I recently attended a cooking class at 3 Seeds Cooking School in Fyshwick. I booked this class months ago after Bron had given me a voucher for my birthday. At this time of year, truffles are the big thing and 3 Seeds has lots of truffle classes. I like truffles but I wasn’t that interested in a truffle cooking class. Instead I went with the winter warmers which consisted of a pork belly entrée, a northern Italian braised lamb shank main course and a sticky pudding dessert.
The class had about twelve students, one instructor (Andrew) and a couple of assistants. The students were split into three groups of four people and we all participated in preparing dinner.
I had a lot of fun and learnt a few things. For example, when rubbing oil and salt into pig skin the amount of drying off is important, the type of salt is important and the duration of rubbing is important. I usually use a bit of paper towel to dry the pig skin. Andrew showed us it requires a little more effort with a cloth towel. While I use sea salt in a grinder Andrew pointed out that finely ground cooking salt isn’t ideal and leads to an over salted result. He recommends buying salt flakes and suggested Murray River salt flakes. When I rub in oil and salt I usually don’t massage it in and my rubbing is pretty quick. Andrew explained that he rubs in the oil and salt until is starts to feel soapy. When it gets to that stage, rub it some more.
With the lamb I learnt that low slow cooking isn’t the only way to get a tasty succulent result. Andrew asks his butcher for spring lamb and shanks from the hind quarter. The hind quarter has more meat. He also recommends sealing the meat before applying any seasoning and then braising in a hot oven for about an hour or so covered with baking paper and a table plate. He also reckons using flour before the sealing is neither here nor there and given so many people claim to have a gluten intolerance these days it’s easier not to add the flour.
I confess I didn’t take much notice of the dessert. I spent my time rubbing meat, cutting vegetables, cutting mushrooms, sautéeing mushrooms in vast quantities of butter, brown sugar and truffle salt, topping and tailing beans and puréeing sweet potatoes.
I learnt how to make a nice sweet potato and garlic mash by baking the sweet potatoes first in a relatively small amount of cream. I also learnt about double cooking green vegetables to keep them crisp and colourful.
You can see the final results in the photographs. I also got to take home a wedge of pudding, a lamb shank and a brick of pig.You can see the leftover photographs. I thought everything tasted great. I’m trialing a SmugMug account and have posted a gallery of these images. If you click on the information (i) icon you can also get map information on geotagged photographs.
I’d happily recommend 3 Seeds Cooking School. Andrew is a friendly affable instructor and easy to get along with. The kitchen is very well appointed. The knives are nice and sharp and feel good in the hand. The cooking equipment is high quality and the assistants do the washing up. The stove tops and ovens are very good and Andrew is happy to share information on why he chose them for the cooking school. If you go to the 3 Seeds Cooking School website you can find information on the equipment.
Thanks Bron for the birthday gift.