Jeir Creek Winery – Murrumbateman NSW

It’s a bit of a drive to Jeir Creek, albeit a pretty one.

Jeir Creek-22

It involves off -road dust, water crossings, and more twists and turns than an episode of CSI.


It’s doable in a normal vehicle, and is well sign posted.  Leave the highway behind, follow the tree-lined lanes until you are surrounded by manicured vineyards and stunning views.

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It’s not just about ‘wine  tasting’ at Jeir Creek.  There’s freedom to wander through the vines.  And being a uniquely cool-climate wine experience, spring budding is in full swing right now.


The site was selected by Rob Howell in 1984. If you ask him, he will tell you how he chose  this land for its stunning beauty as well as its great viticultural attributes. The passion for his love is evident.


Many table wine styles are produced here. There are elegant but powerful reds; crisp flavoursome whites, plus  their much acclaimed luscious dessert wine, Botrytis Semillon Sauvignon Blanc.


Jeir Creek also make a marvelous Muscat.


Jeir Creek’s tastings can be relaxed and casual – or, if you are interested, can be complimented with a full narrative containing everything from grape growing to the wood used in the oaks in their ‘great barrel’ room.


The Jeir Creek kitchen has cheese platters available all weekend, and live music from 1pm ’till 4pm on Saturdays.  They invite you to eat on the elevated deck, listen to the music, and enjoy the vineyard panorama.


Jeir Creek offer a winery experience  that extends beyond the traditional. As well as tastings and tours you can take classes.   There is a Lets Talk program, which offers the rare opportunity to hear about winemaking detail; Muscat Making and Blending Masterclasses, held each August; a Hands On Winemaking Experience as part of vintage in March until May,  and for something very unique,  you can be part of  a Little piece of Burgundy, (a traditional French pinot noir planting). Your own vine!


If your travel schedule only allows a quick visit – you can simply do as we did.

 Launch 012

Sip, wander and enjoy.

Jeir Creek Winery
122 Bluebell Lane, via Gooda Creek Road Murrumbateman, NSW 2582

Hauff’s Butchery

One could easily walk past Hauff’s Butchery in Sunnybank – and be missing out on what could be one of the more interesting fresh meat venues around.  Stepping inside is like stepping into a secret Asian meat market.  However, Hauff’s is no secret to the multitude of eager Chinese, Indian, Korean, Filipino, Japanese, Vietnamese, Sri Lankan, Cambodian and Thai cooks who can be found inside picking through the packages for the best buys.

So what to expect? And why is this a Mecca for Asian cookery?

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Goat is pretty standard find  these days. Most often seen in Indian cooking, goat is also often found in authentic South African and Mexican cuisine.

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I love a goat curry, and goat shanks can be used in any recipe where a lamb shank would usually do. Goat shanks are slightly tougher and have less fat, so the  long, slow cooking of an Indian curry showcases the shanks beautifully.

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Goat livers taste a lot like goat cheese, same goaty after-taste and similar texture.  I am not a big offal eater but was pleasantly surprised when I tasted Bhuni Kaleji (sautéed Goat Liver).

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Goat heart is flavourful but very dense, so it benefits from the tenderising action of the mallet.

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Finding just the pork skin, which is the yummy bit that goes crackle, crackle, crackle. ‘Cos you can never have too much crackle- right?

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Pork Fat? Lard :)  Pork fat is what gives such incredible flavour to authentic dimsum, yumcha & Chinese pastry recipes

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Steamboat pork, ready for a traditional Chinese steamboat.

Day 1 042 (Large)Ready for braised Malaysian pig’s heart.

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Offal, piggy style.

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I love the Asians  strongly believe in paying respect to the whole animal.

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The butcher tells me that a pork is the best example to use because you can pretty much eat every single part of the pig…

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…literally from the nose to the tail, with everything in between.

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Chitlins are hog intestines and are not for the faint of palate (or smell).

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Smoked pork belly – this little package came home with me.  (wee wee wee). It is absolutely beautiful prepared this way and can be used in everything from fried rice and rice paper rolls to a bacon or  speck substitute.

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 Pig’s trotters (sometimes known as pork knuckles, which sound a lot more palatable to some) are the feet of pigs.They are delectable after long slow simmering in stock and spices

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I had to do a bit of a Google on ways to prepare pig uterus. Epicurious politely replied, “We’re sorry, we did not find any food recipe results for: uterus.”  I do know, though, that ancient Romans would stuff a pig uterus with cumin, leeks, pepper,  minced pork meat and seasoning. The result? – a sausage.

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Tripe is usually made from only the first three chambers of a cow’s stomach.
There is the rumen (blanket/flat/smooth tripe), the reticulum (honeycomb and pocket tripe)

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and the omasum (book/bible/leaf tripe).

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Oxtail is the culinary name for the tail of cattle. An oxtail typically weighs 1–1.8 kg and is skinned and cut into short lengths for sale. Oxtail is a bony, gelatin-rich meat usually slow-cooked as a stew or braise (and makes great beef stock).

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Tendon is by definition, “a tough band of fibrous connective tissue connecting muscle to bone and is capable of withstanding tension.”  This means it’s essentially cartilage – tough as an old boot – but when properly prepared, absolutely fantastic.  Tendon has a high collagen content so when braised for a long time over low heat it becomes amazingly tender with a rich, buttery flavour.

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‘Giblets’ is the term that refers to the heart, liver, gizzard, and sometimes the neck of a chicken after it has been  killed and prepared for the table.

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When I was a kid,  the giblets were usually in a little bag stuffed inside the chicken that came home from the supermarket.

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I haven’t seen them inside a chicken for a long, long time. But if you want some – or just the hearts or livers, here they are.

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Even with birds, nothing is wasted – and I found both chicken feet (which I love) and duck feet  here. Both chicken feet and duck feet are a delicious yum cha / dim sum dish from southeast China.

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Duck wings are long, quite lean and in my experience, quite tough. After a few failures, I learned that the secret is to braise the wings until they are tender first, cool, marinate and then cook again. This way they are tender, sticky and delicious.

This one impressed Mr 15. “Mum – I didn’t know ducks had tongues!” Duck tongue is very chewy – and contains a long, thin bone.

Squab – pigeon. Cooo!

  Day 1 054 (Large)

This one had me stumped.  Still does. Maybe you could help me out?

What’s your opinion on trying something new – offal or not?

Hauff’s Butchery
Market Square Shopping Centre Mains St
Shop 20, Market Square
Sunnybank Queensland 4109
(07) 3344 4700

Grazing, Gundaroo, NSW

Pictorial essay of the  meal at Grazing, Gundaroo, NSW as part of the #humanbrochure

Cream of tomato soup with Hobbit’s Farm goat cheese toast, dressed with La Barre lemon infused EVO.
Paired with ‘The Swinger’ Sauvignon Blanc 2012 – Capital Wines

Hobbit Farm is in Jindabyne, NSW. The climate is reflected in the tang of the goat cheese.
Chef Kurt Neumann’s Snowy Mountain rainbow trout – house smoked over kyeema grapevine clippings and served with an olive tapenade, almond puree, puffed grains, and watercress.
Paired with Four Winds Riesling 2011

Chef’s talent includes imagination and great use of local produce.  Kangaroo tail and beetroot tortellini with garden beetroot relish, goat cheese and wattle seed burnt butter
Paired with Lark Hill Pinot Noir 2011

Bugendore smoked lamb cutlet with Doodle’s Creek aioli
Paired with Lambert Shiraz 2008

Local free range pork belly sliders with Lynwood onion Marmalade
Paired with Capital Wines ‘The Treasury’ Tempranillo 2012

Brulee tart with new season strawberries
Paired with Capital Wines late picked Riesling 2011

Grazing on Urbanspoon

This post is  to capture parts of the #humanbrochure weekend designed to showcase Canberra. My partner and I were part of the Food and Wine Stream, in this Australian Capital Territory Tourism initiative. See what the other 498 humans were up to by visiting the human brochure website. Look for me in ‘Food and Wine’.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have cookies

When I was growing up, we didn’t have cookies.
We had biscuits.

When I was growing up, we didn’t have brownies.
We had chocolate slice.

Blondies were people with fair hair. I knew a few. I’d sit with them and chat whilst we ate warm, freshly baked slice made with molasses or brown sugar.

Cup cakes were for birthday parties or afternoon tea. They often had wings or simple icing with 100’s and 1000’s on top. They were small, delicate and cute, not giant supersized cakes. (Have you tried to buy a traditional cupcake tray lately??)

Muffins were flatish bread discs that were split and toasted for breakfast unless we were having porridge (never oats) or toast with peanut paste, or jam. No peanut butter, no jelly- unless it was with icecream and that was for sweets. Marge was a spread for bread, not an animated character.

There were two types of tea – one you drank, one you ate – and one type of coffee. It was called coffee.

Kids drank lemonade, not soda; adults wanting beer ordered a middy; workers had ‘smoko’ or a tea break, not a coffee break or the new fangled ‘designated break time’.

We had capsicums, not peppers; chips, not fries; chewy, not gum and icy poles, not popsicles. Our fruit had pips, not seeds; and skin – not peel – although we would peel the skin.

We had rissoles, which were much bigger than meatballs; and lamb chops not lamb cutlets.   And lollies. Lots and lots of lollies, never candy, which sounded like it would be hard as a rock.

Chocolate was a food group of it’s own.

And for ‘tea’?

We’d have ripper bangers, which we would snaffle straight from the barbie smothered in tomato sauce, not ketchup, after which we ‘had sweets’.

No wonder I don’t know what people are talking about these days.

Edible Weeds and a Foraging Tour

If you’ve ever watched ‘River Cottage’ on the Food Channel  you’re most likely familiar with Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall and his wonderful exploits foraging for wild food. If you are an ‘ABC Gardening Australia’ fan, you’ll be acquainted with Costa Georgiadis  and his passion for community gardens on verges and in public spaces. Either way, if you are in Brisbane, you can jump on the bandwagon, pretend to be Hugh or Costas and forage it up yourself by joining an Edible Tour right here in your own back yard.

In Brisbane, Ben Glaneur from Permablitz will lead you around the streets, community gardens and verges of West End whilst teaching about edible foods including fungi, weeds and other functional plants and all the while you can sample, nibble and crunch.

Coconuts, mangos, tamarind, olives… berries, leaves, roots and vines – overhanging branches pavement cracks offer diverse pickings that reflect our subtropical climate and the multicultural heritage that West end has on offer. As Ben says “anyone would think we were walking around an orchard”.

As we wander together, the hot topic is the ethical consideration of harvesting from shared gardens, verges or uninhabited blocks of land. There is concern over eating a weed or plant plucked from between flagstones. And really – how does the average Joe – like me – know what is edible and what will put me in bed for a week with a funny tummy?

Thankfully, Ben only allows us to consume safely and yes – there are even books on the subject, which are highly recommended (another excellent book is The Weed Forager’s Handbook, available on line and totally Australian based). And if you are worried about eating weeds, as Costa says: “Foraging is just another form of gardening. Weeds are simply a perception. When we change our perception we open up a whole new world of opportunity.”

Respectful ‘foraging ethics’ is a whole new etiquette, and there are logical, moral guidelines of which to be mindful. Watch how much you take. Consider first – is it yours for the taking, or are you venturing onto private property without permission. At some point, are you giving back by planting cuttings or seedlings for future foragers.

Bring your shopping bag, hat and water bottle. Wear comfy shoes. And prepare to be impressed.

Chickweed and dandelion salad, anybody?
A foraging map for Brisbane can be found here, and other foraging tours around Australia can be found on the Permablitz website.