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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."

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).

Grilled spatchcock with preserved lemon and cumin butter and spiced potatoes


You'll need

4 spatchcocks (300gm each) 2 lemons, zested rinds only 1/3 cup (firmly packed) coriander   Preserved lemon and cumin butter 2 tsp cumin seeds 200 gm unsalted butter, softened ¾ preserved lemon, pith and flesh removed, peel finely chopped 3 lemon thyme sprigs, leaves finely chopped   Spiced potatoes 3 tsp cumin seeds 550 gm large kipfler potatoes, thickly sliced 200 ml extra-virgin olive oil 2 garlic cloves, crushed 2 tsp chilli flakes ½ lemon, juice only 400 ml brown chicken stock 2 tbsp (firmly packed) coriander, coarsely chopped

Method

  • 01
  • For preserved lemon and cumin butter, dry-roast cumin seeds until fragrant (1-2 minutes) and coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle. Combine in a bowl with butter, preserved lemon and thyme, season to taste and mix until combined. Roll in plastic wrap to form a 5cm-diameter cylinder, refrigerate until firm (2-3 hours or overnight), then cut into 5mm-thick slices.
  • 02
  • Preheat a large wide saucepan of water to 75C over low heat. Cut along each side of spatchcock backbone with kitchen scissors to remove. Press down on spatchcock to flatten. Place each spatchcock in a separate plastic bag (see note), add three slices preserved lemon and cumin butter to each, then divide lemon rind and coriander among bags, season to taste and seal tightly, squeezing out all air. Add bags to water and weight with a plate to submerge. Cook at 75C until spatchcock is opaque and firm (2-3 hours). Remove from water, then lay bags flat on a baking tray and refrigerate until chilled.
  • 03
  • For spiced potatoes, dry-roast cumin seeds until fragrant (1-2 minutes), coarsely crush in a mortar and pestle and set aside. Cook potatoes in a large saucepan of boiling water until just tender (10-15 minutes). Drain and cool completely. Preheat oil 1cm deep in a large frying pan over high heat until it shimmers, add potato and turn occasionally until crisp and golden (5-7 minutes). Drain potatoes, reserving 100ml oil (discard the rest), and return potato and reserved oil to pan. Reduce heat to medium, add garlic and stir occasionally until soft (1-2 minutes), add dried chilli and reserved cumin and cook until fragrant (1-2 minutes), add lemon juice and season to taste. Remove potatoes with a slotted spoon and keep warm. Return pan to heat, add chicken stock and reduce by three-quarters (5-7 minutes). Add coriander and keep warm.
  • 04
  • Preheat grill to high, remove spatchcock from bags, place skin-side up on a baking paper-lined oven tray, dot with remaining butter and grill until crisp (3-4 minutes). Serve with reduced stock and spiced potatoes.
Note Use good quality zip-lock or vacuum-sealed plastic bags for this recipe. The microwave variety are particularly durable.

“My husband won’t stop raving about the grilled spatchcock and fried potatoes he ordered at Maha Bar & Grill. Would you please obtain the recipe from chef Shane Delia so I can have some peace?”
Margaret MacDonald, Armadale, Vic

Request a recipe
To request a recipe, write to Fare Exchange, Australian Gourmet Traveller, GPO Box 4088, Sydney, NSW 2001, or email us. All requests should include the restaurant’s name and address or business card, as well as your name and address.


At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people
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At A Glance

  • Serves 4 people

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