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12-hour barbecue beef brisket

"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).

Prego rolls

"This is a Mozambican specialty and one of the foods that changed my life in terms of African cuisine," says Duncan Welgemoed. "The best spot to get a prego roll in South Africa is the Radium Beerhall. It's run by my godfather, Manny, and is the oldest pub in Jo'burg. The meats are grilled out the back by Mozambican staff and are still done the same way today as they were 30 years ago." Start this recipe a day ahead to marinate the beef.

Lebanese-style snapper

"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."

Coleslaw

"Store-bought and pre-cut coleslaws, and bottled dressings have given the humble slaw a lacklustre rep over the years," says Stone. "Taking a little time (just 10 minutes!) to whip one up yourself reminds us why this salad became popular in the first place. This creamy, crunchy coleslaw comes together in a pinch and can be piled atop a thick piece of brisket or served as a side."

Adriano Zumbo: Passionfruit, lychee and coconut bûche de Noël


You'll need

160 gm pitted lychees (about 30), coarsely chopped 160 gm mango (about ½ large), coarsely chopped 2 tbsp passionfruit pulp (about 1½ passionfruit) 200 gm caster sugar gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water 15 gm pineapple, diced   Coconut dacquoise 55 gm dessicated coconut 50 gm pure icing sugar, sieved 30 gm almond meal 75 gm eggwhite (about 2) 50 gm caster sugar 2 kaffir lime leaves, stalk removed, shredded   Coconut pandan mousse 75 gm caster sugar 50 gm eggwhite (about 1½) 250 ml (1 cup) coconut cream 2 pandan leaves, coarsely chopped gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water 175 ml pouring cream, whisked to soft peaks   Marshmallows 225 gm caster sugar 125 gm eggwhite (about 3½) 1 vanilla bean, scraped seeds only 2 gelatine leaves (titanium strength), softened in cold water

Method

  • 01
  • Reserve 10gm each of lychee and mango, then process remaining lychee and mango in a small food processor until smooth. Add passionfruit pulp, stir to combine, then transfer one-quarter of fruit purée to a small saucepan. Warm over low heat, stir in sugar until dissolved. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to pan, stir to dissolve. Add to remaining puree, stir to combine, stir through pineapple, reserved lychee and mango, pour into a 9cm x 18cm loaf tin lined with plastic wrap, refrigerate until set (2-3 hours). Turn jelly out of tin, trim edges, then cut out four 2.5cm x 16cm strips (there will be jelly left over), refrigerate until required.
  • 02
  • Meanwhile, for coconut dacquoise, preheat oven to 180C. Combine coconut, icing sugar and almond meal in a bowl, set aside. Whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer until soft peaks form (1-2 minutes). Gradually add sugar, whisking continuously until firm peaks form (5-6 minutes), then fold through coconut mixture and lime leaves. Spread in base of a 20cm square cake tin, greased and lined with baking paper, smooth top. Bake until just beginning to colour (10-15 minutes), then cool in tin. Cut out two 2.5cm x 18cm strips and two 6cm x 18cm rectangles from dacquoise and set aside until required.
  • 03
  • For coconut pandan mousse, combine sugar and eggwhite in a small saucepan, stir over low heat until sugar dissolves. Warm to 65C on a sugar thermometer (2-3 minutes), then cool to room temperature. Transfer to an electric mixer, whisk until firm peaks form, set aside. Combine coconut cream and pandan leaves in a saucepan, simmer gently over very low heat to infuse (10-12 minutes). Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to coconut mixture, stir to combine, then process with a handheld blender until smooth. Strain through a fine sieve into a bowl placed over ice, whisking occasionally until beginning to thicken (5-10 minutes). Fold through whipped cream and reserved meringue.
  • 04
  • Lightly oil a 35cm-long, 800ml-capacity bûche de Noël mould (see note), line with plastic wrap and half-fill with coconut pandan mousse. Place two strips of jelly end to end down centre, pressing firmly into mousse, then lay remaining jelly strips on top. Top with two dacquoise strips, placed end to end, then fill mould with remaining mousse, smoothing top. Top with dacquoise rectangles placed end to end to cover mousse completely, cover and freeze until firm (6 hours or overnight).
  • 05
  • Meanwhile, for marshmallows, combine sugar and 75ml water in a saucepan, stir over medium-high heat until sugar dissolves. Cook until mixture reaches 118C on a sugar thermometer (4-5 minutes), remove from heat. Squeeze excess water from gelatine, add to syrup with vanilla. Meanwhile, whisk eggwhite in an electric mixer until foamy, then add hot syrup in a steady stream, whisking continuously on low speed. Increase speed to medium and whisk until cooled to room temperature (6-8 minutes). Spoon into a piping bag fitted with a 1.5cm plain nozzle and pipe strips onto trays lined with lightly oiled baking paper, stand until firm and set (4-5 hours). Remove baking paper, roll marshmallow in icing sugar, shaking off excess, then cut into 4cm lengths with scissors dusted with icing sugar.
  • 06
  • To serve, unmould bûche de Noël onto a serving plate, arrange marshmallow over log and serve immediately.
Note Bûche de Noël moulds are half-cylinder moulds available from specialist kitchenware shops.

This recipe is from the December 2009 issue of Australian Gourmet Traveller magazine.

At A Glance

  • Serves 15 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 15 people

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