Thursday, December 13, 2012

On the Menu: Aussie Food

Some Good 'ol Down Under Grub!

Now most of the food of Australia is pretty similar to the food we eat here in America.  The brands are different and some of the names have been changed but it's all pretty close.  One food is totally unique and something most Americans would never think to eat - Vegemite.  This dark brown paste is the peanut butter of Australia.  They eat it starting in childhood and love it spread on buttered toast.  Apparently it is an acquired taste, because I found it to be one of the most disgusting things I have ever tried.  That's a shame because it is a very good source of B vitamins.  That was the only Australian food that I didn't like (well, custard apples were kind of weird too) and I have fond memories of meat pies and crumpets.  The seafood is outrageously huge (prawn the size of your hand) and if you like lamb this is the place to be!  They also have so many exotic fruits - I remember eating fresh passion fruit - so delicious!!  An interesting note - hamburgers in Australia are served with a slice of beet and sometimes with a fried egg, too.  Yum.  So here are the recipes I picked for this week - Aussie Meat Pies, a handheld pie filled with meat and gravy, and a Pavlova, a meringue and fruit cake named after the Russian ballerina, Anna Pavlova, after her tour of Australia.  Try them they were delicious :)

Aussie Meat Pie Recipe from

  For the recipe you will need:
  • 1 T olive oil
  • 1 med. onion - finely chopped
  • 1 lb. ground beef or chopped steak
  • 1 T cornstarch
  • 3/4 cup beef stock
  • 1 oz. tomato paste
  • 1 T Worcestershire sauce
  • 1 tsp Vegemite (if you dare) or 1 cube vegetable bouillon
  • 4 sheets prepared pie dough or make your own
  • 1 egg beaten
  • 4 small pie tins
  • ketchup for serving
1.  Cook onion until soft.  Add beef and brown.
2.  Combine cornstarch with 1 T beef stock and set aside.
3.  Add remaining stock, Worcestershire, tomato paste and bouillon to pan.  Stir well and add cornstarch mixture.
4.  Bring to a boil then reduce heat to low and simmer for 10 minutes or until thickened.
5. Preheat oven to 425°
6.  Cut dough to fit pie tins.  You will need tops and bottoms.
7.  Put bottom dough in tin and fill with meat filling.
8.  Put top on pie and press edges with fork to seal.
9.  Brush tops with beaten egg.  Bake 20 minutes or until golden brown,
10.  Serve with ketchup and ENJOY this simple but delicious meal!


Now who wants dessert?







Pavlova Recipe from

For this recipe you will need:
For the base:  
  • cooking spray
  • cornstarch
  • 6 eggs whites
  • 1 1/4 cup sugar
  • 1/2 tsp vanilla extract
  • 2 tsp cornstarch
  • 1 tsp white vinegar
1.  Preheat oven to 250°.  Line sheet pan with wax paper or foil.  Spray with cooking spray and lightly dust with cornstarch. 
2. Make a 9 inch circle in the cornstarch.  This is your guide.
3. Use electric mixer to whip egg whites (make sure bowl is clean and dry or it won't work).  Beat to soft peaks.
4.  Very slowly add sugar 1 T at a time while beating continuously.
5.  Add vanilla, cornstarch and vinegar and beat only until combined.
6.  Spoon meringue onto guide.  Using back of spoon smooth sides and try to make a pretty dome shape. 

7.  Bake for 1 to 1 1/2hours or until dry to touch.  Mine took 1 hr.
8.  Turn off oven and leave door open a crack .  Let the meringue cool.
9.  When completely cool.  Move to serving dish or store in airtight container for later use.  Mine was all cracked but apparently that is supposed to happen.  The next step hides that part.

10.  To serve plop a bunch of whipped cream on top and whatever fresh fruit sounds good - the more tropical the better.  We used kiwi fruit, bananas and blackberries.

This was really good and I think it would look very pretty if we put a little more effort into decorating it - the kids just literally threw the fruit on top.  Beautiful or not , it was delicious.  The edges of the meringue were crispy and the middle was like a marshmallow.  It was sweet but with 6 eggs and a bunch of fruit it was healthy - right?!?

G'day mates.

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