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.

Kangaroo and Poached Pears

Kangaroo is such a lean and super tasty meat, as long as it is cooked rare or medium rare. It is also a great match with wine and beer.

Kris : I recommend buying kangaroo fillet as opposed to kangaroo steak. It is a couple of dollars extra per kilogram, but worth it.

A great trick is to use pineapple in the marinade, which helps to tenderize the meat.
Kiwifruit and Paw-paw also contain enzymes that work in the same way.

I normally combine some macadamia oil, balsamic vinegar, pineapple pieces, garlic and fresh thyme to make the marinade.
1 -2 hours is more than enough marinating time in a covered bowl in the fridge.
Then leave the meat to come to room temperature and cook for 1-2 minutes on each side on a really hot cast iron griddle pan. Let it rest a couple of minutes before serving.

Serve with Tomato and Lemon Myrtle chutney (the recipe is on our recipe page) or a simple salad of rocket, olives and goat’s chevre.

As a beer match I recommend Kostritzer Schwartzbier (Germany) or Schwartz Brewery Dark Lager (N.S.W).

As for wine, a Pinot Noir, cool climate Shiraz or Grenache would be an ideal match. A great Tasmanian Pinot to try is 3rd Child from Campania.

Caroline : This is our FAVORITE port. It’s the Chateau Reynella 16 Year old Rare Old Tawny Port. It comes in a 375ml bottle and is only $8.99 at Dan Murphy’s! I can’t tell you how many bottles of this we used to drink when we lived in Melbourne (and had Dan Murphy’s down the street…dangerous)

Even after trying some more expensive ports, this one still remains my favorite. It tastes like figs and spicy fruit and has a soft, thick mouth feel.  It was a great match to our dessert, Spicy poached pears.

Spicy Poached Pears

Peel and quarter 2 pears and remove the seeds (or used peeled and whole, they take longer to poach) 

In a pot, make a simple sugar syrup of 1 cup of sugar and 1 & 1/2 cups of water.
Place a cinnamon quill broken in half, a few cardamom pods, 2 slice’s of ginger, a few cloves and a chili sliced long ways into the syrup.

Let it simmer for a while to extract the flavour’s of the spices.

Add the pears and poach them until tender.

Serve with marscapone (or whipped cream) and a small amount of the strained poaching liquid.

Delicious and easy to make.