Maggie Beer’s – Barossa

What would a visit to Adelaide be without a visit to the Barossa, and more especially – Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop.

We had a short drive up into the Barossa yesterday. Not many cellar doors seemed to be open, but we didn’t call in to the tourist information for details of cellar door openings and good wineries to visit. That’s saved for the next visit, and there will definitely be another visit.

Grape vines in the Barossa

Grape vines in the Barossa

Uppermost in our minds yesterday was the long awaited visit to Maggie Beer’s Farm Shop. For overseas visitors to this site, Maggie Beer is somewhat of an Australian cooking icon. She has her own farm in the Barossa and started out making a name for herself cooking and selling Pheasant products, and in particular I think her starting point on the way to fame and fortune was her signature Pheasant Pate’.

Her warm and larger than life personality has endeared her to the Australian public, and she has been the cooking host of many a TV cooking show. Her cooking style and dishes she presents I’m sure are very contributory to the expansion of many an Australian waistline, not least of which is mine. I doubt there would be a self professed ‘home cook’ in Australia who doesn’t hold at least one Maggie Beer cook book amongst their collection.

Maggie is to Australia what Nigella is to England, only instead of Nigella’s Sensuality, Maggie has an all ‘good neighbour’ image, and conjures up images of baskets of warm home made scones being delivered to any new arrival in the neighbourhood. Her food style is good and honest without pretentiousness, but inspiring for would be home cooks to try out new ingredients and new styles of cooking.

A visit to her farm shop didn’t disappoint. Paul had a game terrine with a side salad for his lunch. I had a delicious mushroom pate’, served with a beautiful warmed, rustic bread roll, a small dish of olive oil topped soft cheese, and a small bowl of freekah salad.

What’s freekah salad, I had to ask, apart from being delicious that is. Apparently freekah is roasted young grains of green wheat. To make it into a salad, mint, parsley, preserved lemons, Maggie’s famous verjuice, and her almost equally famous quince paste are added, along with some other every day ingredients. Needless to say, along with the recipe I also came home with a bag of goodies ready to make it for myself.

Her farm shop is well laid out with jars and bottles of produce and ample spoons for sampling. The sampling did it’s trick and I couldn’t resist adding a jar of salted caramel, some fig and fennel paste, a jar of mustard dried apricots, and some caramelised onions to my bag of Freekah salad ingredients. I’m looking forward to trying some of the caramelised onions and the mustard dried apricots tonight with some left over cold nut roast, and a freekah salad to go with it. Mmmmm!! I’ll live with hungry anticipation all day I’m sure.

2 thoughts on “Maggie Beer’s – Barossa

  1. Apologies for taking so long to acknowledge your seasons greetings Jill and Mac, and the same to you. We’re currently in Victoria in the middle of the Gt Ocean Road. It’s stunning! We were due to move on today, but Paul’s done some soft tissue damage to his left leg and currently can barely walk. He’s supposed to be using crutchers, but not so easy in this situation. Driving will be difficult as our ute’s manual. I can drive it, but the roads here are challenging enough without the van on the back, so we’ll wait a few days for it to heal. It’s raining here today, and seems to be all over the country, except of course in Perth. As always, your weather’s reliably sunny. Shame about the bush fires out Bulls brook way. We were keeping an eye on the fires progress and hoping it didn’t reach Muchea. Lucky again for Robyn and Keith, but they seem to be doing a lot of bullet dodging with bush fires since moving. Fingers crossed they’ll continue to miss out.

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  2. Happy christmas to you both. Hope you are enjoying Adelaide. We are very much enjoying keeping up with your travels. We spent our Christmas morning on the beach at Mullaloo, a magnificent day… Happy New Year. Jill and Mac xxx

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