I was lucky enough to be one of 500 Humans selected to visit Canberra this weekend to be part of the Human Brochure – An innovative campaign organised by Australian Capital Tourism to highlight what Canberra has to offer. There were four streams offering different experiences depending on your interests. Of course I was part of the food and wine stream. As I sit here typing this I’m pretty sure I will never need to eat again.
When choosing where to take us this weekend I’m convinced Australian Capital Tourism had me and only me in mind. When I discovered they had booked Poachers Pantry for Saturday lunch I squealed with delight. Poachers Pantry is a smokehouse with a cafe. The cafe serves an amazing array of their own hot and cold smoked produce. Smoking just happens to be my new favourite cooking method and this place has given me some great inspiration for new cooking adventures.
There were 50 of us enjoying the food and wine, so we didn’t get to choose what we ate. However, having perused the online menu since our visit I can confirm that we received a great selection of typical menu items.
You name it, Poachers Pantry smoke it. There was beef and chicken, pork and lamb, in multiple different forms including ham, prosciutto and bresaola. All could be eaten unadulterated but were perfectly matched with some cheese, pickles and tapenade.
And if the meat platter was not enough three main course options followed. As a large group we got to share the smoked chicken, fish and sticky beef ribs. The only problem I had was to limit my portion size so that I could sample a little of each dish.
I’m struggling to pick the stand out dish of the day. The smoked chicken breast was served in the style of Saltimboca. This was so unusual that it left me wanting more. You can see that heavenly, tell tale ring of smoke around the edge.
The sticky, slow cooked beef ribs was a classic, dish that fell off the bone. Served with a coriander relish and a rich gravy; it was also difficult to say no to seconds and thirds.
I have included a photo of dessert because it was pretty and the rumblings from around the room suggested it was good. I was so full on smoked meat I couldn’t even find my dessert belly so no fennel flower panacotta passed these lips.
It has been over a year since I completed the Charcutepalooza challenge and made meat at home. Unfortunately when I started making cheese I had to clean the fridge and turn the shelves over to a different food group. Having tasted all of the amazing Poachers Pantry produce I have been re-inspired to make meat and smoke it with my new found smoking skills. Second hand fridge shopping here I come. Watch this space for more smoked goods.