Cooking with Maggie Beer in the Barossa

RADelaide Adventures Part II saw us take a trip to the Barossa Valley today to visit Maggie Beer’s Studio Kitchen (Home of Television Series The Cook and the Chef). What I learnt in the daily cooking demonstration: Verjuice solves everything! Haha! 😉 Maggie Beer was the first in the world to produce Verjuice commercially, which means us home cooks can add a touch of acidity to our cooking without the overpowering effects of lemon juice or vinegar. Maggie says, “It’s a gentle acid that ‘brightens’ the flavour of food, rather than dominating it, which is why it’s so valuable in cooking”. Up until 1984 Verjuice was a cooking ingredient used in Mediterranean countries (under a different name) but lucky for us, Maggie has made it accessible and says it’s “become an established ingredient in a passionate cook’s pantry”. So basically, Verjuice brings out the flavour in foods such as roast pumpkin and can be used to make gravy, salad dressing or as a pasta sauce base. Plus if you overcook your fish and it dries out, Verjuice will plump it up again and literally save your fish and chips!! Hey you could even sprinkle some on your chips!! 😉 So where does Verjuice come from?? It’s made from the juice of unfermented grapes 🍇, to put Verjuice into a bit more context, I have also added a link at the end of this post for one of Maggie’s recipes 😃

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So at the end of the cooking demo, we tried the roasted pumpkin, some onions with Vino Cotto (another one of Maggie’s creations) and sautéed mushrooms with Verjuice (all pictured below). All the food was sooo delish and strangely comforting! Like I was sitting down to a roast lunch at Grandma’s but the flavour was tenfold! If Grandma had Verjuice that is what her roast dinner would taste like and Grandma’s roast dinners were so delicious to begin with! So needless to say, we were stopping at Maggie’s for lunch!!

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At Maggie’s Farm Shop, things are pretty relaxed and the menu is a list of “foodie-friendly picnic fare” with the exception of the Terrine, which my husband tried. I was very taken by the picnic idea and having my very own pate pot to eat with a wood fired bread roll was such a treat. We ate our lunch over looking the lake where wild ducks, turtles and pheasants chillax and the view of the rolling hills and surrounding bush lands was an added bonus.

Before we could leave this Foodie oasis, I felt a very strong urge to make a small purchase at the gift shop and got me a bottle of the goods (Verjuice) 😉 and a sample recipe book of some of Maggie’s timeless classics.

An awesome end to our RADelaide adventure….. Til next time! 🌻

Saffron Roasted Pears with Verjuice Panacotta

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