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What to cook

Figgy Pudding

Figgy Pudding

With figs abundant throughout the region in December this is a traditional style English recipe which actually works with our in-season produce! We used frozen fig pulp and fresh figs from local fig grower John Butler which, along with Berry Sweet raspberries, are available at the Northern Valleys Locavore Store

You’ll need:

2 cups fig pulp

1 cup chopped pitted dates

2 cups water

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 cup butter softened

1 cup dark brown sugar

2 eggs

2 tablespoons dark rum

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 tablespoon baking powder

An espresso coffee

1/2 cup butter for toffee sauce

1 cup dark brown sugar for toffee sauce

A bundt tin 

Fresh fruit to garnish

Step 1:

Boil water and dried fruits in a saucepan for five minutes, then remove from heat and add baking soda. (This will froth up.)  Set aside to cool then, puree in a food processor to form a smooth paste.

Step 2: Preheat oven to 190 degrees C. 

Step 3: Cream butter and brown sugar. Add eggs and coffee, beating to combine. Continue beating while you add cooled fruit mixture.

Step 4: In a separate bowl, sift together flour, cinnamon, and baking powder. Gently fold the flour mixture into the fruit batter. Avoid over mixing.

Step 5: Grease one large Bundt-style pan with butter. Fill with batter about 2/3 full. Place the figgy pudding cooking vessel in a large baking dish and fill the dish with hot water, about 1/2 way up the sides of the pudding dish. Bake for 25-30+ minutes. The figgy pudding is done when a skewer inserted in the thickest part of the pan reveals a moist crumb. DO NOT OVERCOOK. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely.

Step 6: Before serving, bring 1/2 cup of butter and 1 cup of dark brown sugar to a boil over medium-high heat. Boil 2-3 minutes, thickening slightly. Remove from heat. Carefully remove figgy pudding from tin onto serving platter. Pour “toffee” sauce over the top and garnish with fruit.

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Don’s Angus beef ribs

Don’s Angus beef ribs

Here is a fantastic recipe for beef ribs courtesy of WA Food Ambassador Don Hancey! It’s the recipe he cooked at the Angus Australia Centenary Celebrations in Gingin this September.

Don used a 60-day grain-finished beef from Lime Peaks Grazing, Guilderton. The beef was sourced via Gingin Quality Meats, who sell 100% local beef, and worked with Don to get the ideal carcass and cut for the dish.

Folks this an easy to do recipe that can be cooked simply in a crock pot or slow cooked in an oven – Don

• 8 Angus beef short ribs
(about 2kg)
• WA Lake Deborah Salt sprinkle
• Good crunch of black peppercorns
• Good splash (2 glasses) WA red wine, a peppery shiraz is perfect
• 300 mls approx of bbq sauce, smokey is great
• Good sprinkle of paprika
• 2 L approx of water


Turn crock pot on.

Sear beef ribs in a medium hot pan both sides to give some colour.

Sprinkle with paprika, salt and pepper both sides.

Place in crock pot and brush each rib with the bbq sauce.

Gently pour water on top to almost covered.

Cover with lid and cook on high for 2 hours.

Have a glass of shiraz!

Turn down to low and cook a further 1 hour…test one rib for tenderness…meat should almost fall off the bone.

If done turn off crockpot.

If not quite tender cook for a further 30mins.
Have a glass of shiraz.

Turn off crock pot and let ribs sit for 30 minutes.

Gently lift out ribs and place on a tray, let cool.

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Magic mustard

Magic mustard

Fermented foods can make a great addition to your festive celebration table and are especially good if you make them yourself.

A quick and simple thing that you can make is mustard. Mustard can be used in so many recipes, from a simple ham and mustard sandwich, to spectacular salad dressings. Mustard is so easy to make, and is something that can be appreciated by most adults, doubling as a welcome gift.

Simple Cultured Wholegrain Mustard
¼ cup brown mustard seeds
¼ cup yellow mustard seeds
1 tbsp salt
½ cup cold water — make sure this is filtered or rain water, the chlorine in scheme water may affect fermentation.
¼ cup starter culture — can be kombucha, yoghurt whey, brine from fermented vegetables. This is not essential, but does speed fermentation up and add flavour. If not using a starter culture, make sure that more liquid is added.
¼ cup apple cider vinegar or red/white wine vinegar
1 tsp honey or brown sugar to taste

  • Grind mustard seeds and salt until seeds are just cracked. You can do this in a mortar and pestle, blender, or coffee grinder. The mustard can also be blended to a smoother texture later, when adding the vinegar and honey.
  • Add water and starter culture. Leave with lid on for 3 days at room temperature out of direct sun.
  • Stir in vinegar and honey after the 3 days.
  • Put into sterilised jars, label and enjoy or put on a ribbon and give away.

Mustards tend not to go bad, but they do dry out and lose flavour. The vinegar and salt in this recipe help maintain the flavour.
Once you know the basic recipe, the flavour options are endless. Try:

– Using different ratios of yellow and brown mustard seed
– Flavouring the water by adding wine, beer, garlic, herbs, spices or onions and boiling, straining and cooling before adding to the mustard seeds, or even use straight wine or beer instead of water
– Adding tumeric to give the yellow colour of American mustard
Mustard in the Dijon style is made with brown mustard seeds with verjuice and white wine. The wine choice is typically from the Dijon region of France, where mustard plants are grown under the grape vines as a companion crop. Mustard leaves are highly nutritious and have many health benefits, for us as well as for the soil, making them a great addition to the garden.

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Lamb and Blueberry Salad

Lamb and Blueberry Salad

Blueberries are grown throughout the Northern Valleys region and while much of the fruit is packed and sent all over the country you can buy marvellously healthy fresh blueberries locally. Just south of Bindoon Blueberry Bliss (Troy and Tracie Easter) offer fruit at their roadside trailer – and berries from Berry Sweet are available from their shop in Bullsbrook and at the Northern Valleys Locavore Store.

This recipe comes from the kitchen of Tracie Easter, Blueberry Bliss

• 30g cooked wild rice
• 300g cooked Tanamerah Farm lamb fillets (or left over lamb roast, sliced thickly)
• 100g Loose Leaf Lettuce baby spinach leaves
• 50g local pecan nuts, toasted
• Half small red onion, sliced
• 1 punnet Bindoon blueberries
• 2 tbsp chopped chives
Toss together all ingredients in a large bowl.

Drizzle over Bindoon Blueberry Vinaigrette (below). Serves 2-3)

Bindoon Blueberry Vinaigrette
• Half punnet Bindoon blueberries
• 1 small clove garlic, chopped
• 1 tsp red onion, chopped
• 1 tsp sugar or 1 tbsp maple syrup
• 2 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 2-4 tbsp Northern Valleys extra virgin olive oil

Blend first 5 ingredients until liquified. Drizzle the olive oil into this until desired consistency. Makes about half a cup (a dash of fresh lime juice and a tablespoon of mustard powder can also be blended in).

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Lamb Chops with Pomegranate

Lamb Chops with Pomegranate

Pomegranates are considered as the ‘fruits of paradise’ in ancient cultures. It’s not only the unique combination of crunchiness and juiciness but also the nutritional value that makes them so tempting and irresistible. Traditionally, pomegranates are known as a symbol of health and the benefits which come from eating pomegranates are too many to mention, but might be worth your while reading about when you have time.

Because the pomegranate is such a colourful and rich looking fruit, it would be a pity to not utilise it when it’s available ;  so here we have a simple and tasty way to use it with lamb chops.


  • 6 or 8 lamb chops
  • 3 tsp fennel seeds
  • 2 tblsp olive oil
  • 2/3 cup of pomegranate seeds
  • 1/2 cup crumbled fetta
  • 1/4 cup diced black olives
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 tblsp chopped flat leaf parsley
  • Salt and pepper to taste


  • Mix pomegranate seeds, oil, parsley, olives, fetta, salt and pepper in a dish.
  • Rub the lamb chops with oil and then rub in the fennel seeds with a bit of salt and freshly ground black pepper.
  • Fry or grill the chops to your desired preference, then, after plating them, place the pomegranate relish over the top.


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Provencal aasparagus and tomato

Provencal aasparagus and tomato

This is a very quick and easy side dish to put together and will serve two people.

Preheat oven to 180 degrees.


1 large ripe tomato

1 bunch asparagus spears

1/4 cup olive oil

3 cloves of crushed garlic

3 sprigs fresh thyme (leaves only)

4 sprigs chopped parsley

2 sprigs chopped rosemary leaves

1 tsp lemon juice

Salt and pepper

A piece of parmesan for shaving or grating


Cut a small x in the bottom of the tomato and put into a pot of salted water over high heat and cook for about half a minute .Remove it to a bowl of cold salty water. Put the asparagus into the boiling water and blanch for a minute. Remove it and put it into cold water with the tomato and drain both when cooled. Peel the tomato, remove the seeds and roughly chop it. Cut the asparagus into 2 cm pieces and set aside.

In a large frying pan heat the oil, and when hot, add the tomato, garlic, herbs and lemon juice. Season with pepper and salt. I use Murray River Salt Flakes because I find that they have a delicate salty flavour like no other salt. Having this combination of herbs fried in oil makes the asparagus and tomatoes burst with flavour.

Cook for about 5 minutes (until tomato softens). Stir in the asparagus and cook till it is just tender – about 3 minutes. Spoon the mixture into an oven proof dish and scatter with some parmesan cheese. Bake for about 5 minutes or till the cheese is melted and slightly browned.

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Seasonal Fruit leather

Seasonal Fruit leather

It’s school holidays and the kids are constantly looking for something to eat. There is loads of fruit around, but they want something else. Here is an idea that may appeal to them and can be adjusted to suit different ages – fruit leather!

Any fruit can be made into fruit leather, some requires more treatment than others. Summer fruits such as stone fruits are perfect for this project. Most importantly only the imagination limits what can be created.

First step is to identify how the fruit is to be dried. There are several options here: dehydrator, oven, or sun. Depending on the day, the dehydrator is likely going to be the most reliable. The oven will take the least time, but requires constant attention. The sun is where your young engineer can take over, making a simple outdoor food dehydrator or something more elaborate. Essentially all that is required are drying racks and a way to keep insects (mainly flies) off.

The recipe to make fruit leather is simple, essentially it is fruit puree (keep skins on for more fibre) that is dried. The spent fruit from making shrubs, jellies or cordial can also be used to make the fruit leather.

Simple fruit apricot leather base recipe:
• 1 kg pitted apricots
• ¼ cup sugar (adjust to taste depending on how sweet the fruit is)
• Lemon juice (not essential)

• Place the apricots in a single layer on a baking tray, cut side up, bake for about 15 minutes at 200 degrees C, cool until warm.
• Blend the apricots with the sugar until smooth, then spread onto baking paper lined trays. The cooking step is not essential and raw apricots can be blended, try both methods and see which you prefer.

Then put into:
• Oven on the lowest temp for about 6 hours with the door slightly open — keep an eye on the oven or,
• Dehydrator at 60 degrees C. Check directions as dehydrators vary. Dry until no longer sticky, about 12 hours. Or,
• Place in t he sun, protected from insects with a fly net or some fabulous contraption that the kids have invented. It is best to have elevated, and if it has not dried sufficiently by sunset, bring in out of the night air and put out again the next day.

Once the leather is no longer sticky to touch, it can be cut into strips and rolled up with the baking paper still attached, and put into sealed jars. This will last for a few weeks (or longer in the fridge), depending on how dry the leather is.

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Cheapskates beef curry

Cheapskates beef curry

Oyster blade is often called the butcher's cut – because it's the unpopular bit the butchers end up taking home for themselves! It has thin gristly line of gelatinous tissue through the centre, which puts people off a bit, but it tastes great if you cook it right and it's a really inexpensive cut. I never really knew what to do with it until Peter at Bully butcher told me his wife braises it in a marinade until the gristle turns to jelly – yum. This is a great midweek dinner as its cheap and cheerful and I’ve seriously cheated by using curry paste from a jar which makes it soo easy. If you prefer, throw it all in a slow cooker and forget about it. The flavour is not quite as intense as a proper oven braise, but hey this is the cheapskates, or should I say cheatskates version.

1kg (2 packs) Tanamerah Farm oyster blade (link https://nvls.com.au/products/tanamerah-farm-oyster-blade-per-100gm?variant=43581617438953)
2 tbsp olive oil
2 onions, sliced
1 x 6cm piece fresh ginger, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
4 tbsp curry paste (I used Mae Ploy Red Curry Paste)
6 tomatoes, chopped ( or a can)

2 large red capsicums cut into strips
juice of 1 lemon
100ml coconut milk



Preheat oven to 160C.

Slice meat 3cm thick and cut each slice into big chunks. Heat oil in a heavy-based pot or frypan and saute onion, ginger and garlic, stirring until the onion is very soft.

Add the curry paste, and cook for a few minutes, stirring it all through.

Add the meat, then the tomatoes and capsicum, some salt and just enough water to nearly cover the meat (not too much). Cover and cook in the oven for about an hour and a half (**this is where you can just put it all in the slow cooker instead – but you will need to leave it for more like 4-5 hours)

About 30 minutes before serving add the lemon juice and the coconut milk and stir again.

Return to the oven (* or leave in slow cooker) until the meat is quite tender but still holding its shape.

Serve with rice, dhal, flatbread and possibly a raita made with grated cucumber stirred into thick yoghurt.

Serves 6

Tanamerah Farm is owned and run by the Preston family in Mooliabeenee, just a few kms from Bindoon town.

The farm uses regenerative farming techniques such as rotational grazing and soil amelioration to ensure maximum nutrition and high quality feed. Cattle are range grazed in a natural and stress-free environment, and of course are 100% grass fed and finished.

The meat is flavoursome and high in nutrients. Tanamerah beef is cryovaked in *econic biodegradable packaging and frozen to ensure freshness as well as having a low environmental impact.


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Pesto, cherry tomato and feta pasta

Pesto, cherry tomato and feta pasta

Recipe courtesy of Caroline Taylor - find more at www.creativefood.com.au

Ingredients for pesto

300g fresh basil

200g grated parmesan

200g softened, salted butter

150ml mild olive oil

1 tsp sea salt

1 tsp cracked black pepper

2 cloves of garlic


  1. In a food processor, mix all the ingredients until smooth, taste and adjust seasoning to suit your palate.
  2. Can be stored in the fridge for two weeks, serve as a dip or mixed through pasta or risotto.

Ingredients for the pasta dish

4 serves of fresh pasta

200g Danish feta

Handful of fresh basil and extra virgin olive oil to garnish

1 punnet of cherry tomatoes, nice, deep red colour

To Serve

  1. Cook four serves of pasta in salted water and strain, set aside.
  2. Blister cherry tomatoes in a frypan with a bit of olive oil and sea salt, cook just enough to just break the skin while still keeping its form.
  3. Toss the cooked, warm pasta through a few tablespoons of room temperature pesto, or enough to thoroughly coat the pasta.
  4. Toss blistered cherry tomatoes through the past and crumble feta through and on top and serve 😊 Serve with fresh basil garnish and a gloop of extra virgin olive oil.

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Beef Bourguignon

Beef Bourguignon

This classic French beef stew is full of rich flavours brought about by using a number of herbs which create a delicious meal.

For best results, refrigerate the beef with wine and herbs overnight.


1.5 kg gravy beef or chuck steak (diced into cubes)

4 tblsp plain flour for dusting beef

7 or 8 sprigs if thyme

3 fresh bay leaves

Half cup of flat leaf parsley

 2 tsp herbs de Provence

Half cup chopped sage leaves

3 cups red wine

2 cups vegetable stock

4 tblsp olive oil

10 shallots or small pickling onions

50 gr butter

200 gr small button mushrooms

200 gr bacon, chopped with rind removed

Salt and pepper to taste



The night before making this, place beef with herbs and wine in the fridge to marinate.

Next day, preheat oven to 180 degrees. Drain the juice from the beef and set it aside. Heat a large frying pan and add oil. Roll the beef in flour and brown the meat in the pan in a couple of batches. Place the meat into a casserole dish and pour the reserved marinade and vegetable stock over the beef. Add salt and pepper.

Cover the dish and cook in the oven for about 2 hours. Add water if the liquid no longer covers the ingredients. Turn the meat a couple of times during cooking.

Heat oil with butter in a frying pan and add the onions, cooking for about ten minutes. Remove and set them aside. Add mushrooms with a bit more butter to the same pan and cook for a few minutes, then set them aside.

Cook bacon until crispy .Then add onions, mushrooms and bacon to the beef and cook for another half hour in the oven.  Garnish with chopped parsley and serve with mashed potato and vegetables of your choice.






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Bone Broth

Bone Broth

Bone Broth is a savoury, nutrient-dense, and collagen-rich liquid made from simmering marrow-rich animal bones in water for an extended period of time. Vegetables like celery, carrots, and onions, fresh herbs, and garlic can be added for extra flavor.

Adding some apple cider vinegar or white vinegar helps break down the animal proteins and connective tissues. This aided breakdown helps provide a broth higher in protein and collagen.


Stock pot
Roasting Pans
Mesh Strainer
Beef Marrow Bones or other bones of choice (you can mix bones)
A few carrots, some celery
An onion
Apple Cider Vinegar
Fresh herbs of choice (not required)
Garlic bulb - (not required, it's up to personal choice)
Cinnamon sticks, star anise, peppercorns (personal choice)
Salt - to be added at the end

Cover beef bones in water in a stock pot over heat and blanch the bones for 10-15 minutes - this step results in a clearer broth but is not vital. Once blanched, drain and rinse.

Heat your oven to 230 degrees and transfer the bones and vegetables (carrots, onions, garlic, celery) to the roasting pans. Avoid piling them all on top of each other- use two roasting pans, if necessary. Roast for 30 minutes before gently tossing the bones and vegetables, and roasting for an additional 15-30 minutes more. Roasting equals flavor!

Now transfer the roasted bones and vegetables back to the stockpot, (make sure it has been washed), add 12 cups water (or more to make sure bones are covered) and bring to boil. Scrape up any brown bits and juices remaining in the roasting pan using a metal spatula and a little water, if needed, and add to the pot too

Add peppercorns, star anise and cinnamon sticks (if you are choosing to add extra flavours), and a big dash of apple cider vinegar (definitely add vinegar!)

Cover the pot with a tight-fitting lid and bring to a low boil. 

Reduce heat to low and simmer, with the lid slightly ajar, skimming any foam or excess fat, as needed. Simmer for at least 8-12 hours or up to 24 hours. Add more water if needed to make sure bones and vegetables remain fully submerged.

If the vegetables (particularly the carrots) turn too soft and mushy at any point throughout cooking, use a slotted spoon to remove. Enjoy as a delicious snack.

Once the bones have simmered and your broth is ready, you will need to strain the broth through a fine mesh strainer.

Set aside the broth to cool and allow the bones to cool (see more on storage and cooling below).

Add a couple of handfuls of ice to your broth to expedite cooling and cover with a lid. Transfer your broth to the refrigerator and allow it to cool completely. A thick layer of fat and a bottom layer that is your bone broth (which should look like gelatinous brown jelly) will result. You can scoop off the top layer of fat leaving behind the healthy bone broth, minus the fat.

Add salt to taste. If you’re expecting your bone broth to taste identical to your favorite Vietnamese bowl of Pho without adding any salt then I am sorry to say you will be very disappointed. You will need salt. Exactly how much depends entirely on you.

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Fresh herb and lupin dip

Fresh herb and lupin dip

Fresh herb and lupin dip 
150 g lupin flakes
40 g olive oil
3 tblsp tahini paste
3 cloves crushed garlic
4 tblsp lemon juice
1 tblsp chopped sage leaves
2 tblsp chopped parsley
2 tblsp chopped mint
1 tblsp chopped basil leaves
1 tsp herbs de Provence
1 heaped tsp salt
Put lupin flakes into a pot of hot water and boil for 2 minutes.  Drain the water from the lupins and set the lupins aside while preparing the remaining ingredients.

Fry, in a 1 tblsp of the oil, the crushed garlic, chopped parsley and sage till garlic is just tender. Put the lupin flakes into food processor and add the remaining ingredients. Blend until all ingredients are well mixed and you are happy with the consistency of this dip.

Serve with biscuits or julienned vegetables.

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