Tassievore food workshop in Penguin

Have you been on the Tassievore challenge?

For the past six months (and of course we want people to continue!), anyone could have participated in the project which meant eating as much Tasmanian grown and produced food as possible.  Some went the whole hog and ate 95%+ Tasmanian, some did a partial challenge where you just made a conscious effort to eat more Tassie produce or you could have chosen to just make your purchases from a Tasmanian owned business.

Another part of the challenge gave you the opportunity to participate in food making workshops, the last of which was held on Saturday.

Held at the lovely Reseed Centre in Penguin we learnt how to make sourdough, pasta, pesto, gnocchi and basic preserving techniques. It was a brain bursting, tasty way to spend an afternoon.

To top it off, more local Tasmanian produce was consumed for dinner at Bayviews in Burnie.  Great company, good food, who could ask for more!


Gnocchi (via the Tassievore web site)


900g potato flesh (Nicola, dutch cream, moonlight)

2 cups plain flour

1 egg, beaten

For the potato flesh I use baked potato run through a moulinex or potato ricer (once cooled) to remove the skins and make a light fluffy mash – but you can also peel and mash by hand. If you are using boiled, peeled potatoes instead you will either need more flour or leave out the egg to compensate for wetter potato flesh.

Put the potato flesh in a bowl and add the flour and beaten egg. Mix together with a spoon until it forms a rough dough then finish off by kneading with your hands until well combined. The finished dough should be the consistency of play dough.

Roll out long sausages of dough about 2-3 cm across then slice into small pieces – you can roll and press fork tines across each, but I don’t usually bother.

Bring water to a rolling boil and test one piece (especially if you are using a different type of potato or experimenting with other ingredients). The gnocchi should hold together as a dumpling and will rise to the surface when cooked. If the test gnocchi is fine, continue to cook in batches (a couple of handfuls at a time) scooping the cooked dumplings off into a colander with a slotted spoon.

If the test gnocchi falls apart you can still salvage the situation by baking the rest in the oven on a buttered/oiled tray.




Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms

Beef and Barley Stew with Mushrooms
       Makes 6-8 servings

For this recipe you might like to get your beef from here – Mt Gnomon’s online farm shop, or you could replace your beef with goat and, if you are very lucky, Black Ridge Farm will have some. Your mushrooms of course will be Tassie grown because pretty much all the supermarket and grocer sold mushies are born and bred here.

Here’s what you will need, but feel free to play around with the recipe to suit. When I made it today I added more barley and red wine!   I’ll probably add more liquid and some carrots before I serve it up later:

1.5 kilos (or thereabouts) chuck or round beef roast, trimmed of fat and cut into bite-sized pieces.

1 large onion, diced

300 grams mushrooms,

3 celery stalks, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced,

1 teaspoon thyme

1 bay leaf

1/2 cup red wine

2 cups beef stock

2 cups chicken stock

1 cup barley


salt and pepper

Film the bottom of a large dutch oven with oil and set over medium-high heat until the oil is hot. Working in batches, add a single layer of meat to the bottom of the pan. Let it sit for 2-3 minutes until the cubes loosen and are seared golden brown. Flip the cubes and sear the other sides. When all sides are seared, remove the meat to a clean bowl or plate. Sear the remaining meat in batches. If there is any liquid in the pot after the last batch is finished, pour it over the meat.

Heat one teaspoon of oil in the pan and cook the onions with a pinch of salt until they are translucent and brown around the edges. Add the garlic, then the mushrooms and cook until they have released all the moisture and have turned golden brown. Add the celery and cook until just softened.  Add the thyme and bay leaf, and stir all the seasonings into the veggies.

Pour the wine into the pan to deglaze, scraping up all the browned bits from the bottom of the pan as the wine bubbles. Let the wine reduce down until most of it has evaporated or been absorbed by the veggies.

Add the meat back to the pot. Pour in the stocks and top with enough water to cover the meat and veggies, about a half an inch (one and a bit cm’s). Bring the stew to a boil, then reduce the heat to very low.

Cover the pot and let it simmer for 1 hour. Add the barley and cook for another 45 minutes or so until the barley is cooked and the meat is almost falling apart (check by piercing it with a fork. There should be no resistance and the meat should flake apart with pressure). Taste the soup and add salt and pepper as desired.

Serve in individual bowls with a crusty piece of bread to mop up the broth.

Do I hear yum?

Adapted from a recipe found here http://www.thekitchn.com/cold-weather-comfort-beef-and-107027

Kindred Organics Open Day

There’s nothing like sitting out in an open paddock for an hour or so to help you appreciate one of the many aspects to being a farmer. Hot. Hot. Hot!  It might not register that high on the temperature gauge here in North West Tassie, but the sun sure does have some bite in it!

Sitting on a hay bale with a good hundred or so other folk we listened enthralled to the Kindred Organics story before some took a tour of the paddocks as well.

Kindred Organics Open Day

Five years ago Lauran and Henriette Damen planted their first patch of quinoa on their farm in Kindred, North West Tasmania and harvested it by hand.
Now they are the only commercial quantity growers of quinoa in Australia.
They had to actively look for markets and had to convince people Tassie could grow it.
Attending a food festival in Melbourne there was a definite interest from chefs who noticed both the leaves and grain.


Lauran and Henriette quickly realised that both storage and packaging were going to be of the utmost importance when marketing the quinoa.   People wanted to know about the product and about the people who grew it.
It took a little longer  for their quinoa to take off in Tasmania. At the Sustainaible Living Festival in Penguin a few years back they had a chat with Matthew Evans who was guest speaker.  A year later he contacted them again.  Six months later the film crew from his show Gourmet Farmer were on site in Kindred.


Now there is world wide interest in their products.


Kindred Organics Linseed, Oats, Quinoa
As farmers Lauren says “there is a need to learn new ways to grow new products. It is a risk and expensive but worth it.”
They converted their farm to organic after some “sneaky peaks” at other organic farms and field days.
They made the changes step by step requiring more management and many more decisions to make.  They explained that there are many more risks with organics. Weed control if machinery breaks down. The impact of the weather.
As a certified organic farm it is inspected every year to retain its certification.
At Kindred Organics the paddocks are half a year under clover and spend two years in crop. The keep own seed, with no mixing to ensure the purity and organic status of what they grow.  They also farm organic meat, spelt, milling wheat, oats, linseed and adzuki beans.
Last year’s quinoa crop was hand hoed by 20 pairs of hands!


Kindred Organics quinoa
Kindred Organics also process all of their crops on farm. They clean and roll oats so they are consumer ready.

Their products are sold via retailers, as there is simply no time to attend Farmer’s markets.

Here’s cheers to some genuinely lovely, innovative, entrepreneurial Tasmanians!

The facebook page  https://www.facebook.com/KindredOrganics