Stuffed Roast Spatchcock With Serafino Bellissimo Sangiovese

Mike Martin - Wednesday, June 28, 2017



Whole Roast Stuffed Spatchcock with Mandarin, Wrapped in Pancetta with Sage, Eggplant and Beetroot


4 whole spatchcock

5 x small mandarins, 1 zested and juiced

4 bamboo skewers

12 sage leaves, washed and picked

8 thin slices rind less pancetta

2 beetroot, peeled and cut into 8 wedges

Olive oil spray

1 large eggplant, cut into 4cm pieces

150 mls chicken stock

20 gms (about 1 1/2tbsp) corn flour

50 mls water

sea salt and cracked pepper



Preheat oven to 200°C

Trim excess fat from the spatchcocks, dry with paper towel and season with sea salt and cracked black pepper, fill the cavity with a washed mandarin, secure the bird around the tail and the legs together by threading with a bamboo skewer or butchers twine

Place sage leaves and pancetta over the birds

Place the chicken stock in a saucepan and reduce by half, mix the cornflour and water together to thicken - if desired, cook for a further 2 minutes, cover and reserve

To roast the birds place the birds in a large baking pan together with the beetroot. Spray with olive oil spray and season with salt & pepper

Bake for 30 minutes for smaller and 40 minutes for larger. Add eggplant after 10 minutes. Remove vegetables and birds, cover and rest for ten minutes

Whilst the birds are resting add the juice of remaining mandarin to the baking pan. When rested cut the birds in half, removing half the mandarin and squeeze juice into the baking pan, reduce then pour the thickened stock in and mandarin zest, mix until combined, add salt and pepper to taste

Serve with the reduced sauce, roast eggplant, beetroot, and half the cooked mandarin


4 large serves. Half the recipe for 4 smaller serves. Appliance temperatures vary so the above times provide an indication of temperature and time required. Test the bird is cooked by inserting a skewer into the thickest part of the bird. The juices should run clear.



Crispy Pork Belly + Josef Chromy Pinot Noir 2015

Mike Martin - Wednesday, April 26, 2017

Crispy Pork Belly

The key to great pork crackling is to dry the skin side of the meat well before sprinkling it with salt. Blast the pork in a hot oven to begin with to get the skin crunchy, then slow cook it for a further hour and a half in a bath of milk, which makes it really moist and tender. This is a very traditional Italian way to cook pork belly – one I learned from Elizabeth David’s books.

Prep time: 5 mins / Cook time:2 hours / Serves:6

1-1.2kg pork belly, skin scored

ground black pepper

1 tsp salt

2-3 sage leaves

2-2½ cups milk

To serve (optional)

Roasted Pepper Pesto

Preheat oven to 240˚C. Pat the skin of the meat dry and season the flesh side with pepper and half the salt. Sprinkle the sage leaves on the bottom of a metal baking dish (do not use a glass or ceramic baking dish as it might shatter when you add the milk) and put the pork on top, skin side up. Season the top with the remaining salt.Roast for 20-30 minutes at 240˚C until the skin is starting to blister and crackle. Watch closely for burning.Pour the milk around the meat to come about half to two thirds of the way up the sides of the pork. Reduce the heat to 160˚C and roast for a further 1½ hours or until the meat is meltingly tender. Check the level of liquid during cooking and if it has evaporated add a little more to the pan. Remove the pork from the oven, lift it out of the dish and allow it to cool. Discard the liquids (they will break into curds). For easy cutting, place the meat flesh side up on a chopping board and use a heavy, sharp knife to cut it into slices about 3-4cm thick. Serve warm or at room temperature with Roasted Pepper Pesto, if desired.


The d'Arenberg Cube

Mike Martin - Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Work contines on the d'Arenberg Cube!

d'Arenberg wines are a must visit when in McLaren Vale. If you can wait till later this year the 'Cube' building with it's tasting rooms, bars and restaurant will be open. This amazing building is certain to become a regional icon!

Construction is well underway on this five storey multi-function attraction, with an anticipated opening date of late 2017. Since first breaking ground in February 2016, we have watched the building begin to take shape, with the external façade being applied over the course of a few months from October 2016.

The d'Arenberg Cube is destined to become an architectural icon for the Fleurieu Peninsula region. With the top two stories turned askew from the rest of the building, a fallen block in the carpark, the illusion of floating in a vineyard and a folding origami entrance, the Cube is certain to attract both national and international attention. It will house a new tasting room, several bars, a restaurant, private tasting areas and more.


Tim Knappstein Lunch

Mike Martin - Wednesday, October 26, 2016


d'Arry Osborn - Legend of the Vine

Mike Martin - Thursday, October 06, 2016


30 September 2016
At 89 years of age, third generation vigneron and current Managing Director of d’Arenberg, d’Arry Osborn, has been named the 2016 South Australian Legend of the Vine by Wine Communicators of Australia. This award was created to recognise an individual who has made an outstanding contribution to the Australian wine industry. Receiving the honour in front of an audience of over 300 industry peers and corporate guests, d’Arry joins a prestigious list that includes WCA Patron James Halliday, and becomes a life member of WCA.
d’Arry has only ever known life working in the family winery. His grandfather purchased the d'Arenberg property in 1912, his father built the winery in 1927, and in 1943 at the tender age of 16, d’Arry left school to help his father on the land, making fortified wine for export to England. At a time where Clydesdale horses did the work of a tractor and steam powered the pumps, d’Arry learnt his trade on the job, through trial, error, and sourcing tips from neighbours. One of his more unconventional methods was to wear dinner shirts in the winery during vintage, to, in his words “give the reds more elegance.”
Upon his father’s death in 1957, d’Arry assumed full control of the business, and in 1959 launched his own wine label named in honour of his mother, Helena d'Arenberg, who died shortly after giving birth to him. It was d’Arry’s decision to put the now famous red stripe on the label, inspired by happy memories of his school days at Prince Alfred College, where he wore a crimson-and-white striped tie. Today that red stripe proudly adorns each d'Arenberg bottle, and is exported to over 60 countries.
Throughout his lifetime d’Arry’s ongoing commitment to the wine industry is obvious, joining the Wine and Brandy Producers Association of South Australia in 1958, holding the position of treasurer, vice president and president, and is now an honorary life member. For 28 years he was a Councillor on the South Australian Chamber of Commerce, Foundation member and Chair of the McLaren Vale Wine Bushing Festival and Chair of the McLaren Vale Winemakers Association.
In 1978 d’Arry was awarded the Queen’s Jubilee Medal, and in 1995 invested as a Patron of the Australian Wine Industry. Since then he has received a Medal of the Order of Australia in the Queens Birthday honours of 2004, and the Business SA’s Industry Champions Award in 2014.
Of d’Arry, wine writer James Halliday once wrote “It is hard to imagine a more honest, gentle and open man or one who is more passionately devoted to maintaining the integrity of the wine industry in general and McLaren Vale in particular.” The addition of another accolade to an already extensive list will not inflate the ego of this humble vigneron. Committed as ever to the family business, he collects the mail and does the banking daily. If he’s not having a cup of tea at his desk or reading emails on his iPad, he’s likely to be mowing his beloved lawns at cellar door, or consumed by his other great love, fishing for bream in the Onkaparinga River.






Josef Chromy Merlot with Pea and Ham Soup

Mike Martin - Wednesday, June 15, 2016



A Rare Breed
Not always available and even when conditions are suitable for production most of this wine finds it's way to select restaurants and cellar door only. We have managed to procure limited stocks. This Josef Chromy Merlot will have you wondering why the variety is not put in bottle more often! There is no mistaking it's 'cool climate' characteristics, with hints of tar and green leaf aromas backed up by a fleshy, weighty palate of plum like fruit and complex French oak combining together for mid and back palate length. A lovely soft/supple wine.  Purchase Here


Split Green Pea and Ham Soup
500g or 16 oz. packet dried green split peas
4 cups of low salt chicken stock
Up to 1kg ham bone or bacon bones (I used bacon bones)
1 tbsp oil
1 clove garlic finely chopped
1 onion, chopped
2 carrots chopped
1 bouquet garni (parsley, thyme and a bay leaf tied with string)
1 cup cream
salt and cracked pepper to taste
Rinse split peas and soak in a pan of water for at least an hour or up to 8 hours to plump them up. (lots of people skip this step but it's how my mother taught me to make this soup.)
In a large heavy bottomed pan heat the oil and add the garlic, onion and carrots and slowly cook without burning or coloring.
Add the split peas, chicken stock, bones, cracked pepper and bouquet garni and simmer for 1½ hours.
Remove bouquet garni and discard - it's done its work
Remove the bones and pick off the meat (it should just fall apart) and return to soup pot.
Taste and adjust seasoning.
Either blitz or blend if you want smooth soup
Stir in cream
Serve with some nice crusty bread


Flathead and Freycinet Chardonnay

Mike Martin - Wednesday, April 27, 2016


Freycinet Chardonnay 2014
Trophy Winner @ Tasmanian Wine Show 2016. The latest release of this superb Tasmanian Chardonnay is set to continue in the tradition of previous award winning vintages. Whilst in it's youth, having not long been bottled, it is already showing the subtle but complex Burgundy like character that has made this style very popular. Citrus aromas follow through to a clean, crisp palate that is vibrant whilst just starting to impart tropical fruit and some oak complexity. Time in bottle will only pay dividends with this wine, but you may not get to see this if you delay in buying! Freycinet Chardonnays are popular and getting more so with each successive vintage. We await the medals! Only $39.00 per bottle. BUY NOW
The Tasmanian Wine Centre, February 2016.


Pan-Fried Flathead Fillets By The Plateful. Simply Dressed With Lemon and Parsley.


180 – 200 g skinless and boneless flathead fillets per person




olive oil, for frying

lemon wedges and a generous sprinkling of chopped parsley, to serve

TEAR or slice flathead fillets in half lengthways into long strips. TOSS the strips in a little flour, salt and pepper, shaking off any excess. HEAT a large, heavy pan over high heat. Once the pan is hot, reduce heat to medium and add enough olive oil to thoroughly coat the pan. COOK the fillets in batches for 3-4 minutes or until golden and cooked through. Fillets should sizzle the moment they touch the pan. Add additional oil between batches if necessary. SERVE immediately garnished with fresh lemon wedges and a generous sprinkling of parsley.


Three Bridges Durif and Veal Ragu Pappardelle

Mike Martin - Thursday, April 07, 2016


Enjoy with THREE BRIDGES DURIF -Gold Medal Winner @ October 2016 Rutherglen Wine Show
By Calabria Family Wines
What you will need:
2 Brown onions finely chopped
80ml Olive oil,150g Butter, 2 Cloves garlic, Celery finely chopped, 800gm veal coarsely chopped, Seasoned flour,180ml Richland Cabernet Sauvignon
400gm black kalamata olives, 2 cups veal stock,1 can of crushed tomatoes,500gm fresh pappardelle, Finely grated Grana Padano.
Parsley chopped
Fry onion, celery & garlic in butter in a saucepan over medium heat & cook for 8-10 minutes. Dust veal with flour & add the veal into the saucepan & brown for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Add 80ml of red wine - simmer. Add olives, remaining wine, stock & tomatoes, bring to the boil, season with salt & peper & then reduce heat to low. Cover & cook gently stirring occasionally for 2 hours.
Boil pappardelle in large pot of boiling salted water & cook until ‘al dente’. Drain. Transfer pasta back into pot and add in a couple of ladles of the sauce, until coated; toss with parsley. Serve with Parmesan & a glass of our award winning - Three Bridges Durif.  Available @ The Tasmanian Wine Centre.  BUY NOW


Eliza Shiraz and Lamb Shanks

Mike Martin - Thursday, March 24, 2016


Shottesbrooke Eliza Shiraz 2012

Deep, powerful fruit concentration. A real red to savor with everything in balance and support. Think cold winters night, howl of the wind in the trees, rain, thunder and lightning. A warm fire, crusty wood fired bread and slow cooked lamb shanks. Bring on winter and the Eliza!

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks 

Ingredients – for 2 (or double for 4)

2 Lamb Shanks, 6 cloves garlic, 1 tablespoon tomato paste, 2-3 anchovie fillets, 1 medium white onion

1 bottle of good red wine, 200mls chicken stock
Make sure you get the good stuff from the butchers, at this time of the year you are getting slightly older lamb which is great – punchier and gamier. Simple season well all over with salt and cracked black pepper. This is ultra important – brown the shanks all over in a pan with some olive oil – the more browning at this stage the deeper colour the sauce will have. By the way the whole ‘sealing in flavour’ is rubbish…this is a colour thing and a sugars things – the flavour ain’t goin’ no where believe me! Half then run your knife through the onion in thick slices – about 1/2 cms. Add the onions to the same pan and rown up a little, then in with the anchovies, garlic and tomato paste. Get them well acquainted over a medium heat mixing well with a wooden spoon. At this stage crank up the heat to full and add 1/2 the wine, boil then simmer for a 3-4 minutes. Add the rest of the wine from the bottle to a deep pot along with the stock the shanks and the wine mix from the pan the liquid should come about all the way up but not cover the shanks. Lid on then into the oven at 120 for 4 hours. Serve with a buttered mash and a good root veg – carrots or broad beans.




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