Updated: Apr 18
I was excited to get to cook Australia - it felt familiar, a bit more like America. I cooked this meal while hanging out with my brother, sister-in-law, and nieces and nephew. It was a great afternoon - the slightest of winter snow started, I cooked while chatting with my brother and SIL, and the kids watched the only Australian shows/movies we could find - The Rescuers Down Under and Finding Nemo (Bluey is not for special occasions, and Disney+ does not have The Koala Brothers streaming :( ).
While it snowed, I made Aussie Meat Pies with step-by-step photos | Eat, Little Bird (eatlittlebird.com) (self-explanatory) and How to Make the Perfect Pavlova Recipe from Australia! (bucketlistseekers.com) (meringue + whipped cream + berries = pavlova). I also served Vegemite. :P More on that later.
First made the meringue for the pavlova. Made a basic French meringue (whipped egg whites until stiff with sugar, then baked slow at a low oven temp until crisp on the outside, soft yet chewy on the inside).
You know you've reached a stiff peak when you can flip the bowl of meringue upside down (over someone's head. This was done over several people's heads, for optimal amounts of freak-outs and reassurances of stiff peaks) and it doesn't move. This is achieved by whipping air and sugar into the egg whites - this gives the air something to hold onto, so it doesn't fall. Also, cream of tartar, just a tad, is added in to keep those peaks stiff. The meringue was arranged according to the recipe as meringue spread out with spikes around the edges to make it resemble a crown.
While the meringue slow-baked, some prep was done. Berries were thrown together for the pavlova; then onions, bacon, and ground beef and seasonings were cooked up for the filling of the meat pies.
It was so nice to open a pack of puff pastry and not have to make dough, LOL. Half were sprinkled with sesame seeds and half with poppy seeds. Above is the before and after of their bake.
The Aussie meat pies were delicious, savory, and a crowd-pleaser. Its flavor was the lovechild of a sloppy Joe and a meatloaf.
We also tried Vegemite on toast. Vegemite is the brown yeast at the bottom of the barrel after making beer.
The only thing that came to mind when I thought of Vegemite was the fact that back in 2012 Niall Horan took one bite of Vegemite toast (he did not like it) and then the rest of the toast was sold on eBay for $10,000 for charity.
My brother tried it first. He liked it. "Beef broth mixed with yeast, very salty" was his verdict.
My SIL and I each tried our own halves. We ate one bite, like Niall, and did not finish the rest. I spat mine out. Why was it sour. My brother then kept eating Vegemite toast and I am very glad he liked it; needless to say, the jar remained at his house.
The pavlova was topped with whipped cream and berries and we ate it after the kids were in bed. Decaf coffee and pavlova and hanging out with two of your favorite people in the world while it gently snows outside ain't a bad way to spend a Friday evening. The meringue ws pillowy, light and marshmallow-y; its light crisp with the berries and the cream was utter perfection.
Also, enjoy these snow and cat pics:
Day made: 1/21/2022, Friday
Day post made: 2/6/2022, Sunday
Will I make it again? 9/10, most defs