Category Archives: Wagyu

MUMU Grill – Gundooee Wagyu 7 ways

Vegetarians look away now. This is a story of how meat made men. Only the toughest survived to tell the tale
The setting was MUMU Grill in Crows Nest – Sydney’s only sustainable meat steakhouse. Chef/owner Craig Macindoe is a barrel of a man who is the walking embodiment of the grass-fed meat his restaurant specialises in.

Tonight he is featuring Rob Lennon’s, of Gundooee Organics, Angus cross-Wagyu in a sumptuous dinner.

Rob is a great mate. Saucy visited his free-range farm near Mudgee at Easter where he and his wife Anita have battled droughts to produce some of the best free-range beef you’ll ever taste.
Tonight Craig, his chef friends and several cooking-class apprentices have designed a 7 course death-by-meat extravaganza featuring Rob’s Wagyu like he’s never seen it before.
First up is a tartare of wagyu on cassava chips. Beautiful combination. The wagyu is silken.
Craig talks to guests about the importance of sustainaible meat production and that cattle aren’t necessarily the climate change enemy they’ve been portrayed as.

From the look of the faces of diners he’s preaching to the converted. These people clearly live for meat.
Next is a carpaccio of wagyu with zucchini, radicchio, shaved fennel and parmesan

Rob gives us a little background about what makes his wagyu special – grass-fed on native perennials, certified organic, rich in flavour and nutrition, environmental and ethical.

….. and you can certainly taste all that special rearing

Osso Bucco Ravioli in beef consomme is next. The broth is so deeply-flavoured. Mind-blowing.
but wait there’s more…. a crunchy zingy Thai beef salad

Rob is used to just throwing his wagyu T-bone on the barbie. I don’t think he can quite believe this is still his wagyu.

I’m starting to lose a bit of steam now. Groan. Just enough room to squeeze in a few bites of my favourite of the evening – Slow roasted sirloin with king prawn, asparagus and flying fish roe. An ethereal reinterpretation of surf and turf.

you really need to taste this dish

This is where I peter out and the real meatlovers continue the marathon…. organic wagyu brisket with pickled watermelon salad and sambal.

And then the last course – a crazily ginormous rib eye roast with coffee teriyaki, endamame salsa and braised witlof.
Again superb but surely we’ve eaten our yearly meat allowance in 4 hours !!!????!!
But I look around the room at diners sucking the bones and realise I’m just out of my league.

Recipe: Gundooee Wagyu Beef Mussaman Curry

Of course we came back with some wagyu beef from Gundooee – some Flinstone-sized steaks ( that went into the freezer) and about 1 kg of shin meat. Shin is a perfect cut for slow-cooking so I wanted to use it in a Thai Mussaman curry. This recipe is from the Arun Thai Restaurant cookbook ‘Lemongrass and Basil’.
This free rage wagyu has beautiful marbling. The muscles worked hard so they are going to hold a lot of flavour.
The main ingredients are pretty simple but for your curry to have a fresh authentic pungency you should make your own mussaman curry paste. I know the list of ingredients can look daunting. Believe me, it’s worth going the extra mile.
Throw all the ingredients into a small blender after they’ve been dry roasted..
…and you have plenty for your curry and enough paste for another two dishes. The paste can be stored in the fridge for up to three months.
Recipe: Mussaman Beef Curry with Gundooee Wagyu
1 1/2 litres coconut milk
100g mussaman curry paste
1 kg beef topside, shank or shin cut into 2.5 cm pieces
Handful of dried bay leaves (or 5-6 fresh bay leaves)
12 small new potatoes
8 pickling onions, peeled
5 1/2 tablespoons fish sauce
3 tablespoons palm sugar
7 tablespoons Tamarind juice
Fried onions, coriander leaves and slices of chilli
Mussaman curry paste
1 teaspoon coriander seeds
2 cardamom pods
1 teaspooon black peppercorns
1 teaspoon cumin seeds
1 nutmeg
2 cloves
6 big dried chillies, deseeded and soaked in water
4 cloves of garlic
6 slices of galangal
1 stalk of lemongrass
1 teaspoon of shrimp paste
2 teaspoons of vegetable oil
1 teaspoon salt
Heat your wok or pan over a low heat and add the coriander seeds, cardamom, black pepper, cumin, nutmeg and cloves and dry stir-fry until fragrant about 4-5 minutes. Remove and set aside to cool. Using the same wok, sitr fry all the remaining ingredients (except the shrimp paste, oil and salt)
Put all the spices in a mortar and pestle or a blender and blend to a fine paste. Add remaining ingredients and blend. Store in a jar in the fridge.

Heat 200 ml of coconut milk in a large saucepan and add the mussaman paste, stirring together until the oil from the paste separates and rises to the surface.

Add the beef stirring well to combine with coconut milk mixture then add the bay leaves and the remaining coconut milk and simmer for three hours until the beef if tender. ( This is when I went off to do the laundry and water the plants! I only needed 2 1/2 hours cooking time)
Add the potatoes and onions and simmer for a further hour until the potatoes are cooked. Season the curry with fish sauce, palm sugar and tamarind juice. Garnish with fried onions, coriander leaves and slices of chilli and serve with some jasmine rice.

I’m sure the wagyu beef made this curry soar to new delicious heights. It’s very mild – despite the chillis – and had a sweet, sour, salty, hot balance that Thai curries are famous for. The meat literally melted, the sauce was rich and thick and the potatoes were soft and mushy.Yummmmmm…
Thanks Rob and Nita!
I don’t know whether it was being surrounded by all that glorious bush for the weekend but I came back to Potts Point creatively inspired and knocked up this watercolour yesterday morning. Doesn’t quite do my view justice but you get the general drift…..

Edible Balcony Elixir – Wagyu Cow Poo

Well, I felt a bit like Billy Crystal in City Slickers. Here we were on Gundooee a real working cattle farm near Mudgee, about 500 km north-west of Sydney. Rob and Nita Lennon are the only organically certified producers of free-range wagyu beef in Australia.
The Dusty Springfield song ‘In the Middle of Nowhere’ kept running through my head. 2000 acres of farmland and bush stretching in every direction. It got really eery when we lost mobile reception. How would we cope?
We were not prepared for the wildlife obstacle course. Kangaroos, foxes and rabbits darting across our path. And the hundreds of locusts smashing into our windscreen and front grill. Cleaning this off was not fun.
The Lennons and their three kids have a wonderful family homestead fringed by wide verandahs, trailing roses, horse paddocks, a guest cottage, a pool and a rough and ready dirt tennis court. The vintage aga stove in the kitchen is where everyone gathers in the morning for tea and pancakes.
The long weekend was jam-packed with tennis, bushwalks, horse-riding and delicious barbequed wagyu sausages and chops. I hadn’t been riding since I was a teenager. Stormy – my grey Arabian horse for the day -was very understanding and gentle with me.
In the evenings, over glasses of local red, there was much animated discussion about the drought-breaking rain, rural subdivision, tree-changers, spiders and how to keep cows happy.
The cattle found our silly city ways very amusing.
Hey boys! Look at these two.They cut me up!
Little did they know that their prized ‘poo dust’ was about to find its way back to the city with us
Rob filled three plastic canisters with his precious aged wagyu manure
and I sprinkled it over the plants on the balcony when I got back home.

To break up the long 5 hour drive back (that included three random breath stops) we thought we’d pull up stumps for the night in the Blue Mountains in Katoomba at Lilianfels
… and dinner at the one-hatted Darleys. We had Sydney rock oysters with champagne vinegar sorbet, yabbie salad, pan-fried Murray Cod and Barramundi washed down with a bottle of Toolangi chardonnay.
We slept well – although Mark had a few scary kangaroos-on-the-road flashbacks…..
The Lilianfels English gardens are filled with regal pines, deciduous trees and lovely cottage garden flowers
And overlooks the majestic Three Sisters at Echo Point.
A beautiful spot but it was Gundooee that stole our hearts.
Hope you had a terrific Easter however you spent it

A Pinch and a Punch (and a Zucchini) for the First of the Month

What a magic day in Sydney for the beginning of the Easter Long Weekend.
After taking some advice from my horticultural wizard friend Cherie I did some hand pollinating of the male and female zucchini flowers.
.. the result of the menage a trois! Well-endowed isn’t he?
The zucchini plants are spreading triffid-like….
The strawberries and nasturtiums lap up the sunshine
Mint, basil and rainbow silverbeet
Last of my autumn plantings.These peas sound delicious. You can apparently eat the pods as well.
I fashioned a climbing tepee for them.
They’ll be ready to harvest in 4 weeks.
I also planted some carrots and spring onions
The plants will spend Easter on their own. We’re off to Mudgee in country New South Wales to stay at the Gundooee organic wagyu beef farm run by our friends Rob and Nita Lennon.
Yeeeeee Hahhhhh!!!!!