RECIPE: Smoked Mortadella

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

“How much mortadella would you like?” asks the lady in the Coles deli section as she readies the slicer. “Um… all of it?” I reply, before walking out of the supermarket, holding my 4kg trophy of processed meat above my head.

I’d only seen smoked balogna on a menu once, at Payne’s BBQ in Memphis, and the thought of it was too terrifying to order. A hot slab of pink sponge, covered in sauce? My fear got the better of me and I ordered the pulled pork instead, the deliciousness of which only overwhelmed my immediate regret for a few hours, and I returned to Australia accepting that I would never know what smoked baloney tasted like.

Late last year I ordered one of the baloney sandwiches at ACME, which is actually some thin slices of mortadella on a fresh potato roll. I’ve since come to realise I’ve been living a fools life ever since Memphis: I could just smoke my own mortadella at home. I did it on Saturday night, it was out-of-control delicious, and here is how you join me in smoked pork product valhalla.

You will need:

A kettle bbq, like a Weber, or a smoker that you made out of a garbage bin
Charcoal
Hickory woodchips
4kg of mortadella

For the rub:

½ cup brown sugar
¼ cup paprika
¼ cup salt
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp mustard powder

For the sauce:
1 tbsp olive oil
5 cloves of garlic, minced
2 cups apple cider vinegar
¼ cup honey
¼ cup treacle
½ cup ketchup
¼ cup American mustard
3 chipotles in adobo, finely chopped

Step 1

Light about eight beads of charcoal on one side of your BBQ. You wanna cook this mortadella on indirect heat. Keep it low and slow, no more than 120°c.

Take two handfuls of woodchips and soak them in water.

Step 2

Cut that gnarly red wrapping off the mortadella.

Use a knife to score the mortadella horizontally and vertically, cutting a couple of centimetres deep into the meat. Don’t forget to score the top and bottom of the mortadella as well.

Step 3

Combine all of the rub ingredients together in a bowl, then rub it all over the mortadella.

Try your hardest to work the rub into all of the grooves that you just cut so the flavour gets right in there.

Step 4

It’s time to smoke! Put your prize piece of mortadella in the barbecue, on the opposite side that the hot coals are on. Drop some of the wet woodchips onto the coals and chuck the lid back on your BBQ.

Let the mortadella smoke for an hour, and go back to the kitchen to make some BBQ sauce. Heat the oil on medium-low in a pot and slowly cook the garlic until it softens, about five mins. Stir through all the other sauce ingredients, turn up the heat to high and bring to a boil. Leave the sauce to simmer while the mortadella cooks.

Step 5

Pour yourself a cup of the BBQ sauce (let the rest of it continue to simmer) and take it outside. Lift the lid off the BBQ and baste the mortadella with a nice coating of sauce.

Check the temp of the BBQ and add more coal if necessary. Throw another handful of woodchips onto the coals. Let the mortadella smoke for another two hours, adding more woodchips and re-basting with sauce every half hour. Your backyard should smell incredible.

Step 6

After the mortadella has cooked for at least three hours all up, lift the lid and it should look like this.

If you’re ready to eat, take it straight to the table, or wrap it in foil and keep it warm until you’re ready for morta-domination.

Step 7

Cut the mortadella into thick slices. Fight everyone over the crunchy end bits which have absorbed the most smoke. You put that effort in and cooked this thing, you deserve the best part.

Serve the mortadella on soft white rolls with pickles, coleslaw and the BBQ sauce. Throw caution to the goddamn wind and stack that mortadella HIGH. This is the very definition of a ‘sometimes food’ and you should definitely take advantage of that.

Leftover mortadella is inevitable and best served for breakfast the next day. Just heat a pan up, cut some slices and fry each side, knowing that bacon will never be good enough again.

Why

To reward your stomach with exotic deliciousness

How much

4kg of mortadella will set you back about $40 and will feed approximately everyone you know

 

SHOP: Prospector Store, Parramatta

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

A chest full of terrariums. A little wooden bear. A teacup housing a murder mystery. Over 100 vintage coats in pristine condition. These are just a few of the things you’ll find at the Prospector Store in Parramatta.

My two theories as to why it’s called the Prospector Store.

One – It’s kind of difficult to find, the beautiful store hiding inside an average suburban street mall, locating it might become easier if you use a metal detector and/or a diviner.

Two – Store owner Geraldine Mills travels through the lands finding only the most exotic vintage wares. She is one of the few true prospectors in 2015, and her store is actually a trophy room, a testament to her profession.

Where most vintage and second hand stores are a hopelessly organised mess, Prospector Store feels more like an art gallery, an exhibition that you can buy every item of. Everything is curated by Geraldine, whose personality shines through her immaculate arrangements of knick-knacks and trinkets, amidst photos she’s taken and framed over the years.

Due to Parramatta council’s desire to become the biggest, most modern city in NSW, the space that houses Prospector Store will be developed into a million apartments by the end of the year, leaving Geraldine with just a month left of trade. While she’ll be keeping her online store, the real thing is a sight to behold. Do yourself a favour and check it out before it’s too late.

Where

Shop 2, 162-172 Church Street Mall, Parramatta

When

Tues, Wed, Fri 11am-6pm
Thu 11am-7pm
Sat 10am-3pm

Related links

Website
Facebook

REVIEW: Happy as Larry Pizza Truck

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

Sydney’s food truck scene is actually getting good! Who saw that coming? There’s Mister Gee’s serving up very decent burgers, Yang’s and their impossibly large selection of Malaysian snacks, and now we have Happy as Larry, a pizza truck responsible for pizzas that you’d place up there with Sydney’s best.

Size wise, Happy as Larry puts all other Sydney food trucks to shame. If there was ever a food truck monster derby, you’d put all your money on the Happy-as-Larry-mobile. It’s huge, big enough to house a genuine woodfired oven and still provide enough room for the 6ish staff to dance around in.

Two of those staff members might look a little familiar – the two chefs used to work at Newtown’s Gigi Pizzeria and know their way around a Napoletana approved pizza. You’ll find a handful of traditional pies on the menu (margherita, marinara, mushroom) and then a handful of wildcards, like the lasagne pizza, topped with beef ragu and parmesan. They’re all served on that perfect charred ‘n’ chewy base, that fills your stomach up with delicious carbs while miraculously always leaving room for “just one more” hot slice.

You might find Happy as Larry at a music festival in the future, the only good food option at an otherwise uninspiring event. But you should try your hardest to seek them out – lately they’ve been setting up shop at a carpark on Bexley on Saturday nights (479 Forest Rd), where crowds are encouraged to pull up a milkcrate and smash an entire Nutella calzone by themselves.

Where Around. Follow them on Instagram to find them.

How much From $14

Contact Facebook

Related links Website

REVIEW: Old Mate on Crown

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

The Old Mate on Crown is less a cafe than it is an example of a perfect co-worker. I don’t know how they are at paperwork, but they’re in the break room every single day of the week, working wonders with that sandwich press and feeding the entire office with a smile on their face as they list the fresh produce between the perfectly buttered slices of Bread and Butter Project sourdough.

They lugged their juice maker to work and give you a free shot of vege juice with your coffee, which they proudly boast is from Toby’s Estate, a definite step up from the Nescafe, the only thing in the company freezer. Old Mate even drove out to Hurstville this morning and picked up some delicious cinnamon scrolls from Oregano Bakery.

Sure, they dominate the stereo with old Oasis albums you wish you never knew existed, but Old Mate’s unpretentious dedication to being a team player keeps everybody happy and they truly deserve those multiple “employee of the month” placards above their desk. The next time you wish you had a co-worker whose toasted sambos taste as cute as the chalk writing describing them on the menu, you know where to go.

Where
328 Crown St, Surry Hills

When
Mon-Sun, 7am-3:30am

REVIEW: Grumpy Donuts

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

Here’s a novel idea: start a company that makes donuts. Everybody loves donuts, even crap ones. Except the donuts this new company makes aren’t crap, they’re amazing. Beautiful works of saturated fat art, every colour of the unhealthy rainbow. Some are topped with chips, others sugar-coated cereal or crushed cookies. The best one is topped with candied bacon.

These donuts don’t have fancy, pretentious names. The donut covered in caramel and potato chips isn’t called fucking ‘Reginald’ or something, it’s called ‘Caramel and Potato Chips’. You know what you’re getting, and when you get one, you wish you got two.

These donuts come in a box with a sticker on them that says ‘GRUMPY DONUTS’ above a picture of a fairly grumpy donut cartoon. How could a donut be grumpy when it’s covered in potato chips?

So we’ve got a company that sells donuts that might be grumpy by name but are definitely delicious in taste. Incredible business model so far. Let’s go buy a box of these awesome donuts! Oh, what’s that? There’s no Grumpy Donuts shop? A handful of these donuts are only available on Fridays at Orto Trading Co. and The Wedge Espresso? Oh, don’t worry, you can order them from the Grumpy Donuts website, except you can’t actually do that right now because orders are currently closed? Perfect. I could say that a better name for this company is ‘Cocktease Donuts’, but that would imply that the donuts don’t have a hole in their middle, and save for the very delicious rectangular Maple Bacon Bar, they absolutely do.

If you can get your hands on a Grumpy Donut, do so. They’re worth the challenge.

REVIEW: Ngon Vietnamese Street Food

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015

There are three food courts in Chinatown, each of them worth visiting repeatedly, exploring every restaurant and familiarising yourself with as many of the dishes on offer as possible. It’s pretty hard to go wrong, but if you wanna ensure rightness, here is a simple Chinatown food court hierarchy to use as a guide: Sussex Centre > Eating World > Dixon House. Disagree? Fight me. 9pm tonight outside the Paddy’s Markets. Loser has to eat at the Westfield food court for a month. Enjoy your Snag Stand.

The most recent addition to Sussex Centre’s stalls, already home to 10/10 eateries like Happy Chef and Ikkyu, is Ngon Vietnamese Street Food, a clean neon Vietnamese affair that’s next door to another clean neon Vietnamese affair. On the menu are some 40 lunch options, a grab bag of someone who’s recently visited Vietnam listing as many of the great meals they had while they were there in 30 seconds. While there’s a lot of familiarity on the menu (bowls of vermicelli, banh mi, rice paper rolls), there’s also a Hanoi specialty on there, one I’ve not seen on a Sydney Viet menu before: bun cha hanoi.

Bun cha is a collection of bowls – one filled with noodles, one with herbs, another some sauce – but the star of the bowl show is one filled with grilled patties of ground pork, swimming in a warm and sweet broth. You mix some cold noodles into the broth, throw a few herbs in, add some chili, eat it all together and make a huge mess. It’s super fun and super delicious, and Ngon’s take on the dish is great value but lacking in the flavour department. The broth is sweet and strange, but the pork patties are lacking the taste of charcoal that they’re cooked over traditionally, Ngon opting to grill them over gas instead. A pile of grilled pork would improve with that same charcoal kick, and the usual varied collection of Vietnamese herbs is a few mint leaves and grated carrot. Still, it’s a fun lunch, and hopefully the start of more Vietnamese joints adding the dish to the menu.

Where
Shop F6, Sussex Centre Food Court, 401 Sussex St, Haymarket

When
Mon-Sun, 12pm-8pm

How much
$9.80

I made my friend eat the level 7 spicy tom yum noodles at Do Dee Paidang

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

Everyone’s got that one mate who likes it hot. The one who empties the entire container of complimentary chillies into their bowl of pho and asks every staff member at a Mexican Restaurant “no seriously, what’s the spiciest hot sauce you’ve got?”. My one mate is Owie. I once emptied an entire bottle of cayenne pepper onto a sandwich I made him and he didn’t even notice the heat. I took him to Chairman Mao in Kensington, ordered the dishes that would put me in a coma and all I got was an acknowledgement, a raised eyebrow as he told me “yeah, it’s pretty spicy” before eating all the food on the table.

Do Dee Paidang, a small Thai noodle joint in Chinatown, has quickly reached a cult status for its small bowls of tom yum, which are filled with an aromatic broth, chewy rice noodles, various meats and fried egg noodles. The soups are graded from 0 – 7 on the heat scale, with each number representing the number of dried chilli scoops added to your broth. 0 is called ‘Do Dee Nursery’. Add one scoop of chilli and it’s already hot enough to warrant the name ‘Do Dee Monster’. I made it to level 3, and that bowl of ‘Do Dee Lava’ almost destroyed me. I could taste the chilli in my ears.

Level 7, containing seven scoops of dried chillies, is affectionately called ‘Do Dee Super Nova’. There was no fucking way I was going to eat a bowl of noodles named after a dead star, but I knew just the asshole who I could convince to eat it for me.

I talked it up a bit and as we looked at the menu Owie had a little bit of fear in him. “Maybe I should try a level 5 first?” he asked me. Level 5? What did I look like? Concrete Playground? This is Two-motherfucking-Thousand, motherfucker! I ordered two bowls of soup, immediately blowing the food budget offered by publications such as ours. I ordered Owie that level 7 Super Nova and got a Do Dee Nursery on the side, so Owie could try the soup in its unadulterated state (not because I’m a huge pussy).

The first spoonfuls of every spice level of tom yum are fantastic, a great mix of textures and taste. Event the first few spoonfuls of the Super Nova are ok, the other flavours allowed to exist before the chilli works its magic on your tastebuds. After 20 seconds Owie gives me that nod of acknowledgment he gave me at Chairman Mao. “Yeah, it’s pretty spicy”, but he keeps slurping away, stopping at the halfway mark to wipe the beads of sweat from his brow before taking his jacket off on what is supposedly the coldest day in Sydney’s last two decades.

I get my phone ready to record his failure but he persists, and within a minute he’s eaten all but a small pool of broth. “Drink it!” I yell, pushing the boundaries of our friendship. He does, leaving a mostly empty bowl, save for a few flecks of bright red fire powder. I give Owie a round of applause, the kind you only hear from white guys in Thai restaurants, and he stares into space. “That’s gonna burn tomorrow morning” he tells me, and I realise what a perfect epitaph that would be.

Where
9/37 Ultimo Rd, Haymarket

When
Mon-Sun 11am-1am

How much
$6.90 a bowl

Contact
02 8065 3827

SHOP: A.P.C. Sydney

apc

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

In the same week that ABC announced they would close all 50 of their retail stores around Australia, A.P.C. opened their first retail store in Sydney. Is the A.P.C. store a suitable replacement for ABC? Are high end, military inspired fashions as good as a DVD box set of Father Ted? Instead of buying your grandparents a Dr Karl book for Christmas this year, can’t you just get them a $250 pair of jeans instead?

If you can afford it, why not? There’s genuinely not a bad item in this sleek boutique, so long as you overlook those kinda suss hats. A.P.C. play it smart and minimal, so there’s nothing garish on the racks (except those pricetags AM I RIGHT? Just kidding they’re very reasonable considering the quality of the garments).

Those legends at Incu, once the only place in Sydney with a decent collection of A.P.C. goods, are behind this new store, and they’ve stocked the beautiful wooden shelves with A.P.C.’s finest jeans, jumpers, sunnies, handbags, dresses, jackets, coats, shoes, candles and of course, those A.P.C. x Aesop ‘post-poo drops‘. All class.

Where
406 Crown St, Surry Hills

When
Mon-Sun 10am-6pm

Contact
02 9380 2010

 

READ: Highlights from 500 issues of Two Thousand

cover_shot_500_1

I first subscribed to Two Thousand in 2007. An old Hotmail account contains every issue since 74 onwards, and although hosting changes have ensured those old issues are a mess of mostly broken links and missing images, you can still tell that each issue is full of reviews and recommendations from young writers who love Sydney.

The editor of that 74th issue was Nadia Saccardo, who is just one of the hundreds of Two Thousand contributors who were passionate about not just the city that they live in, but about getting others to be as passionate as they were. With every new editorial team came a slight change in tone (I hope my last year here can be fondly remembered as the era with the most dick jokes), but the drive was always the same: let the readers know about the coolest stuff happening in Sydney that week.

I got in touch with a few of the writers and editors who’ve contributed to the newsletter over the last decade to bring up some their highlights while they spent every week writing about the parts of Sydney that they were most passionate about each week.


Nadia Saccardo

The thing I loved about 2T through and through was that it was a platform to positively support people who were working hard to make Sydney more interesting and a nicer place to be. We had a lot of fun making the newsletter and website but always took that side of things super seriously.

Alex Vitlin

There were the times we got lost in a carpark looking for Alaska Projects; or woke up locked in a bar after sampling too much of its cocktail list; or when Bethany mused or Aniqa enthused; or when Cleo became the canniest food writer around; and every time Wilfred, our creative node, added a wing to his inner library of pop culture; and Hayley went from Bandits to Berlin. And everyone else found, just, all this goodness.

Two Thousand purported to be about the city but it was really about the people; just a legion of people who lived here forcefully wanting to do all these great things. And they appeared every week. It was hard to get to everyone, and it was a privilege, of sorts, that we couldn’t. Well done Sydney. Don’t stop doing that.

Hayley Morgan

I just know I’m about to leave out some pretty important stories we made. In my mind one editorial meeting melts into the next, especially since we are real journalists and decided we’d hold them at The Crix or The Hollywood. It’s a shared feeling though, that the best bit about working at The Thousands is that you get to share desks and email chains with the smartest people in Australia. So my favourite stories are the ones where I got to hang out, outside the office, with my wing lady Cleo Braithwaite. Snooping around the Design Files Open House with her was a lol – you really had to be there. Driving out to Orchard Hills/Tuscany to eat from a family’s backyard restaurant and squeal about their animals and fresh air was THE BEST too. Cheering from the sidelines when Golden Age Cinema & Bar opened is something I still brag about. But trying to convince all of Sydney to shave a Wu Tang logo into the back of their head is by far my greatest contribution to the internet.

Wilfred Brandt

I’m very lucky to have worked with so many talented people at a really fun job. It was exciting to hear all their great ideas and read their awesome writing each week (both within the Sydney office, and from the other cities). It was also really fun emailing something you wrote to someone else in the office for proofreading and waiting to hear them laugh at something stupid you wrote, or an inside joke. Cleo Braithwaite and I had a running competition to fit in puns each week… Scoops were great too, we got in the habit of eating a new place for lunch or dinner every work day (people were always surprised to learn we were all pretty much part-time). As READ editor I was deliriously happy I could email some random publisher in Spain, Lithuania, or L.A. and get free stuff. And it was really fun riding my bike across town to check out a place and write about it, giving terrific new, independent bars, restaurants, shops, festivals, clothing labels, breweries (etc) positive reviews and hearing that customers came pouring in afterwards.

I’m going to be totally narcissistic and talk about things I wrote which I am proud of. It was great to interview people I had always revered, such as John Waters and Cat Power. Other favourite articles: The Nut Shop Factory Outlet (Darren Knight was very pleased with my shout out to his gallery), the Clothing Optional Ice Cream Boat, Mark Drew’s Chronic Youth, the Teen Witch review I co-wrote with Hayley Morgan, and the Prince Tribute Show – fuck knows why about that last one. Maybe because man, that tone; writing in that tone every week was a pleasure, like texting your smart, hip, funny best friend, where you can be as romantic or cynical or cluey or stupid as you want.

Cleo Braithwaite

One of the incredible things about working on Two Thousand was the sheer scope of things that you could feasibly call ‘work’. Video of a kitten in a top hat to watch? Sure, that’s just researching COOL/FOOL links. Therefore work. Sitting with mates in the park on a sunny winter day, eating hot toast and glittery Space Jam? Yeah that’s work too. Eating yourself stupid in a little chunk of Tuscany out near Penrith? . Work, obviously. Getting Marys to put their secret fried chicken recipe down on paper? Delicious, crispy golden fried work. Even making a Joffrey Baratheon voodoo doll somehow fell under the generously-girthed umbrella that is work at Two Thousand.

Claire Finneran

Working for Two Thousand is really great.

Sometimes we get Arnotts biscuits inexplicably delivered in a cute branded carry bag. The best kind of press release is an edible press release as they say in the biz(cuit), but… why? Did we ever write about them in the past? Were they one of our first ever EATDRINKS? Did someone gush favourably over a new Tim Tam range?

I’m not complaining, right before Thursday deadline I’ll guiltlessly eat a whole box of Chicken Crimpy shapes and love every second of it. How great is that flavour dust residue that lies at the bottom of the foil bag, oh man, second only to the Barbecue shape red-finger coat- classic! I like to pre-lick and then get as much flavour stuck to my phalanges as possible. But, the mystery remains, a past editor must have dipped their hand into this bottomless cookie jar and started the supply. I wish I could ask them. I also wish I could show Arnotts how much I appreciate everything they’ve done for me. One day.


I might not use that old Hotmail account anymore, but after almost ten years I’m still subscribed to Two Thousand, and will continue to be after I’m deemed not cool enough to say what’s cool each week (which is actually tomorrow, so good riddance!). Here’s to 500 more issues of smoked mortadellaice cream pairingssmoking areascommemorative platesgross craft beers and fucking burgers. Here’s to Sydney.

REVIEW: Hartsyard’s ‘Fried Chicken & Friends’

harts

Originally published by Two Thousand in 2015.

One of life’s true miracles, fried chicken is readily available in most parts of Sydney at most times of the day. You could throw a handful of flour at a drumstick in a deep fryer and it would still taste pretty good, but genuinely great fried chicken takes time, and every fried chicken fan will tell you that the chicken they fry at Newtown’s Hartsyard is genuinely great.

Fried Chicken & Friends is the first cookbook by the couple behind Hartsyard – relocated New Yorker Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart, who opened an American restaurant at the peak of Sydney’s obsession with faux diner food but rose above the hype and delivered a menu that included American classics cleverly tweaked to reflect their Sydney setting.

While they could’ve just called this book Fried Chicken, the Friends include recipes for sweet potato pies, fried oyster po’ boys and poutine, plus a palate balancing selection of pickles and salads, an insane dessert section and some cocktails to wash it all down with.

hart2

As for the fried chicken recipe? It takes up the first 20 pages of the book, takes three days and requires a vacuum sealer. Like a lot of the recipes in Fried Chicken & Friends, it’s incredible to have it written out in front of you but it’s more likely to make you book a table at Hartsyard than it is inspire you to actually cook it. Some things are best left to the experts.

Who
Hartsyard’s Gregory Llewellyn and Naomi Hart

Where
Out now through Murdoch Books

How much
$49.99