Friday, January 28, 2011

A Barossa Inspired Meal

Rolled Barossa Chook Breast with Black Pig Prosciutto / Hühnchen Rollbraten mit Schinken 
I was very excited to hear about the Barossa's Table competition, running until the end of the month over at Barossa.com.  By submitting a post with a recipe or serving suggestion using an ingredient from the Barossa, plus a Barossa wine to match, you could win a week-long all expenses paid food and wine experience with some of the region's most famous chefs, winemakers and producers!  Pretty exciting stuff, right?  As soon as I read about it, I put my foodie thinking cap on and started planning my entry.

Here in Melbourne, we are pretty fortunate to have a number of specialist food stores, and even supermarkets, that stock Barossa produce.  As such, I think it would have been quite simple to buy a bunch of Barossa items, and just chuck them together in a slapdash meal.  And to be honest, if you did that, you'd probably still have something pretty good on your hands.  But I really wanted to make a meal that wasn't only delicious, but also reflected the Barossa's heritage.

So I did a little research, and I found out that the Barossa has a very strong German influence, thanks to German settlers who first arrived in 1840.  Not only does that mean they have German bakeries and restaurants there (yay!), but there is also a dialect of German called Barossadeutsch, which used to be common in South Australia.  How cool is that?!  As a student of the language, and lover of all types of German food, I found this extremely fascinating, and it doubled my desire to visit!

So it was a no-brainer to combine my competition entry with my love for German food!  After much deliberation, here is the meal I decided on... (with German translation below, just for fun).


A Barossa Inspired Meal for 2

Rolled Barossa Chook Breast with Black Pig Prosciutto
Glazed Carrots with Maggie Beer Vino Cotto
German-Style Fried Potatoes

Henschke Keyneton Euphonium 2007

Gooseberry Streuselkuchen with Maggie Beer Vanilla Bean and Elderflower Ice-Cream


Ein Festmahl von der Barossa Region

Hühnchen Rollbraten mit Schinken
Glasierte Karotten mit Vino Cotto
Bratkartoffeln

Henschke Keyneton Euphonium 2007

Stachelbeeren Streuselkuchen mit Vanille- und Holundereis


Let's have a look at the different parts of the meal, one by one.

The main dish (which you can see in the top picture of this post), was Hühnchen Rollbraten mit Schinken.  Or less exotically, rolled roast chicken breast stuffed with prosciutto.

Both the chicken and prosciutto are Saskia Beer products.  The Barossa Chook is free range, has a completely vegetarian diet and are allowed to grow for double the industry standard, which means the chickens have softer meat, more flavour, and more resilient skin.  The butcher I visited only sells the Barossa Chooks whole, and I only needed the breasts for my recipe, so I got him to remove them, and chop up the rest of the chook.  I've popped the remainder in the freezer for future meals.  (I'm especially looking forward to making soup with the bones!)
Barossa Chook breasts, The Black Pig prosciutto
The Black Pig proscuitto is made from free range, heritage breed Berkshire pork.  It comes in wafer thin slices, and has a lovely ratio of fat-to-meat.  Hehe, it was hard not to eat it straight out of the packet!

Ooh... pretty.

To make my Rollbraten, I pounded the breasts flat (skin-side down), layered the proscuitto on top, rolled them up carefully and secured them with kitchen twine.  Then, I browned them a hot pan, and finished them off in a medium-hot oven to cook through.


Layering, rolling and frying the chicken
German-style fried potatoes, or Bratkartoffeln, are my favourite way of eating one of my favourite foods.  You fry up some onions and bacon (I used the remainder of the Black Pig proscuitto - couldn't let it go to waste!), then add slices of par-boiled potatoes, and keep frying and turning until the potatoes are cooked through and crisp on the outside.
Bratkartoffeln
I thought that glasierte Karotten (glazed carrots) would be a great accompaniment, being a light and sweet counterpoint to the salty proscuitto-filled chicken and potatoes.  I briefly boiled a bunch of baby carrots in water with a little sugar, vegetable stock and olive oil.  To serve, I drizzled over thyme leaves, extra virgin olive oil and some Maggie Beer vino cotto.  If you haven't tried it before, vino cotto is like a reduced, syrupy balsamic vinegar.  It really highlighted the carrots' natural sweetness.
Glasierte Karotten mit Vino Cotto
With the meal, we drank a Henschke 2007 Keyneton Euphonium, which comes from the Barossa township of Keyneton.  I'm not a huge wine buff, but I chose this one because I know the winery (some of my parents' friends, older and much more knowledgeable than I, are obsessed with the Henschke Hill of Grace).  The Keyneton Euphonium is a nice blend of four different grapes, which, according to the friendly staff at the bottle-shop, would be heavy enough to stand up to our meal, without overpowering the flavours.  I was also quite happy it came in a half-bottle - perfect for two!
Wine

And that, my friends, was the meal!


I must admit, I was so happy with it!  I'd never made Rollbraten before, and I was so relieved that it turned out well.  Even though I think I may have slightly overcooked the chicken, it was still moist, with crispy skin, and the most incredible, intensely chickeny flavour.  I'm really glad I entered this competition, as I wouldn't have tried the Barossa Chook otherwise.  And it's dee-licious!  I'd love to try a classic roast chicken next time.

I did make a dessert too, although it was a good few hours after that filling dinner before we sat down to eat it!  I made gooseberry streuselkuchen - Stachelbeeren Streuselkuchen for those of you who like a bit of alliteration - a sweet and spicy yeasted dough, topped with gooseberries and a crunchy almondy crumble.  According to Maggie Beer, streuselkuchen is a staple of Barossa bakeries (even more reason why I want to go!)


I used Nigella Lawson's kuchen recipe, replacing her suggested fruits with gooseberries, and served it with a lusciously creamy scoop of Maggie Beer's vanilla bean and elderflower ice-cream.  I don't ordinarily like floral flavours in food (rosewater, elderflower, violet etc.), but there is something so perfect about the combination of gooseberries and elderflower.   Leftover streuselkuchen made a wonderful breakfast the next morning.


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If you'd like to enter too, have a look at the Barossa's Table competition website, for instructions and T&C's. Nuffnang is also running a parallel Barossa competition for its bloggers, with the chance to win a weekend trip to the famous region!  (Instructions and T&C's are here).

3 comments:

almostalwaysravenous said...

ooo drool! i wish i had more time =P. sigh

Les rêves d'une boulangère (Brittany) said...

This looks delicious! Particularly the carrots. Haha, I have a 'thing' for fancy carrot dishes.

Anna said...

This looks so wonderful and delicious, and really well thought out. I haven't seen any other entries, but you look like a shoe-in for the prize! :-)