Maple, Chilli Meatballs and a trip to Tasmania via “A Kitchen in the Valley”
These Maple, Chill Meatballs are incredibly soft and moorish. Skater says they taste a bit like the rib sauce he loves. They do have a lovely sticky sweet and sour style glaze with a touch of coffee.
They are straight from” A Kitchen In the Valley” a cookbook by Sally Wise. It’s not her first book, in fact it’s her third and this one showcases about 100 everyday family recipes highlighting local Tasmanian ingredients. It takes you to a time when life was all about the seasons, and leaves you wanting to cook her wholesome family favourites and in my case, revisit Tasmania for some more fresh air. Memories of the kitchen being a warm, comforting and hospitable place is what this book seems to be based on.
It has been a few years since I drove around this beautiful place but I have been so inspired am going to share some postcards after this recipe.
The picturesque green rolling hills of the Derwent valley are a 30 minute drive from Hobart and this is where Sally has a cooking school. It’s the place that inspires simple everyday food. Her book is heavy on baking from breakfasts to cakes and desserts which of course always captures my imagination. But you will find cider roasted pork dishes and fish and braises. This book would make a gentle gift for someones home.
It seems that around every corner and barn door all over Tasmania there is someone producing an incredible product, food or craft. It’s all that fresh air and scenery that keeps the imagination active. Start in Hobart a city full of wine bars, cafes and exceptional restaurants and just drive. The east coast is known for it’s natural beauty but here restaurants, wine and oysters will keep you fortified while walking and staying in some of the best places in Australia. Follow the North Eastern food and drink trail up to Stanley in the very north if you have time and try cheese, berries, wines, cafes and always beautiful scenery as you pass. The waters of Macquarie Harbour on the west coast where seafood is grown and the wild wacky history of Australia’s past will have you shaking your head. Or spend some time in the wild outcrops of Cradle Mountain staying at the lodge, where you can work your way through a huge degustation menu and sit by a fire in the winter. Walk and eat and take pictures. This is Tasmania. It’s a great place to bring kids.
So now, Maple, Chilli Meatballs are on the menu at my place and I am pleased to say they originated in Tasmania.
Maple, Chilli Meatballs
- 500 gm Pork and Beef mince
- 3/4 cup fresh breadcrumbs I used Panko
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1 Egg lightly whisked
- 2 teaspoons tomato chutney I didn't have this so i skipped
- 2 teaspoon Soy Sauce
- 2 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce
- 3 teaspoons cider vinegar
- 1 small onion grated on the cheese grater
- 1/2 apple grated I used a granny smith- green one
- 125 ml water
- 125 ml tomato sauce yes the one you put on your chips
- 60 ml cider vinegar 3 Tablespoon
- 20 ml sweet chilli sauce 1 tablespoon
- 20 ml maple syrup
- 1 teaspoon instant coffee powder
- 3 teaspoons brown sugar
- 1 teaspoon lemon Juice
- 2 tablespoons Parsley chopped
- Combine the mince, breadcrumbs,salt,egg,tomato sauce, chutney, soy, Worcester sauce, onion, apple and mix very well. Shape into walnut sized balls and lay on a tray.
- Heat the fry pan then add 1/2 the oil, when hot add about 1/2 of the meat balls and cook turning till browned. ( If they are not fully cooked they will finish in the sauce at the end)
- Take out and drain on paper while you cook the rest.
- Mop out any excess oil and add the glaze ingredients. Bring up to the boil and stir then add the meatballs so they continue to cook and are nicely glazed by the sauce.
- The sauce will reduce and become a nice thick shiny glaze in about 5 minutes.
These are the meatballs in sauce before being reduced. Serve these meatballs as a party food or even with rice. I served them with a salad and some sweet potato chips done in the oven.
And now here are a few postcards from my trip to Tasmania. This is a Rufous Wallaby. We found this cute little fella at Cradle Mountain Lodge just hanging outside our room. Rooms at Cradle Mountain lodge are about half price during August.
Little Tasmanian Devils at the Cancer research centre
East Coast views on the way to Freycinet National Park ( Wineglass Bay area)
Macquarie Harbour, Heads ( Strahan)
The walk around lake St Clair, Cradle Mountain-Lake St Clair National Park
Ashgrove Cheese, Elizabeth Town, Tasmania ( Food Trail)
The crazy Convict history around Strahan on the West Coast will surprise you
I was sent this book by Harper Collins so I could show you. It is released by ABC books on April 1st, so look out for it.