It’s a book that’s been on my mind for years, but the one that made me finally make the decision to get my hands on it was the book by the great Australian cookbook author and cookbook reviewer, Jim Lahey.
Jim’s new book, The Great Australian Kitchen, is out now from Penguin Random House, and it’s packed with recipes that were inspired by his own family recipes and life in Melbourne, from the best Japanese and Korean barbecue to the best desserts.
The book was originally published in 2014 and has been reissued by Penguin Random Book Australia, along with a revised and expanded edition of the original edition.
Jim also shared the first of his recipes with the ABC’s The Good Food Network in a new series, The Best of Jim Laheys New Cookbook Series.
The series features recipes from Jim’s home country of Japan, which is a popular destination for food lovers and cooks in Melbourne.
The recipe in question was called the “Granary Burger”, a simple yet tasty burger that uses ground beef and ketchup.
The burger comes from a Japanese restaurant, which has a tradition of serving its meat and vegetables raw to its customers.
Jim describes the meat as “beefy” and describes the ketchup as “spicy” with a “freshness” to it.
“The grinder that makes the ketchups comes from my grandmother’s kitchen and I made it with her, so it’s very old-fashioned,” he said.
“It’s a little bit of a strange recipe but it’s still really tasty.”
Jim Lahey said the beef was cut into bite-sized pieces and cooked in a frying pan over a pan of boiling water for about five minutes before being sliced into small pieces.
“Then it’s poured over a bowl of tomato sauce and sliced,” he explained.
“And then I put the pieces of meat in a big pan and add some ketchup, and I just cook the meat over a low heat for about four minutes, and then I let it cook for another four minutes or so.”
“It is quite an indulgent dish,” Jim said.
He said the kukchee dish that he used to serve his grandmother was an important part of his family’s cooking.
“She cooked kukchichis all the time, and the kakuyu [chicken] was really popular in the family,” he told ABC’s Today Tonight program.
“They always made the kuchiche and then served it with the chicken and pork.”
He said he would usually cook the chicken for a few hours and then serve it with kukchi.
“We would have a big bowl of kukochi and the chicken, and we would go and have lunch with our family, and sometimes we would serve it to the kids and it was a really great dinner,” he added.
Jim Lahey said the traditional way to prepare kukkei was to boil the chicken over low heat until the skin turns dark brown.
“You can see that the chicken is getting cooked to a nice dark brown colour, so you know that the kuchi is cooked properly,” he recounted.
“But you want the kugi [cheese] to be done before the kukei is cooked.”
Jim said it was important to keep the meat marinated for at least two hours before cooking, because the longer the meat is marinated, the more tender and juicy it will be.
“I think it is very important to marinate the meat and to do that, you have to be very careful because it is going to become very hard,” he concluded.
Jim was a member of the International Cookery Society and had been teaching cooking in Japan for 30 years.
Jim has written five cookbooks since The Great Australia Cookbook was published in 1986.