Bacon & Watercress Boil Up

Bacon & Watercress Boil Up

Being half Maori, half English, half German, half Scottish and half Irish has assured me the culinary skill to be able to boil any meal of the day.

I enjoy the efficiency of flicking the switch on the stove and reheating over and over again my boil up pot, such a dream. My wife thinks it’s a fucking nightmare. But like all women that are 100% Australian Bushranger stock, you know the type, always on the run, never relaxed enough to appreciate the alluring aroma of a boil up pot that’s been sitting on the stove for a good week.

Maoris treat it with the same respect as a French baker would feed daily his 100-year-old culture starter for his sourdough bread. Continually topping up the ingredients here and there when needed, intensifying that wonderfully pungent master stock that my wife thinks smells like ‘camel piss’. Once again, I don’t hail from bushrangers, so who am I to argue what the scent of camel urine smells like.

Any Maori will tell you it’s soul food. The smell that fills the home is one that intoxicates the senses, evokes warmth, togetherness, family time even pants off alone time.

Me and the Koro

If there’s one thing I learned from my old boy was that, over the course of a boil up pots stint, it may see many different ingredients. It may start out with just bacon, watercress, potatoes and doughboys. By the time it’s run its course, I may have thrown in pork or beef sausages, pork or lamb chops, pork belly, speck, more bacon, cabbage, carrots, taro, cassava and a tonne of butter. On this lap, Watties tomato sauce is a must!

NB: I know that’s not Watties in the photo. I had just run out and couldn’t be fucked going down the street to get more. It was early days. Plus a bit of sugar-free stuff is good for the diabetics in the house.

Dad would go for days just reincarnating the same ingredients. Personally unlike conventional Maori-ism, after about day three, I split from the pack and heed the calling of my European roots, bringing in the big guns, indulging in kransky, knockwurst, rookwurst, bratwurst, even South African boerewors sausage. Big bold flavours, some adding a smokey edge to the broth. I will savor each bite with some sauerkraut, sweet Belgian mustard or German mustard.

Here I will usually throw in some carbs seeing as the doughboys disappeared a couple of days ago, by adding some gnocchi or German Spaetzle noodles if you could be fucked making them.

Look boilup may not be the healthiest dish on the planet, but if you lay off all the bread, doughboys, potatoes or noodles etc boilup itself can compliment a ketogenic diet, provided you consume a sensible amount and don’t be a dickhead and go overboard.

I myself, regardless if I return to vegan-ism again, will always love the smell and the memories that this one-pot dish provided throughout my life.



Grab yourself:

A huge pot
2kg Watercress
1kg Bacon
500g Potatoes washed and peeled
150g Butter
  1. Wash Watercress
  2. Place in pot with potatoes and bacon on top
  3. Fill with water 2/3 the way up the ingredients, add butter and a good pinch of salt
  4. Bring to the boil. As soon as boiling begins, reduce heat to low-medium and cook for 20 to 25 minutes or until tender.
  5. Add doughboys and cook for a further 15 minutes
  6. Consume


You’ll need:

2 Cups Self Raising flour

1. Place flour in a bowl add a good pinch of salt
2. Add enough water to bring flour together
3. Flour bench and turn mix out on it
4. Add more flour or water if needed
5. Knead dough until all comes together. Dont over work
6. Roll pieces into balls about 5cm across
7. Add to the top of ingredients cover with lid and cook until fluffy in the middle. About 15 minutes.
8. Chur

NB: When I could be bothered, I rub about 80g of cold butter into the flour before I add the water. 
I sometimes swap out the water for lemonade, soda water or milk.
Watercress Spanakopita

Watercress Spanakopita

Those who know me know, that I lose my marbles around filo pastry. I love the stuff. Paper thin sheets of buttery, flakey goodness sandwiched together like paper thin sheets of buttery, flakey goodness sandwiched together.. I can imagine myself as a hobo laying on a cold park bench in winter wrapped in it, yet floating off to sleep with a happy, comforted smile.

This is my take on one of the greatest Greek dishes on this here planet, using one of my favourite Maori/Polynesian ingredients.. watercress from leftover boil up! Chur-iffic!

First things first, remember when working with filo, don’t stuff around. Never use the filo shit from any shop that’s come from the frozen section, only out of the fridge area. And, always have a damp cloth on the ready to place over filo sheets that aren’t being used so they don’t dry out.

Ok let’s hit it!

You will need:

Your favourite lasagne tray or
springform pan
Filo Pastry sheets
2 Cups Watercress from boilup. Drained and pressed over night
1 Cup Ricotta 
80g Cheddar 
100g Fetta
250g butter should be heaps
Handful of Dill
Handful of Parsley
Juice of a Lemon
Salt & Pepper

1.As mentioned before you will need to 
press as much liquid out of the 
watercress as you can, as not to make
the pastry soggy
2.Chop the Parsley and Dill and place
into a bowl with watercress, the three 
cheeses, lemon juice and a good grind
of nutmeg. Taste. Adjust seasoning with
salt and pepper
3.Mix well. Cover and set aside
4.Get your tray and cover the bottom 
with a sheet of filo pastry. 
5.Brush with melted butter.. oh yeah,
melt the butter
6.Repeat 4-6 sheets
7.Spread mix over pastry
8.Repeat steps 4-6
9.Give it all a nice little press and 
pre-cut into squares or triangles. Cut
it into any shape you want it’s your 
10.Beat an egg and add a splash of milk
for basting. Baste it with a brush
11.Cook in 180deg/C or 170deg/C fan 
forced until golden and flakey 
12.Let stand for 5-10 minutes
13.Plate up, take a few Instagram pics
and post the shit out of it!

Enjoy x