All posts by “nmckay

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My Excellent Media Centre Setup!

There comes a time in everyones life when they get old and just want to watch the Simpsons all day – every day.

I wanted this, but I didn’t want to think too much about it after i’ve set it up. I don’t want to have 30 remotes and I wanted something that would index all of my media and make it easy to find and play what I have in my collection.

To achieve this I used the following hardware and software:


  • *HP Microserver N54l
  •  4x 2tb hard drives
  •  1x 64gb SSD (for OS)
  •  Thermaltake max 5 duo (allows 2.5in ssd and a 5th 3.5in disk)
  •  Asus Nvidia gt610
  •  Astrotek PCI-E 2x SATA expansion card


  • Ubuntu Linux
  • XBMC

Now XBMC is the key to all this – it will index all of your media and present in a way that makes it easy

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Ingredients (for two): 5 medium beetroots, Peel and shred finely. 200g polish sausage (Don’t buy Han’s polish sausage, it’s not great. Pork sausage or similar works fine if you can’t find polish sausage, but it’ll have less flavour). 5 carrots – shread finely 2 Medium potatos… Read more

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Traditional Beef Goulash Recipe

This is a fantastic traditional family recipe given to me by a friend.  This is properly authentic.

Traditionally goulash is a dish enjoyed by the poor – Farmers, labourers and paupers alike.  Despite this goulash is a delicious hearty stew that can be enjoyed by anyone and is especially great during the winter months.

It’s also a great way to impress a new flame – it worked for me at least.  You might even get bonus points cooking for someone from Hungary and serving something that tastes just like how their mum makes it.

Goulash can be served accompanied by just about anything and even enjoyed on it’s own. I like it with pasta (traditionally it’s served with noodleki which I’ll blog about another time) however rice is also a great choice.

Ingredients (for two):

  • 500g of shin beef or oso buco (not gravy beef)
  • 1 onion per kilo of meat
  • 1 tomato per kilo of meat (older, riper tomatoes are great for this and traditionally used)
  • 1/2 green capsicum per kilo of meat
  • 1/2 red capsicum per kilo of meat
  • 1/2 banana capsicum per kilo of meat

(Feel free to use all green/red/banana capsicums – banana and red are best for this dish) 

  • 1 to 3 cloves of garlic per kilo of meat (add more if you are like me and love garlic)
  • 1 big potato
  • Grape seed oil (or any oil that you use normally)


  • Marjoram
  • Garlic Steak
  • Mixed Herbs
  • Beef powdered stock
  • Chicken powdered stock
  • Hungarian powdered paprika (Absolutely best with Hungarian paprika – however most will do fine)


Chop the meat, capsicum, onion, potato and garlic into fine squares and put into a cold pot – unlike most dishes you want to start with a cold pot.

Cube the tomatos – however place the tomato into another bowl to the side to be added later.

Put 1 BIG table spoon of oil per kilo of meat then add a splash for prosperity

Turn on stove to HIGH

Mix contents of pot with a wooden spoon until the meat goes whitish. Mix by folding over meat and vegetables from the bottom to the top, constantly scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent the onions sticking and burning, keep the contents moving.

Once all meat is consistent whitish grey take the pot off the heat (literally move the pot off the stove)

Time to add the spices

  • 2 tea spoons of powdered beef stock per kilo of meat
  • 2/3rds tea spoon of powdered chicken stock per kilo of meat
  • 1 tea spoon of mixed herbs per kilo of meat
  • 1/2 tea spoon of garlic steak per kilo of meat
  • 1 tea spoon of marjoram
  • Take the lumps out of the powdered paprika and then add 1 HEAPED Table spoon per kilo of meat
  • Add some chilli flakes or chopped chilli if you like a bit of spice

Mix in the spices OFF HEAT ONLY pay attention to the colour, the paprika should have given everything a tinge of redness, if its not add a little more.  You don’t have to be precise and there is a lot of room for error when mixing the spices.

Place the pot back on to high heat, Add 1 tea spoon of salt per kilo of meat and mix salt in quickly as the contents heats up.  Once the ingredients begin to make a bubbling sound add the tomato and mix through.

You’ll notice now that the liquid in the pot will begin to rise.  Let it bubble for a while then turn down the heat and place a lid on the pot.

Let your goulash simmer for 10 minutes then mix from top to bottom and taste the sauce (try and let it cool down beforehand you can’t taste much when it’s at boiling point), try to look for the spice taste and the tomato taste.If you feel it needs more spice at this point it’s best to correct it with only marjoram and garlic steak add both to maintain balance if extra spice is required.

Now for the home stretch, stir every 20-30 minutes and cook for a minimum of 2 hours to break down the meat.

Serve into bowls with your side of Pasta or rice and enjoy – I wouldn’t recommend adding salt, but add pepper to taste.