Friday, 25 June 2010


...cuts of meat, that is. And what to do with them.

This week, I had my first MC gig for a cooking demonstration at the Sydney Seafood School. That's right; me, 100 butchers, 2 very talented chefs - Darren Robertson (ex-head chef, Tetsuya) and Andrew Gimber, (current head chef, Jimmy Liks).

The purpose of the evening was to inspire butchers to see the possibilities of less popular or harder to sell cuts of meat, which leads us to this week's FBi Friday Delicious show.

Winter's a great time to stew and slow cook meat, and go for slightly fattier bits of animal (though if you ask a chef, anytime's a good time of the year for a cut of meat with a bit of fat on it - fat does = flavour, after all).

Shopping List (cut's of meat to ask your butcher for)

- Ham hocks (great for making soup, stews)
- Beef cheeks (in a slow cooker with red wine, garlic, herbs, stock = win)
- Brisket (not just a Jewish fave - this one's good for braising, smoking or BBQing)
- Pork belly (salt it, braise it, then pan fry it to crisp the skin)

Here are a couple of restaurants around the traps who are doing great winter dishes.

The Burlington Bar and Dining

6 Burlington St
Crows Nest NSW 2065
(02) 9439 7888
google map

The lower north shore is looking pretty good these days, with the strip along Willoughby Road and surrounds turning up great food, from burgers (Counter Burger, Grill'd) to Ramen (Ryo's Noodles) and fine dining. Nothing says 'hearty' more than a pie and at The Burlington Bar and Dining, while their current menu is looking pretty heart warming in general, there's a steak and kidney pie with pan-fried liver, onion and speck that has 'quintessential winter meal' stamped all over it. We're told there's also a ham hock on the menu worth trying, too.

Ash St Cellar
320/330 George StSydney New South Wales
(02) 9240 3000

google map

Chef Lauren Murdoch's food at Ash St Cellar bistro menu in this cute little wine bar is great for sharing - the menu is made up of tapas-sized dishes, great for a snack with a couple of glasses of vino, or for when you're feeling indecisive and want to try everything. It's tucked away at the back of the Ivy building, uber-bar skeptics can rest assured it feels like it's own little den, rather than like you're dining in the the machine. At the moment, Lauren is doing a beef brisket, braised in Guinness, with parsnip mash, parsnip crisps and mustard butter..who says there's nothing to look forward to in winter?