Meat & Three – Kathy Paterson
Kathy Paterson needs little introduction, originally a teacher at Cordon Bleu cooking school in London and Auckland, followed by running a highly successful catering business in Auckland, Kathy is now a prominent NZ food writer. Kathy can be found in Bite (NZ Herald) and works closely writing recipes for Beef & Lamb NZ.
Kathy Paterson (KP) was a guest on the Radio Live Home & Garden show with Helen Jackson (HJ) and Tony Murrell (TM).
HJ– Kathy your whole life has been about appreciating and understanding meat with your background being rural.
KP– Yes totally, our farm was sheep mainly and a bit of beef so definitely I love lamb.
HJ– Inspiration for the cookbook? Meat & Three, great title btw.
KP– Yes it is isn’t it, a play on meat and three veg.
TM– Isn’t that how we used to eat?
KP– Yes it is and I am trying to change it back, I want us to go back eating that way.
HJ – So you think we should go back to eating meat and three? Explain what you mean by that?
KP– When we were growing up we had a whole plate full of vegetables, we always had three vegetables and they had to be colourful. I don’t think mum was really thinking about nutritional facts but she just had it there and she liked the plate to be full of colourful vegetables. Say if we had a leg of lamb then we would have about 3 slices each, and thin slices. The next day it would be cold meat with hot vegetables and then the next it would be fritters or rissoles.
HJ– In our house it was the same but always Shepherds’ Pie. We always expected a leg of lamb to last for quite a few meals.
KP– These lamb fillets that I have bought for you to try are about 90g and for me that is a perfect portion size of meat.
HJ– With Meat & Three we are not talking about boiling 3 vegetables and putting them with a piece of meat as our mothers might have done are we?
KP– They are still straight forward recipes but I try to go to farmers markets and buy vegetables and then go and choose my meat. Actually I often get meat directly from farms. I like to buy off the farmer and will buy a whole lamb and then share it with the family.
I do think of the vegetables first and then work out what meat to have with them.
HJ– When we are talking NZ beef and lamb, we are very lucky in this country with quality and the life that the animals have lived.
KP– Totally, they are pretty much all grass fed which is of course what we are looking for and what we need to keep promoting. We should appreciate it and I think the demand in the future for our beef and lamb is going to be massive.
HJ– You spent time visiting farms and have featured 4 in the book, tell us about them.
KP– We started in the Bay of Islands at Wairoa Station which is Waitangi Angus and then we visited Stonyhurst in North Canterbury. In the early years, this farm supplied meat to all of Christchurch.
Bracepeth and Dome Hills were the other two farms which gave us equal distribution between north and south island.
It was great to visit the farms and see the size of them and the fact that most people wouldn’t realise that on these enormous farms you can travel for ages not seeing any animals and when you do they are happily grazing on grass.
Featuring the farms was a way of working on the growing disconnect between urban and rural.
HJ– You have a strong connection with the seasons and that is how you have set the book out.
KP– I am strong on eating seasonally. It is really important, it is when vegetables are at their best, they taste great and the price is right. I can remember when we were growing up and dad coming home with the first of the new season asparagus and when the Bluff oyster season started he would be straight into town to buy oysters. I was lucky from that point of view. We had interesting food and always seasonal.
HJ– So then does the cut of meat that you choose at the time depend on the seasons, depending on what vegetables you are having with it?
KP– Yes it does, in summer I tend to like the quicker cuts like a BBQ steak.
I do like quite quick cooking myself so I do like pan fry cuts like lamb fillets. People might say that they are expensive but the thing is there is no waste and you only need a small portion.
HJ– When you say you like quick cooking is that what you have in mind with the recipes in Meat & Three so that while they may need to be slow cooked they are not too complicated and don’t require too much effort?
KP– They are not too time consuming although there are a few things in there like a retro beetroot jelly that does take a little bit of time but you certainly don’t have to make this part of the recipe if you don’t want to.
TM– I am stuck on page 109 with the beautiful Beef & Vegetable Pasties, I can’t get over that page.
HJ – One of the things too that I like about the book is the education, your butcher style illustrations of animals that show where all the different cuts come from. This is something that years ago home cooks would have all known but no so now. It is relevant for the cooking method.
KP– Yes I wanted to do that and also add in things like a gravy recipe. Lots of friends of mine are frightened to make a gravy yet that was just part of our lives growing up.
We threw in the potato water and pea water and it was delicious.
HJ– It isn’t all savoury either, there are delicious looking desserts with a couple of standouts being Oven Roasted Black Boy Peaches with Vanilla Custard and Lemon Syrup Cake with Mascarpone Elderflower Icing.
TM – I want the Ice Cream with Butterscotch Sauce and I think for lunch today are the Lamb Fritters. You can’t beat a tasty fritter.
HJ– The paper is a beautiful quality, it is hard cover and it is a smart and lovely book.
TM – Ingredients are easy to find, fab photos by Tam West.
HJ– retail at just under $50
Spring Lamb Fillets & Tomato Salad on Line Hart’s Crackerbread
Lamb fillets pan-fried until they have rose pink juicy meat with a golden crust are small bites of pure joy.
Makes 20 pieces
400g natural, unsweetened yoghurt
1 clove new season’s garlic, peeled and crushed
1 tablespoon chopped dill
finely grated zest of 1 lemon
250g mixed coloured cherry tomatoes, sliced
1 chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
2 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced
a small handful of coriander leaves, roughly chopped
a few fresh chives, snipped
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil sea salt
2 spring lamb fillets, trimmed of silver skin, at room temperature
olive oil for rubbing
10 pieces of store-bought crackerbread, broken in half, or homemade crackerbread (see recipe below)
a few fresh chives
Line a non-metallic sieve with cheesecloth (muslin) and set over a bowl. Mix together the yoghurt, garlic and a good pinch of salt and place in the cheesecloth. Fold over the edges to enclose the yoghurt, cover with a clean tea towel and place in the fridge overnight or for up to 24 hours. Place the thickened yoghurt in a small bowl and mix through the chopped dill and lemon zest. Cover and return to the fridge until ready to use.
Combine all the ingredients together in a bowl and season with salt. Cover and set aside to allow the flavours to mingle.
Rub the lamb fillets with olive oil. Place a large frying pan over medium-high heat and when hot, place in the lamb fillets. Cook for 5 minutes, turning during cooking to brown all sides. Remove to a warmed plate and season lightly with salt. Cover loosely with foil and a clean tea towel and leave to rest for 5 minutes.
Slice the lamb fillets across the grain of the meat. You should get 10 slices from each fillet. Spread a little of the strained yoghurt mixture on each piece of crackerbread, top with the tomato salad and finish with a slice of lamb. Arrange on a serving plate and snip over some fresh chives. Finely grate over the lemon zest.
You will need to start the yoghurt straining the day before.
The whey that collects in the bottom of the bowl from straining the yoghurt can be used as part of the liquid in bread making or can be added to soups.
Line Hart’s Crackerbread
Line Hart makes and sells her delicious hand-rolled crackerbread throughout the country and has kindly developed this recipe for home cooks. The secret is to roll the crackerbread mixture very thinly and bake until well-coloured. You can roll the mixture in two batches, but for the first time you make it I suggest doing it in three batches to ensure you roll thinly and evenly. Line uses a pizza cutter or sharp knife to cut the uncooked crackerbread mixture before baking, to ensure even-sized pieces. For extra saltiness sprinkle crackerbread with a little sea salt before baking.
Makes 50–60 pieces
40g (½ cup) rolled oats
50g (½ cup) sesame seeds
50g (½ cup) whole flaxseed (linseed)
50g (½ cup) sunflower seeds
50g (½ cup) pumpkin seeds
1 teaspoon cumin seeds, preferably toasted (optional)
150g (1½ cups) plain flour
1 teaspoon baking powder
1 teaspoon fine salt
180ml (¾ cup) cold water
125ml (½ cup) olive oil
sea salt (optional)
Preheat the oven to 180°C. Line a large, flat baking tray with baking paper.
Combine all the dry ingredients in a large bowl. Add the water and oil and mix. The mixture will be wet, have an oily coating and will come together into a large ball.
Divide the mixture into 2 or 3 even-sized pieces. Place 1 piece of the mixture on the baking paper-lined tray and cover with another piece of baking paper. Flatten the mixture using your hands, then with a rolling pin to form a large rectangle. Roll until you get the mixture as thin as possible.
Remove the top layer of paper and set it aside for the next piece of mixture. Sprinkle over a little sea salt, if desired, for extra flavour.
Place in the oven and bake for 20–25 minutes until the crackerbread is golden brown and crisp. Remove from the oven and place on a wire rack. Break the crackerbread into rustic pieces before it cools and hardens further.
Repeat with the remaining mixture.
Store the crackerbread in an airtight container for up to 1 week.
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