Beef cheek ravioli



  • 2 tbsp
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 kg beef cheeks, trimmed and cleaned
  • 2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
  • 1 onion, peeled and quartered
  • 1 stalk celery, coarsely chopped
  • 10 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 4 ripe Roma tomatoes, quartered
  • 2 sprigs rosemary
  • ¼ (about 10g) bunch thyme sprigs
  • 1 bunch flat-leaf parsley, leaves picked and stalks reserved
  • 2 fresh bay leaves
  • 1 litre (4 cups) veal stock
  • 500 ml (2 cups) shiraz or cabernet
  • 250 ml (1 cup) balsamic vinegar
  • 2 tbsp mandarin mustard fruits, finely chopped (see note)
  • 1 egg, lightly beaten
  • To serve:
  • extra-virgin olive oil
  • finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
  • Fresh pasta
  • 500 gm ‘00’ flour (see note)
  • 5 eggs, lightly beaten


  • 01 Preheat oven to 170C. Heat olive oil in a large heavy-based casserole over medium heat, add beef cheeks and cook for 5 minutes, turning occasionally or until brown all over, then transfer to a plate and keep warm. Add carrot, onion, celery and garlic to casserole and cook for 10 minutes or until soft but not coloured, add tomatoes and place beef cheeks on top, season to taste with sea salt and freshly ground black pepper. Add rosemary, thyme, parsley stalks, bay leaves, stock, wine and vinegar. Cover and roast for 3 hours or until beef cheeks are falling apart. Cool to room temperature.
  • 02 Remove beef from pan and, using two forks, finely shred meat. Finely chop ½ cup reserved flat-leaf parsley leaves and add to beef with mustard fruits, season to taste and set aside. Strain cooking liquid (makes about 1 litre), cool and refrigerate until cold, then skim fat from surface and discard. Place liquid in a saucepan over medium heat and bring to the boil, then reduce heat and simmer for 1½ hours, skimming until reduced to 500ml.
  • 03 For pasta, place flour in a bowl and make a well in the centre, add eggs and, using hands, mix to form a dough. Turn onto a lightly floured surface and knead until smooth. Wrap in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 20 minutes, then halve dough. Using a pasta machine at the widest setting, working with one piece of dough at a time, lightly flour and feed dough through rollers, reducing settings notch by notch, feeding and rolling dough until it reaches the second-last notch and the dough is almost translucent. Then cut into fifty 9cm squares and place on lightly floured tray between pieces of lightly floured baking paper.
  • 04 Bring beef cheek filling to room temperature. Place the pasta squares on a lightly floured work surface. Using hands, soften beef cheek filling. Working with 1 square at a time, place 1 tbsp of beef cheek filling diagonally over half the square, spreading filling to form a triangle, leaving a 5mm border. Brush edges with egg, fold over corner to corner and seal. Repeat with remaining pasta squares and filling. Place ravioli in a single layer on a floured tray until ready to use.
  • 05 To serve, coarsely chop remaining parsley leaves. Warm reduced cooking liquid in a saucepan for 2-3 minutes over medium to high heat. Cook ravioli in boiling salted water for 2 minutes or until ravioli floats and is cooked through, remove with a slotted spoon, drain and arrange on plates. Spoon over sauce, drizzle with extra-virgin olive oil and scatter with remaining parsley and Parmigiano-Reggiano.
Note ’00’ flour is a highly refined wheat flour with low protein content, ideal for smooth pasta dough. Available from delicatessens. Mandarin mustard fruits are mandarins preserved in a heavy mustard-flavoured syrup. Available from select delicatessens.
You can also substitute beef cheeks for osso bucco…
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Pappardelle with duck ragu


  • 2 tsp
  • fennel seeds
  • 70 gm (½ cup)
  • pistachios
  • 2 tbsp
  • olive oil
  • 6 duck Marylands (about 260gm each), skin removed
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 1 celery stalk, finely chopped
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 4 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 250 ml
  • red wine, such as Chianti
  • 500 ml (2 cups)
  • vegetable stock
  • 400 gm
  • canned crushed tomatoes
  • 400 gm
  • pappardelle
  • To serve:
  • finely grated pecorino and rosemary (optional)


  • Coarsely grind fennel seeds using a mortar and pestle, then add pistachios and finely grind. Set aside
  • Heat oil in a large saucepan or casserole over medium heat, add duck and cook, turning once, until golden (6-8 minutes), then remove and set aside. Add carrot, celery, onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until tender (6-8 minutes). Add pistachio mixture, stir to combine, return duck to pan, add wine and bring to the simmer. Add stock and tomato, bring to the simmer, reduce heat to low and simmer until duck is tender (1½-2 hours). Remove duck from pan and set aside to cool. When cool enough to handle, shred meat (discard bones and sinew). Return shredded meat to pan, stir to combine, season to taste and keep warm.
  • Cook pappardelle in a saucepan of boiling salted water until al dente (4-5 minutes). Drain well, add to ragù, toss to combine and season to taste. Serve hot scattered with pecorino and rosemary.
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Lomo al trapo


  • 1center cut piece of beef tenderloin, meticulously trimmed of all fat and silver skin (about 8 inches long and weighing 12 to 16 ounces)
  • 2cups salt (we used Diamond Crystal kosher salt)
  • 1tablespoon dried oregano
  • Special equipment: 1 square piece of clean cotton cloth, 16 by 16 inches (an old-fashioned cloth diaper or piece of cotton sheet works well), dipped in red wine and wrung out slightly
  • Special equipment: Twine (optional)
  1. Arrange the cotton cloth on a work surface on the diagonal (like a diamond), so that one corner points down toward you. Spread the salt out on top of the cloth to form a layer 1/4 inch thick that extends to within 1 inch of the edge of the cloth. Sprinkle the oregano evenly over the salt.
  2. Place the beef tenderloin on top of the salt at the far end of the cloth. It should run parallel to the center axis (and to your shoulders). Roll the cloth and salt around the tenderloin, starting in the far corner. The idea is to make a compact roll. Now take the points of cloth at each end of the resulting cylinder and tie them together on top of the tenderloin. Alternately, secure the roll with twine.The idea is to form a tight cylindrical packet. You should do this right before your charcoal or gas grill are ready.
  3. Charcoal grill method: Light the coals in a chimney starter and rake them out into an even layer at the bottom of the grill. You will not need a grill grate. Lay the wrapped tenderloin right on the coals, knot side up. Grill for exactly 9 minutes. Using long handled tongs, gently turn the tenderloin package over and grill for exactly 8 minutes. Do not be alarmed if the cloth burns; it’s meant to. In fact, the whole shebang should look about as appetizing as a fire-charred log.
  4. Gas grill method: Preheat your grill as hot as it will go. There is no need to oil the grill grate. Arrange the cloth-wrapped tenderloin on the grate, knot side up. Grill until the bottom is charred black, about 9 minutes. (The grill should be covered.) Using long-handled tongs, urn the package over and grill until the other side is jet black, about 8 minutes.
  5. Use an instant-read thermometer to test the tenderloin for doneness, inserting through the cloth and the salt into the center of the meat. When cooked to rare, the internal temperature will be about 125 degrees F; to medium-rare, 140 to 145 degrees F.
  6. Transfer the charred tenderloin to a metal platter or rimmed sheet pan and let rest for 2 minutes. Lift the tenderloin with tongs and tap it hard with the back of a large, heavy chef’s knife. The burnt shell should crack and come off. Using a pastry brush, brush any excess salt off the tenderloin. Transfer the tenderloin to a clean platter, cut it into 2 to 4 pieces and serve at once.
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Gnocchi with roast chicken, pesto and cherry tomatoes

photo (5)Ingredients

Half a chicken

4 tbls of pesto, see previous recipes for pesto

10 cherry tomatoes

1 tbls butter

Gnocchi, see previous gnocchi recipes for gnocchi

parmesan to serve

Preheat the oven to 350⁰. Place the chicken and tomatoes on a baking sheet, skin side up, and rub with olive oil. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and roast for 40-50 minutes, until the chicken is cooked through. Set aside to cool. When the chicken is cool enough to touch, separate the meat from the skin and bones. Chop the chicken into bite-sized pieces.

In the meantime, bring a pot of salted water to a boil. Add the gnocchi to the pot of salted boiling water. Cook the gnocchi until they float and get very puffy. When the gnocchi are cooked, carefully remove them from the cooking water and set aside.

In a saucepan, melt butter, add gnocchi and cook for two minutes, add chicken, tomatoes and parmesan and cook for another two minutes and serve.

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Zucchini fritters with Haloumi

photo (4)Ingredients

600 g zucchini
Sea salt
1 spring onion, thinly sliced
1 small clove garlic, finely chopped
100 g haloumi, cubed
1/4 cup finely chopped dill
2 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
2 eggs, well beaten
1/2 cup plain flour
2 tablespoons rice flour
Freshly ground black pepper
Olive oil


1. Grate the zucchini coarsely and put into a colander. Sprinkle lightly with salt and toss, then leave for 20 minutes to drain. Rinse the zucchini briefly, then squeeze it to extract as much liquid as you can and pat dry with kitchen paper.

2. Mix the zucchini with the onion, garlic, fetta, herbs and eggs in a large bowl. Sift on the flours, then season with pepper and stir to combine.

3. Heat a little oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium heat until sizzling. Drop small tablespoons of batter into the hot oil and flatten gently. Cook for 2 minutes on each side, or until golden brown. Drain on kitchen paper and serve piping hot.

Serve with tzatziki

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Steak tartare

photo (3)

30 thin baguette slices (about ¼ of a baguette)
2 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for brushing
360 gm beef fillet, finely chopped
1 egg yolk
2 tsp each finely chopped cornichons,6 golden shallots, flat-leaf parsley and rinsed baby capers
Juice of 1 lemon
1 tsp Dijon mustard
To taste: Tabasco sauce
Parsley salad
½ cup (loosely packed) flat-leaf parsley, coarsely torn
15 ml extra-virgin olive oil
1 golden shallot, thinly sliced
1½ tsp lemon juice

1 Preheat oven to 180C. Brush baguette slices with olive oil, season to taste and bake, turning once, until golden and crisp (5-7 minutes). Set aside to cool. Crostini will keep in an airtight container for 2 days.
2 For parsley salad, combine ingredients in a bowl, toss lightly to combine, set aside.
3 Combine remaining ingredients in a bowl, stir to combine, season to taste, pile onto crostini, top with parsley salad and serve.
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Prawn, beetroot, roast fennel, and goats’ cheese risotto

photo (2)Ingredients:

3 beetroots, quartered and boiled until soft

1 fennel bulb, roasted with olive oil, salt and pepper

100gms goats’ cheese

bunch of lemon thyme, finely chopped

bunch of tarragon, finely chopped

40gms roasted pine nuts

250gms of prawns, cleaned and deveined

250gms arborio rice

Risotto base

1 onion, finely chopped

1 grated carrot

2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1 liter of vegetable stock

500mls white wine

Chopped parsley and parmesan to serve

The methodology to prepare this dish is a bit unclear as it was mostly improvised, but all the ingredients we used are listed above. Follow your nose and taste and I’m sure this will be defining moment in your risotto career.

For the risotto base, heat olive oil in a pot, add onion, garlic and carrot and cook for 2-3 minutes. Add arborio rise and start adding one cup of stock and wine every now and then.

In the meantime, blend beetroot, half of the fennel, half of the goats’ cheese, pine nuts, half the tarragon and lemon thyme with olive oil, until thick an creamy.

When rice is still crunchy, add blended sauce with stock and continue cooking the rice.

In a separate pan, heat olive oil, grill prawns for 2-3 minutes turning once and set aside. Cut tails off and cut them in half or thirds.

Add prawns to the rice and check if there’s more stock, wine, salt or pepper missing. When rice is cooked, serve in bowls, add remaining cheese, herbs and parmesan.

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