Eating from farm to plate might be a touch unachievable for most of us urban folk, but if you’re in the mood to put in some elbow grease there is the satisfying reward of a home-cooked meal. Consider it skills-building for when you move to Tasmania to live off the grid.
In keeping with seasonality, here is a three course meal plan a la Matthew Evans to refresh your palate, using his best recipes from across the past five seasons of Gourmet Farmer.
Start your party with a few tasty little pastries. Leek and bacon is a no-brainer pairing. Matthew Evans supplies the recipe for the yoghurt cream pastry, and after that much work you’ll be hoping there are extras to enjoy for lunch in the week.
Kunzea is a native Tasmanian herb and is best, in our experience used dried. It’s got a powerful aroma reminiscent of citrus and thyme, overlaid with the scent of the Tassie bush. Here I’ve used it in a light miso-dressed dish of sweet turnips and radish.
To confit meat is to cook it in its own fat. Set a chicken to slowly blip away in a tray of sage-scented chicken or duck drippings and you’ll be laughing. The meat will be soft and falling off the bone, perfect for flaking over a vinegared salad.
"I don’t mind stirring risotto after work – it’s a good way to unwind. This recipe is a favourite when the new season peas and asparagus are about. Just get someone else to pod the peas..." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
"Freekeh is a green wheat berry with a delicious nutty flavour. My local bakery sells a version of this salad and it always looks so delicious, piled high on a platter on the counter, that I was inspired to make my own version." Matthew Evans, For the Love of Meat
Go out with a bang and try out Matthew’s pepperberry ice cream recipe. Hear us out, pepper has too long been pushed into a corner with other savoury spices, but its native Tasmanian cousin is here to show you its floral side.
I adore this recipe, adapted from a school recipe book from Western Australia. It’s a very moist, crumbly cake that is delicious at room temperature and gets better on the second day after it’s made.
How hard can it be?
Catch the final episode of season 5 of Gourmet Farmer, 8pm Thursday, October 3 on SBS or catch up on SBS On Demand. Visit the Gourmet Farmer website for recipes, the episode guide and more.
You can use white polenta made from white corn, if you can find it, for a more subtle result. Use the polenta as an accompaniment to a ragu of some kind, or ossobuco. Italians have told me to only stir in one direction, but I’ve found that it has made no difference to the end result when I reverse the stirring to rest my arm.