Australia Day

Caroline: Happy Australia Day!!

Kris: Australia Day was a great opportunity to drink some local craft beers and to cook some classic Australian recipes with some indigenous ingredients. I used some kangaroo, lemon myrtle, bush tomatoes and tasmanian pepper berries.

Caroline: Fire up the barbie! Crack a coldie! Get a bit sunburnt! Make some hamburgers in the shape of Australia!

Kris: OK, calm down.

Caroline: Sorry.

Kris: The first dish I cooked was some Kangaroo skewers with Lemon Myrtle Chutney. (I have posted this recipe before, you can find it on our Recipe Page). I matched the dish with Lord Nelson Three Sheets Pale Ale. It is a 4.9% Australian Pale with sweet malt and citrus and floral hop characters. The beer complimented the chutney and was refreshing in between bites.

 Kris: Mc LarenVale Dark Lager is a great interpretation of one of my favourite beer styles. It has chocolate and roasted malt flavours and aroma, with just a hint of bitterness. It was also a great ingredient and match to the next course.

Kangaroo Pies

500g Kangaroo fillet

1 bottle McLarenVale Dark Lager

1 brown onion

250g mushrooms

2 cloves garlic

4-5 dried bush tomatoes

4-5 tasmanian pepper berries

3-4 sprigs fresh thyme

2 cups beef stock

2 Tbs Tomato paste

olive oil

salt and pepper

Good quality puff pastry


Thinly slice the onion and saute in some olive oil in a saucepan on medium heat

Add the thyme, garlic, bush tomatoes and pepper berries

Dice the kangaroo and brown in the saucepan

Add the mushrooms (thinly sliced)

Add the beer and beef stock

Turn down the heat to low

Add the tomato paste and stir through

Cook for 2-3 hours until the meat is tender and the sauce has thickened

Season with salt and pepper and allow to cool

Defrost some pastry and cut out circles to fit a muffin tray

Brush the top of the pies with some melted butter

Cook in an oven pre-heated to 200 C for 25 minutes until golden

Stout Lamington’s

(makes 4)

1 plain sponge cake

400g dark chocolate

200ml Holgate Temptress Porter

Shredded Coconut


Melt the chocolate in a stainless bowl over a pot of simmering water (double boiler)

Whisk in the stout

Remove from heat

Cut the sponge cake into cubes

Dip the cake in to the chocolate mixture

Roll in coconut

Refrigerate for an hour before serving

Kris: The stout Lamington’s were really tasty, especially paired with the Holgate Temptress. I have featured this beer before, but it is one of my favourite beers to enjoy with dessert.

Caroline: This is the most genius dessert. Sponge cake dipped in chocolate-dipped in coconut. WHAT? Yes, please. Holgate Temptress is one of my favorite beers. The coffee-dark chocolate character of the beer was a perfect rich friend to Lord Lamington.

Thai Flathead and Mussel Curry

Kris: I grew up in Queensland, so I am used to hot weather. But I certainly didn’t expect it to be 36 C and super humid in Tasmania? The afternoon thunderstorm reminded me of home also. Anyway, what better food to eat on a balmy night than a fragrant, fresh thai seafood curry. (With a beer or two as well)

Thai Flathead and Mussel Curry

1 small brown onion

1 Tbs grated ginger

2-3 cloves garlic

1 tsp shrimp paste

1 tsp tamarind

1 tsp galangal

1 tsp dried chilli

1 tsp coriander seed

1/2 tsp tumeric

1/2 tsp ground cumin

2 tbs fresh coriander root

4-5 lemon myrtle leaves (or substitute 1 Tbs fresh lemon grass)

1 can coconut milk

1 cup fish stock

1 tbs fish sauce

1 tbs palm sugar

1 flathead fillet (skin on)

300g mussels

1 tomato

1 carrot

1 mango

fresh mint

fresh coriander

2 limes


Place all the spices, coriander root, ginger, tamarind, shrimp paste and garlic in a mortar and pestle

Make a paste

Fry the thinly sliced onion in a pan on medium heat for 5 minutes

Add the paste and fry off  for 5 minutes

Add the coconut milk and fish stock

Simmer for 25 minutes

If the sauce thickens too much add some more fish stock

Add the carrot (thinly sliced)

Add the tomato (diced)

Squeexe in 1 of the limes

Add the flathead (cut into slices)

Add the mussels

Cover the saucepan and simmer for 10 minutes

Place the curry in a bowl

Garnish with fresh coriander, thinly sliced carrot and fresh chilli

Squeeze over the remaining lime

Serve with rice and a simple mango and mint salsa (a diced mango with some fresh mint)

Kris: I was thinking the Tuatara APA would possibly compliment the curry with it’s sweet malt and fruity hop character. It was actually  a bit too big for the dish. A lighter style pale ale could work, so would a Pilsner or Lager, maybe a Saison. Regardless of the matching not quite working, I was very impressed with the beer. The Tuatara Aotearoa Pale Ale is a big, hoppy Pale Ale with pine and tropical fruit hop aroma. It’s 5.7% ABV is well balanced with it’s sweet malt and hop bitterness.

Caroline: This is the best curry Kris has ever made. I love coconut based curries, and this one was no exception. It was creamy, zippy, spicy and hearty; everything was amazing. The flathead was tender and sweet and the mussels held their flavor and texture perfectly! I was eating just the sauce on rice when everything else was finished in the end, I couldn’t get enough. The beer was too sweet for this dish, I agree with Kris a simpler crisper lager would have been better. I think the curry needs to be the star in this match.