Braised hanger steak parcels rolled with roasted eggplant, thyme and
Served with pureed cauliflower and eggplant on pan fried polenta cakes
This warm meal is one of my many favorite braising recipes; it blends a lot of wonderful flavors and textures. For winter, with a bottle of wine and friends, you can’t go wrong.
8 pieces of Hanger
1 large Eggplant
Cloves of Garlic
cups Heavy Cream
stick of Butter
cups Beef Stock
cup of Dijon Mustard
tbsp Chilli Flakes
cup Cheddar Cheese
the hanger steak and place cling film over each piece as you flatten it with a
clever. Slice eight thin slices of eggplant and half roast with salt for the
parcels. Also roast the remaining pieces. While roasting, dice carrots, onions
and garlic roughly and place in pot with madeira and beef stock. To assemble
the parcels, place one slice of eggplant over the steak, place a few sprigs on
thyme longways, smear with mustard and sprinkle chilli and pepper. Roll from
one end, tightly and tie with cooking string. In a hot pan, melt butter and
brown all eight parcels evenly. Place parcels into pot with a knob of butter, a
heap of mustard with salt and pepper to taste and cook for three hours at 400F
cauliflower and follow by pureeing with remaining eggplant, one garlic clove,
olive oil, half a cup each of heavy cream and cheddar cheese. This should have
a smooth consistency yet firm enough to hold two parcels when plating. Set
aside for flavours to meld.
always intimidated me, but not surprisingly, it was quite easily cooked. Start
by brining two cups of water and one cup of heavy cream to boil. Add polenta
and reduce and stir constantly for twenty five minutes, or until quite firm.
Add butter, salt and pepper and mix in well. Follow by placing into a tray and
sit aside to solidify further.
as the meat is nearing melting point, cut polenta cakes and fry with butter or
olive oil until well browned. Make sure the pieces cut are large enough to
support the cauliflower puree and two parcels.
all is cooked, reheat cauliflower puree. Start plating with polenta cakes,
making a diamond shape. Follow with a smear of the puree and place parcels on
top after removing string. The thyme is more for visual presentation so feel
free to remove after serving.
with carrots, onions and remaining broth from the juices.
A simple winter roast to warm even the
coldest of hearts.
I've been getting well into bird bastin’ and
roastin’ this season. I’m pretty sure this is the coldest I've EVER been in my
life and it’s been a great time to get back into the kitchen. I always remember
thinking growing up how ‘meh’ I felt about roasts, the only thing I truly loved
was the leg of the chicken, the soft tender meat! And maybe a spud. Now I’m
experiencing a renaissance of passion for a good roast.
Rule # one: Always use a free range
chicken at the very least. Caged birds never roast as nicely. Free range is
generally more robust in size and flavor.
Rule # two: Keep the sides simple.
Chuck your favorite winter vegetables onto a tray with some olive oil, salt and
pepper herbs of choice and call it a day.
Rule # three: Get the
butter involved. Butter brings a lot to the table. Place inside the chicken,
between the skin and meat and even over. This creates a wonderful flavor all
over and you can keep the juices for accompanying gravy.
Rule # four: Always make your own
1 Large Free Range Chicken
Mixed Baby Potatoes
1 stick of butter
Preheat the oven to 450 degrees. Let’s start
with the bird. The skin, like the meat are both make or breaks so I like to
start by separating the skin from the meat by stuffing with butter. This
moistens the meat and makes it super juicy and tender. Don’t be too aggressive,
just slide between gently. If you've been given the insides to the chicken,
keep them inside the chicken, stuffed with garlic, a halved lemon, thyme,
rosemary and butter. For the skin, coat in butter with salt & pepper and chopped thyme and rosemary. Don’t be afraid to use your hands! Place in oven and cook for
one hour and thirty minutes at 400 degrees.
For the vegetables, a rough peel and wash will
suffice. I placed them on a separate tray, but some like to roast together. Splash
liberally with olive oil, herbs and cloves of garlic. Remember to salt and
pepper. Cook for forty five minutes, give or
take to your liking. Be sure to rotate once or twice.
Keep an eye on your bird and baste half way
with butter and some cider if you’re keen. After the chicken has roasted and the meat has
been cut, you should be left with a surplus of juices. To this, add a little
salt and pepper, a splash of cream and some flour to thicken into gravy.
The importance of mapping endorsements against a broad brand
lifecycle. What is the dollar value versus the brand value?
Endorsements are a given, nothing new to the market, but
still remaining a huge influence as brands close in to marry their product to a
personality, an aspiration. Chain stores and luxury brands alike are becoming
increasingly interested in the dynamics between the celebrity and the consumer.
H&M launched the face of H&M Winter 12 campaign with
Lana Del Ray, relatively new ‘all-American’ music success. The advertising
budget was a significant spend, and also an investment to draw in sales for the
last quarter for 2012, just before Christmas sold the product itself. David
Beckham, a key fashion sex symbol has gone from Armani to H&M. The question
here is not just what this endorsement has provided in dollar and branding
value, but more interestingly, what has been the market response, second time
round for Beckham as an underwear ambassador? Has his time with Armani
diminished or heightened his presence as at H&M? Recycling endorsements
must be a very mindful manoeuvre. The chain store champion knows itself and its
scope to procure correct endorsements that match the brand fit. Dollar value
aside, it’s aligning value to its brand, equally.
paper published by the University of Arizona, ‘Economic Value of Celebrity Endorsements’, author Kevin Chung concludes that
endorsements have a positive effect on profits if the company is mindful of the
allocated endorsement time frame and behavioral evolution of the
celebrity, making reference to Tiger Woods and the decline in Nike’s profits
after his 2000 scandal.
To a lesser extent, Tom Ford pinup boy Jon Kortajarena was
snatched up by Kenneth Cole in an attempt to resuscitate its lost brand
personality and image. Kenneth Cole was viewed by many as on the decline and
has since announced a move back to the premium clothing market. Giving a
personality to your brand and marrying an endorsement to it does entail more
carryover than acquiring the latest model, it requires a strategic shift in
branding, an upheaval. These two cases really show the short shelf life endorsements
have with a brand; the difference is who creates the stronger resonance? Tom
Ford, at the height of global popularity launched with a personality before the
model and the brand wore Jon. Jon wore Kenneth Cole for a campaign. Two
separate markets to be sure, but Cole’s Winter Campaign spoke very little to
the consumer of the brand and more of a popular face of the times.
No endorsement, no matter the scope or size, is ever long
lasting, without a gamble. Revision is a must. It should always be periodic and
mapped to the DNA of the brand at one given time. The key is to understand the
power of the brand versus the power of the endorsements. You must be aware of
each value and to play them with strategy. Mapping a brand life cycle against
endorsers and understand that at each phase an endorsement can mean many
different things and leave varying impressions.
It is late December and Barneys has already emailed
consumers reminding them of a final 60 percent off international designer. It
is January and Mr Porter has announced a final 80 percent off. Why would you go to a
boutique and pay full price when it’s available in department stores or online
at more than half the price at an earlier, more convenient time?
Mr Porter Final Sale
In a great effort to combat the ever expanding digital
market, sale monopolies and to stand against the sluggish economy, many
retailers are falling victim to ‘promotion addiction and dependency’. A universal truth is that the market is more
unpredictable than ever.
With such instant access to cross price checking online,
cheaper substitutes and increased suppliers, the retail sector has no chance of
coordinating sale seasons and commanding power over consumers. Consumers today
hold more power than ever and retailers now must be in the bid to equal out the
playing field. Falling into a cycle of constant discounting and price cutting
is perceived as unavoidable by many retailers today. The only benefits are
short term and the damages are all long term.
Walking through New York, a supposed fashion capital, a
supposed fashion bubble economy, evidence of an aggregate fail can be seen
everywhere, from luxury to lump sum chain stores, end of season sales are
starting earlier and heavier. Signs of little growth over the last year are
omnipresent and this conditioning exercise is training consumers to wait for
sale season. What a brand is essentially doing by folding to sale earlier is
diminishing a respect for the brand and its price points. Why would you pay
full price when you can wait to get it half price or more. Department stores
holding the monopoly on sale movements will suffer the most, but will also
cause a domino effect, forcing all housed brands to match tactics or suffer. Any
retailer should not bank on majority profits received from sales mark downs; it
will only hurt the brand.
With such little coordination or an unspoken agreement for
appropriate sale time frames, consumers have retailers cornered and margins
will be the least of retailer’s worries in the long run. To resonate during
sale time, retailers are aiming to leave greater impressions with heavy
additional discounting; ‘save an additional X %’. This is now a widespread
tactic and is loosing impact.
Leading Australian retailer Saba is a key example to the
case at hand. Since the GFC and many earlier internal changes, the company has
been a market leader in many ways but also an advocate for promotions that have
diminished all brand value. The brand once held a premium positioning, it now
is known for sales and repeat designs. Saba have a very active marketing team
and are moving paces with their digital marketing and community building, but
are still falling short of the legs needed to stand in an unstable market
place, a heavier investment in branding needs to be understood as priority and
key to business and brand longevity. A market with consumers that have little respect
for a brand means no brand value and a dead brand.
Full priced season for Saba is aided with weekly discounts,
spend drivers and gift with purchases. They were at one point buying Facebook
likes with vouchers; you cannot buy consumers or a community. While the promotion
mix is strong, there has been a heavy decline in full price customers over many
‘It will probably be on sale next week, I’ll wait until
A middle ground solution is to invest priority in shifting
the fashion seasons, moving them forward as many retailers have started rolling
out with the ‘pre-collection’ movement. An earlier start to the season and a
quicker finishing time to keep current and profitable. Keeping up with the
Kardashians of retail will, like in real life, get you nowhere fast. Abstinence
from regular discounting is the only real way to beat the addiction.