Necessity mothered invention when Sally had to nourish a growing family on a budget and at Rob’s urging, she began to experiment with pickles and preserves as a means of making the most of whatever was in season. Gradually Sally evolved from accomplished home cook to a local celebrity at Forcett near Eaglehawk Neck where the Wises moved in the early 1990s to raise their young family. In 1996, she was invited by presenter Chris Wisbey to share some of her culinary insights on Hobart’s ABC radio. She soon found herself in the role of a kitchen agony aunt fielding questions on all culinary crises from ‘why are my pickled onions cloudy’ to ‘what makes my jam mouldy’ and ‘what should I do with leftover corned beef’.

These recipes were originally published in the March/ April issue of Australian Country. Subscribe the magazine here.

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Words Kirsty McKenzie
Photography Ken Brass

PiesLuscious Meat Pies

Makes- 4 pies

The crisp buttery pastry provides the perfect complement to these rustic, twice-beefed pies. The inclusion of a little mince ensures a rich, robust gravy with character in its own right. Any leftover pastry can be frozen for up to one month.

250g plain flour
½ teaspoon salt
125g butter, diced
1 egg yolk, whisked lightly
2 tablespoons cold water,
1 egg white, whisked lightly

Meat Filling
3 teaspoons oil (such as canola or
rice bran)
5 00g diced beef (such as chuck or
300g best beef mince
1 large onion, diced
2 teaspoons tomato sauce (ketchup)
1 teaspoon tomato chutney
2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
1 teaspoon soy sauce
½ teaspoon salt, approximately
¾ cup water
2 teaspoons cornflour mixed to a paste
with ¼ cup cold water

To make the pastry: Place the flour, salt and butter in a food processor and process until if resembles breadcrumbs (or rub together with the fingertips to this stage). Turn out into a bowl and mix with enough egg yolk and water to bring it together into a soft dough. Wrap in plastic wrap and place in fridge for at least 30 minutes.

To make the meat filling: Heat the oil over medium-high heat in a medium saucepan and sauté the beef and mince until it changes colour, then add the onion and cook 3 minutes more. Add the remaining ingredients (except cornflour paste). Bring to the boil then reduce heat and just simmer until the beef is tender. Thicken with some or all of the cornflour paste. Cool completely.

Preheat oven to 200°C. Grease 6 x 180ml capacity pie tins. Cut two thirds from the pastry and roll out to 6mm thick on a lightly floured surface. Cut bases for the pies, large enough to cover the base and sides of the tins and fit into place. Brush the pastry all over with the whisked egg white. Fill each pastry case with a generous amount of the meat mixture. Roll the remaining pastry, cut out tops for the pies and place over the top of the meat. Press edges together well. Prick each pie once with the tines of a fork. Bake for approximately 20 minutes or until golden brown.

  PickledSpiced Cherries and Spiced Cherry- Syrup

2kg cherries
Strip of lemon rind
Strip of orange rind
1kg sugar
500ml spiced vinegar

Combine the spiced vinegar, sugar and lemon rind in a very large pot — you may even like to divide the mixture between two pots. Bring to the boil, stirring to ensure that the sugar is dissolved. Add the cherries to the liquid and simmer till just tender. Strain off the liquid, then pack the cherries firmly into sterilised jars. Return the vinegar mixture to the heat, bring back to the boil and cook a further 5 minutes. Pour the mixture over the cherries, then seal. You should have some of the syrup mixture left over. Bottle this and use as a topping for ice cream, panna cotta or a slice of baked cherry cheesecake.

 PavFestive Eton- Mess Pavlova

This dish is a delight to share with friends or family on special occasions. It’s great fun to put together in random fashion with others. Irrespective of its final artisan appearance, it is guaranteed to be delicious and most certainly memorable.

6 large egg whites
3 cups sugar
2 teaspoons cornflour
2 teaspoons white vinegar
4 tablespoons
boiling water

150g nougat, finely diced
2 00g Turkish delight (not
chocolate coated), diced
4 00ml cream whipped to firm peaks
with 2 teaspoons icing sugar
2 teaspoons icing sugar
2 punnets strawberries
1 punnet raspberries

250g raspberries (or
other berries)
1 tablespoon sugar
To make the Pavlova:
preheat oven to 130°C.

Grease a large round pizza tray or similar. Place all the ingredients in the bowl of an electric mixer (boiling water last) and beat until stiff peaks form. When mixture is beaten sufficiently, pile onto the tray and smooth out to a 23cm round. Bake for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 90°C and bake for 50 minutes more. Allow to cool completely.

To make the coulis: heat the berries and sugar together and then simmer 2 minutes, strain and cool.

To decorate and serve: Just before serving time, break the outer crust of the pavlova into shards and set aside. Cut remaining pavlova into chunks, approximately one third to half cup in size. On a large serving plate (approximately 28cm), place 4 pieces of pavlova, joining them together with just a little whipped cream. Sprinkle with pieces of nougat, Turkish delight and scatter with the raspberries and strawberries. Repeat and then top with the shards of pavlova and any remaining confectionery and fruit. Serve immediately, drizzled with a little of the coulis.

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