A family feast

The preparation for this week started early. I got in touch with the guys at The Butcher and the Chef on Monday and enquired about a large order of rather exotic meats that were coming in as I was planning on cooking for 6 people this week. The reason for this: my oldest sister and her husband were coming into town on Friday night, so the plan was dinner at my middle sister’s house, prepared by me. Easy Golden Boy points up for grabs there.

With the communication lines to the meat supplier open, via the common form of texting the butcher (everyone texts their butcher right?) That is a joke, however knowing your butcher means you’re much better placed to know your meat, and where it comes from- important!

I started to think what I could make from what they had coming in. Pretty quickly I had the idea of putting some fresh Goat into an authentic curry set in my mind so I started the pre curry motions to make it happen.

I started researching, looked through my recipe books and jumped online. My intention was to find a recipe that called for using a stock, as I had handy the stock from my rabbit last week. So regardless, this curry was going to be full of flavour and jam packed with the wonderful nutrients that you get from real stock. For some more information on stocks, check out this link and short video.

Subsequently the order was put in and I was promised that Thursday afternoon there would be enough diced goat meat to feed 6 waiting for me at the butcher. Thursday afternoon rolled around, I made a visit only to be told by Dave that “I’ve got some goat shoulder, but I don’t think there’ll be enough on there for 6”.

Panic set in and I immediately started wondering what I would do instead, maybe the goat curry as an entree, followed by a different main? Not ideal. I wandered off through the supermarket in search of all the required spices for the recipe I had settled on, then nervously returned to the butcher counter with news from Dave- “All good, Tom’s on his way over with the meat now”. Instant relief!

I left for home almost laden with goat meat. Tom had brought in 2kg of diced Boer Goat raised on the Darling Downs near Toowoomba and to add to this Dave handed me the extra that he had just cut off the shoulder. Fresh panic set in once I realised I definitely do not have a stewing pot big enough for even the 2kg bag, the rest can stay at home. I tried my sister. Nope, hers doesn’t sound big enough. I tried a few others to no avail also. Throughout Friday I left finding a pot to one side, surely I’ll track one down…

Thursday night I made the paste in which to marinate the goat meat. This consisted of:

(Everything on this list was doubled, as this recipe called for only 1kg of meat)

  • 2 tsp garlic (minced) 
  • 3 tsp ginger (minced) 
  • 2 – 3 fresh green chillies (minced) 
  • 1/2 tsp chili powder 
  • 1 1/2 tsp turmeric 
  • 3 tsp coriander powder 
  • 2 tsp cumin powder 
  • 1 tsp garam masala  
  • 2 tsp salt 

I set about mincing the garlic, ginger and chilli’s, then added the meat and mixed it about. Then I shook over the spices and mixed about with my hands to ensure complete coverage: I needed this to look like it had had a comprehensive spray tan, much like what we witnessed at our mates stag do last week- full coverage. Once done, to the fridge it went overnight.

  

Friday afternoon approached rapidly, and still no pot big enough for all of this meat and sauce. My sister was due to land at 6pm, I was planning on getting out to Vaucluse for 4:30 to start cooking. Real panic set in when no pot could be tracked down and the thought of ‘swinging by’ Bondi Junction in a cab with all of the ingredients and other stuff we had, to pop into a store and purchase one seemed painful to say the least. In the end however, that was the only viable option.

A considerably manic taxi ride ensued, one that involved some slight sexism and generalisations from the cabbie in relation to the female formed directions I was getting for my eminent pot purchase- “all women are the same, my wife tells me what to do…” etc, pretty hilarious really. We had the drop off plan and store layout set prior to arrival, I jumped out at the lights, ran into David Jones, which had been decided was the closest and easiest store, and hurriedly started asking the help (hard not to sound like a wa*nker saying that) where the giant pots were, and ah.. the cheapest please?! I was pretty fast in there, so it turned out David Jones was quick and easy, just not cheap. Let’s just say this goat curry now went up in cost, significantly, and I now own a pot that should still be here post apocalypse.

Calm had at least re-entered the picture and now it just came down to cooking something I had never cooked before (goat), as is becoming the norm, a curry that was going to challenge my cooking skills. It’s not every day I prepare one from scratch; in fact I’ve done it very few times.

This one looked easy enough, but still jammed with ingredients I’ve rarely or never used, including my nemesis, an onion. I sucked it up, swallowed my pride and peeled the skin on the singular onion (recipe called for 2, which doubled in this case meant 4. I obviously remained stubborn to some degree) and employed a very handy cutting technique my offsider and sous chef taught me. It did make for quick, easy and fine chopping.

  

Onion chopped and pushed aside I washed and dried my new pot/mortgage, and got the various spices ready. This is what was needed and added to the hot oil in the ready pot:

  • 12 cloves 
  • 4 star anise 
  • 2 cinnamon stick 
  • 12 cardonom pods 
  • 45 curry leaves (roughly) 
  • 1 onion (diced) 

I let the spices cook for a minute before (somewhat reluctantly) adding the onion and leaving to cook for about 5 minutesbefore adding the, now close to 24 hour, marinated goat meat. I got an arm workout while I stirred and cooked all this meat for 10 minutes.

Then I added the 2 cups of rabbit stock, as well as 2 cups of Campbells Real Vegetable Stock, 2 cans of crushed tomatoes and 4 tablespoons of tomato paste, mixed and stirred and put the lid on.

I let this cook at a slow rolling boil, checking every now and then, for 1 and a half hours. At this point my sous chef took up her staring roll in making the quinoa to accompany the curry, whilst I diced a bunch of coriander and added it to the curry just before serving, with some salt and pepper.

  

While this was happening, my sister and brother in law arrived and a scene that seemed like it was straight out of The Castle unfolded (to the unwise, The Castle is an iconic Australian Movie, about a ’true blue’ Aussie family and their fight against the airport wanting to demolish their house for a new runway. It’s hilarious, and the family are dead set simpletons but champions nonetheless.) If you know the movie, you can imagine something similar to the scene with the chicken dinner:

Darryl Kerrigan:Well hello. How’s this boys. Woo hoo. What’ do you call this? 
Sal Kerrigan: “Chicken.
Darryl Kerrigan: “and it’s got something sprinkled on it
Sal Kerrigan: “Seasoning
Darryl Kerrigan: “Seasoning! Looks like everybody’s kicked a goal.

Brilliant stuff.

Back in Vaucluse and my two brothers in law (brother in laws?) were already wrestling, one asking the other what he ate and which movie he watched on the plane. We then sat down to a beautifully set table, (don’t get that at my house), as I dished up and explained what we were about to eat. It started like this:

Me: This is quinoa, prepared with stock, cranberries, almonds, lemon rind and juice…

And quickly moved onto this:

BV: Ah Mike, I’m from the South Island of New Zealand, what the f*ck is Quinoa?!

 

Fair enough really. On reflection he didn’t really get an answer, only “it’s a seed”. Laughter drowned it out and we moved on to eat. However for BV, and the population of the South Island, and anywhere else for that matter, the Quinoa seed is a species of goosefoot, and is closely related to species like spinach and beets. It is usually prepared in a similar way to rice and nutritionally contains reasonably high levels of protein as well as essential amino acids (which the body cannot make and must be attained from food, generally easiest and best sources are meat, which makes this a key for any non meat eaters out there). It is also high in fibre, magnesium and iron, as well as being gluten free. These are good things.

I then went on to an explanation to the table of the curry, which was kind of a Malaysian curry of sorts, but with some small differences. I think the tomato being the main difference, not coconut. I was asked many questions about it as we ate, most pertinent being the specific ingredients; as above.

The questions that started here, moved onto the weekly meat challenge as a whole and then somehow the conversation drifted along to an explanation from my brother in law CT about his time as a Scandinavian dancer as a young lad in Norsewood, New Zealand. This was gold! Not only did they dance at the local Car Club annual meeting, but when the new electronic store opened in town (about 1989), they got the 6 girls, (the 5 other girls dressed as boys) and Craig,( the only actual boy), to dance about in celebration of this momentous occasion. As well as this he was chosen to be put on a souvenir series of teaspoons and key rings. He still has a key ring, and it’s basically a caricature, it’s ridiculous and looks nothing like him. I loved it!

Anyway, back to the meal; I instantly had a plethora of superlatives heading towards the head of the table, where I found myself holding court. I personally thought it tasted extraordinary and the meat was fall apart-tender. The slight sweetness of the quinoa combination was a great accompaniment and I had rapidly scoffed mine and eyed up the kitchen where the pot was waiting my pillaging. The other boys were the same, while the girls took their time, but from their descriptions, all enjoyed extremely. I thought we’d lost KC for a moment: “You know when something just tastes so good, you have to sit and let the flavours do their thing? I just want to sit here” Ah, I usually smash things quicker than that, so not really… Either way, she admits goat is now her new favourite meat!

So overall the dish was a massive success. I had the privilege of cooking for some of my family, and everyone thoroughly enjoyed Meat Week Number 13. That’s one quarter of the year done, with a spectacular goat curry.

I do have the rest of the meat that I got from Dave, and spices galore, so I’ll be doing this again soon. Admittedly there is a bit of prep work to make the marinade, but it doesn’t take long and only has to sit for a couple of hours, an entire day just infused the flavour into the meat that much more. The cooking itself is relatively painless, then just let it rumble on the stove and do its thing, then enjoy!

Does this sound like too daunting to cook? Keep in mind I’ve never done this before, I just found a recipe I was happy with and followed it, pretty close to the letter, and the result was awesome. I’m pretty sure even my flatmates could do it.

Now, last week I touched on the issue of: If you preach, make sure you practice it yourself. Especially if it’s your job and it calls for you to act, look and be the part. I believe I do such practicing, and I certainly preach… So I thought- why not give you an idea of what an average day contains for me in terms of sleep, unnecessary stress, diet, supplementation and training.

So on one day this week I recorded these things. This day I also saw my musculo-skeletal therapist for some work around my jaw and skull. This saw me leave with a mouth guard to wear at nights (pretty sexy really!) in order to subtly realign my unbalanced jaw. The potential cause of some functional issues down the hierarchical chain of my body, as well as the recommendation to literally tape my mouth shut at night in order to ensure I breathe through my nose and not dry out my mouth rendering the mouth guard stuck to the inside of my lip. So yeah, I taped my mouth shut, I’m sure one or two people would love to hear that!

This is how that day went:

  • Wake 5am- 7 hours sleep

Food and supplement diary:

  • 5:15am- Smoothie (recipe attached in Bits and pieces menu at top of page)
    • 5ml liquid fish oil
    • Pro biotic capsule
    • Multi vitamin
    • Zinc
    • 8:30am- large handful of raw cashews and black plum
      • Macchiato
      • 9am- Pre workout supplement  including: caffeine, beta alanine, and creatine
        • 10g Branch Chain Amino Acids
        • 10 :15am- Post workout shake of: 30g WPI, 45g Sugars mix, 10g L Glutamine
        • 10:45am- Marinated chicken breast with salad and roasted sweet potato
        • 1:45pm- Marinated chicken breast with salad and roasted sweet potato, handful black grapes
        • 4:30pm- Handful raw walnuts, carrot w homemade pesto
        • 7pm- Roast beef with roasted carrots, red capsicum, garlic, sautéed asparagus and steamed broccoli
        • 8pm- 2 small squares Lindt 70% cocoa chocolate
        • 10pm- after a pretty relaxed day in which I didn’t register being worried or stressed about anything, much like most days for me, I had a magnesium tablet, a 5HTP capsule and went to bed.

Training:

  • Foam rolling, mobilisations- 15 minutes
  • A1– Barbell low box squats 1-6 reps x 8 sets
  • B1– Barbell front squats 8 reps x 4 sets
  • B2– DB back extensions 8 reps x 4 sets
  • C– Ab wheel roll outs 5 reps x 4 sets

So there you have it, a standard day in the life of Meat Mike Campbell. That wasn’t hard, I didn’t have to spend hours planning and preparing food, I just have some routines and habits that ensure I am prepared, and hit the day ready to go. When it comes to food, I’ve said it before, planning and preparation are the key. Form some good healthy habits and the rest is so much easier. I organise my day so I can train when suits me best. This is a luxury most trainers have, and I appreciate it’s not that easy for everyone, but effective time management should allow time somewhere to spend on yourself and your health, nothing’s that important that you should ignore yourself!

So, does your trainer display healthy habits, live and demonstrate what they preach on about?

Ask them. If you hear anything different or have any examples of trainers who look less healthy and trained than a beached whale, please share the stories!

Well, another week ticked off and I’m very aware that this is one fourth of the year gone, 13 meats down and 39 to go. The easy part is over. I can see the last 13 being a different story. At this stage, who thinks I can’t do it?

Do I have material to write about each week? That one’s more for me really… As long as I keep my mouth taped shut perhaps.

Ok, until next week and an Easter treat. Have a great week and Easter break.

Mike

https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meat-Mike-Campbell/236677696419727

15 comments on “A family feast

  1. One of the best meals yet! Great company, fabulous ambience, awesome goat, and of course and beautiful shiny new pot…its going to be hard to beat Week 13 🙂

  2. Hey Mike, I think that is one of the best blogs I have read of yours. It was very amusing especially about the pot. Just what I needed while I was hanging out at the hospital. It just made my afternoon! All went well today.

    Glad to see you got into the onion! That must have been a milestone for you!

    Nice to check out your food for the day as a change from the other way around. 🙂

  3. Totally agree with Nards, great meal and great company! You have really raised the bar…can’t wait for next weeks exciting installment. How about as a suggestion trying a less ‘sexy’ cut of a more commonly avail meat but cooking it in a way that is totally different…just an idea.

  4. Brilliant!!! MC, I think you should take up writing as a little ‘on the side’ job! You’re so good at it…. nice to see the gorgeous Nards in the pictures too ( Hi :o)) ) And baby is cute!! And the ‘bits and pieces’ is a cool addition. Ideas for meat next week…. how about some home-made sausages? They are a bit naughty, but if they are home made you can make sure only the good pieces of meat are packed into the skins. Very well done Mike xx

    • Hey Mez, thanks! I’ll class this as my ‘on the side’…
      Sausages are on the list, I thought I’d do a variety of them including attempting to make some of my own. However I thought I might wait until next summer for a great bbq day! We’ll see though.
      Thanks again buddy

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