My Irish Korean son Hugh Choigo Gibbons
Living in Auckland with a baby was a nice move for us. Sean has got a good job in one of the best sustainable engineering companies, New Zealand. We get invited to my parents often for dinner. However I miss Melbourne where there is a huge diverse culture that gave me inspiration. In particular, sustainable attitude is far better in Melbourne than Auckland. Not many people in Auckland are fussed about organic or free range food compare to Melbourne. My mum believes all food in New Zealand is free range, but I am not sure. Sean & I believe we are responsible to support ethical farmers that should grow and change food culture in a positive way. We are surrounded by so many processed foods nowadays.I buy lots of simple and basic ingredients- potato, kumera, onion (lots), carrots and slow cook meat. I have learnt those simple ingredients can make incredible tasty meal. My cooking has been adopted in way of being a mum and living in New Zealand. I am discovering basic simple ingredients for cooking again!
Luckily my mum has a beautiful vegetable garden which provide us with all our organic vegetables. My step mum brings organic eggs from friends who let hens run around the farm. They become my inspiration & ingredients. I grow herbs and salad on my balcony- flat parsley, chilly, strawberry, spring onion and salads.
Cherry Tomatoes in my mum's summer vegetable garden
Silverbeet in my mum's summer vegetable garden
' Less is more' is my latest cooking trend. Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall's three good things are my cooking in inspiration recently. Few basic ingredients make for a very tasty dinner. In fact, I am a big fan of his food philosophy. My baby name is name after Hugh Fearnley Whittingstall, sort of.
Today my favorite, winter warmer recipe is Spicy Beef Silverbeet soup. It is my version of Korean Yuckgaejang 육계장. My three good ingredients are organic silverbeet from my mum's garden, Beef bone and Chilly. Cook a large batch and keep in the fridge for a week, even tastier. Its just comfy and delicious in winter or anytime!
Ingredients (Serves 6)
1.5kg beef bone for broth
500g beef rump steak (if beef bone doesn't have much meat)
1 bag of Silverbeet
1 leek or 5 spring onions or 2 onions
4 garlic glove crushed
2 tbsp dried red chilly
3 tbsp grapeseed oil
black pepper ground
salt for season
1. Making beef broth, clean beef bone in cold water. Boil up the beef bones, half cut onion, 5L cold water in stock pot. Skim off scum and shimmer for 2~3 hours until meat pulling apart.
2. Remove the stock pot from the heat. Drain stock and set aside. When the meat cools down, discard the bones and fat. Keep lean meaty part. Shred the meat and, 2 tbsp soy sauce,1 tbsp sesame oil & 1 tsp of cracked black paper for seasoning. Set aside it.
3. Clean Silverbeet and leek. Chop to small pieces.
4. For making chilly oil, fry 3 tbsp of grapseed oil and 2 tbsp of red chilly powder in a pot for 2 ~3 minutes. Add beef both and boil up. When boiling, add chopped leek, garlic and stock of silverbeet. Cook for 5 minutes until soft.
5. Add the seasoned shredded beef meat and silverbeet leafy parts cook for 15 ~20 minutes or until all coming together. Taste and season with fish sauce & salt. Serve with steamed rice.
A mild sunny day of Auckland winter