Wednesday, October 6, 2010


This is the first meal I learned to cook. I came home from school one day when I was 12 and my mother had left me a note on what to cook for dinner and how. (She would make regular trips to Townsville, that hub of north Queensland). I have never been sure why she chose me, rather than my three elder sisters (evidently my two younger sisters and brother were too young) .... but I like to think it's because she recognised my early prowess as a cook and my interest in food in general, but my mother has since passed away so one can only guess.. and of course my sisters don't always agree with my version of events in the ongoing battle about who is the best cook in the family.

1-2 onions, finely diced
2-3 cloves garlic
2-3 tbs virgin olive oil
500 gm beef or pork, diced into 1cm cubes
1/2 cup good red wine
1 tin tomatoes
1/2 cup milk
bay leaves
salt & pepper to taste

Heat 2 tbs olive oil in heavy cast iron enamel pot, or whatever you have. Add onions and garlic and saute until soft.
In a separate pan (frying pan), heal olive oil and add meat.
Brown meat, then add to onion mixture.
Pour red wine into frying pan and scrape out bits of brown clinging to surface, and add to onion mixture (which is still on a low heat.)
Add tomatoes and herbs.
Place lid on pot and cook for 2-3 hours.
After around two hours, add the milk and continue to cook. You may want to add water.
Add salt at end, to taste.

This sauce is much better if left for a day.

Serve with home made parpadelle or penne, and parmesan cheese from a block. (Under no circumstances use pre-grated packaged parmesan.)
.... and of course with a salad, after the meal in a clean plate.
.... and a glass of good pinot noir.