Pete Evans renovates classic Aussie recipes

Pete Evans' 'Ultimate Occa Burger'.
Pete Evans' 'Ultimate Occa Burger'. 

Australia Day is the ideal holiday to bust out your tongs, spark up the barbie and create some delicious Aussie flavours for your family and friends to enjoy. Quintessential Australian food is definitely something to be patriotic about, especially when you can make it healthier and more satisfying without skimping on flavour. It's no big secret that many of our national dishes may not have originated in our homeland but we've certainly done an exceptional job of incorporating our Aussie spirit into our food and making it our own.

As a passionate chef and qualified health coach it's a priority for me to cater to everyone as I understand and respect the fact that many of us have different dietary requirements and beliefs, which is why I also choose to create flavoursome, nutritious food suited to people with food intolerances, allergies and health concerns.

The following recipes are some of my favourite Australian-inspired dishes and, believe me, it was no easy feat choosing only four. I opted for traditional tucker that reminded me of my youth and growing up in our glorious country and they are free of refined sugar, gluten, wheat, dairy and grains.

So what's on my 'Straya Day menu? The mighty meat pie, finger-licking fish and chips, and for a sweet treat to top it all off, the lavish lamington.

Don't be shy, give them a go and have a safe and happy Australia Day.

Ultimate Occa Burgers

 3 tbsp coconut oil, melted (or ghee, duck/beef/pork fat)
8 large Portobello mushrooms, cores removed
4 slices nitrate-free bacon (optional)
2 tbsp fermented or homemade tomato sauce  
8 slices tomatoes
4 gherkins, sliced, or fermented pickles
2 brown onions, sliced into rings
4 tbsp chipotle aioli (see recipe below)
2 carrots, grated
1 large beetroot, peeled and cut into thin matchsticks
2 tbsp seeded mustard
8 leaves butter lettuce
4 organic free-range eggs
Sea salt
Pepper

Patties
600g chuck steak, minced
2 garlic cloves, crushed
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
1 tbsp chopped flat-leaf parsley leaves
Pinch of dried oregano
1 organic free-range egg
1 tsp Himalayan sea salt or other quality salt
1 tsp cracked black pepper
½ brown onion, finely diced
1 tbsp dijon or wholegrain mustard  

Preheat the oven to 240C.

Place Portobello mushrooms on a baking tray lined with baking paper or tin foil.
Drizzle the mushrooms with coconut oil or other fat of choice, season with salt and pepper and roast in the oven for 10 – 15 for minutes or until the mushrooms are tender.

Remove from the oven and place the mushrooms on a paper towel to remove excess moisture. Allow to cool.

For the patties
Mix all the ingredients in a large bowl and shape into four patties.

Heat the barbecue or grill to medium heat. Add two tablespoons coconut oil (or other oil) and place the patties, bacon and onions on the barbecue. Cook for 5 minutes or until golden, then flip the patties and bacon over and continue cooking for a couple of minutes or until cooked through and the onions are tender and caramelised.  Remove and set aside to keep warm.

Add a little more coconut oil to the barbeque and cook the egg to your liking. Season with salt and pepper.

Place the patties and the burgers in the middle of the table with all other components in individual bowls and let everyone help themselves to build their own burger.

Makes 4 burgers

Chipotle aioli

250g aioli (see recipe below)
2 chipotles in adobo sauce – or to taste
1 tbsp adobo sauce

Blend all ingredients together using a hand-held blender, until smooth.

Makes 280ml

Aioli

4 free range egg yolks
2 teaspoons dijon or fermented mustard
2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
2 tablespoons lemon juice
6 garlic confit cloves, finely chopped (see recipe below)
Sea salt
400 ml light olive oil or macadamia oil
Freshly ground black pepper

Blend the egg yolks, mustard, vinegar, lemon juice, garlic and some salt using a hand-held blender. As you blend, slowly pour the oil in a thin, even stream until all the oil has been added and the aioli is thick and creamy. Season with salt and pepper. Keep refrigerated.

Makes approximately 500ml

Confit Garlic

150g garlic cloves (approximately 25 cloves), peeled
250ml coconut oil or macadamia oil

Place the garlic cloves and coconut or macadamia oil in a saucepan over very low heat (you do not want the oil to boil). Cook gently for 2 hours or until the garlic is soft. Store the confit garlic in its oil in a sealed jar in the fridge. The confit garlic will keep for around two weeks.

Makes 150g

shank

Macadamia crumbed fish

200g macadamias, chopped into pieces or blended to a crumb in a food processor

50g shredded coconut

2 tbsp parsley, chopped

100g tapioca flour

3 free-range eggs, lightly whisked

600g your favourite fish fillets, skinned and pin-boned (flat head, whiting or snapper are all great options)

Sea salt

250ml coconut oil

Sweet potato chips, to serve

Lemon wedges, to serve

1. Mix macadamia crumbs, shredded coconut and parsley together in a bowl.

2. Put the tapioca flour in a shallow bowl, the egg in another bowl and combine macadamia crumbs and parsley in a third bowl. Lightly season the fish with some salt, and then dust lightly with the flour. Coat the fillets in the egg first, then roll the fish in the macadamia crumbs, patting down firmly.

3. Melt the oil in a frying pan over medium heat and shallow-fry the fish for 60 seconds until golden and crispy, then turn over and cook for a further 60 seconds or until crispy on both sides. Season with sea salt.

4. Drain off excess oil from the fish fillets using paper towels, then serve while hot with fresh lemon wedges, sweet potato chips and a side salad.

Serves 4

Sweet potato fries with rosemary and sage

800g sweet potato, peeled

80ml coconut oil, melted

Sea salt and freshly cracked pepper

3 sprigs rosemary, roughly chopped

10 sage leaves, roughly chopped

1. Preheat the oven to 200C. Lightly coat a large baking tray with coconut oil.

2. Cut the sweet potato into 5mm thick slices, then cut the slices again lengthways into
 5mm thick strips.

3. Place the sweet potato, melted coconut oil, salt, pepper, rosemary and sage in a large bowl and mix well. Spread on the prepared tray in a single layer.

4. Bake for 10 minutes, then turn sweet potato strips over and continue baking for another 5 minutes, or until tender and lightly browned. Keep a close eye on the fries as they can burn easily.

Serves 4

lamingtons

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