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Justin Muller will be well known to many Takapuna and Shore people. For quite a few years he had Latin Larder Cafe in Takapuna which was very popular for its lovely food and had a great connection with the local community. After a short spell, more recently Justin has been the head chef at GPK in Takapuna, one of our local eateries that has made a resurgence. Justin’s midas touch with the food has played a big part. We thought it appropriate that he shared one of his current favourite recipes with Channel Mag readers. Aidan Bennett prized one of his secret recipes out of him, Braised Beef Shin, yum!
AIDAN BENNETT: What is your recipe and where did it originate from?
JUSTIN MULLER: Braised Beef Shin with a Hot & Sour Salad. Many years ago travelling in Australia I ordered this dish in Sydney and fell in love with it. I ended up talking with the Head Chef and he actually passed the recipe on to me.
AB: What’s the secret to making this recipe work?
JM: Time, patience and the love to produce a taste sensation!
AB: Why did you choose this recipe?
JM: I just love it – honest, good, hearty and flavoursome food. Also the ease of availability of a good shin cut. This is good winter comfort food.
AB: When you are not at work do you to lots of cooking or have you had enough?
JM: I am a typical Chef – don’t really cook that much. But when I do, it's normally for a group of people/friends.
AB: Are you fiery like all the normal celebrity chefs in the kitchen?
JM: LOL! Ask my customers from Latin Larder when they were dining in the beautiful garden setting. Such good memories, lots of laughs, especially over summer period when the garden was full.
AB: What are you going to do for a job in your next life?
JM: A doctor... can you imagine it?
AB: When you are not cooking what favourite foodie spots do you enjoy visiting?
JM: Azabu Japanese/Peruvian which is a new entrant to the Ponsonby set. Zool Zool in Mt Eden, Cassia in Fort Lane CBD and you can't beat Yuzu in Ponsonby which is good honest Japanese food at great prices with Jane and Chris being amazing owner’s/hosts.
AB: If you could dine anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
JM: In London, love to eat in one Marco Pierre White’s restaurant.
Braised Beef Shin with a Hot & Sour Salad – Ingredients
1 x 200 gm piece of Beef Shin
I table spoon thick sweet soy sauce
100ml vegetable oil
5 cloves Garlic, peeled
1 x 4 cm piece of Ginger, peeled
1 x coriander root, scraped & cleaned
1 x small red Onion
100ml Chinese cooking wine
50 gm rock candy, crushed
50 ml oyster sauce
2 Cups of Chicken stock
50ml Chinese Black Vinegar
1 teaspoon sea salt
Hot & Sour Salad...
50 ml fresh Lime Juice
1/2 teaspoon red chilli powder
I table spoon Fish sauce
2 Green Green Birds eye Chilli’s finely sliced
10 x Coriander leaves
10 x Mint leaves
1 x Scallion Finely shredded (spring onion)
1 x shallot, peeled and finely sliced
1/2 large red chilli seeded & finely sliced
Braised Beef Shin with a Hot & Sour Salad – Method
To make the Braised Beef...
Rub the thick sweet soy sauce all over the beef. Heat a little vegetable oil in a pan and seal the beef on all sides. Place into a deep braising pan. Pound the garlic, ginger coriander root and onion to a paste. Heat some oil in a heavy-based saucepan and fry the pounded ingredient’s until golden brown. Discard the excess oil and deglaze with the Chinese cooking wine. Add the rock candy, oyster sauce and chicken stock. Bring to the boil and skim off all the scum.
Pour the liquid over the beef. Cover with grease proof paper or foil, braise on top of the stove for one and a half hours until the meat is soft.
Remove the meat and set aside. Strain the liquid and boil hard to reduce by a third. Add the vinegar and salt to taste - the mixture should taste rich & meaty.
To make the Hot & Sour Salad...
Combine the lime juice, chilli powder, fish sauce and chillies. This dressing should taste very hot and sour.
In a stainless steel bowl, toss together all other ingredients and add the dressing.
Cut the braised beef into 1cm slices and reheat in the reduced braising liquid. Place the sliced beef in the middle of the serving bowl, and pour over a generous amount of the braising liquid. Place the Hot & Sour salad on top of the beef, and pour some of the dressing into the meaty juices. Serve with steamed rice.
Channel Magazine: Issue 75 April 2017