Mince: Chili Edition


This is actually a Heston Blumenthal chili recipe lazily executed by me.  I customized it to suit the family.  We use grass-fed beef from our farm Grasspunk.  I actually don’t even remember the recipe.  It goes a little something like this.

Chop some onions.

I finely dice my onions if I’m making this for my son Otto, otherwise he’ll pick each and every onion out griping at me the whole time.  Tonight’s chili was for grownups, so I did big fat chunks as quickly as possible.


Then prepare some garlic.

I’m not a garlic basher.  I think that’s a sad way to go if you’re a garlic.  I like to chop off the top and peel.  It falls off similarly to the garlic bash method.  Then I thinly slice.  One could crush the garlic into the chili.  Mr. K will tell me that crushing is the best way.  I will say, “no it’s not.” He’ll say, “yes it is.” Me, “no it’s not.” He, “yes it is.” “No it’s not.” “Yes, it is”  We were in our late thirties at the time of that conversation.

It’s a matter of preference.  For this chili, I like the subtle garlic flavor with the thinly sliced texture.


Duck fat in.  Butter nub in.

Ready to gently bubble the onions and garlic into translucent bliss.  Onions and Garlic go in the pan you want your chili to end up in.


A star anise is added.

I quadrupled the recipe, so you will see a few stars in there.  I think you can over anise, so one is sufficient.  Two is too much.


While that works, brown your mince.


Our mince comes in burgers.  Two pack is .250 kg.  Crack ’em open and put them in your browning fry pan that is full of duck fat.  We love our duck fat.  Tallow or lard will also be lovely.

They look like this at first.


Then after a bit of a tonging.


Then the duck fat is doing its job.


Then when it’s brown, add the wine.


The Madiran is for the chef.  The bucky-fiddy Cahors is for the chili.


Onions look lovely.  Time for tomato paste.


Add pastechili

Mix it all about.  Let that make friends until the paste goes “brick red.”

I believe that’s what the original recipe said.  Because every time I get to this step I start singing, “she’s a brick [beat beat beat] house. Shake it down. Shake it down. Shake it down now!”

Add the meat.


Stir it up.  Little darling.


Add toms.


Add heat.

I used a little diddy I call Substance P.


Add beef broth.  Do some salt and pep.  Then, partially cover and let it be.  Let it be chili for some minutes.


Give is a taste.  More salt.


Scoop or slop into a bowl.  Add some cheddar cheese, some creme fraiche, some more Substance P.  Sit down.  Enjoy.

This is the recipe I follow:
chiliI need to know the quantities of stuff and then the order they go in.  The rest I remember.  You can also add beans.  Beans don’t go well in our family.

For whatever reason or in a quick dash for a piece of paper, on the back of my chili recipe is a recipe for cement.  I think that making cement and eating chili are a nice combo.  You can also read some French lesson I failed.


Shake it down now:

Mince: Gascon Spring Roll Edition


I suppose these are technically Fried Vietnamese Spring Rolls, though beyond using Vietnamese rice wraps and Vietnamese rice noodles, I sort of went with it Gascon style.

Get the filling started.  Boil the water for the noodles.


  • Local Grass-fed Mince
  • Duck Fat
  • Salt
  • Pepper
  • Carrots
  • Onions
  • Celery
  • Fish Sauce
  • Grass-fed beef broth, what, like two cups?

Load up the pan with some duck fat and chuck in your mince.


DSC_0233Add verte-blanc-orange when things seem all browny.



After the mirepoix gets acquainted, add a splash of fish sauce, the beef broth and begin prep for the wrapping.

Pull out a galettes de riz sized bowl and fill it with warm water.  By this time, your noodle water should be ready.  Get the colander ready and then boil your noodles.  Quick! take them out.  They don’t need long.DSC_0248

With the noodles done and the filling done, you should be ready to roll.


Rice wrap has a quick bath in warm.


Then, put on a plate for beef-noodle innards with a roll to follow.


First beef filling.


Then, some noodles.


A snuggy roll.  Snug it in nice and tight.


Another flip.

Then a tuck on both ends.  Line them up on some parchment paper ready for frying.  This time, in duck fat. Ah yeah!

DSC_0279This sort of food works much better when friends and family help out.  I found it to be a lot of work all by myself.  I imagined this dish coming about in a time when family members lived close and popped by for some tea.  They see you cooking and start mumbling criticisms about how you’re doing it all wrong.  You look around for something to distract the taunting, see rice wraps, tell them, “hey! why don’t you stuff it!”  Then the afternoon unfolds in merriment and gossip with a lovely fried dumpling at the end.

DSC_0270We served with Yummy Sauce and Substance P goob.  Yummy Sauce is something that involves most of MSG’s friends and neighbors, namely, fish sauce, anchovy and tomato pastey, that I picked up at the market from the Asian stall dude.  Substance P goob is: soy sauce, Substance P and a dash of Yummy Sauce.

I was going to finish with a lovely shot of Gascon Spring Rolls on a perfectly photo fluffed plating with garnish.  When I turned around to grab a roll for its plating, they were gone.  All I have is this little buddy I sampled before frying the lot.  Noodles hanging out, next to day old Einkorn bread, snuggled against fish sauce, P goob all over the place.   It was fantastic!


I Love Pounding Meat


Take a little steak. Pound it like you just don’t care. Egg it then bread it and mark it with a ‘b’ and serve it up warm for kiddies and me.

Fried in tallow, you can take a tasty steak and make it accessible to children. Looks like chook, tastes like a chook finger. But it’s so much better for you.


After the steak is cooked, chuck in some veg. Tonight we have mushies and pepps with some shallot, garlic and surpeez.

… And for zee adults, foie gras. Our freezer is running down and … well … it’s all we have. Salt, pep, a bit of sweet, a dash of nutmeg. Sure to be yum.

Guess What I’m Making?

DSC_9906Where there is beef, there are beef bones.

DSC_9898Massaged with lard, salted and pepped. Then roasted until brown.

DSC_9912Extra flavor rescued with a spatula or a little red wine.

Add then the celery, carrots, onions punctured with cloves, the bay leaves, the thyme and anything else you can find.

DSC_9917Things bubble and toil.  Hours later, some healthy beef broth to sip or soup.

She Likes To Cook In Roller Blades


Our little chef found some super grand roller blades left in our rental house by a friend. She’s been rolling around ever since. She’s going through a Ramona Flowers phase. She loves to carry my lovely plates with hot stuff carrying knives so I can practice not freaking out. I have a lot of practice.

She pats her grassfed beef patty dry to avoid boiling the meat and instead give it a nice lardy browning. She likes her burger browned on the outside and red on the inside. A nub of butter, a crack of pepper and it rests while she finishes up the potatoes.


Bourguignon Made With Filet Offcuts


With a few filet offcuts, I managed to scrape together a little evening Bourguignon. Yes, I know, “taking one for the team,” but I need to feed the troops with whatever protein and veg delight I have available.

Bourguignon is Bourguignon, all recipes will arrive at yum. We will serve with cauliflower au gratin and a tuna-melt back-up.


When onions and garlic look like that, they ARE having fun!

Look What’s Home For Lunch


Meet our latest offering. Last time, we sold the ground beef. Today, after weeks of dry aging, we have Christmas roasts and the good cuts. We were very pleased with the marbling on this grassfed cow. These beauties are all sold. As a farmer, you need to know your product. So we managed to find a small perk leftover to collect more knowledge on our march to tasty beef. Yeah, I know, filet again? Ug. Us grasspunks take one for the team as necessary.

We served with salad.