Smokey, Spiced Red Curry Sausage, Lime Leaf & Wild Ginger with Gola Curry Dip

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

photograph taken by Zeren Wilson @bittenandwritten

Did you know that every time a human being is born onto this planet, statistically three sausages are made! Scientists have coined it the ‘three baby sausage ratio’. Now that, is in absolutely no way true (well, I don’t think it is?), but at least I’ve caught your attention now.

This is an absolute banger of a dish, smokey, salty, spicy, sweet and sour, everything a person with a taste for Thai would expect in a meal. Now it’s a pretty lengthy dish to create given that two curry pastes need to be made in order to make the red curry for the sausage and the gola curry for a dip. However I have three reasons that may persuade you to go through the efforts to complete the whole recipe. Firstly, it tastes bloody great, secondly both the red and the gola paste can be kept in the fridge for use in an endless array of other delicious recipes, and lastly if you really can’t be arsed to cook the whole thing but Zeren’s lovely picture is making you want to eat it, just make the sausage and serve with some sweet chilli sauce and herbs, I guarantee you’ll still love it.

There are a couple more optional extras in this dish which you can avoid if you’d like to, as there are simple short cuts (although as you know if you read my blog, I always urge you to try the long way at least once, you can taste the difference). Firstly, I made my own coconut cream to use within the gola curry whilst cooking it out. This obviously takes a little longer than opening a tin, however the difference in taste is phenomenal, if you’ve never tried fresh coconut cream before, think about the difference in taste between a fresh pint of milk and those little sachets you get free in hotel rooms – you get the idea. Now don’t get me wrong, we don’t all have the time to make our own coconut cream all the time, but it’s definitely worth having a mess around with.

Just bare in mind that in order to complete this recipe with success its important for you to purchase a heavy, granite pestle and mortar. When making any curry paste, the objective is to combine flavours with brute force. Therefore a heavy weighted pestle and mortar is the fastest way to victory. Trust me, I first brought a wooden one for use at home and I spent entire evenings bashing coriander root until my hands hurt and I swear it just got bigger. Right then lets get started.

Ingredients

(serves around 3/4 people, makes 12-15 sausages)

When weighing ingredients for these curry pastes I use a small cup (this holds roughly 300ml’s of liquid), this makes more than enough paste for this recipe, however its worth making a little more if you’re going to put in the effort to make it properly.

(for the red curry paste)

-5 cups, large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-6 cups, peeled garlic cloves

-6 cups, peeled banana shallots

-5 cups lemongrass, outer sheath’s remove, topped and tailed

-3 cups, peeled galangal

-2 cups, coriander root, cleaned

-1 cup, roasted gapi paste (fermented shrimp)

-45g, white pepper, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, coriander seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-45g, cumin seeds, toasted and spice ground to powder

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for the gola paste)

-1.5 cups,  large dried red chillies, soaked in warm water to soften, drained, de-seeded

-1/2 cup, cleaned coriander roots

-2.5 cups, peeled banana shallots

-2.5 cups, peeled garlic

-2.5 cups, peeled ginger

-2.5 cups, desiccated coconut

-1 cups, roasted peanuts

-large pinch of coarse salt

(for everything else)

-1kg, smoked pork belly mince, ask a butcher to make it roughly 20% fat, to 80% meat. If you cant get hold of smoked pork belly then just cold smoke it yourself in a closed barbecue. I will make sure to pu up a post explaining a few simple ways to do this over the next few weeks)

-Kaffir lime leaf, jullienned, finely chopped

-200ml, coconut cream

-50ml, vegetable stock

-150g, palm sugar (soft brown sugar will do)

-200ml, fish sauce

-100g, kra chi, wild ginger, peeled and thinly sliced

-a little cooking oil

-a few thai shallots, peeled and thinly sliced for garnish

-a few picked and washed coriander leaves for garnish

-a few semi chopped nuts for garnish

Method

  1. Firstly let’s make the coconut cream. Start by cracking the coconuts with a hammer and remove and discard the outer shell. This leaves you with the inner flesh of the coconut which has an inedible skin attached to it. Using a peeler remove this skin to leave you with only the fresh, white coconut flesh. Next put this flesh through a mincer, or grate it and add to the boiling water, combine thoroughly using a stick blender for around 5 minutes. Once combined filter the liquid from the flesh by ringing it out in some muslin, or a cloth. Once separated place the liquid in the fridge and leave to cool. As it cools the cream will separate from the water, the white cream on the top is what you want. Keep the coconut water as it can be used to let out curries and soups. Any leftover coconut cream can be boiled down until it splits (cracks); this can then be used as coconut oil (coconut crack) which we will talk about another time. Once finished take some of the grated coconut left behind and toast on a medium heat in the oven, until golden brown and crunchy.
  2. Secondly, lets get those curry pastes made. As i say the important thing is to have a heavy pestle and mortar. When making a curry paste, begin by pounding each ingredient individually, starting from the toughest, then remove from the pestle to clear way for the next ingredient. After they have all been individually pounded, add them all back into the pestle and pound until it resembles one paste, you may have to do this in a couple of batches so it fits easily into the pestle. pound in the order of dried chilli, lemongrass, galangal, ginger, shallot, garlic, coriander root, peanuts, coconut, gapi paste, using the salt as an abrasive throughout. This list includes ingredients from both pastes, but do remember to first complete the red paste, then put aside. Then complete the gola paste separately as they are two separate pastes.
  3. right so now we have our cream and pastes, the hard bit is complete, lets make the sausages. In a pan, gently melt 150ml of the fish sauce with 150g of the palm sugar, then put aside to cool. Next In a mixing bowl add the pork mince, fish sauce and palm sugar mix, 400g red curry paste, all the sliced wild ginger (kra chi) and mix well. Once mixed roll into sausage shapes using cling film and leave in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to set shape (these can be as thin or fat as you like, its your dinner). once set in shape, poach the sausages in simmering water to a core temperature of around 64 degrees (medium rare), if you don’t like pink pork take it as far as you like, depends how much you trust the quality of the meat. Once these are poached either put them straight on a barbecue or grill and cook the outside until the whole sausage has gone a lovely golden brown colour with some char, or place them in an ice bath to cool quickly, then leave in the fridge for cooking at a later date (they also freeze well).
  4. In the meantime, cook out the gola dipping sauce. This curry is best cooked slow, over around 45 minutes, this way you can add depth and richness to the curry. To begin, pour roughly around 100ml cooking oil into a pan and heat to a medium/high temperature. Once hot add 300g of the gola paste to this oil, this should make a sizzling sounds as it touches the pan as we want to fry the paste. Keep the paste moving with a metal kitchen spoon, being sure to scrape anything that sticks to the bottom off quickly before it goes black. It is correct for this paste to stick a little more that usual as its packed full of peanuts and they are a bit of a bastard to fry. However, if you keep a watchful eye, and regular movement, you will be fine. After around 20 minutes the paste will begin to go a little darker, this is a sign that its ready to add palm sugar. Add the sugar and turn down the heat, keep stirring for around 5 minutes until the sugar is melted and beginning to caramalise, which will make the paste a little darker. Once melted add the remaining fish sauce to the, followed by all the coconut cream and stock, keep the paste simmering on a medium heat for another ten minutes and re-season if you feel it necessary, the gola should taste sweet, salty and mildly hot.
  5. To serve, place the gola in a bowl and top with semi chopped/pounded peanuts, sliced Thai shallots and coriander leaves. Pile sausages up next to sauce (with wooded skewers in if you want to make it finger food) and then eat.

Thanks very much for stopping by at ‘Articuleat’ and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

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Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & Coriander

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderIf I was told that the world will end tomorrow I would have one thing on my mind, “shit! What am I going to eat for dinner?” One of the ingredients racing through my mind that had to be eaten one more time would be sticky pork ribs. Pork being the most widely eaten meat in the world, I’m sure that I’m not alone in thinking this recipe is worthy of a last supper.

I happened to have a little spare kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) leftover from a previous recipe, so I used it as a base for my rib marinade. Lemongrass, fresh chillies, white peppercorns and kaffir lime leaf all come together to make this marinade a Thai sensation.  The inclusion of all these typically Thai ingredients gives the rib meat a flavour balance consisting of sweet, salty and hot that is to die for – if you are anything like me and my flat mate you will keep eating until it hurts.

Now first things first, what are all the different cuts of meat that come from a pork rib? If you are anything like me you probably assume that a pork rib is a pork rib, which change in size as they follow the spine. However this is just a milestone in the labyrinth that is pork rib cuts. So let me squeeze it into a nutshell for you so we all have a clearer understanding for the future.

Right, so pigs have fourteen rib bones attached to their spine, which most popularly are split into four cuts of meat; baby-back ribs, spare ribs, St Louis cut ribs (spare baby-back ribs) and rib tips.

Starting from the top are the baby-backs, closest to the back bone. These are distinguishable by their curved shape and small bone. The meat found at the top of these ribs is said to be the most tender. As you move further down the spine the ribs become larger, flatter and wider with more meat between each rib – these are known as the spare ribs. There are endless ways to order this cut of meat e.g. 3 & up, 4 & over, this is just butcher slang for the weight of a cut of spare ribs (you still with me?).

We then come to the spare baby-back ribs. These are not the same as baby back ribs, nor do they necessarily come from young tender pigs. These are spare ribs made smaller by removing the rib tips (which can be eaten as small, roughly three centimeter long bones). These are more commonly known as St. Louis cut ribs, nonetheless some butchers call them baby spareribs to capitalise on the popularity of baby back ribs. Anyway lecture over and hopefully, as I did, we have all learned something new about pork ribs.

For this dish I used a whole rack of pork ribs straight from the abattoir for me and my flat mate to pig out on (excuse the pun). Now the meat from a rib is subject to lots of movement during life, as a result of the animal breathing. For this reason if you throw them straight onto a barbecue, eating them will resemble chewing the grip off of a tennis racket. Unless this is your thing? We will try and avoid this by cooking the ribs low and slow until they are tender enough to melt in your mouth.

That’s enough from me for today so get stuck in and enjoy your dinner.

(Serves 2-3 people, takes 3 hours with minimal effort)

Ingredients

-1 rack, pork ribs

-300ml, kecap manis (Indonesian sweet soy) found in most oriental supermarkets and large supermarkets).

-1 stick, lemongrass, sliced wafer thin

-2 fresh, long red chillies, thinly sliced

-2 fresh long green chillies, thinly sliced

– 1 fresh birds eye chilli, thinly sliced

-2 kaffir lime leaf, thinly sliced, stems removed

– 2 tbsp, white peppercorns, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-2tbsp, cumin seeds, spice grinded or pestle and mortared to a powder

-1 fresh lime

-1 handful (roughly 75g) coriander, washed and picked

Method

  1. This is the beauty of cooking ribs in this way, it takes minutes to throw together so all you have to do is wait for the magic to happen.  Firstly pre heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats, make the marinade by combining the kecap manis, lemongrass, kaffir lime, chillies, cumin and white peppercorns into one mixture.
  2. Next coat the ribs in the marinade, using your hands to rub all the meat with the mixture. Now at this stage if you are prepared the meat can be left in the fridge (ideally for 6 hours) to marinate. However if you are hungry, cover them in tin foil and put them straight in the oven, cook for 2 ½ to 3 hours until the meat is tender and falling off the bone.
  3. If you are barbecuing, the ribs can be taken straight out of the oven and placed on the barbecue grill to colour, basting regularly with the leftover marinade. If not, place the ribs on a plate and garnish with lime wedges and coriander. These ribs are great served with some steamed jasmine rice.

Thai Infused Sticky Pork Ribs with Lime & CorianderThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut Mushrooms

Barbecue is one of the most commonly eaten sauces on the planet! This is in no way true but hopefully it got your attention. Since my childhood I have always had an insatiable thirst for barbecue sauce; so I figured it’s time for it’s debut appearance within Articuleat’ s early posts, so this one’s  for those of you that share my love for this fabulous condiment.

There are as many ways to make barbecue sauce as there are recipes to cook using it, however after much (and much, much more) experimentation this is my favourite so far. I found that lots of people use tomato ketchup as a base for there sauce to give it the correct flavour balance and consistency. However, here at Articuleat that just won’t do – I created this recipe using Indonesian sweet soy sauce (known as kecap manis) as the base for my sauce. Kecap manis can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets.

For this recipe I have kept the barbeque sauce mild to not add any extra spice to the chestnut mushrooms. If you are into your heat however, do not be afraid to add a little chilli powder, or extra peppercorns to my recipe. The key to this sauce is in the balance; sweet, salty, sour and hot all play elements in making this sauce one to write home about.

The sticky and rich consistency is a perfect partner to some chestnut mushrooms lightly fried in herb oil. Despite this the BBQ season is upon us so why listen to me – why not marinate some meat in this sauce and throw it on the barbeque?

(serves 2, takes 1 hour)

Ingredients

(for the barbeque sauce)

-100ml, kecap manis, sweet soy (can be found in any oriental supermarket and most large supermarkets)

-20ml, balsamic vinegar

-20ml, Worcestershire sauce

-60ml, light chicken stock

-1tsp, cumin seeds

1tsp, pink peppercorns

-1tsp, Chinese five spice

-1tsp, fennel seeds

-2 heaped tbsp, palm sugar, crushed (soft brown sugar will do)

-1 white onion, finely chopped

-2 garlic cloves, finely chopped or crushed

-1 whole red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped

(for the herb spiced mushrooms)

-2, whole chicken breasts, boneless

-100g, chestnut mushrooms, washed and sliced

-1 handful (roughly 70g), parsley, finely chopped

-100ml, olive oil

-1 whole red chilli, finely sliced

-1 garlic clove, finely chopped

Method

  1. Firstly pre-heat your oven to 180 degrees. Whilst that heats lets get the barbeque sauce ready – begin by toasting the pink peppercorns, cumin and fennel seeds together in a dry pan. Keep these moving in a hot pan until you see a little smoke, then remove from the hot pan and spice grind to one powder (or use a pestle and mortar).
  2. Next fry the garlic, onion and red chilli in a pan with a little oil until golden brown and crispy (not burned or it will taste bitter). Once ready add the kecap manis, light chicken stock, Worcestershire sauce, balsamic vinegar and palm sugar (soft brown sugar) and bring to a simmer. Once simmering add the spice grinded dried spices along with the Chinese five spice and whisk to combine, simmer to infuse for 2-3 minutes then remove and cool. Finish the sauce by combining to one smooth mixture in a food processor (should be a dark, smooth, rich pourable consistency)
  3. Now that the magic is ready get the hunters chicken in the oven. Using tin foil, individually coat each chicken breast in barbeque sauce and wrap tightly within the foil (if you have time marinate the meat in the fridge for a few hours, or ideally overnight), then place on a tray and put on the top shelf of the oven for 20-25 minutes. Ensure that chicken is piping hot throughout before serving, to check poke the end of a spoon into the middle and leave for a few seconds, remove and place the spoon on your lip – if it hurts it’s ready (obviously be carful).
  4. Lastly let’s make the herb spiced mushrooms. Bring a little pan of water to the boil and drop in the chopped parsley for 20 seconds, remove and refresh under cold water. Dry using a tea towel then combine the oil, parsley, garlic and chilli in a food processor until mixture is combined (should be bright green). Once combined heat this herb oil on a medium heat until hot, then add the chestnut mushrooms making sure to coat all of them in the hot oil. Stir these regularly for 6-8 minutes until softened
    and cooked.
  5. Serve the hunters chicken upon the chestnut mushrooms and garnish with a little parsley if you’re looking to impress.

Sticky & Rich Kecap Manis Barbeque Hunters Chicken with Herb Spiced Chestnut MushroomsThanks very much for stopping by at Articuleat and I hope you have enjoyed your stay. I always look forward to your feedback so please don’t hesitate to get in touch for any reason whatsoever – I will reply as swiftly as possible.

See you next time,

Eat Well,

Sebbyholmes