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Slow-Roasted Italian Beef Brisket

Claire Chitham


"When the weather starts cooling off, nothing beats slow-roasting or slow-cooking one of your weekend dinners. I love to slow-roast a delicious piece of meat and a few in-season vege on Sundays so I can use the leftovers for dinner or lunches during the week. I've used an oven to slow-roast this Italian beef brisket but you could also do it in a slow cooker, simply adjust the times to suit."
- Yours in health and happiness, KB xx

Serves 4 or 2 people + leftovers


1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, cold-pressed where possible (I love the mild flavour from Hawkes Bay producers The Village Press cause it's not too intense and it's not too expensive)
2 onions diced
2-3 garlic cloves crushed (dependent on how "garlicky" you want it)
1 leek sliced
2 stalks celery diced
1 carrot peeled and diced
1.5 - 2kg quality beef brisket ("know your source" - I use organic, ethically farmed meat wherever possible sourced from by my local butcher Ivan, owner of Clarks The Organic Meat Specialists)
1 bay leaf, 1/2 rosemary branch, 2 stems of fresh thyme (all tied together)
1/4 cup red wine
2 x 400g organic chopped tomatoes (I use Ceres Organics Chopped Tomatoes cause their cans are BPA-free or you could use fresh tomatoes with their skins removed)
1L beef stock - enough to cover brisket (Generally, I like to make my own stock but if I don't have time Restore Bone Broth are a local NZ brand that do excellent beef and chicken stock made from organic bones)
1 eggplant, diced
Salt and pepper to taste


1. Preheat oven to 120 degrees celsius
2. Heat the oil in a heatproof casserole dish or any pan that can go in the oven with a lid
3. Add the beef brisket (fat and all!) and brown on all sides. Remove and set aside
4. Add your mirepoix (that's a fancy name for all your diced vegetables) of onions, carrots and celery, garlic, a sprinkle of sea salt, the leek and your herbs and fry gently (you want these ingredients to soften, rather than burn so keep the heat on medium)
5. Add the wine and let the alcohol simmer off for 20-30 seconds
6. Add the chopped tomatoes and beef broth
7. Return the brisket to the same dish and sit it on top - making sure the broth and tomato mixture adequately cover the brisket
8. Cover with a lid and place in the oven for 6-7 hours until the meat is tender and falling through the sauce
9. With one hour cook time to go, add the diced eggplant (if you include any earlier it just turns to mush, still yummy, but mushy)
10. Remove the lid in the final 10-15 minutes of cooking to allow sauce to thicken
11. Serve with your favourite mash or roasted in-season veges. We love golden kumara with this hearty Italian dish. Bellissimo!

Vietnamese Beef Pho

Claire Chitham

“I love broth-based soups any time of year - this is my take on Vietnamese Beef Pho. If you’ve already made a batch of broth, it’s a really quick lunch or dinner that’s really nourishing and easy to make.”
- Yours in health and happiness, KB

Serves 4


1 large onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic
1 tbsp coconut oil
400 grams of mince or any good-quality beef (grass-fed, organic, if possible)
1 cup butternut
2 cups red cabbage
8 cup chicken broth or beef broth
6 mushrooms, quartered
2 cups carrot, finely chopped or spiralised into noodles
A handful of kale
Himalayan salt, to taste

To serve:

1/2 cup Thai or Italian basil
1 lime, quartered
Fermented soya sauce or hoisin sauce
Sriracha sauce, to taste


  1. Heat a large soup pot on high and add coconut oil
  2. Add onion and garlic and gently fry until translucent and flavours release
    (GFU Top Tip: You can add a sprinkle of sea salt or Himalayan salt to the onion and garlic to stop it burning)
  3. Add mince and gently fry until brown
  4. Add butternut, red cabbage and broth
  5. Simmer uncovered for 10 minutes and then add mushrooms, kale and carrot noodles
  6. Gently simmer for another 5 - 10 minutes
  7. Pour into large soup bowls and serve with basil, lime and your favourite sauces.

Berry Tofu Whip

Claire Chitham

Serves 4

“I’ve got a bit of a sweet tooth and have been experimenting with silken tofu. It’s a great substitute for dairy if you need it, and handy for creating a healthier dessert. This idea was suggested by a friend and i've been playing with the mix to get a consistency that works as a protein hit on my brekky and also as a dessert whip!”
- Yours in health and happiness, CC.


140 grams (about 1/4 - 1/2 a block) of silken tofu (organic if possible - soy beans really need to be GMO free) 
100 grams of your favourite berries, fresh or frozen
1/2 cup of coconut water/fresh juice/coconut milk
2 tbsp raw honey to taste 


  1. Add all ingredients into blender and process until smooth and creamy. Use the liquid to adjust the consistency. Start pouring slowly, you don't want it to get too runny. It doesn't set much thicker than what you blend. 
  2. Pour into glasses and chill until ready to serve. Can be used as a dessert, (crumble dark chocolate on top!) on your brekky bowl, or add to smoothies for a protein punch. Experiment with adding banana, a dash of fresh apple or orange juice, or even throw in some cacao for a chocolate hit. Delish!