Dishes have bases covered

Greg Piner whips up dinner in the kitchen of his Dunedin home. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
Greg Piner whips up dinner in the kitchen of his Dunedin home. PHOTO: GREGOR RICHARDSON
As the turmoil of Covid-19 continues to swirl globally, here in our little corner of the 
world it is time to celebrate our wonderful food professionals. Dunedin chef Greg Piner shares a couple of recipes that suit the changeable spring weather we are experiencing.

Spring is upon us, and with it the unsettled weather, which means the barbecue still hasn’t made its way out of the shed yet.

This means there is still time for some heartier dishes when the weather is cooler and, on those days which give us little hints of summer, you can bring out the spring recipes.

The braised brisket with prawn risotto is sure to be a winner on cooler days. It’s a modern take on surf and turf and any leftover risotto makes wonderful arancini — balls of risotto crumbed and fried — to have the next day with a light salad and miso dressing.

Getting children involving in cooking and/or preparing food as it teaches them where food comes...
Getting children involving in cooking and/or preparing food as it teaches them where food comes and what to do with it. PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES

On those warmer days, the venison salad is a perfect and easy dish for people on the run.

There’s nothing to be scared about when cooking venison and I encourage people to give it a crack.

Tips: let the meat bloom, which means it comes to room temperature before cooking, and let it rest after cooking as this helps the meat relax.

I’m also a firm believer in involving children in cooking and/or preparing food as it teaches them where food comes and what to do with it. Plus it might lead to a night off cooking when they get older!

Braised brisket with prawn risotto

Serves 3-4

1 packet Silver Fern Farms brisket

1 litre beef stock

cracked pepper

1 stick of rosemary

6 cloves of garlic

1 onion, diced

½ small fennel bulb

½ cup prawns

100g risotto rice

400ml chicken stock

50g grated Parmesan

50g butter


Remove brisket from the packet and allow to come to room temperature.

Season heavily with cracked pepper and a touch of salt.

Heat heavy-bottom pan and seal brisket.

Add rosemary and garlic.

Add stock and place greaseproof paper on top and cover tightly with aluminium foil (the greaseproof paper stops the foil from sticking to the meat).

Cook at 160degC for 4-5 hours or until meat is soft. Remove from the oven and rest for 10 minutes still covered.

When the brisket is almost done, add diced onion and finely chopped garlic to a separate pan.

Sweat off in a pan with finely sliced fennel.

Add the risotto rice and cook until rice becomes glossy.

Slowly add chicken stock one ladle at a time, until risotto is al dente or just soft to bite.

Add prawns and cook until pink and firm.

Add grated Parmesan and turn down the heat, stir constantly, add the diced butter and keep stirring. Set aside.

Remove brisket pan and reduce the cooking liquid to sauce consistency.

Place risotto on plate or bowl and place brisket on top of the risotto.

Lightly drizzle over the reduced cooking liquid.


Venison salad with slaw and crispy noodle

Serves 2-3

1 packet Silver Fern Farms venison tri-tip steaks

1 packet of rice noodles (glass noodles)

1 small packet (250g) of pickled ginger, finely sliced

3 red onions, finely sliced

20g caster sugar

½ small red cabbage, finely sliced

½ small white cabbage, finely sliced

20g coriander

Kewpie (Japanese) mayonnaise

1 fresh chilli


Remove venison from a packet and allow to bloom.

Open pickled ginger packet and put liquid into pot with 20g of caster sugar.

Finally, slice pickled ginger and add to pot. Bring to the boil and turn off.

Finely slice red onions and add to the mix and allow to cool.

Slice red and white cabbage super-finely and mix thoroughly.

Add one dessert spoon of Kewpie mayonnaise and mix.

Heat 1cm of oil in a small pot and bring the temperature to 160degC.

Cook off small batches of glass noodles in the oil until it becomes super-crunchy.

Heat a pan with a touch of olive oil and season venison with cracked pepper and salt, seal venison and cook for about 3-4 minutes each side. Remove venison from pan and allow it to rest.

Place slaw on a plate and spread thinly sliced venison on top. Use the pickled ginger mix as a garnish and finish with crispy glass noodles.

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