Feeding the team

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One day a month the entire Bounce team gets together for what we call a “team day”. It’s typically on a Monday and usually involves back-to-back meetings. So to add a dose of fun we recently introduced an initiative (aligned with the “Eat Good” part of our philosophy) called “feed the team”. Rather than taking the easy route and ordering sandwiches from the local café, it’s an opportunity to explore and enjoy a variety of foods. We take turns to create the team meal using good quality, fresh ingredients. There are usually ten of us in the office on team day, so each team member gets the chance to “feed the team” at least once a year.

I volunteered myself to kick off the first “feed the team” day (and I really wanted to make an impression). As we don’t have a fully equipped kitchen in the office, I needed to come up with something that I could prepare at home, transport and finish at the office. Given the time of year (mid-June and winter here in the southern hemisphere) I thought maybe something slow cooked would work well. I am so over the pulled pork trend – so I went for a beef option, pulled beef brisket in a tangy sweet sauce, which I thought would go well with a crunchy kale slaw – served as a sandwich or taco. I dressed the slaw in my own homemade sriracha lemon aioli (I love sriracha sauce, in my opinion it’s the best hot sauce out there). The heat and crunch from the slaw works really with the sweetness and texture of the beef. I served the sandwiches with a side salad of spinach, cucumber and avocado with a miso dressing.

I was really happy with the end result. This recipe combination allows you to prepare most of it in advance and would also work really well for large parties etc. The key to the success of the slow cooked beef is refrigerating overnight (allowing the grease to settle on top so it was very easy to remove). The homemade sriracha sauce was also a winner. The first “feed the team” day was a big success (even if I do say so myself). Most of the team went back for seconds and there were no leftovers! Here are the recipes I used. I hope you get the opportunity to try them for yourself.

Pulled Brisket Burgers with Sriracha Slaw and Avocado Spinach Salad

Pulled Brisket (makes 16 burgers)

3 kilos beef brisket

Salt

Freshly ground black pepper

4 tablespoons olive oil

6 cloves garlic, peeled and smashed

2 spanish onions, halved and thinly sliced

1 tablespoon each of both chilli powder and smoked paprika

3 teaspoons ground coriander

3 teaspoons ground cumin

1 cup apple cider vinegar

3 cups water or vegetable stock

1 bottle passata

4 whole chipotle chilies in adobo (canned)*

5 tablespoons molasses

16 multi grain buns

*chipotles in adobo are available in canned at most green grocers and gourmet food stores

Place a large, heavy skillet over medium-high heat. Add the oil and heat just until beginning to smoke. Season the beef generously with salt and pepper and add to the skillet, turning once, until browned all over, about 10 minutes total (you may need to portion the beef and do this in batches). Transfer the meat to the slow cooker; leave the skillet on the heat.

Add the garlic, onion and cook until the onions begin to soften. Add the chilli powder, paprika, coriander, and cumin to the skillet and stir until fragrant – about 1 minute (you may need to add more oil to the rendered fat). Add vinegar and boil until it’s almost gone, ensure you scrape the bottom of the pan with a wooden spoon to lift the flavours. Stir in water, passata, chipotle chillies and molasses, bring to boil and stir well. Pour the mixture over the brisket, cover the cooker, set it on LOW, and cook for about 8 hours. Remove the bowl from the slow cooker with the brisket and the juices and allow it to cool. Then wrap the bowl in cling film and refrigerate overnight. Alternatively, put the brisket and all of the juices in a large plastic container ensuring the meat is submerged and refrigerated.

Remove from the fridge, at this stage the fat will have covered the meat and slightly hardened, carefully remove the fat and discard. Remove the meat from the juices and pull apart, using two forks. Remove the chipotle from the juices if you want less heat and blend the juices in a food processor or blender. Place in a skillet and gently simmer until the sauce has reduced by a third and thickened. Add the sauce and pulled brisket back into the slow cooker and cook for another 5 hours on low.

Sriracha Aioli Slaw

*3 cups of Sriracha Lemon Aioli (see recipe below or buy if you are time poor)

2 cups home-made or store bought mayonnaise

2 garlic cloves, minced

4 tablespoons sriracha sauce

A pinch of smoked paprika

2 400g coleslaw mix (I used a kale and cabbage blend)

*Homemade Sriracha Lemon Aioli

1 egg yolk

1 garlic clove minced

Juice of one lemon

Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper

5 tablespoons of sriracha sauce, you can add more depending on your heat tolerance

300 mils grapeseed oil

200 mils rapeseed oil

Combine egg yolk, lemon juice, sriracha, garlic and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt in medium bowl. Whisk until blended and bright orange colour, about 30 seconds. Using 1/4 teaspoon measure and whisking constantly, add the grapeseed oil to yolk mixture, a few drops at a time, about 4 to 5 minutes. Gradually add remaining rapeseed oil in very slow thin stream, whisking constantly, until aioli is thick, about 8 to 10 minutes (aioli will be lighter in colour). Cover and chill. Can be made up to 2 days ahead. Keep chilled. Gently mix all of the ingredients (except the slaw mix) until combined and smooth. In a large bowl add the slaw mix and gently fold in the sriracha aioli.

Spinach & Avocado Salad with Miso Dressing

2 large bags of washed spinach

3 avocados peeled, stoned and chopped

2 cucumbers halved lengthways and sliced

2 large handfuls of coriander leaves

50 ml sesame oil

50 ml apple cider vinegar

2 tablespoons tamari

Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper to season

1 tablespoons of freshly minced ginger

Put the oil, tamari, miso, vinegar and grated ginger in a bowl was whisk until combined, season to taste. Place the remaining ingredients in large salad bowl and toss with the dressing. Alternatively serve the salad with the dressing on the side.

To Serve

Cut the buns in half, pile the brisket onto the base and top with the sriracha slaw, serve with the avocado spinach salad on the side.

Enjoy!

Stephen

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