Tag Archives: smoked paprika

Slow braised short rib butternut puree recipe

Slow braised short ribs with butternut mash

Sundays are for…? Slow braised short ribs with butternut mash. A hearty winter warmer with fall off the bone meat and a buttery smokey honeyed butternut mash.

I always ask the guys at Country meat butchery and deli in Fourways, to cut me about 3kgs of short ribs from a full slab. I then portion them out into individual ribs, ready for braising.

Serves: 4

Ingredients

For the short ribs

  • 1.5 kg short ribs (approximately 8-12 ribs)
  • 1 onion, finely sliced
  • 4 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 leek, finely chopped
  • 1 carrot, finely chopped
  • 4 sprigs of fresh thyme
  • 1 cup red wine
  • 1/2 cup soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 tablespoons coconut oil (or olive oil)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 teaspoons smoked paprika

For the butternut mash

  • 1 butternut, skinned and sliced into chunks
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 2 tablespoons honey
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees C. Coat the beef short ribs with sprinkling of salt, pepper and smoked paprika and place in a hot frying pan with the coconut oil. Brown on all sides.
  2. Cut up the onion, carrot, leek, thyme and garlic.
  3. Transfer the seared short ribs, bone side up, to an oven roasting dish or dutch oven.
  4. Add the vegetables to the frying pan and fry for about 3 minutes. Add the sugar, pepper and soy sauce and scrape the browned bits from the bottom of the pan. After a minute or two, add the red wine and let it bubble for another minute.
  5. Pour the veggie, soy and wine mixture over the short ribs in the oven dish. Add more water just cover the ribs.
  6. Put the lid on and braise/roast the short ribs for an hour. After an hour, turn the heat down to 160 degrees C for another 2 hours.
  7. About 30 minutes before the ribs are ready, boil the butternut in salted water until soft.
  8. Drain the liquid, add the paprika, honey and butter and mash it all up. You can use a stick blender if you wish. Season to taste with salt and pepper. What you’re looking for is a buttery puree/mash with a subtle hint of smokey paprika and some sweetness from the honey.
  9. Remove the short rib from the oven and place in a roasting tray. Bump up the oven to full and grill the ribs for about 2-3 minutes – just to render and crisp up the fat.
  10. Depending on the amount of liquid left in the original oven dish, you may want to reduce some of the braising liquid.
  11. Take out the ribs, spoon over some of the braising liquid an let it rest for at least 5 minutes.
  12. Make a quick salad of chopped cucumber, tomato and avocado with a rice vinegar and olive oil dressing. This will cut through the richness of the short rib.
  13. Serve the short ribs on a bed of the mash and a spoonful of the braised vegetables and liquid.

    After this hearty meal, you will probably want to go take a nap. You deserve it.

Paprika - Smoked, Sweet, Hot

Paprika – some like it sweet, smoked or hot

Sweet, smoked or hot – paprika spice comes in different flavours and colours but one thing is sure we love it.

I mentioned before that I’m pretty partial to smoked paprika and as a result many of my dishes tend to include a liberal sprinkling of this heavenly spice.

Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried fruits of bell pepper or chilli pepper varieties or mixtures thereof. It is often used for flavour and colour, and turns out to be the fourth most consumed spice in the world.

Until recently I had some Spanish smoked paprika which is rather mild in heat but has a distinctive oak flavour. I’ve yet to find smoked paprika around Johannesburg and I’m always on the look out for this spice on my overseas travels. On my last trip to Austria, I finally managed to find Rigler’s, a shop in Salzburg that stocked smoked paprika – but as my luck would have it the shop was closed when we arrived on the Saturday and many shops were closed on Sunday.

Rigler's Salzburg spice deli
Rigler’s Salzburg spice deli

On the last night before we left Vienna, an expat South African and I went out for dinner at the Vienna Naschmarkt. Lo and behold! A spice merchant with tonnes of paprika of every flavour and colour. To say I was beside myself was perhaps a bit of an understatement. I stocked up on both the sweet and smoked varieties.

Paprika - Smoked, Sweet, Hot

I left Austria a very happy camper and very much looking forward to try out some new recipes with my new spice find. Unintended but quite interestingly, my hand luggage smelled like smoked paprika for days after returning back to South Africa.

For inspiration, paprika can be used in a variety of dishes adding just the right amount of smoky flavour and colour. Try using paprika in some of these lamb, pork, chicken, fish, vegetable or sauce recipes:

Happy cooking.

Barbeque sauce

Barbeque sauce

I just love this barbeque sauce. It’s quick, easy and packed with flavour. The key ingredient in this sauce is the smoked paprika – giving it a beefy, hickory smoked flavour. It makes a perfect sauce for pulled pork buns, as a marinade for steaks or chicken or just a dipping sauce for oven grilled sweet potato fries.

This recipe easily doubles, or triples up and I suggest that you do at least double the recipe – you’ll be glad you did.

Ingredients for the barbeque sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tablespoons tomato sauce

To make the barbeque sauce

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan, add onion and garlic with some seasoning and the sugar, and fry for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add paprika and stir to combine.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes until onion is caramelising, then add vinegar and let it cook out for a few minutes.
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce, mix well and continue to cook for about 8 minutes until sauce has reduced.
  5. Combine the barbeque sauce with your reserved pan juices and onions from the pork roast.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning.

Make sure that you’ve sterilised a glass jar to preserve the leftover sauce. It keeps in the fridge for a couple of weeks, but guaranteed that you’ll use it up way before then.

pulled pork sliders Paleo

Pulled pork sliders with sweet potato buns

pulled pork sliders Paleo

I have a soft spot for anything with pulled pork in the title. I’ve eaten some of the best pulled pork at the Pitt Cue Co in Soho London. While I managed to get their cookbook to try and recreate their sublime dish at home, it is quite a lengthy process as it involves a number of sauces and a smoking process that take the better part of the week to make. The taste is completely out of this world and definitely worth your while as the sauces make up the base for many of their other dishes.

But when a pulled pork craving hits and you’re fresh out of mother sauce, you’re going to have to improvise. Below is the result of that improvisation. Bite-sized pulled pork sliders that are Paleo / Banting (LCHF) friendly, by substituting the buns with sweet potatoes. The trick though is to try and get the biggest even shaped sweet potatoes that you can find as to best mimick a mini-burger. Mine ranged between small and medium, but actually worked out perfectly well as delicious bite-sized morsels.

The list of ingredients and the three processes may seem daunting, but it’s pretty easy to make and taste delicious.

Ingredients for the pulled pork

  • 1 smoked boston butt pork roast (1kg – go bigger if you can)
  • 2 large onions – quartered
  • 1 tablespoon five-spice
  • 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 cup water

Ingredients for the barbeque sauce

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion – diced
  • 2-3 cloves garlic – finely chopped
  • sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon cider vinegar
  • 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
  • 6 tablespoons tomato sauce

Ingredients for the sweet potato buns

  • 2 large sweet potatoes
  • 2 tbsp coconut oil
  • 1/4 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp smoked paprika
  • pinch of maldon salt

To make the pulled pork

  1. Pre-heat your oven to 160 C
  2. Stir together the spices and rub all over the roast.
  3. Lay the onion slices down on the bottom of the roasting pan together with the water and bay leaf.
  4. Put the roast on top of the onions, cover with lid or foil and cook for 2 hours.
  5. When done, take the roast out and shred the meat with two forks.
  6. Keep the pan juices and onions aside as we’ll combine those with the barbeque sauce

To make the barbeque sauce

  1. Heat oil in a frying pan, add onion and garlic with some seasoning and the sugar, and fry for 5 minutes until softened.
  2. Add paprika and stir to combine.
  3. Cook for 10-15 minutes until onion is caramelising, then add vinegar and let it cook out for a few minutes.
  4. Add Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce, mix well and continue to cook for about 8 minutes until sauce has reduced.
  5. Combine the barbeque sauce with your reserved pan juices and onions from the pork roast.
  6. Taste and adjust seasoning.

pulled pork sliders Paleo

At this point you can now combine the barbeque sauce with the pulled pork.

pulled pork sliders Paleo

Method for the sweet potato buns

  • Slice the sweet potato into 1/2 cm rounds. Lay them out on a roasting tray lined with baking paper.
  • Brush each slice with coconut oil and sprinkle with the spices, flip and repeat
  • Bake at 220 C for about 15 minutes, turn them over and bake for another 15 minutes until brown on the outside and cooked through.

To assemble
Top a slice of sweet potato with some lettuce, thinly sliced tomato, a generous helping of the pulled pork and finish with another slice of sweet potato. You can of course add any other toppings of your choice, but these turned out finger-licking good.

pulled pork sliders Paleo

Slow roast leg of lamb rosemary garlic smoked paprica rub

Slow roast leg of lamb with garlic, rosemary, paprika rub

Slow roast leg of lamb rosemary garlic smoked paprica rub

There’s not much to say about a slow roasted leg of lamb. It is as classic as it gets. Comfort food at its best.

I’m getting pretty partial to smoked paprika at the moment, so most of my meat-based dishes and smoky vegetables are sprinkled quite liberally with this heavenly spice. Paprika is a spice made from ground, dried fruits of bell pepper or chili pepper varieties or mixtures thereof.

I have some Spanish smoked paprika, which is rather mild but has a distinctive oak flavour. Add to that some garlic, olive oil and rosemary and you have a winning rub.

Ingredients

  • 1 leg of lamb, approximately 1.5-2 kg
  • 4 giant garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 tbsp Himalayan salt
  • 1 tsp ground black pepper
  • 2 sprigs rosemary, chopped
  • 2 sprigs thyme, chopped
  • 2 tbsp smoked paprika
  • olive oil
  • 3-4 large sweet potatoes, cut in rings
  • garlic clove, minced
  • 1 sprig of thyme
  • 2 tbsp butter

Method:

  1. Preheat the oven to 160C.
  2. Rinse the lamb and pat dry.
  3. Mix all the ingredients: garlic, rosemary, thyme, paprika, salt and pepper together in a pestle and mortar. Add enough of the olive oil to make a nice thick paste. Rub over the lamb on both sides.
  4. Place the lamb into a deep sided roasting tray and add 250ml of water to the tray.
  5. Cover the lamb with foil and roast for 3-4 hours, basting from time to time until the meat is falling off of the bone.
  6. When cooked, remove the lamb from the oven and transfer to a board or plate. Cover with foil and leave to rest for 15- 20 minutes.
  7. Preserve the pan juices for your gravy.
  8. Cut up the sweet potatoes and cook in boiling, salted water. When cooked but still firm, drain in a colander.
  9. Add butter, garlic and thyme to a pan and heat till foamy. Add the sweet potatoes and fry till just brown and crispy on the outside.

Slow roast leg of lamb rosemary garlic smoked paprica rub
To serve, carve the lamb into chunks and serve with the sweet potatoes. Pour over the pan juices.

Stuffed roast chicken

Stuffed roast chicken for Sunday lunch

Sundays are for family. There’s nothing better than having the entire family around the lunch table. In South Africa this tradition normally involves a braai (barbeque), roast leg of lamb or as our family often does, a stuffed roast chicken with all the trimmings (think potatoes roasted in garlic and rosemary or candied thyme carrots).

Ingredients:

  • 1 whole chicken
  • 5 rashers of bacon, diced
  • 1 red onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 1 can chickpeas
  • 8 sun dried tomatoes in oil
  • 2 tablespoons mixed herbs
  • smoked paprika
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 cup white wine
  • 1 cup water

Method:

  1. Pre-heat the oven to 200C
  2. Fry the bacon in a little olive oil till brown. Add the onion, garlic, herbs, sun dried tomato and chickpeas till hot.
  3. Drizzle the chicken with some olive oil and sprinkle with salt, pepper and paprika.
  4. Stuff the chicken with the chickpea mix.
  5. Pour the wine and water in a roasting pot, add the chicken and cover with the lid.
  6. Cook at 200 for 1 hour.
  7. Uncover and transfer the chicken to grill for a further 25-30 minutes, until the juices run clear.
  8. Make a gravy out of the pan juices.
  9. Rest the chicken for 15 minutes.
  10. Cut the chicken up and pour over some of the gravy.
  11. Serve with the stuffing, some garlic and rosemary roast potatoes, candied carrots or a tomato, leafy green salad.

Chickpeas with bacon & sun dried tomato.

Note

I used a rose wine instead of white wine which made the gravy a tad too vinegary. If the wine is not cooked off enough to your taste, add a tablespoon or two of brown sugar and cook the gravy a little longer. The longer it cooks, the more the wine will cook off. The sugar definitely balances out the wine/vinegar taste.

Tuna fishcakes with paprika lemon mayonnaise

The inspiration for this meal came from a Pick n Pay Fresh Living booklet titled “Dinner time: 7 Quick & easy family meals for under R350″, the mayonnaise recipe was found via Epicurious. These are delicious and really simple fishcakes, with a great flavour. Our two year old loved them!

Ingredients:

Fishcakes

  • 1 red onion, finely diced
  • 3 cans (170g each) light meat tuna chunks in salt water
  • 2 tsp fish spice / fish rub
  • 1 tsp ground ginger
  • 1/4 tsp ground coriander
  • 1/4 tsp ground cumin
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 cups fresh breadcrumbs
  • 2 extra-large eggs, beaten
  • Cake flour, for dusting
  • Canola oil for frying

Mayonnaise

  • 1 tsp grated lemon rind
  • 1 tbsp lemon juice
  • 3/4 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/4 tsp paprika
  • Dash cayenne pepper

Method:

Fishcakes

  1. Mix all the fishcake ingredients together in a medium bowl
  2. Shape 1/4 cupfuls of the mixture into patties
  3. Dust with the flour just before frying
  4. Heat a generous glug if oil in a pan
  5. Fry fishcakes for 1-2 minutes per side or until golden
  6. Drain on paper towel
  7. Serve with fresh coriander, a fresh salad (we had ripe mango on a bed of mixed baby salad leaves), chips, and the mayonnaise

Mayonnaise

  1. Whisk together all mayonnaise ingredients in a small bowl until smooth

Pasta surprise

Nico was out working late the other night, so I decided to experiment with some ingredients that were about to get up and walk out of the fridge by themselves. As appetizing as that sounds, I can’t say that my dinner was delicious. Yes, it provided nourishment and didn’t taste too bad… but delicious it was not. So I’m not going to give you the recipe, believe me if you had to taste it you’d thank me for that.

Here’s a peak at what it looked like:

Pasta surprise

Mmmmm… looks yummy.

Whilst this was a vegetarian dish I did add some smoked paprika to give a meaty flavour. For some reason though this didn’t really work and the 1/2 teaspoon paprika seemed to have dissipated by the time the sauce had finished cooking. It had disappeared even further by lunchtime the following day. I have no idea why…

My lessons learnt are to plan the meal rather than just plonking ingredients into the pot randomly, canned garden peas may seem like a good idea at the time, and to remember a bit of lemon juice next time.