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"Texas is world-renowned for barbecuing a mean brisket, the flat and fatty slab of meat, cut from the cow's lower chest," says Stone. "Cooking a simply seasoned brisket low and slow on a smoker (or kettle barbecue when barbecuing at home), gradually rendering the gummy white fat while simultaneously infusing smoky flavour into the meat, is a labour of love. Although time-consuming, briskets are not difficult to cook. And while you'll note that this one takes a whopping 12 hours to cook, don't be alarmed if your brisket needs another hour or so - this timing is an approximation, and greatly depends on the size of your brisket and heat of your barbecue." The brisket can also be cooked in an oven (see note).

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"This dish is Lebanese-peasant done fancy with all the peasant-style flavours you'll find in Lebanese cooking, but with a beautiful piece of fish added," says Bacash. "The trick to not overcooking fish is to be aware that it cooks from the outside inwards and the centre should only cook until it's warm, not hot. If it gets hot in the middle, it will become overcooked from the residual heat. It takes a little practise getting to know this - be conscious of the inside of the fish and not the outside. Until you get it right, you can always get a little paring knife and peek inside the flesh when you think it's ready; it won't damage it too much."

Affettato Piacentino


You'll need

4 anchovy fillets, thinly sliced 200 gm butter, softened 300 gm piece of aged, mild Italian salami 200 gm thinly sliced coppa or prosciutto   Torta fritta 125 ml (½ cup) lukewarm milk 30 gm fresh yeast (see note) 500 gm plain flour 80 ml (1/3 cup) olive oil For deep frying: sunflower oil

Method

  • 01
  • For torta fritta, combine milk, yeast and ½ cup lukewarm water in a bowl, and stand until bubbly (8-10 minutes). Place flour in a bowl and, using a wooden spoon, stir in the yeast mixture. Add olive oil and 2 tsp sea salt and stir to combine. Knead the rough dough in the bowl until smooth and elastic (8-10 minutes). Place into a lightly oiled bowl, cover with plastic wrap and stand at room temperature until doubled in size (1-2½ hours). Using a pasta machine roll dough to 2mm thick and cut into 5cm rough squares. Preheat sunflower oil in a deep fryer or large deep saucepan to 160C. Deep-fry squares, in batches, turning once, until golden (2-4 minutes). Drain well on absorbent paper, season with sea salt and keep warm in the oven while frying remaining squares.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, beat anchovies and butter together. Stand for ½ hour at room temperature.
  • 03
  • Slice salami thickly, lay on a serving platter with the coppa and serve with hot torta fritta and anchovy butter.
Note Fresh yeast is available from health food stores and select delicatessens.

“Eating salumi and torta fritta or Italian bread with anchovy butter is one of the oldest traditions in the Piacenza valley. This favourite antipasto is served in osterias across the province with gutturnio, the local wine – a naturally sparkling red.”

At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 6 people

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