Winter time in Tassie is pretty chilli and Matthew keeps warm by firing up the oven and baking everything from biscuits to a cheesy pasta.
27 Mar 2015 - 12:26 PM  UPDATED 30 Mar 2021 - 10:33 AM

Spring doesn’t spring until October in Tasmania, no matter how much I will it to arrive every year. A day here and a day there might warm up and feel like winter’s cloak has lifted, but the beanie is still to hand. The overcoat is still on a hook by the front door. And the oven is on. I do like the oven. And I do like pastry. To me, a pie isn’t a pie unless the pastry is homemade. If you’re using bought pastry with margarine, that’s simply housing the filling, not making the dish. Good pastry makes even a mediocre filling taste great. A great filling is let down by a dud casing.

So I put the oven on often while the weather is cool. I bake pasta, which is a rarity, but it’s worth it, really, to melt a bit of cheese through. I’ll bake, because I cook over wood and once you’ve started the fire, you may as well keep putting food in the oven while the appetite holds out.

Speaking of wood, the woodpile is dwindling and the splitter needs a sharpen. When the weather warms a bit we’ll be out gathering the fuel for next year’s pies.


Matthew's currently baking these baked eggs with red capsicum and chorizo. Get this recipe here.

Baked red capsicum with chorizo and egg

Photography Alan Benson. As seen in Feast magazine, September 2014, Issue 35.

The brand-new series of Gourmet Farmer starts Thursday August 3 at 8pm on SBS. Visit the Gourmet Farmer program page for recipes and to find out more about the show.