It’s been four years and four months since we left Australia and moved back to Alberta. There’s not a day that goes by when something doesn’t remind me of the life that we had there; the sessions with friends and their barbecues; the good times. When temperatures begin to cool here in Canada I know that things are just starting to heat up on the opposite side of the world. Sometimes, when our Canadian winters begin to feel like they will last forever, I wonder why we ever left our Perth home. I cook special treats like Aussie meat pies and chiko rolls that remind us of warmer days when we would bring dinner and a bottle of Aussie red to the beach and stay to watch the sun set over the Indian Ocean.
When I was asked to promote Mallee Rock Wines recent launch in Canada with some recipes created by Aussie-born Chef Todd Bright I jumped at the chance. Though I’ve made some great Aussie pies in the past, I’ve never attempted chiko rolls at home. It turned out that this Aussie feast, complete with Mallee Rock Shiraz-Cabernet Sauvignon was the perfect after footy (grid iron, not Aussie rules) dinner that we enjoyed out on our deck in the dying sun. It wasn’t the beach, but it was close enough.
Beef and Bacon Meat Pies
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1/2 red onion, diced (I used one yellow onion)
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1/2 tsp ground cumin
- 1/2 tsp garlic powder
- 1/2 tsp onion powder (I don’t own onion powder)
- 2 tsp black pepper
- 1/2 lb ground beef (I had bison!)
- 10 strips maple bacon, cut into small chunks
- 1/2 cup frozen peas (I used one cup)
- 2 tbsp gravy powder (I assumed this was some sort of thickener so I substituted 2 tbsp ap flour)
- 1 cup chicken stock (beef!)
- 1 pkg frozen puff pastry
- 16 unsweetened tart shells
- 1 egg
- Heat oil in a large pan over medium-high heat. Once hot, add onion, garlic and spices, and cook until onions are translucent.
- Add beef and bacon and cook until brown, making sure that any large clumps have been broken down. Add peas, gravy powder (flour) and stock and let simmer for about 7 minutes, or until a thick sauce has been made. Let cool.
- While waiting for the filling to cool, roll out the puff pastry and cut into rounds a little bit bigger than the tart shells (the pastry will shrink as it cooks).
- Preheat an oven to 400F.
- Place the tart shells on a non-stick cookie sheet and fill with the meat mixture.
- Place puff pastry rounds on top and brush it with a little egg wash. Bake for about 20 minutes, or until the top has puffed up and turned golden brown.
- Take out of the oven and let sit for 5 minutes before serving (this will ensure the gravy settles and isn’t too hot).
- 10 sheets of egg roll pastry
- 200g ground beef or lamb (I used bison)
- 2 tbsp butter (30 mL)
- 1 yellow onion, cut in half and finely diced
- 1/2 cup carrot (25g)
- 2 cups green cabbage, finely sliced (200g)
- 1/2 cup green onions, diced (115g)
- 1/2 cup celery, finely diced (50g)
- Salt and pepper
- 1 cup of cooked couscous
- 2 tsp. brown sugar
- 1 tbsp. curry powder (5mL)
- 2 tbsp. cornstrach (30mL)
- 1 egg, beaten
- 1.5L canola oil, for frying
- If your egg rolls wrappers are frozen, make sure that you have pulled them from the freezer a few hours before assembling the recipe.
- 2. In a non-stick skillet, cook the lamb or beef in 1 tbsp. of oil until browned and crumbly. Lamb adds more flavour to the roll, but beef is a good substitute.
- 3. In another pan, melt the butter on gentle heat and add the onion, carrot, cabbage, green onions, and celery and cook until softened. Add salt and pepper to the mix until it tastes good. Add the beef, couscous, brown sugar, curry powder, and cornstarch and cook for another 3 minutes.
- 4. Let the mixture cool.
- 5. Lay out 1 sheet of pastry. Place about 4 tbsp. of mixture a quarter of the way into the wrapper forming a log shape. Cover extra wrappers and Chiko Rolls with a damp cloth to stop them from drying out and cracking.
- 6. Tuck the left and right side over the mixture, brush with egg and roll the Chiko Roll up from bottom to top keeping it quite tight.
- 7. Heat the canola oil in a pot on the stove until the temperature is 300F. Blanch the rolls in the oil for about 7 minutes (at this point we don’t want any colour on the rolls). Remove the rolls from the oil and let rest for a few minutes while the oil reaches a temperature of 350F. Place the rolls back in the oil and cook until golden brown. Alternatively, reheat in an oven at 400F for about 12 minutes until brown.
Interesting Mallee Rock Wine Tidbits
- Shiraz (80%)/Cabernet Sauvignon (20%) grapes are grown for Mallee Rock Wines on the SE Limestone Coast; the blend is 14.5% ABV
- Pinot Grigio grapes are grown along the Murray-Darling Valley; the blend is 86% Pinot Grigio with 12 % Cabernet Sauvignon with 12.5% ABV
- The ‘Mallee’ in Mallee Rock Wines is actually the aboriginal name for the Eucalyptus tree
- Launched in BC and Alberta in July 2015; search Liquor Connect for bottles near you