Tag Archives: recipes

Vegemite Chicken

24 Jan

two4six8 grew up on it.

On hot buttered toast. With cheddar and cucumber on toast (my sister in law’s brilliant invention), a spoonful in my bolognese. And my all time favourite… Honey and Vegemite on toast. Strange, but yum.

I know what you’re thinking. How cliché can you get this close to Australia Day? But honestly, this has nothing to do with kitsch patriotism. My friends will tell you I’m the last person to get excited about celebrating on January 26th. Don’t get me wrong, I love football, meat pies, kangaroos and Holden cars as much as the next bloke. Or should I say, sheila? I usually just hide inside and then head down the beach to clean up after yobs so the turtles don’t have to choke on their rubbish. “Love ‘Straya – just not enough to give a shit about picking up after meself down the beach. That’s some other bloke’s job eh”. You beauty mate. Sorry for the neurotic whinge, I won’t get into politics. You’re not here for politics, you’re here for tasty chicken. Here’s how I got to the Vegemite chicken idea. In fact, it wasn’t me at all, it was a friend, but anyhow…

Last Sunday night after a boozy afternoon, I was at a Chinese restaurant in Brisbane’s China Town, greedily ploughing into a hot plate of Shantung chicken. Although I’ve eaten it a lot I’ve never known how it’s done. And I can never decide if I like the hot, crispy skinned chicken and sweet, sour sauce or the fried spinach garnish better. This blog does a fine job of explaining the dish. Now I know what to do with the bottle of black vinegar I bought randomly over a year ago. And now I know what that sweet, sour, slightly ferment-ish DELICIOUS flavour is that my mate Andy was puzzling over after eating it at the restaurant. He thought it tasted like Vegemite. Maybe. Can’t remember if he said it, or if I thought it, but I’ve been thinking about Vegemite chicken since Sunday. To my mind there had never been such a thing, but I was wrong. Of course it exists. There’s apparently a recipe for Vegemite chicken wings right on the back of the jar! There is nothing new under the sun, as the phrase goes (and so, often, does Andy). A simple google search has consistently annihilated any original culinary idea I’ve ever had, pretty much. Tempting as it was to bastardise the Shantung chicken recipe with the addition/substitution of Vegemite and claim it as my own, although reflecting the true colonial spirit of Australia Day (oops that was political, wasn’t it?) I decided to stick with my Aussie instincts in the use of this most cherished and familiar ingredient.

Here’s what I came up with… It was beautiful – sweet, salty, a little malty. I’m not convinced I’d choose it over Shantung chicken but hey, it was fun to invent something new! Well, new for me anyway.

You’ll need…

1 whole chicken, butterflied (I partially de-boned mine)

1 tablespoon Vegemite

2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon dry white wine

1/2 teaspoon onion powder

1/2 teaspoon garlic powder

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 tablespoon boiling water

2 large sprigs rosemary

a knob of butter (unsalted or low salt preferably)

What you do…

Simply mix all the marinade ingredients in a jug/bowl and stir well to combine, ensuring the sugar and Vegemite have melted/dissolved thoroughly. Hide the rosemary under the bird or under the skin of the bird and then smother with marinade, rub with your hands to ensure even coverage. Cover with glad and refrigerate. As usual, at least an hour is ok or overnight if possible.


Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Melt around 50 grams of butter. Baste the chicken lightly with butter. Cook for 20 minutes then reduce heat to 180 for about 40 minutes-1 hour depending on the size of your bird. Cover loosely with foil if the skin is burning.

Drain the juices from the pan. If you want to, strain off the chicken fat. Let the cooked chicken rest, covered with foil, for at least 10 minutes. Cut the chicken into pieces and serve with the pan juices.


It puts a rose in every cheek 😉


Quinoa Protein Power Breakfast

23 Jan


I know, I know… Quinoa’s so fashionable. But honestly this breakfast keeps you powering through the morning like no other. I mean, I am usually famished by 10 or 11, but not on the days I eat this combo. And you don’t have to chow down on greasy bacon or sausages to get the protein hit you need to get you through the morning. Cinnamon is also said to boost metabolism. Whatever, it tastes awesome. I usually add a high fibre mix consisting of psyllium husks and seeds and linseed – but that’s up to you. The quinoa mix keeps well in the fridge if you want to make a big batch for hectic week-day mornings. If you’re like me and leave nowhere near enough time to get dressed and fed in the morning and usually have to opt for one of the two before you hot foot it out the door – you get dressed, and not fed. 

Here’s what you’ll need…

1/3 cup tri-coloured quinoa (or any type, no diff)

1/2 cup water

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon sugar or honey or agave sweetener (optional)

1 teaspoon cinnamon

2 tablespoons natural yoghurt

Fruit of choice

It’s easy…

Cook the quinoa in the liquid according to packet instructions. I use the absorption method. Allow to cool. Mix the cinnamon and sweetener (if using) with either the quinoa or yoghurt, whatever you prefer, top with fresh fruit and eat! You can Add a splash of cold milk if you want it wetter. 

Dairy Free Alternative…

Instead of milk, use 1/2 orange juice to cook the quinoa. Sounds strange, tastes fantastic. Top with soy yoghurt, or just lots of fruit and some nuts! 


Slow Cooked Beef Ribs

24 Jan

Don't be hasty or it won't be tasty!

This dish involves quite a few ingredients but the preparation is all dead simple. It’s best to marinate the meat for 24 hours if possible, before the long and slow cooking process begins. I have included my barbecue sauce recipe, minus a couple of secret ingredients. You’ve got to have some secrets, right?

To serve 2 people (half a rack or about 3 ribs each)…

You’ll need…

1 rack of beef back ribs (whole) – approximately 1-2 kgs

For the Marinade:

Juice one lemon

3 teaspoons Tabasco

3 tablespoons brown sugar

3 sprigs thyme

1 tbsp Dijon mustard



For the Barbecue Sauce:

1 tbsp treacle

¾ cup tomato sauce

¼ cup white vinegar

1 beef stock cube

½ cup hot water

2 tsp Tabasco sauce

1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce

1 tsp garlic powder

1 tbsp blended chilli powder* or replacement**

pepper and salt

* I use ‘Tone’s’ brand that I get shipped especially from the US because it is so delicious and mild and has no MSG

** You don’t want to use hot chilli powder – to make your own blend 1tbsp sweet paprika with 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp onion powder and 1 tsp garlic powder – or close enough!

Start by preparing the marinade

Combine Marinade ingredients in a bowl and pour over the beef.














Put the beef in the refrigerator to marinate for at least two hours, or preferably overnight.




Prepare the Barbecue Sauce

Combine all sauce ingredients in a saucepan and simmer over low heat until well combined and reduced by about a quarter. Set aside. This will keep in a jar in the fridge for a long time.

Turn on the heat!

To cook these ribs I recommend using a kettle oven, with plenty of heat-beads all aglow and some pre-soaked smoking chips scattered over the coals. The beef will need to cook for about 3 hours using the indirect heat method (with the baskets pushed to the sides of the kettle). Remember – all vents open! If you are not used to using a kettle barbecue, or you don’t have one, use the oven – they’ll be almost as delicious! If you can, use a roasting rack to get the meat up off the base of the roasting pan. You could also add a little sprinkle of smoked paprika to the sauce if you like!

So here’s how it goes…


Place the meat bone (flat) side down on the grill plate and pour any residual marinade over the meat. Cover the meat with alfoil and tuck the edges around loosely. Shut the lid.


After about an hour of cooking, you can start to baste the meat with a generous amount of the barbecue sauce. By this stage, the heat should have reduced a fair bit and you can ditch the foil and start really browning the meat.

It should start to look like this…

Don't be hasty or it won't be tasty!









Find something to take your mind off the mouth-watering smell or your sanity might spring a leak!

Keep cooking…

Baste the meat twice more over the next two hours. Once it’s done the meat should fall off the bones!

Like all red meat, let it rest for ten minutes or so before you cut it (to keep the juices in).

To cut it…

You're now on the stairway to heaven!


Just cut between the bones, trying to ensure an even-ish sized chunk of meat is on each rib.

You can toss the ribs in extra barbecue sauce before serving, or let people add their own at the table.


A simple coleslaw in summer or some corn on the cob and creamy mash in winter. YUM.