Monthly Archives: November 2015


I know, we are a few days away from summer here in Australia (and it’s already hot hot hot), but some of you who read this blog live in the Northern hemisphere where temperature are getting cold cold cold.
I cooked this 2 weeks ago for French friends coming for dinner. Unfortunately, it was 37°C on the night, so I served salad and the daube ended up in the freezer!
It’s a delicious recipe that you will need to start a couple of days in advance.
It’s a combination of 2 recipes, one from magazine (from Justine Schofield) and the other from Manu Feidel (braised beef cheeks) and my adaptation of it.
This recipe will serve 6.


4 sprigs fresh continental parsley
2 sprigs fresh thyme
1 fresh or dried bay leaf
10 juniper berries, slightly crushed
6 whole cloves, slightly crushed
2 thick strips orange rind
1.5l (2 bottles) red wine  1 bottle is enough
250ml (1 cup) port
2 carrots, peeled, cut into batons
1 brown onion, quartered
1 celery stick, cut into batons
4 garlic cloves
6 (about 1.5kg) whole beef cheeks, trimmed
1 tbs plain flour
2 tbs olive oil
375ml (1 ½ cups) beef stock
250g speck, diced


    1. Make a bouquet garni: bundle parsley sprigs, thyme sprigs and bay leaf together. Use kitchen string to wrap around and tie to secure. Simmer wine and port in a saucepan over medium heat for 5-8 minutes or until reduced slightly. Set aside to cool.
    2. Transfer wine mixture to a large glass bowl. Add bouquet garni, juniper berries, whole cloves, orange rind, carrot, onion, celery, garlic and beef. Cover with plastic wrap. Place in fridge overnight to marinate.
    3. Remove beef from marinade, reserving liquid and vegetables. Pat beef dry. Dust with flour.
    4. Heat oil in a big flameproof casserole dish over medium-high heat. Cook beef, in batches, for 4-5 minutes or until browned. Season. Add vegetables and speck. Cook for 5-8 minutes. Add bouquet garni and reserved liquid. Bring to the boil, skimming the surface.
    5. Preheat oven to 170°C/ 150°C fan forced. Add stock to dish. Place a piece of baking paper over stew. Cover with a tight-fitting lid. Bake 1 hour, then reduce oven temperature to 150°C/ 130°C  and bake for another 2- 3 hours or until beef is almost falling apart, turning meat halfway through cooking.
    6. Eat!

The longer you marinate, the better the flavours will be. I did it for 2 days, turning the meat in the bowl once. Make sure the meat is covered with the liquid.
If you are unable to find beef cheeks, any stewing beef, such as chuck steak, is a great substitute.
Justine’s recipe also adds shallots and mushrooms, cooked separately in a non-stick frying pan for 10 minutes, then served with the dish. I would add the mushrooms and the shallots in the casserole dish when I start baking the daube.
You can serve it with potato mash or carrot mash (like Manu does it), or steamed potatoes and asparagus.
It’s a very nice stew to eat in winter…

Monday Lifeline

From “The enormous book of hot jokes”.

All about food today, my favourite!

What did one fig say to the other fig?
Wanna go on a date?

What do you call an angry chocolate bar?
A Violent Crumble.

What do you call a biscuit that’s good at school?
A smart cookie.

What did the farmer call his two rows of cabbages?
A dual cabbage way.

First there was the Ice Age, then there was the Stone Age. What came next?
The sausage. (hahahaha, cracks me up!).


I know I have posted other recipes for zucchini pies/ slices. But this is the easiest and maybe the yummiest.
An oldie but a goodie, it comes from the now defunct Australia Good Taste magazine. The quantities  in bold print are the one I used, to make this recipe a bit more healthier (I find that all this oil and cheese makes the pie very greasy)


melted butter, for greasing
150g (1 cup) self-raising flour
350g (about 2 large) zucchini, coarsely grated
1 large brown onion, chopped
165g/ 110g (1½ cups/ 1 cup) cheddar, grated
3 middle bacon rashers, rind removed, diced
5 eggs
250ml/ 65ml (1 cup/ 1/4 cup) olive oil
salt and pepper
3 medium tomatoes, sliced (or cherry or grape tomatoes, which I used)


    1. Preheat oven to 180°C. Brush a 22cm (base measurement) springform pan with the melted butter to grease. Line the base with non-stick baking paper.
    2. Sift the self-raising flour into a large bowl. Add the zucchini, onion, 110g/ 75g (1 cup/ 2/3 cup) cheddar and bacon and mix well to thoroughly combine.
    3. Place the eggs and the olive oil in a large bowl and use a fork to whisk until well combined. Season with salt and pepper. Add to the zucchini mixture and use a large metal spoon to fold until well combined.
    4. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan and sprinkle with remaining grated cheddar. Arrange the tomato slices in a single layer over the top of the pie.
    5. Bake in preheated oven for 1 hour or until golden brown and cooked through. Remove from oven and allow to stand for 10 minutes before removing from the pan. Serve warm or at room temperature, cut into wedges, with a green salad and crusty bread.
    6. Eat!

I use a round 22cm glass dish to bake the pie, which I line with baking paper.
I use the weight amount of zucchini (350g), because 2 large zucchinis weigh lots more and affect the cooking time. Also, when you grate the zucchini, squeeze as much liquid out of it as you can, otherwise I find the pie is too wet and takes longer to cook. In my oven it was about 1h30.
It’s best eaten within the next few days ( I found that freezing is ok, but not the same after being defrosted).
It makes a great dish for a picnic. And it’s yummy with tomato ketchup!