Shearers Chops – Great to Share with the Gang

This one’s straight from the back blocks of Northern Hawkes Bay

A great winter warmer, and something that’s sure to keep any good kiwi bloke content

[serves 4-6]

Marinating time: 2 hours

Cooking time: 2 hours


  • 12 Lamb shoulder chops (trim the fat)
  • 1 tbsp. olive oil
  • Herbs & Spices (1 tsp each)
    • ginger
    • mustard powder
    • curry powder
    • mixed herbs
    • salt & pepper (to taste)
  • 250ml (1 cup) red wine – optional
  • 2 tbsp. vinegar
  • 2 tbsp. brown sugar
  • 4 tbsp. plain flour (sifted)
  • 1/4 cup tomato paste
  • 1 cup warm water
  • 1 large white onion (sliced)
  • 1 cup fresh coriander (stir through before serving)

Step one: Trim  the fat (viscera fat) from the chops. Season with salt & pepper and layer on the bottom of a oven dish, suitable to hold the liquid. A large deep meat tray does the job just fine.

Step two: In a fry pan, on the stovetop, heat the oil and add the herbs & spice mix. Cook on a medium heat for 2-3 minutes, be sure to keep an eye on this so they don’t burn, and then add the red wine. Stir in the vinegar, brown sugar, tomato paste and warm water. Finally add the sifted flour  and mix well to combine.

Step three: Pour the mixture from the fry pan over the chops, top with finely sliced onion, and marinate for 2 hours (or as desired) before baking at 160oC for a further 2 hours.

To serve, top with fresh coriander and place the chops (and juice) on a bed of creamy mashed potato. Don’t forget the greens, accompany with a generous serving of minted peas.


image: Shearers chops served on polenta with chilli and fresh mint  



Home-style Banana Cake

A true home-style banana cake recipe, served best topped with chocolate icing (and sprinkles if you desire)

Cooking time: 50 minutes

Oven temperature: 180ºC


  • 115g soft butter (room temperature)
  • 1 C brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla essence
  • 2-3 mashed over-ripe bananas (store them in the freezer)
  • 1-2 teaspoons of cinnamon
  • 3 eggs (room temperature)
  • 2 C plain flour
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1 C milk

Step 1: Cream butter and sugar. Add mashed bananas, cinnamon, beaten egg and vanilla essence.

Step 2: In a separate bowel, sift the flour and baking powder and add this to the mixture. Finally add the baking soda that has been dissolved in milk.

Step 3: Pour the mixture into a lined baking tin and bake in a moderate oven (180°C) for 50 minutes or until it appears golden brown and the poker (knitting needle or skewer) emerges from the cake free from mixture.




Chocolate Icing

  • 3 C icing sugar
  • 1/4 C coco powder
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 2 tablespoons of boiling water
In a bowel combine the dry ingredients, make a well in the centre of the dry ingredients and add the butter/hot water then mix well  to combine. If the mixture is too wet, add more icing sugar.
Top the cake with the icing. If the icing begins to get too dry and becomes difficult to work with, dip your knife into a cup of boiling water.


Mince all the Way

The secret to good mince is the process of rendering bacon fat, in a hot oiled pan, and then cooking all the ingredients in this oily goodness.

Pork is believed to be high in HDL Cholesterol (High-density lipoproteins)

[Serves 4-6]

[Total cooking time: 65 minutes]


1 tablespoon olive oil
250g bacon (finely chopped)
1 large onion (finely chopped)
3-4 cloves of garlic (minced)
1kg of prime mince
2 carrots (peeled and grated)
2 cans of chopped tomatoes
2 tablespoons of tomato pastes
1 tablespoon of Worcestershire sauce
300 ml of red wine
Salt & pepper to taste


Step one: In a medium saucepan heat the olive oil and fry the onion/garlic. Add the bacon and cook until soft (approximately 10-15 minutes).

Step two: Add the mince and grated carrot then cook for a further 10-15 minutes. Once the mince has browned, add the wine and once the initial liquid has evaporated off (approximately 5 minutes) add the remainder of the ingredients. Season with a generous amount of salt and pepper.

Step three: Place a lid on the saucepan and cook for at least 20 minutes. Stir regularly. Remove the lid from the pan and cook for a further 10 minutes.

Serve on toast lathered with plenty of butter, or on spaghetti pasta, or later between sheets of pasta and white sauce in a lasagne


Savoury Fish Cakes

Growing up on the coast, fishing was a favoured past time and Tangaroa was sure to throw us a fair few Kahawai every time when ventured out.

Kahawai in Maori translates to “brave” or “strong” (kaha) and water (wai), it is a sports fish that is abundantly caught at the river mouth of New Zealand waters.

Kahawai is an easy fish to catch, but it must be bled soon after it is caught. This is essential to ensure the eating quality of the fish.

Ideally, for best use, Kahawai are either smoked or they make a great protein source for ‘fish cakes’

This recipe is a real family favourite. Serve with garlic bread, salad and mayo dressing


Savoury Fish Cakes

[Serves 4-6]


2 large orange kumara (peeled, boiled & mashed)

4 fish fillets (Kahawai)

1 lemon (juice)

1tsp curry powder

1tsp mustard powder

1/2 cup parsley (chopped)

2 eggs

1 cup of bread crumbs

2 tablespoons of sweet chili sauce

Salt and pepper to season

Olive oil

Step one: Peel, boil and mash the kumara

Step two: Fillet the fish, remove the bones and slice thinly. Squeeze the juice from the lemon onto thesliced  fish and season with salt & pepper. Add the curry powder, mustard powder, chopped parsley, and eggs. Mix to combine. Finally add the bread crumbs, sweet chili sauce and mashed kumara.

Step three: Heat the oil in the pan. Shape the mixture into round shaped patties and fry on a medium heat. Once the patties are browned on either side, bake them in the oven on a medium heat for a further 10-15 minutes.

Serve with garlic bread, salad and mayo dressing

Mayo dressing: Combine ¼ cup of mayonnaise, 1 teaspoon of crushed garlic, juice from 1 lemon and 1 tablespoon of capers.

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Taco Time

Porky Pork Taco’s with Horseradish Slaw 

This is a real Meat Maiden favourite and a great option for feeding a crowd

The Pork Belly takes some work, it’s totally worth it, so you’ll need to prep Pork at least 24 hours in advance

[Serves 6-8]

Step one: Prepare the Pork Belly


  • 1.2 – 1.5kg of pork belly
  • ¼ C salt – add the salt in stages, NOT all at once
  • Olive oil
  • 800ml milk
  • Black pepper, cracked

The night before: score the pork belly, in a crisscross pattern, with a sharp knife. Rub both sides with a generous amount of salt. Sprinkle the bottom side with a generous covering of cracked pepper and a dash of olive oil. Cover the skin (top) with a dry paper towel and store in the fridge for at least 12 hours prior to cooking.

  1. Remove the pork from the fridge, dry the skin’s surface and rub both sides of the pork with salt.
  2. Preheat oven to 240o Roast the pork for 20-30 minutes until the skin is bubbled and blistered. You’ll want to keep a close eye on it as you don’t want it to burn.
  3. Once the skin appears blistered and bubbled, remove the pork from the oven and slowly add the milk. NB: Make sure you cook the Pork in a dish that will allow the milk to come up to about half way of the meat.
  4. Reduce heat to 160oC and cook for a further 2 hours.


Step two: The Horseradish Slaw

Meat Maiden Slaw 101


  • Half a small red cabbage, sliced thinly
  • Half a red onion, sliced finely
  • 6 carrots, grated or sliced finely with a potato peeler
  • 1 cup of mayo
  • 3 tablespoons of horseradish

Slice the cabbage, red onions and carrot. Chop the coriander and then mix the horseradish with the mayo to form a paste. Combine all the ingredients in a large bowel to serve.

Step three: Taco construction

Spread your favourite humus on the base of the taco, layer a generous helping of the horseradish slaw and then top it off with the Pork Belly.

I like to garnish the top with a little coriander and a squirt of mayo, ENJOY!

Tip: When the Pork is ready to cut, roll it over so the piece of pork belly is skin down. Cut from the fleshy side, this will help you to cut through the crackling.