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Slow Roasted Pork with Native Pepperleaf and Fennel Seeds

Slow roasted pork is one of my favourite indulgences, and fills the house with incredible aromas as it spends hours cooking away in the oven. This version was created when I had about 5 hours available, though I will take as long as I have - if you have 8 hours, for instance, reduce the temperature even further after the initial blast of heat, and cover it with foil if you're concerned about the edges getting overcooked. I love the soft, falling apart result of pulled pork, and really enjoy adding native Australian pepperleaf to this version.


INGREDIENTS

1 tbsp Native Pepperleaf Flakes
1 tbsp fennel seeds
1/2 tbsp salt
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Pork shoulder cut, about 1.5-2kg

METHOD

Remove the pork shoulder from the fridge a couple of hours before you want to cook it (ideally, though an hour should be enough) so that it can come to room temperature. If you love a crispy skin on your roast, dry it out by keeping it uncovered in your fridge overnight before cooking. Score the skin with a sharp knife, either in parallel lines or criss-crossed over the top.

Preheat the oven to 220 degrees celsius.

Combine the pepperleaf flakes, fennel seeds and salt with the olive oil, and rub the oil and spice mix all over the pork shoulder roast. Place on a rack in a roasting dish, and place in the preheated oven for 40 minutes.

Reduce the heat to 160 degrees celsius, and roast for a further 4 hours. Take the roast our of the oven, cover with aluminium foil and allow to rest for about 20 minutes before serving.


Feeds 6 ish

Enjoy!



Chocolate and Quandong Cupcakes with Quandong Cream Cheese

Quandongs are one of my most loved native Australian flavours - this wild peach has a gorgeous deep pink colour, and a delicious tart yet sweet taste that I adore. My kids love Quandong Jam, that classic preserve, and recently I came up with the idea of making cupcakes with a nod to Black Forest Cake, but simpler and with a native Australian twist.

This chocolate cupcake recipe is tweaked from the classic Chocolate Simplicity Cake my mum made when we were kids. The 'icing' is a sweetened cream cheese, rather than the butter mix of a true icing recipe - I love the cream cheese taste. You can also use your own favourite cupcake recipe, or even try it with a vanilla cake for a totally different flavour!


INGREDIENTS

CUPCAKES
1 cup plain flour
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 cup cocoa
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup milk
2 eggs
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/2 cup melted butter
1/4 cup Quandong Jam

ICING
250g block cream cheese
1 cup icing sugar
2 tbsp Outback Pride Quandong Jam


METHOD
  1. Preheat oven to 180 degrees celsius. Line a cupcake tray with paper liners.
     
  2. In a mixing bowl, combine flour, baking powder, sugar and cocoa. Add eggs, vanilla extract and gradually pour in milk while stirring.
     
  3. Add the melted butter to the mix, and stir well to combine.
     
  4. Spoon the cake mix into the cupcake liners, taking care not to over fill.
     
  5. Place the cupcakes in to the preheated oven, and bake for 18-20 minutes, or until cooked through. Allow to cool slightly before turning out onto a wire rack.
     
  6. Meanwhile, use an electric beater to whip the cream cheese until softened. Add the vanilla extract and icing sugar, then mix well. When the cream cheese is smooth and light, add the Quandong Jam and mix again to combine.
     
  7. When the cupcakes are cool, use a teaspoon to remove a round cap from each top. Spoon 1 teaspoon of Quandong Jam into each cupcake, and then replace the cap.
     
  8. Top each cupcake with the Quandong Cream Cheese, and enjoy!
Makes 12 cupcakes



Kutjera, Beef and Onion Pastries


Since we've been living in the United States, the kids have missed the Aussie bakery - where meat and vegie pies are aplenty, and make for an easy (and economical!) treat lunch. Happily, we have discovered piroshky, Russian pastries available from a nearby shopping center. I love the ones made with puff pastry, and was inspired to make my own native-Australian-flavoured puff-pastry pies at home.

These are somewhere between a pie and a pasty in form, and unlike typical Aussie pies are completely surrounded in puff pastry, rather than shortcrust. Much like my various sausage roll variations, using puff pastry sheets is both for simplicity and flavour - I adore the flakiness!

The beef mince here uses ground kutjera - or, bush tomato - as well as native pepper seasoning for a uniquely Australian twist. The thing I love about my native Australian pantry is that jars of herbs and spices are easy to take overseas, and last quite awhile in the cupboard. I brought the whole range of sealed jars over here with me, and have been enjoying using them in my home cooking.


Ingredients

500gm beef mince
2 medium onions
2 garlic cloves
1 tbsp ground cumin
2 tbsp Outback Pride Ground Kutjera
1/2 tbsp Outback Pride Native Pepper Seasoning
1/2 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt + more to taste, as necessary
2 tbsp olive oil
4 sheets puff pastry
2 eggs, beaten

Method

1. Mince the onion and garlic in a food processor or similar. Put the olive oil in a medium pan over medium heat. Add the onion mixture to the pan. Stir, cooking gently, for about 5 minutes or until onion is soft.

2. Add the cumin, kutjera, native pepper seasoning and paprika to the pan. Stir for 1 minute. Add the beef mince, and break up the meat thoroughly as it cooks. Reduce heat to low.

3. Season with salt, stir to combine and continue to cook the meat down. Taste the mixture and continue to season to taste. Simmer the meat mixture for about 10 minutes, and then remove from heat. Allow to cool.

4. Preheat oven to 200 degrees celsius. Cut each sheet of puff pastry into 4 pieces. One at a time, brush the square of pastry with egg and place 1/4 cup beef mixture carefully in the centre. Fold opposite corners of the pastry in to overlap in the middle, and press together. Fold the remaining two corners in, overlap the points of the corners in the centre, and press together the pastry edges to seal.

5. Place them on a baking tray with baking paper / parchment paper and brush each pie with the egg mixture to glaze. Bake for 20-25 minutes until golden. Serve with your favourite sauce or relish!

Makes 16 pastries

Lamb, Eggplant and Lemon Myrtle Meatballs

Lamb has a great flavour, and I just love combining it with mediterranean ingredients like roasted eggplant, hummus and feta cheese. These meatballs use lamb mince and are inspired by a Donna Hay recipe, with some tweaking and improv (the way that I cook most days!) as well as the addition of a native Australian herbs Sea Parsley and Lemon Myrtle Flakes.



These make amazing finger food, part of a buffet spread or appetisers. When you serve them at a party or gathering, grab one quickly, they won't last!

INGREDIENTS

1 medium-large eggplant, finely diced
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
500gm lamb mince
3 small-medium cloves garlic, crushed
1/3 cup crumbled goat cheese (alternatively, use feta cheese)
Outback Pride Sea Parsley
Outback Pride Lemon Myrtle Flakes
Freshly ground black pepper and sea salt, to taste
Extra 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil


METHOD
  1. Preheat the oven to 180 degrees celsius. Toss the finely diced eggplant in 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil, and spread on a baking sheet lined with baking paper. Cook in preheated oven for 25-30 minutes (will vary depending on your oven and how finely the eggplant are diced, so keep an eye on them toward the end to prevent burning). Allow to cool.
  2. In a bowl, mix the lamb mince with the crushed garlic, Australian native herbs, salt and pepper, crumbled goat cheese and cooled roasted eggplant. 
  3. Scoop a heaped teaspoon of meatball mixture and roll into a ball. Repeat until the mixture is all used up. If you have time to keep the meatballs in the fridge for an hour or two, this will help them keep their shape when cooking.
  4. Warm up the second tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil in a non-stick frying pan over medium-high heat, and then brown the meatballs in batches, cooking for about 5 minutes.
  5. Bake in a pre-heated oven at 200 degrees celsius for 5 minutes or until meatballs are cooking through. If making ahead, allow to cool after step 4, and then finish cooking in the oven right before serving.
  6. Serve as they are, or accompany with a tasty dip such as Tzatziki or Hummus.

Native Pepper, Chicken and Veg Sausage Rolls



These mini sausage rolls were a big hit for dinner a few weeks ago! With plenty of hidden vegies and some fantastic native flavours, I was thrilled that the kids were happily munching away, and I was able to whip them up with ingredients I had in the freezer and pantry.

I served them up with Outback Pride's Lemon Myrtle and Chilli Sauce on the side.


INGREDIENTS

500gm chicken mince
1 tin lentils
2 stalks celery
1 onion
3 carrots
2 cloves garlic, crushed
5-6 sheets frozen puff pastry, thawed
1 tablespoon Outback Pride Native Pepper Seasoning
1 teaspoon dried Sage Leaves
1 egg, beaten, for glazing

METHOD

Preheat your oven to about 200 degrees celsius. Mince the celery, onion, carrots and garlic together in a food processor. Stir in the drained tin of lentils and the chicken mince. Add the dried sage and Native Pepper Seasoning, and combine well.

Cut each piece of puff pastry in half, and spread a 'sausage' of filling along one of the pieces. Fold one side of the pastry over the filling, and then moisten the edge of the other side before folding it over and gently pressing together to join. Cut into four pieces. Repeat with the other half of the puff pastry sheet, and then with the rest of the pastry sheets, until the filling has been used up.

Place the mini sausage rolls on baking trays lined with baking paper, seam side down. Use a pastry brush to glaze the tops of the sausage rolls with beaten egg. You may like to sprinkle a little extra Native Pepper Seasoning on top. Pop the trays into the oven and cook until the pastry is golden and the meat is cooked through, approximately 15-20 minutes.

Serve with your favourite native sauce.

Makes about 40 mini sausage rolls.






Breakfast muffin with herbed egg, bacon and Kutjera Relish


This one is bit of a special take on the breakfast muffin, with native flavour and juicy flavours! The delicious smells as you prepare it are enough to make your mouth water, I just love it.

Wholemeal muffin aside, this recipe is on the indulgent side - you could also add some baby spinach leaves to your dish, if you like to add some greens to soak up the tasty egg yolk. Or perhaps just make sure some veg makes it to your lunch and dinner ;) LOL


Serves 1

Ingredients

1 wholemeal English muffin
1 free range egg
2 rashers free range bacon
1/2 teaspoon dried saltbush flakes, or sea parsley (either work well, depending on your taste preference!)
2 teaspoons Kutjera Relish
3 thin slices colby cheese (or your preferred cheese), enough for 1 layer across the muffin

Method

Heat up a non stick frying pan over high heat. Cut the muffin in half. Slice the cheese.

Place the bacon rashers in the pan and cook for a couple of minutes until crispy and cooked on one side. Rotate the frying pan to spread the fat around the surface.

Put the muffin in the toaster to cook.

Flip the bacon to the other side, and reduce the heat to low. Crack the egg into the frying pan. Slowly cook sunny side up, sprinkling with the dried native herb of your choice as it cooks.

Remove muffin halves from toaster and spread one side with the kutjera relish. On the other side, place the cheese slices.

Using an egg flip or spatula, carefully lift the fried egg from the and place it on the muffin with the cheese. Add the bacon rashers and then turn over the other half of the muffin and sandwich the lot together. Enjoy!

Sea Parsley Scrambled Eggs and Mushrooms


One of my favourite weekend indulgences is an egg breakfast, and this one is creamy and warm, perfect for a Winter morning, alongside a hot coffee!

Ingredients

3 extra-large free range eggs
3 tablespoons milk or cream
4 teaspoons butter
1½ teaspoon dried Sea Parsley Flakes
A handful of mushrooms
1 small clove garlic
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
Bread of your choice, toasted, to serve

Method

Melt half the butter in a small-medium non-stick saucepan, and then add the crushed garlic clove. Cook for 1 minute, stirring constantly. Add the sliced mushrooms and 1 teaspoon of the sea parsley flakes. Saute over medium-high heat, stirring only occasionally to allow the mushrooms to brown at the edges. After a few minutes the mushrooms should be soft but with some golden brown edges. Remove from the pan and set aside.

Meanwhile, whisk the eggs, milk or cream and the remaining sea parsley flakes together. After taking the mushrooms out of the saucepan, add the remaining butter and melt it over a medium heat. Put the toast on to cook.

Pour the egg mixture in to the saucepan with the melted butter, turning the heat down to low. Use a flat wooden spatula, or similar, to fold the eggs, stirring from the outside in. Leave to cook slowly, every now and then folding the eggs in again as they begin to firm up. Stop folding when the eggs are still glossy but mostly cooked, and turn the heat off.

Place the toast and mushrooms on a plate to serve, topping with the scrambled eggs. Add salt and freshly cracked black pepper.


Serves 1-2

Be Inspired to choose Native

Season with Saltbush aims to inspire you to enjoy using Australian native foods in your everyday home cooking. Every now and then a new recipe or meal will be added, and over time this will create a handy resource of ideas for cooking with native foods!

The menu pages list all the recipes by general category, and you can also sort by ingredient, simply scroll down and look under 'Labels' in the sidebar to the right.

If you have any questions, requests or suggestions, please email me at danielle@curiouser.com.au

Fennel, Goat Cheese and Native Pepperleaf Salad




While simple, this is a tasty warm salad that is easily adaptable depending on the ingredients you have on hand. You can swap out - or add to - the fennel for another veg that suits grilling, such as pumpkin. There's also room for additional ingredients, if you'd like to turn it into a more substantial meal.

Garnishing in this way is also a great method of becoming familiar with the flavours of native herbs and spices.

Ingredients

2 bulbs fennel, chopped into wedges
Extra virgin olive oil
Rocket or mixed salad leaves
Meredith Dairy goat cheese
2 teaspoons dried native pepper flakes

Step One

Heat a grill pan or bbq grill on high for five minutes, then brush with olive oil. Place the wedges of fennel bulb evenly across the grill. Reduce the heat to medium.

If you are using a grill pan on your stove top, you can speed up the cooking time by pouring in a half cup of water to steam the fennel at the same time. Turn the heat back up to high for this method.

Step Two

Turn the fennel over to chargrill the other side. Prepare the salad leaves on a plate, and then add the warm chargrilled fennel wedges.

Step Three

Crumble goat cheese across the salad, and then sprinkle with the native pepperleaf flakes. Serve immediately. As you eat the warmth from the fennel will melt the goat cheese into a dressing. Serves 4-6 as a side.

Creamy Cauliflower and Sea Parsley Soup

This is a tasty, creamy vegetable soup with a touch of native flair - perfect for these chilly nights :) I love to serve soup with crusty bread or pita. The kids love it!

The Winter issue of Junkies Magazine Australia included this recipe in its feature about the native herb Sea Parsley. 



Ingredients

2 onions, chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
1 head cauliflower, chopped into florets
1 litre organic chicken stock
½ cup cream
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon Dijon mustard
1 tablespoon Sea Parsley flakes
Salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste 


Method


Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat, and add olive oil. When hot, add the onion and garlic to the pan. Saute gently for five minutes, and then add the cauliflower florets.

Toss the cauliflower florets in the onion, garlic butter and oil mixture before turning the heat down to low. Cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, letting the cauliflower turn golden brown at the edges and caramelise a little. 


Pour in the chicken stock, and turn up the heat to bring it to the boil. When it reaches boiling point, reduce the heat again and simmer for about 10-15 minutes, until the cauliflower is soft. 


Stir in the sea parsley flakes and dijon mustard. Remove the saucepan from the heat and use a stick-blender to puree the soup. After blending, return to the stove over a low heat and pour in the cream.


Add salt and pepper to taste, about half a teaspoon of each is a good guide. 

Serve the soup with an optional extra swirl of cream and a sprinkle of sea parsley flakes.


Another delicious idea is to crumble Persian feta cheese over the soup, and stir it in to melt. Yum :)

Serves 4