WEEKEND FEED: Tacos, Beef Brisket and Chocolate And Coconut Cake by Dominique Rizzo

Chef Dominique Rizzo

Dominique Rizzo is a Brisbane-based chef, author, tour guide and presenter whose aim is to inspire people to cook with fresh, seasonal and local produce.

“I am deeply passionate about creating innovative food using quality safe and clean fresh produce. My heart lies naturally within the pages of Italian cuisine, while my inspiration takes you on a culinary journey of world food flavours,” she says

She is the founder and CEO of Pure Food Cooking and her philosophy is simple.

“Through the sharing of food we share life and one is never lonely or hungry,” Dominique says.

Dominique was demonstrating at Brisbane’s annual Ekka show using JBS Australia beef, which inspired the recipes she’s sharing with Business Insider readers this weekend

“Beef brisket with Italian flavours is one of my favourites as it’s a winner with anyone who loves a bold rich ragu and cooking it in this style means that it is so versatile. I had quite a bit left over from these little sliders and have since used it stirred through a risotto, devoured it with fresh pasta and shaved parmigiano, lovingly layered it with béchamel in a lasagne and even had it on toast,” she said.

Plus it’s one of those great recipes that’s perfect for a cold winter’s night.

For more recipes and inspiration from Dominique, check out her website here.

Soft tortillas with grilled spiced sirloin, lime slaw salad, ale and onion jam

Preparation time 20 minutes
Cooking Time 15 minutes
Serves 6

This is a fantastic way to enjoy really good quality meat as you don’t need much to fill out the tortillas. So pick up the best quality you can buy and afford. I love these quick recipes that are in expensive and fun to put together.

I usually have cabbages in my fridge so I love to throw together coleslaw, but feel free to use what salad vegetables you have. The ale jam was something I made off the cuff, and is a perfect accompaniment to a dish like this. If you can’t find a dark ale beer you can use half apple juice and half red wine vinegar.

6 x Small Corn or wheat tortillas
2 x 200g waygu sirloin steaks, you could also use tenderloin but buy the best you can get ( you can also use fish, chicken or a vegetarian substitute)
A good pinch salt
¼ tsp course ground pepper
¼ tsp cumin seeds
Olive oil

Slaw salad
¼ head green cabbage, cored
¼ head red cabbage, cored
1 carrot, peeled and shredded
½ cup coriander leaves and stalks roughly chopped
½ lime, juiced ( the remainder of the lime you can slice and serve with the beef)
1 tablespoon olive oil

Shred the cabbages and the carrot using mandolin, food processor of with a knife. Toss them together and then mix with the coriander and the combined lime juice, olive oil oil and seasoning. Set the salad aside.

For the sirloin, combine the salt, pepper and the cumin seeds in a grinder and crush. Sprinkle this over the steaks and then rub in a small amount of oil.

Heat a frypan over moderate heat and sear off the steaks for 4 minutes on each side. Remove the steaks to a plate and allow them to rest for 5-10 minutes covered with foil. To serve, slice the meat thinly across the steaks and lay it onto the tortillas, top with the dressed salad and some of the the onion jam. Garnish with more coriander and a squeeze of lime.

For the ale and onion jam
Makes about 2 cups
1kg onions
3 garlic cloves
60g butter
2 tablespoons olive oil
80g brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaf
pinch of chilli flakes
300ml dark ale
140ml red wine vinegar
80ml maple syrup ( you can also use golden syrup)

Halve and thinly slice the onions, then thinly slice the garlic. Melt the butter with the oil in a large, heavy-based saucepan over a high heat. Tip in the onions and garlic and give them a good stir so they are glossed with butter. Sprinkle over the sugar, thyme leaves, chilli flakes and salt and pepper.

Give everything another really good stir and reduce the heat slightly. Cook uncovered for about an hour, stirring occasionally. The onions are ready when all their juices have evaporated; they’re really soft and sticky and smell of sugar caramelising. They should be so soft that they break when pressed against the side of the pan with a wooden spoon.

Pour in the ale, vinegar and maple syrup and simmer everything, still uncovered, over a high heat for 25-30 minutes, stirring every so often until the onions are a deep mahogany colour and the liquid has reduced by about two-thirds and the syrup has thickened. Cool in the pot before using. Use this to accompany cheese, meats, on sandwiches, stirred through pasta, where ever you want a bit of a tang, sweetness and that beautiful caramelised onion flavour.

Italian style slow braised beef brisket

Preparation time 15 minutes
Cooking Time 5 hours
Serves 6-8

Move over mince bolognaise, this deliciously rich braised brisket is coming to town. I am a huge fan of anything that involves one pot cooking and I am especially happy when I can cook one recipe and then use it for so many other dishes. There are a couple of ways to eat this brisket once its cooked, you can either slice it and serve it with the sauce accompanying it with rice, creamy mash or vegetables, cut it into small pieces and serve it as a ragu with pasta as a casserole, or shred the meat as I have done and pile it into crusty bread rolls for a hearty weekend or party favourite. Any way you eat it you will love its full flavoured sauce. The brisket once cooked and in its sauce is ideal for freezing. Gremolata is traditionally a type of fresh olive oil based dressing made from parsley and lemon and is often served with slow braised osso bucco. Here I have teamed it with a whole egg mayonnaise to make a zesty accompaniment again you can use this for just about anything.

2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
3kg Beef Brisket
2 onions, finely diced
2 stalks celery with diced
1 carrot, peeled and diced
2 cloves peeled garlic crushed
4 anchovies
2 bay leaves, 2 branches of rosemary, 3 stems of fresh thyme (tied together)
6 fresh basil leaves
500ml red wine
1 x 400g tin crushed tomatoes
3 tablespoons tomato paste
2 lt Beef stock – enough to cover the brisket
1/4 cup balsamic vinegar
Salt and pepper to taste

Option 1
Preheat the oven to 120°C. Heat the oil in a large, deep heatproof casserole and brown the brisket all over. Remove and set it aside. Into the same dish add the onions, celery, carrots , garlic, anchovies, herbs and basil and fry briskly until everything is well browned. Add the wine and let it bubble for 20 seconds then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and vinegar.

Mix to dissolve the tomato paste then place the brisket on top, cover with a lid or foil and place in the oven for 6-7 hours until the meat is tender. This may take a little more given the size.

Option 2
Heat a large stock pot (large enough to fit the whole brisket or you may need to cut it in half. Add in the olive oil and brown the brisket all over, remove it and set it aside. Add in the onions, celery, carrots, garlic, anchovies, herbs and basil and fry briskly until everything is well browned. Add the wine and let it bubble for 20 seconds then add the crushed tomatoes, tomato paste, stock and vinegar. Place the brisket back into the pot and then cover with a lid and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for about 6 hours until the meat is very tender and can easily be pulled apart.

You can serve the meat as is after cutting it into portion sizes serving it with mash potato, rice or vegetables. If you want to use the brisket as a sauce for pasta or in a roll, or as a lasagne sauce, remove it from the sauce and break up the brisket by using a fork to tear apart the strands of meat until shredded. Reduce the sauce by about 1/2 until the sauce is quite thick. Then mix the brisket back into the sauce making sure that the meat is covered with sauce.

You can cook this ahead of time and then easily reheat the brisket in the sauce. This method is ideal serving the brisket with pasta, risotto, in rolls on pizza, lasagne or even over rice.

Gremolata Mayonnaise
Makes 1 cup
This is perfect to serve with the brisket especially serving it in a crusty roll.
1 cup real egg no sugar mayonnaise
1 cloves garlic, minced or run through a press
salt and freshly ground black pepper
zest of 1 lemons
juice of 1/2 lemon
¼ cup finely chopped parsley

In a bowl, mix together the mayo, garlic, lemon zest and juice and a salt and pepper to taste.

Flourless Coconut and chocolate layered cake

Serves 12
Prep time 40 minutes
Cooking Time 60 minutes
Makes 2 cakes

This is a delicious moist cake that to me is the epitome of perfection in flavour combinations. I have used coconut flour for the coconut cake which you can find in most good health food stores, it gives this cake a rich almost slightly toasted coconut taste.
It’s a good idea to get both cakes ready at the same time to cook together; you can bake them individually in their own tins or create a marble effect by adding half of each mixture into the one tin. This cake makes a delicious treat for afternoon tea or a perfect special occasion cake decorated however you like.

For the coconut cake

5 large egg whites, at room temperature
3/4 cup of coconut cream
1 large egg, at room temperature
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
3/4 cup + 2 tablespoons coconut flour
1 1/2 cup coconut sugar (you natural rapadura sugar or caster sugar)
2 tablespoons baking powder
3/4 teaspoon salt
½ cup coconut oil
1/2 cup shredded coconut

For the chocolate cake
250 g dark couverture chocolate (70% cocoa solids)
2 tablespoons brandy
200 g unsalted butter, chopped
¼ cup orange juice
6 eggs, separated
200 g soft brown sugar
200 g ground almonds

Preheat oven to 170c.
Whisk egg whites, coconut cream, whole egg, and vanilla together in a large bowl until combined. Set aside.
In a separate bowl mix coconut flour, coconut sugar, baking powder and salt together.
Using an electric mixer on low, combine flour mixture with coconut oil, one tablespoon at a time.

Add 1 cup of egg mixture, increase the speed to medium-high, and beat until light and semi fluffy. Add the remaining egg mixture in a steady stream and continue to beat until the batter is combined. Mix in shredded coconut and set the batter aside.

For the chocolate layer, combine the chocolate, brandy, butter and juice in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water. Stir until the chocolate has melted. Remove the bowl from the stove and gently beat in the egg yolks and the sugar. The batter should be shiny and smooth. Fold in the ground almonds until combined. Beat the egg whites until stiff peaks form. Stir a spoonful of the whites into the chocolate mixture to lighten it, you can do this quite vigorously, then with the remainder of the whites, gently fold them into the chocolate batter until combined.

Decide if you are doing separate chocolate and coconut cakes or if you are doing a marble cake, place large spoonful’s of the batter in to the cake tins filling them ¾ of the way up the tin. Bake the cakes for 50 minutes or until a skewer inserted into the centre comes out clean. Leave the cake to cool completely in the pan before turning it out and icing.
The coconut cake becomes quite golden brown when its cooked so you may want to cover it with baking paper for the final 20 minutes. Allow the cake

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