Welcome to Jacican

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I love to cook, I've always loved to cook.

As a young girl, my time was spent reading the cookbooks that mum kept in the bottom kitchen drawer. Always looking for a new recipe to try, a new food idea. Many weekends were spent making rainbow cakes with as many colours as possible – have you seen my Instagram, not much has changed, and looking for recipes that I could cook using what was available in the cupboard or from the vegetable garden.

At the aged of about 16, I remember stating that I wanted to leave the farm and travel the world. This would be followed by retiring by about 30 and moving back to South Gippsland to grow vegetables and cook. From 16 fast forward 20 years and I returned, starting Jacican Food Studio in Mirboo North, Gippsland where I grow vegetables and cook. This blog is where I share my food adventure.

Jaci

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All of us are a little time poor, so cooking a piece of silverside in the slow cooker is an ideal time-saving meal. Silverside is a relatively cheaper cut of beef, that requires a long slow cook in moist heat. I use the slow cooker for this, which allows me to do other things while the meat simmers away. The vinegar is added to the cooking water helps to tenderize and flavor the meat. This lovely piece of silverside came from Wattlebank Park farm, near Wonthaggi in Gippsland.

 

Ingredients

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1 piece of silverside – about 1.5 kg

2 dried bay leaves

2 Allspice (pimenta)

50 grams pickled lemon

1 teaspoon black peppercorns

2 stick cinnamon

2 shallots

½ cup white vinegar

 

Method

  1. Place the herbs, spices, shallots, and silverside in the slow cooker. Pour over the vinegar. Cover the meat with cold water.   Sliverside 014 Sliverside 029 Sliverside 008 Sliverside 028 Sliverside 007

  2. Cook according to the instructions on your slow cooker. I place mine on low and leave for about 6 hours.

The beauty of cooking the silverside this way is once you think you have cooked the meat through, you can leave the meat in the cooking liquid to stay moist until need.

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I have served the silverside on top of fluffy mashed spuds and squash dried broad beans. Beetroot relish makes the perfect quick accompaniment.

Jaci

PS. The lovely photo's in this recipe and blog were taken by Marc Morel

Potted Duck

At Jacican, when I say local produce, I mean local produce.

And nothing can get more local than wild Gippsland game. Using local sourced and hunted game meats, I will cook you a dinner to remember highlighting local seafood, poultry, and meats. Distinctive and unique meals are created using the range of fruits and vegetables as well as native herbs and spiced found in the Jacican vegetable garden. Potted Duck is about as local as you can get. I have developed two ways for you to share potted duck at Jacican - Wild Game Dinner (or lunch) or come along to a Jacican cooking class and make your own to take home.

This is more of a method than an exact recipe. I am using local native herbs and spices to flavor my duck. Traditionally you would use Star Anise, juniper berries, cinnamon sticks and black peppercorns. I have started to grow a native herb garden in the backyard to serve as a source of my own herbs and spice, but also as a windbreak for the south side of the yard.

Roasting is not all about the meat. There are some great things you can do with vegetables as well. Char-grilled cauliflowers make a fantastic alternative roasted meal. A friend gave me the pickled green walnuts to balance of the dish.

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Ingredients

1 head of cauliflower

Olive oil

Pumpkin – peeled and cut into roasting chucks

2 cloves of garlic

2 carrots – peeled

65 grams unsalted butter

½ cup almond meal

100 ml cream

Salt & pepper to taste

Pickled Green Walnuts – sliced

Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 200C

  2. Place the pumpkin, carrots, and cloves of garlic on a roasting tray. Sprinkle ½ a cup of olive oil on to the top of the vegetables. Roasted in a hot oven for 1 hour or until cooked through.

  3. Once the pumpkin, carrots, and garlic are cooked to soft, puree in the food processors. I would then press the mixture through a sieve to make the mixture really smooth. Put aside until needed.

  4. Slice the cauliflower into 4 'steaks'. This is done by slicing through the cauliflower from the top of the plant through to the core.

  5. Heat a char grilling pan until smoking hot. Brush with a little olive oil to stop the cauliflower sticking. Place the cauliflower steaks on the chargrill for 5 minutes per side to make chargrilled lines in the vegetable.

  6. Place the cauliflower steaks in a hot oven for 6 minutes to finish cooking through.

  7. While the cauliflower is cooking, melt butter in a medium saucepan. Add cream and heat through. Stir in pumpkin puree and almond meal. Season to taste with salt and pepper. roast cauliflower 02

  8. To serve place pumpkin puree on a plate. Top with chard cauliflower steak and scatter with pickled walnut slices.

Jaci

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I like a handle on my roast lamb, so I french the bone. Roast Lamb is one of the easiest family meals to make using four simple ingredients.

Ingredients

Leg of lamb – french (you can ask your butcher to do that for you)

Fresh Rosemary

Garlic – peeled and sliced

1 cup Olive oil

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Method

  1. Pre-heat oven to 190C

  2. Wipe the leg of lamb dry with a piece of paper towel. Place your leg of lamb on a clean chopping board.

  3. Using a small pointed knife make random small slits in the skin about 2 cms deep. You will need to make about 15 cuts – depending on the size of your leg of lamb

  4. Place a 2 cm sprig of rosemary and a slice of garlic in each cut  Roast lamb 004

  5. Place a piece of aluminum foil over the french end of the lamb, to stop it burning.

  6. Place the leg of lamb in a large roasting pan. Pour over olive oil, massaging it in with your hands. Roast lamb 003

  7. Place leg of lamb in the hot oven. The rule of thumb is to roast for 1 hour per kg of lamb. 

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I have served my roast lamb with homegrown mini pumpkins and Braised Kale.

Jaci

Note: Photo's in this recipe were taken by Marc Morel

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