squares and serve with the fudge sauce poured over the top. Add creme fraiche for extra indulgence!