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by Giulio di Somma

This cooking book with a difference was my prize through entering a competition in the SAbona magazine. I was thrilled to receive it and resolved that I was going to test drive a few of the recipes. Even though the recipes are written for the outdoors I knew that with winter on our doorstep it would be several months before I would venture into the wild and decided to do the test driving in our kitchen and use my family as the tasting panel. This would test the recipe and my ability to read and do.

I decided on doing a meat and a vegetable: Boss Cocky Osso Bucco and Stuffed Pumpkin. On the designated Saturday I bought all of the ingredients ensuring that the quality was the best. In the afternoon I prepared all of the ingredients so that I could move from one task to the next without missing a beat. I fired up the gas stove, the electric oven and the show as on the road.

The mutton shanks were browned in the cast iron pot and put aside, the onion, garlic and carrot sautéed and the wine and stock added. Tomato chunks and tomato paste also added and the shanks were placed in this rich sauce. This was then set to simmer for hours and stirred occasionally. The large pumpkin was placed on foil in the lid of a double roaster and relegated to the oven for at least an hour. In the meantime I cooked the brown rice and then mixed into it bacon rashers, chopped spring onions and tomatoes and the Italian herbs to taste. Took the pumpkin out of the oven, lopped the top off, took the pips out, stuffed the rice mixture in, wet it with chicken stock and back into the oven it went.

The next day these dishes were carefully warmed and served to my family for lunch. We were five adults and two children and after we had our fill there were still leftovers which were very carefully divided. Everybody agreed that the meat was wonderfully soft and bursting with the rich flavour of the rich red sauce. The pumpkin was amazing and the consensus was that it could have served as a meal on its own.

Based on the response of my family I can truly recommend this cookbook as it is more than simply for camp cooking and will rise to any occasion.

Australian Bush Cooking is published by Boiling Billy Publications http://www.boilingbilly.com.au

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Posted by Giulio di Somma
20 Jul 2010

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