BBQ Pitmasters NZ is a group for fans of 'low and slow' Barbecue in NZ. This group is also supported by the Australasian Barbecue Alliance. They are a positive and fun bunch of both female and males.
Its one of those sub cultures that you don't know how you missed it!
So what is this "low and slow" cooking method? well... meat is cooked for a few main reasons... tenderise, add flavour and of course to kill off any nasties living on your pre dinner fodder. These can all be achieved by cooking meat on a high temperature for a short time or cooking at a low temperature for a long time.
Low and Slow meals are easier to make and cost effective using cuts of meat that improve in texture and flavor when cooked for long periods of time at low temperatures - suggestions for BBQ are:
BEEF - Brisket, Cheek or Beef Ribs. LAMB - Any cut. PORK - Shoulder or neck, served pulled, chopped or slice, or a combination . PORK RIBS - Baby Back, Spare or St Louis.
Low and slow is the way to go! The benefits involve the meat retaining all the fat, juices and flavour and allows all budgets to benefit from this cooking method. Sounds like the way to cook for me!
BBQ's have come a long way since I was a young lad, kicking cans down the streets of London. You get a simple set up from the likes of The Warehouse going up to the "professional" get up - from companies such as Radar Hill Smokers and Green Mountain Grills.
Coming up in February is the MeatStock Festival and is great way to support our agricultural, hospitality, music and competitive "sporting" industry all in one place!
Pharmacy and supermarket shelves are packed with a myriad of herbal remedies for common ailments, especially with winter on its way.
On closer inspection these products are mostly derived from non indigenous plants, which have a long history of medicinal use in Europe.
We need to embrace of NZ native plants.
For instance, Murdoch Riley’s book “Maori Healing and Herbal” has pages of medicinal information, reflecting the depth of Maori knowledge developed over centuries of observation and use.
These plant remedies are still widely used today, by both Maori and pakeha (non Maori) the ritual and spiritual aspects are still relevant in Maori communities.
But we don't use them??? I think knowing about their special properties enriches our experience of native plants, and provides another reason to keep biodiversity in Aotearoa.
Kawakawa (Macropiper excelsum, or pepper tree)
Kawakawa is an easily recognized shrub, with aromatic, heart-shaped leaves, that grows widely in coastal regions.
Kawakawa gives us a clue as to why the first arrivals here from Polynesia called it that. The leaves are like its relative, kava (Piper methysticum), used widely in the South Pacific, Kava has a narcotic effect.
Kawakawa leaves are highly valued for relieving bronchial complaints. Boil a handful of the fresh, young leaves in a small saucepan of water for 15-20 minutes, then drink half a cup of the liquid to relieve chesty coughs.
To make a distinguished tea, for use as a general tonic, it’s best to dry the leaves first, then use a small quantity in a teapot. It’s very good for relieving indigestion.
The fruits and leaves were chewed for toothache – swallow the saliva and keep the leaf matter in your mouth for some time. (The active ingredient is myristicin, which is related to eugenol, a dental analgesic)
Kawakawa leaves were commonly used in hot baths for rheumatic and arthritic pains.
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