Leek Chimichurri – Low FODMAP, Gluten Free & Vegan

Leek Chimichurri - Low FODMAP, Gluten Free and Vegan, fructose malabsorption, irritable bowel syndrome, healthy, low carb

When we moved into our new house in February just been, there was a run-down little veggie patch by the front door. I looked at it in dismay – I had just left behind the gorgeous wooden planter box that Ev built for me the year before at our last rental – and then proceeded to ignore it every time I walked by it. The box was cheap plastic, the soil full of weeds and the dried out remnants of what was once a zucchini plant were splayed out on a trellis.

After a couple of weeks, I looked at the “garden” tab of the house folder the previous owners had left us and got a little shock. Apparently, the veggie patch was full of leeks, chives and kale. Yum. I checked the garden again and there were the leeks and chives, hidden among the weeds; no kale, though, it obviously hadn’t made it through the winter. There was one problem, though. There was grass growing up throughout the chives and the leeks were apparently planted next to some small agapanthus, whose leaves look a lot like a leek but are not edible. Why on earth? Anyway, it was still February, so these hardy little plants hadn’t begun to flower yet. I was reasonably confident that I could tell them apart from the bulb/lack of bulb (agapanthus vs leek) but, to be sure, I wanted to see the flowers.

Finally, the leeks and agapanthus flowered a week ago and last weekend we decided it was time to get rid of the sad little veggie patch and replace it with a lawn, instead. Unfortunately, our backyard is surrounded by pine trees and gets very little sunlight, so I understand why they chose the front yard for the veggie garden – I just wouldn’t have done it in quite the same way. Also, because our backyard gets basically no sunlight, the “lawn” is about 95% weeds, so we’re going for a forest/path/hidden surprise backyard with shade loving plants and we want to get as much lawn out of the front yard as possible. But I digress. Even after ditching the leeks that were growing so close to the agapanthus that they were intertwined (and all the chives, because they were thoroughly knotted together with grass and nobody had time to sort that mess out), we had a sink-full of leeks. I’m not even kidding, our extra deep, double-sized kitchen sink was overflowing.

This wasn’t even half of what we kept, which was half of what was there. Please excuse the weeds, the garden is a work in progress.

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What on earth could we do with so many leeks? It’s warming up, so it’s no longer really soup weather and simply processing the leeks and freezing them seemed like a cop out. A few weeks ago we had watched an episode of No Reservations (Anthony Bourdain’s show) and they had dipped leeks into chimichurri. Why not make leeks into chimichurri, instead?

Chimichurri is a very versatile sauce. It’s primary use is for grilling meats but you can use it as a dipping sauce, a condiment, a sandwich spread (mixed with mayo – yum!), a pasta sauce, a salad dressing, to spice up omelettes and add flavour to mashed potatoes. You can also use it as a base from which to build an entirely new sauce. It’s definitely handy to have around, as it allows you to cut some corners during dinner prep – I won’t say no to that!

FODMAP Notes

  1. Green leek tips are considered FODMAP friendly in 1 cup servings.
  2. Garlic olive oil must be made ahead of time and cooled, or it can be pre-bought. If you are buying garlic olive oil, make sure you choose an oil quality that is more suited to how you plan to use your chimichurri. For example, we grilled the chimichurri marinated beef kebabs we made, so a refined olive oil was more suited to this particular dish than if we had used the chimichurri as a dipping sauce, in which case extra virgin olive oil would have been fine (due to the heat resistance/smoke points of different oils).
  3. As all FODMAPpers are different, if you can tolerate a bit of actual garlic, feel free to replace the garlic olive oil with the same amount of olive oil plus 1-2 cloves of garlic, to taste.

Leek Chimichurri

Makes about 600 ml of sauce, depending on how firmly packed the leeks are.

  • 4 cups green leek tips
  • 1/3 to 1/2 cup pre-made garlic olive oil
  • 2 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Optional – 1 tbsp. red pepper flakes or fresh oregano

Place the garlic oil (or actual garlic if you can tolerate it), roughly chopped leek tips and red wine vinegar into the bowl of your food processor and blitz until combined. Add some salt and pepper (and the optional herbs if you like) and keep blitzing until smooth. Taste the chimichurri, then add in more salt and pepper (or garlic oil or red wine vinegar) to get the exact taste and consistency that you like. We like ours a little thicker, so feel free to add more oil if you see fit.

That’s it. It’s very simple. Store in the fridge for up to two weeks, or freeze for up to two months. It’s especially important to practise safe food handling if you’ve used an homemade infused oil, due to the risks of botulism that rise when infused oils are stored incorrectly/for too long. Store bought infused oils have been prepared in such a way that they have a much longer shelf life.

But please don’t let that put you off making chimichurri! The simple measure of freezing extra jars right away will keep the sauce safe for a couple of months. I know our batch won’t last longer than that, and it made 10 jars. It’s that good.

Here is our leek chimichurri, served with a yolk porn-worthy poached egg on top of polenta and wilted spinach. Simple, delicious and nourishing. The perfect meal.

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The Ultimate Guacamole – Fructose Friendly, Gluten Free & Vegan

The Ultimate Guacamole - low FODMAP, fructose friendly, gluten free, vegan, ibs, irritable bowel syndrome, healthy, low carb, healthy fats

Guacamole is one of my favourite things in the world. creamy yet chunky, soft and full of plant-powered nutrition and flavour, it’s a win-win-win in my book. Luckily for me (and I really don’t mean to gloat), I flew through the sorbitol challenge with flying colours instead of flying to the loo and I can consume reasonable amounts of avocado without issue, which is good, because 1/4 of an avo contains about 8% of your daily folate requirements, as well as good amounts of vitamins B2, B5, B6, C, E and phosphorous and magnesium. See below for avocado’s FODMAP information.

Now, I realise that the claim to the ultimate guacamole is pretty extreme but this, to me, is the best way to make it. This is not the awful stuff you peel the lid off from the supermarket, this is fresh avo mixed with other flavours like tomato and lime to play on your taste buds. The bonus of adding in the tomato is that, besides tasting great, it also allows you to spread (pun intended) the avocados further, which is important when you live in Seattle and the decent avocados cost an arm and a leg. It works well with breads, chicken, corn chips or veggie sticks; and don’t you dare think of skimping on the corn chips. Go hard or go home.

So, the next time you have an impromptu gathering and/or need an entree (“appetiser,” in US lingo) in an instant, give this guac a whirl. The only downside is you won’t have leftovers. Unless you make yourself a secret batch for later. Do it.

FODMAP Notes

  1. Avocados are considered low FODMAP in 1/8 fruit servings, any more and sorbitol might be an issue. If you are okay with consuming more sorbitol but are sensitive to fructose, keep in mind that sorbitol can inhibit the co-transport method by which fructose malabsorbers absorb most of their fructose. Don’t go nuts, figure out the balance that works for you.
  2. Tomatoes are FODMAP friendly in 1/2 cup servings, the amount called for in this recipe once split into the eight servings would be safe.
  3. Garlic infused olive oil is free of fructans, as FOS are water soluble, thus do not seep into the fatty oil. I really like Nicer Food’s garlic infused olive oils, available here.
  4. Limes are a low FODMAP fruit.
  5. Corn chips are low FODMAP and gluten free, as long as they’re not seasoned with anything high FODMAP.

The Ultimate Guacamole

Serves 16 FODMAPers – of course, you can eat more if you tolerate it.

  • 2 large, ripe avocados
  • 1 cup (200 g) diced vine ripened or cherry tomatoes
  • 1 tbsp. garlic infused olive oil
  • Juice of 1 medium lime
  • Salt to taste
  • Optional: 1-2 tbsp. minced chives or coriander leaves (cilantro)

Mash (don’t whip, then it’s like baby food) the avo’s  until 75% smooth, then add in the diced tomatoes, lime juice, garlic oil and salt. Mix through and tinker with more oil – if required for texture – and salt if needed. Cover it, with the stone in the bowl, until you want to serve it. For best results, don’t make it more than a couple of hours ahead of time.

It’s that simple. You’re done. Go and have a (low FODMAP) beer while you wait for your friends to arrive. To serve, I like to surround the small bowl of guac with my favourite corn chips.

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Mirepoix – FODMAP/Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

Mire Poix

A traditional mirepoix involves carrots, celery and onion; due to geographic and cultural divides, as well as taste preferences, variations have of course come about over time and often only include one of the original ingredients… which means that I don’t feel terrible at all about nixing the onion and replacing it with leek and chives!

A mirepoix actually forms the base of many sauces, stews and stocks – I’d been making one for ages unintentionally – and you have been, too – before I even knew it had a name. You know the browned vegetables that constitute the beginning of a stock, a pasta sauce, a chili or even the butter chicken sauce recipe on this blog? They are all actually a “mirepoix.” Go figure. I had no clue until a year ago, I just thought it was what you were supposed to do. Which you are. But it has a name. I’ll stop now.

I have adjusted this recipe of Alton Brown’s to be low FODMAP. You can use mirepoix as a pasta sauce on its own, to bake with oysters or top a pizza. Anything goes, really. I love versatility. Thanks to the dry heat used, which intensifies flavours, this simple method adds a real depth of flavour to dishes that require a tomato sauce base.

Notes:

  1. Celery contains enough mannitol to be high FODMAP if you eat an entire stalk, which you wouldn’t be doing here. However, if you are very sensitive, just reduce it or sub in some extra leek or add in celeriac (for texture).
  2. Green leek tips are low FODMAP in half cup servings, so unless you eat the entire batch of mirepoix, you should be fine.
  3. Tomatoes are low FODMAP in half cup servings.
  4. Carrots are low FODMAP in about a quarter cup serving size.
  5. Garlic infused oil is tolerated by many who are sensitive to fructans, even though it seems counter-intuitive. FODMAPs are water soluble, so the garlic sizzling/infusing in oil shouldn’t leach out too many fructans. Simple solution – use a pinch of asafoetida in its place, which is both low FODMAP and gluten free (unless wheat flour is used to cut it).
  6. Red wine is low FODMAP in 150 ml servings. Red wine vinegar is double fermented red wine, so it is also safe.
  7. Balsamic vinegar is low FODMAP in 1 tbsp. servings, which is all there is in the entire recipe.

Mirepoix

Serves 12-14 FODMAPers, depending on tolerance.

  • 2 large tins of whole, peeled tomatoes, separated into toms and liquid
  • 1 cup finely sliced green leek tips
  • 1 cup diced carrot
  • 1 cup diced celery
  • 1/2 cup red wine
  • 1/4 cup minced green chives
  • 1 tbsp. red wine vinegar
  • 1 tbsp. Balsamic vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic, whole or diced
  • 2 tsp. fresh minced basil
  • 2 tsp. fresh minced oregano
  • 2 tsp. minced capers
  • Salt and pepper to taste

Strain the tinned tomatoes completely – give them a squish to make sure all the juice is out – and reserve the liquid. Prepare all the veggies as required above.

Combine the tomato liquid, red wine, chives, vinegars and herbs in a saucepan and bring to the boil, before lowering heat to a simmer and reducing volume by half. This should take about 20 minutes.

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Meanwhile, preheat grill/broiler of your oven (grill in Australia = broiler in USA) and then simmer the whole garlic cloves over a med-high heat on the stove top, in an oven-safe pan, until fragrant and then discard if you are sensitive (or dice and leave them in if not). I love my cast iron pan; like this sauce, it’s versatile – the most versatile piece of cookware that we own (bake cakes/breads, stove top, grill/broiler safe, arm workout, you name it).

Add in the leek tips, carrot and celery and sweat the veggies until tender. Add in the tomatoes, then put the pan under the grill/broiler (on the top/second shelf) and leave it with the oven door open for 15 to 20 minutes, until the tops have begun to char. This adds flavour and is a good thing, so let it get moderately charred.

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Once the veggies have sufficiently blackened, put them back on the stove, on a medium heat and add in the capers. Saute for a minute and then tip the veggies into the (now reduced) tomato liquid. Use an immersion blender to puree the mixture to the texture you need (i.e. pasta sauce would be chunkier than a pizza sauce), then flavour with salt and pepper before simmering for a further 5 minutes.

You’re done! Unless of course you want to preserve/can it, which I recommend, as you can make big batches and have jars on the ready for when you’re feeling lazy.

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Classic Spaghetti Bolognese – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

This recipe has been moved to a new home at The Friendly Gourmand. Please follow this link to access the recipe and many more.

FODMAP Friendly Thanksgiving & Christmas Recipe – Spatchcocked Turkey & Gravy

Fructose Friendly Christmas Recipe - Turkey and Gravy

This post is a follow up to the previous post, in which I showed you a low FODMAP cornbread stuffing. Or dressing, depending on which part of the US you come from. Speaking as an Aussie, I always called it stuffing, because it was generally stuffed up the bird’s you know where. But anyway…

This is the turkey that we served alongside that stuffing – which wasn’t stuffed into the bird because Alton Brown told us (in the season 1 special of Good Eats, Romancing the Bird) that that increases mass, thus cooking time, leading to dry meat – and we always do what AB tells us to. He hasn’t failed us yet.

Even though we cooked this turkey as a belated Thanksgiving dinner, it would of course work well for a Christmas turkey. This was the first turkey that either Evgeny or I had dealt with, other than the sandwich meat type shaved turkey – we don’t have Thanksgiving in Australia and Christmas is during summer, so most sane people either do seafood (cooks very quickly) or buy a leg of ham from the supermarket and have cold cuts of meat instead.

Notes:

  1. These guidelines are relevant to a 13-15 lb/5.5-7 kg turkey (ours was 13.55 lb), once it has been thawed. Follow the thawing guideline provided when you purchase the bird.
  2. Make sure your turkey isn’t pre-basted or injected with any fillers that contain onion and garlic – or anything else you are sensitive to.
  3. Remove the giblets and the neck from the cavity inside the turkey and keep them. They make a fantastic stock, which can be made ahead of time, to use in the corn bread stuffing.
  4. Green leek tips are low FODMAP.

Roast Turkey

  • 1 x 13-15 lb turkey – fresh, thawed from frozen… basically ready to cook.
  • 4 large sticks celery, chopped
  • 2 large carrots, peeled and chopped
  • 2 cups green leek tips, roughly chopped
  • 1 big bunch of fresh rosemary, roughly chopped
  • Olive oil
  • Sea salt

Spatchcock the turkey. I found a great slide show with detailed instructions here, because we didn’t take photos of this stage – messy hands and all.

  1. Place the turkey on a chopping board, with the breasts down and the spine up. Remove the neck and giblets from the cavity if they are still in there.
  2. Using kitchen shears, or a strong knife, cut along each side of the spine and remove it completely – place it with the neck and giblets to make stock later on.
  3. If you need to cut the turkey in half to fit in your roasting pan, like we did, you need to remove the keel bone (a bird’s version of a sternum). Leave the bird on it’s front and find the keel, which runs centrally between the two breast sections. Use a sharp fillet blade to slice along the membrane on either side of the keel bone (cartilage, really) and pry it out with your fingers. It’s tricky but necessary for us.
  4. Flip the bird over onto what was its back and press down HARD on the breast meat. If you didn’t remove the keel bone cartilage, you will hear some loud cracks as the ribs break. If you struggle to remove the keel bone cartilage, this might help to loosen it a little and make the removal easier. At any rate, this step is necessary to flatten the bird, if you didn’t remove the keel.
  5. Your turkey is now spatchcocked and ready to bake.

Preheat your oven to 475 F/250 C.

Remove the wire rack out of your roasting pan (ours is flat, yours might be V-shaped). in the base of the pan, evenly spread the chunks of carrot, green leek tips, celery and most of the rosemary. Replace the wire rack and lay the turkey down, with the skin facing up. Tuck in the wing tips and close up the legs. Rub the olive oil into the skin and shove the remaining sprigs of rosemary into any crevices, then lightly sprinkle with salt. Please excuse the toothpicks in the following photo, we had to keep the skin in place after we had cut the turkey in two.

Let it sit until the oven has heated fully, as the super high temperature is going to brown and crisp the skin before you reduce the temperature to 180 C to complete cooking the turkey.

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Before you put it in the oven, insert a meat thermometer into the breast; make sure that it is inserted into flesh and not pressing up against any bones, or the temperature will be incorrect.

Put the turkey into the oven and bake for 30 minutes at 475 F/250 C. The turkey should become a nice shade of golden brown in that time. Reduce the temperature to 350 F/180 C and bake for another 30 minutes, at which point you can open the oven door quickly and check the temperature. The breast is done at 161 F/72 C and the leg is done when it reaches 180 F/82 C (thanks, AB). If you have a fancy digital probe thermometer with an alarm option, set it to the breast temperature and the turkey is done when it goes off… if not, you need to do what we do and take quick peaks at the dial. If you have an oven with a glass door, that is fantastic – we don’t.

All up our turkey took 1 hour and 30 minutes for the breast meat to reach 161 F, by which time the thighs had also reached 180 F. Remove the turkey form the oven and loosely cover with foil and let it sit for 20 to 30 minutes before carving it. The slide show that I linked to above also has carving instructions.

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Turkey Gravy

  • The drippings from the roasting pan.
  • 1/2 cup turkey stock (that you made with the neck and giblets) or any FF chicken or veg stock – beef would be too strong here
  • 1/4 cup GF plain flour
  • 1 tbsp. unsalted butter
  • salt and pepper to taste

If you have a decent roasting pan, your life will be a lot easier. Ours… well, it’s from Ikea. Let’s just leave it at that.

Once you have removed the roasting pan from the oven and removed the turkey to a chopping board, while you are letting the turkey “sit” for 20 to 30 minutes, put the roasting pan back on the stove top (you will probably need to span two elements) and deglaze the pan with the 1/2 cup of stock. It should only take a minute or two. Then strain the mixture into a measuring jug (makes pouring it out later easier) and place it in the fridge or freezer for 10 minutes to get the fats to congeal at the top.

Once the fats have started to rise to the top, remove some (not all, as they do add some flavour) of the fat and discard. In a separate saucepan, make a roux with the butter and flour – melt the butter and flour together and whisk until smooth – before adding in the remainder of the turkey drippings/stock mix and stirring until it has thickened unto a gravy-like consistency. If it isn’t thickening and you want to add in more flour, dissolve 1 tbsp. of corn starch or GF plain flour in 1 tbsp. of water and then add it into the gravy; if you just tip in flour, it will become lumpy and you will need to do a lot of whisking to smooth it out again.

Pour into a gravy boat and serve alongside the turkey, stuffing, cranberry sauce and any other side dishes you and your guests have made.

May I suggest one of these beauties for the end of the night?

Merry Christmas (or happy whatever holiday you celebrate at this time of year) to all of you, I hope you manage to stay low FODMAP – or that any indulgences aren’t too disasterous 🙂

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Basil Pesto – Low FODMAP & Gluten Free

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I always like to have a jar of pesto around, and nothing beats homemade basil pesto. Except this year, when I made my pesto from basil that I grew out on our balcony! Quite a feat without a back yard but it just goes to show, it can be done! I’m lucky enough to have a balcony, I know someone who has managed to grow peppers inside, next to a window. Kudos to her! I suppose you could top home grown basil with home grown pine nuts or if you owned a cow and could make your own Parmesan cheese… but let’s be realistic. Nobody is that good.

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FODMAP Notes

  1. Garlic infused olive oil is considered low FODMAP by Monash Uni – just make sure that, if you buy it, the brand you buy doesn’t contain any garlic bits. Those who are particularly sensitive may need to just use a good extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) instead. A tbsp. of lemon juice would add in some extra flavour.
  2. Store bought garlic infused oils vary in intensity of flavour, so, please use your discretion with how much you add to your pesto and replace the rest with a good quality extra virgin olive oil. I used homemade garlic olive oil for this recipe.
  3. Please use good quality oil, it makes all the difference in this oil-based sauce. Bad oil will leave a bad after taste, I can’t stress that enough. I’ve made that mistake before.
  4. This pesto recipe always changes slighlty, each time I make it. One year the basil might be more strongly flavoured than another, I might feel like adding a little more or less Parmesan cheese. If you make it and you want to add a little more salt, or a little extra oil to get the consistency that you prefer, go ahead. There is not a right or wrong way of doing this.
  5. Parmesan cheese is low FODMAP due to its lower lactose content, however it is not vegetarian, as it contains rennet. For a vegetarian version, use a rennet-free hard style cheese.

I apologise for the lack of step-by-step photos. I took them but I can’t find them anywhere!

Basil Pesto

Makes approx. 2 x pint sized jars of pesto sauce.

  • 3 well packed cups of fresh basil leaves
  • 3/4 cup extra virgin olive oil – more if you like a runnier pesto
  • 1/4 cup garlic infused olive oil
  • 1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • 1/2 cup pine nuts
  • Salt to taste
  • A few drops of EVOO to cover it once in jars.

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Place the basil leaves, garlic-infused olive oil, pine nuts and salt in your food processor and blitz until smooth and well combined. This might take a little while, as depending on the quality of your food processor, you might need to add only half of the basil to begin with and let that process before you add the rest. Some blenders will struggle and just whiz a hole in the centre, while forcing everything to the outside. If this is the case, you will need to stop every now and again to push all the ingredients back into the bottom.

Once the processed mixture is finished, add in the freshly grated Parmesan cheese. Freshly grated Parmesan cheese actually has a nice flavour and is quite soft, unlike pre-grated cheese. It’s well worth it. If your mixer has a “mix” setting, put the Parmesan in and turn it onto “mix” until it has combined evenly. Otherwise, fold it in yourself.

Scoop the now finished basil pesto into jars for storage, leaving 2 cm between the pesto and the top of the jar. Place a little bit of garlic-infused olive oil – maybe 5 mm in height – over the top of the pesto to seal it from the air. This helps it to keep longer. I freeze one jar and keep the in-use jar in the fridge.

Use it as a pasta sauce, a dip, a spread on a sandwich, on top of your poached eggs – the list goes on. It’s a very versatile sauce and a little goes a long way.

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Braised Beef Pot Roast – FODMAPs, Fructose Friendly & Gluten Free

I love one pot meals. They are so easy. Throw it all in and let the oven deal with it.

Seeing as today is so grey and miserable – I’m loving it, though! – I thought I’d jot down how I do my pot roasts. This one was made months ago when we had visitors from home staying with us. Ev and the guys had driven up to Vancouver, BC for a night and were coming back Sunday evening. I had been told that, due to this blog, expectations were high with regards to cooking so I wanted to have a nice meal ready for them when they got home.

I know, aren’t I a nice wifey?

Well, my dessert-aholic side got the better of me and I wanted to spend more time on that than the actual dinner, so a pot roast it was!

I used to be scared of pot roasts. The first time Ev and I tried to slow cook beef was back in 2006 and it ended up with us out in the back yard, scraping the burnt remains from the bottom of Mum’s biggest saucepan. Guess who forgot to top up the water as we went? One or both of us. I think Mum might have been away with my little sister at one of her cycling races, so Dad was the only one who knew… Mum, if you’re reading this – sorry! But the pot is fine, you’ve been none-the-wiser for seven years now!

But they aren’t as scary as all that. And cooking in a dutch oven makes life so much easier. I promise, just give a pot roast a go on a cold day and you will thank yourself for trying. Roasts are hearty, filling and nutritious (when you include all the veggies).

FODMAP Notes

  1. Fresh herbs are generally very well tolerated among the FODMAP community. The dried varieties can be mixed with unsafe items such as onion powder, so if you opt to use dried herbs, make sure you know exactly what’s in them.
  2. Roasting veggies are also generally well tolerated by those with FM but in high enough quantities some, such as sweet potatoes, might elicit a reaction due to the increased serving of polyols. You can choose which veggies suit your own diet/tolerance levels. Easy!
  3. FODMAPs are water soluble, so the fructans in the onion and garlic will leech out into the fluid in the bottom of the pot if they are left in while cooking. To what extent this happens is determined by the size of the onion chunks (smaller pieces mean there’s a bigger surface area for water to contact the onion and fructans to seep out), the amount of water-based fluid in the bottom of the pot and the length of the cooking time. For some it may be okay to cut the onions into large chunks and pick them out serving but for others it may not – especially if you are on elimination. In that case, please leave it out altogether or infuse the oil with the onion and garlic just after you seal the pan at the start.

Braised Beef Pot Roast

Served 3 very hungry blokes and myself. Would serve 6 normal appetites.

Beef Pot Roast

  • 3 lbs/1.35 kg of boneless chuck roast
  • 2 lb/900 g roasting vegetables – carrots, potatoes, sweet potatoes, yams, parsnip etc, chopped
  • 1 onion, quartered – optional
  • 2-3 cloves of garlic – optional
  • 1/4 cup fresh diced oregano
  • 1/4 cup fresh diced thyme
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 2 tsp. sea salt
  • 2 tsp. ground black pepper
  • 1 lug olive oil to seal the base of the Dutch oven

Red Wine Reduction

  • 4 cups beef broth (homemade or onion free variety)
  • 2 cup dry red wine
  • 4 tbsp. GF plain flour or corn starch, mixed with 1/4 cup of water
  • 1 tbsp. GF soy sauce, or a little more to taste

Preheat oven to 180 C/350 F.

Firstly, roughly chop all your veggies into half-fist sized chunks – we had some really interesting yams going on here, as one of the guys shopped up a storm at Uwajimaya. Prepare the herbs (pick the leaves off and dice finely) and put them aside.

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Seal your pan with olive oil and then fry onion and garlic in oil for 2-3 minutes, until fragrant. This infuses the flavours into the oil. Now remove them before they begin to leech fluids.

Next, sear each side of the chuck roast – perhaps 2 minutes a side; season with salt and pepper as you go. You want the meat to be cooked about 2.5 cm/1 inch in from each edge.

Meanwhile, combine the broth, red wine and GF soy sauce in a bowl and have it ready for the next step.

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Banish four-legged family members from the kitchen, because they’re getting in the way and really annoying with all that crying.

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Remove the beef from the pot and set it aside. Pour in the beef stock/wine mix and the asafoetida (optional) and deglaze the base of the Dutch oven. It should only take a minute or two, stirring well. Return the beef to the pot and put on the lid.

The general rule with beef roasts is to cook for 30 minutes per pound at 180 C/350 F. If you want it pink in the middle, cook it a little less. Therefore, cook it at 180 C for 1 hour and 30 minutes. Every 30 minutes, remove the lid and brush the top with its cooking juices.

With 60 minutes left, add in the roasting vegetables. In the photos below (which I will update asap), the veggies were in from the beginning and were a little over-done.

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After 1 and a half hours, it should be cooked!

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Remove the roast and slice it into 2 cm thick slices (or whatever you’d like). Arrange it on a serving dish and surround it with the roasted veggies. If your serving dish is oven safe, put it back in the oven, which should be off but still cooling, to keep it warm while you make the red wine reduction.

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Skim any fat off the top of the liquids that remain and discard. Top up with some more red wine if necessary and pour in the corn starch/water mixture. Bring it to the boil and then reduce to a simmer for 5 minutes or so, until it thickens. Serve the red wine reduction in a gravy boat or a deep bowl with a ladle.

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Unfortunately, I didn’t take a nicer photo of the platter on the table because nobody waited for me. They were starving, I suppose. Roasts aren’t the prettiest of dishes but they more than make up for it in taste and warmth.

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Bon Appetite!