Jolly Butchers cook up a storm

ARTIE Vella's Buderim home was transformed into The Beach Shack on the first episode of My Kitchen Rules last night.

The Nambour Plaza Meats owner and his colleague Johnny Brown, known as the Jolly Butchers, cooked up a storm to impress both judges and their critical competitors at the opening of the show's second season.

Johnny admitted the theme became “a bit of a mission” after Artie ordered one cubic metre of sand to evoke a seaside feel.

“He had this bright idea to order a heap of sand and of course landscapers do give you more than what you really want,” he said.

Artie defended his decision, saying the theme brought the feel of the Sunshine Coast into their “restaurant.”

With a little help from their friends, they were able to beg and borrow surfboards, fishing rods, nets and other beachy items to add the finishing touches.

Although it was the aesthetics that initially captivated their guests, it was not long before the focus was on the food.

The Jolly Butchers were pushed to the limit and did all they could to shake the stereotype quickly placed on them by their competitors.

Their entree of Chicken and Bug Meat Roulade with a Frangelico and Cream Chive Sauce did not take the fancy of judge Manu Feildel, who said the frangelico sauce “really freaked me out” and went on to comment on the dryness of the meat.

Their Twice-Cooked Pork Belly main turned the tables.

“One thing that got both of us was that Peter (Evans) and Feildel said it was the best pork and pork crackling he had tasted in a long time,” Artie said.

“Peter and Manu are two of Australia's best chefs.”

With a commanding score of 76 out of a possible 110, Artie said they were able to sit back, relax and enjoy watching what the other 11 teams conjured up.


Entree – Chicken and Bug Meat Roulade with a Frangelico and Cream Chive Sauce

Main – Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Scallops, Cauliflower, Green Cabbage and Carrot Bundles

Dessert – Poached Pears in Chocolate and Almond Cake (see recipe below)


Poached Pears in Chocolate & Almond Cake

Prep time:  1 hour

Cook time:  1hour             

Serves:  4


500ml sugar syrup

200ml peach liqueur

180ml water

Pinch saffron threads

1 vanilla bean, split, seeds scraped

4 small pears, peeled

Icing sugar, to dust

Fresh mint, to decorate

Double cream, to serve

chocolate cake

100g unsalted butter

110g caster sugar

3 eggs, separated

100g dark eating chocolate, melted

100g almond meal

2 tablespoons plain flour

1 tablespoon peach liqueur

chocolate ganache sauce

100g dark eating chocolate, chopped

60ml pure cream


  1. Bring sugar syrup, liqueur, water, saffron and vanilla seeds to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add pears. Simmer, covered, for about 30 minutes, or until pears are tender. Transfer pears to a plate to cool slightly. Reserve poaching liquid for another use. Trim bases of pears to sit flat. Using an apple corer and sharp knife,  remove  core from pears, keeping stem intact.
  2. To make chocolate cake, preheat oven to 170C. 
  3. Beat butter and sugar in large bowl of electric mixer until pale and fluffy. Add egg yolks one at a time, beating between additions. With motor operating, add chocolate in a steady stream. Fold in almond meal, flour and liqueur.
  4. In a clean, grease-free bowl, beat egg whites until firm peaks form. Gently fold into chocolate mixture, in two batches. Divide mixture among four ovenproof dishes (1 ¼ -cup/310ml capacity). Place dishes on a baking tray. Place a pear in centre of each dish.
  5. Bake for 20 minutes or until cake is cooked when tested. Remove from oven. Stand 10 minutes.
  6. Meanwhile, to make chocolate ganache sauce, stir chocolate in a heatproof bowl over a saucepan of simmering water until melted. Stir in cream until smooth and combined.
  7. Drizzle cakes with chocolate ganache. Dust with sifted icing sugar. Decorate with mint. Serve with double cream.

Twice Cooked Pork Belly with Scallops, Cauliflower, Green Cabbage and Carrot Bundles

Prep time:  2 hours

Cook time:   3hours    

Serves:   4


1kg boneless belly pork

2 litres chicken stock

Salt and pepper, to taste

2 medium carrots, cut into batons

4 chives, for tying

2 savoy cabbage leaves

20g butter

8 medium scallops, without roe

1 bunch broccolini, steamed


20g butter

½ onion, chopped finely

500ml lager beer

110g caster sugar

2 teaspoons cornflour

cauliflower puree

20g butter

½ onion, chopped finely

1 garlic clove, chopped finely

150g boiled cauliflower, chopped finely

100ml cream


  1. Preheat oven to 150C.
  2. Place pork in a large flameproof casserole dish. Add stock.  Bring to the boil. Transfer to the oven. Simmer, covered, for about 2 ½ hours or until tender. Remove pork. Strain and reserve stock for sauce.
  3. Increase oven to 200C. Score pork rind with a sharp knife and generously sprinkle with salt. Place pork on a rack over a roasting tray. Roast for 30 minutes or until skin is crisp. Slice thickly.
  4. Meanwhile, cook carrots in a saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain. Divide into four portions. Tie portions with chives to form bundles.
  5. Cook cabbage leaves in a large saucepan of boiling, salted water until tender. Drain. Cool. Divide butter among centre leaves. Season. Fold in sides of leaf and roll up. Wrap each cabbage roll in cling film.
  6. To prepare sauce, heat butter in a deep frying pan. Cook onion until soft. Add beer and sugar. Boil until reduced by a third. Add reserved stock. Boil for about a further 45 minutes or until reduced by a further two thirds. Add cornflour combined with 1 ½ tablespoons cold water. Bring to the boil. Remove sauce from heat. Season.
  7. To make cauliflower puree, heat butter in a medium saucepan. Cook onion and garlic, over a medium heat, stirring until very soft. Add cauliflower and cream. Simmer until thick. Remove from heat. Cool slightly. Blend until smooth. Season.
  8. Steam carrot bundles and cling film-wrapped cabbage rolls for 2-3 minutes or until hot. Remove cling film from cabbage. Cut in half.
  9. Season scallops. Heat a lightly greased frying pan until very hot. Add scallops and cook for 1 minute. Turn and cook for a further 15 seconds.
  10. Spoon cauliflower puree onto plates. Top with pork and scallops. Serve with cabbage, carrots and broccolini. Drizzle with sauce.

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