Tantalising cuisine courtesy of the chefs of Arkaroola Wilderness Resort.
I‘ve been in the northern Flinders Ranges for a couple of weeks at Arkaroola Wilderness Resort and to say it’s an amazing place is a bit of an understatement.
The 4WDing is fabulous, the terrain is stunning and the camping is exceptional, with shady camps along a creek that runs through the village.
Arkaroola Wilderness Sanctuary was started in 1968 when Reg Sprigg purchased the 60,000ha failing sheep station towards the end of a decade of drought. He began to destock the property and develop his tourism plans. It’s possible that Arkaroola was Australia’s first eco-tourism development.
Uranium was discovered on the property in the early 1900s and it was this that eventually led to a large miner exploring the whole property in the late 60s and early 70s in search of commercial lodes of the isotope. In doing so they put down over 150km of tracks around the high hills in the north of the property, opening up for all time one of the most amazing guided 4WD tracks in South Australia – the world famous Ridgetop Track.
A series of mining controversies led to the south Australian Government legislating to preserve Arkaroola for all time, for its unique topography, geological significance and diverse wildlife and habitat.
If you ever get the chance to visit Arkaroola, you would be mad to miss out on the Ridgetop Tour, it finishes with a spectacular climb to a lookout that is truly breathtaking. The climb is not for the faint-hearted, and is a true highlight of any visit there.
But after any great day exploring the surrounding area, it’s always great to come back and enjoy a hearty meal in the restaurant. And you won’t be disappointed.
Arkaroola’s chefs Pierre and Richy, work tirelessly to produce fabulous meals that include all of the usual favourites, but it’s the use of meats like kangaroo that add that yummy twist. All meals are prepared fresh each day and the boys work hard to add a local spin to their delicacies with the use of indigenous herbs like lemon myrtle or native oregano. Even the curry bush that grows in the high hills around the property gets a run when a goat finds its way into the pot.
Have a go at these little wonders and I’m sure that you’ll be impressed with the flavours, the textures and I won’t be surprised if you lick your plate clean.
PIERRE’S PEAR CHEESECAKE
- 60g butter
- 240g biscuits, finely crushed
- 6 ripe pears
- 50g sugar
- 500g Philadelphia cheese
1. Melt the butter in a pan, add the biscuit crumbs and mix well. Pour the cookie-based mixture into a 20cm springform pan and press firmly with a spoon.
2. Peel the pears. Mix four in a blender or chop really finely to make about 400ml of pulp.
3. Slice the rest and place the pieces on top of the biscuit, reserving the pulp.
4. Using a whisk, beat cheese and sugar until the mixture is well combined. Gradually add the pulped pears, then whisk to blend.
5. In a separate bowl, whip the cream until it forms soft peaks, then fold the whipped cream into the cheese mix.
6. Tip the mixture into the pan, smooth the top, cover and refrigerate.
RICH’S ROO FILLET
- 1 roo fillet
- 6 chat potatoes
Red wine and berry sauce
- 1 tbsp sugar
- 1/4 red onion, finely diced
- 50g fresh or frozen berries, pulped
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 100ml red wine
- 50ml beef stock
1. Boil the chat potatoes and shallow fry it until soft inside and crispy outside.
2. Cook the roo fillet on the grill on very high heat.
3. For the red wine and berry sauce, fry the red onion and berries. Add a pinch of salt and pepper then add the sugar and reduce heat.
4. Add the red wine and the beef stock and cook until the juice is reduced.
SEXY SALMON EN CROUTE
- 2 cloves garlic, crushed
- 1/2 brown onion, finely diced
- 1/2 cup cream
- 1 lemon, juiced
- 1 cup spinach
- Pinch tarragon
- 1 sheet puff pastry
- 1 knob, butter
- 1 egg, beaten
1. Gently cook the onion and garlic until opaque, add the cream and lemon juice and combine. Cook for a further minute.
2. Add the spinach, tarragon and season to your liking. Cook until the mixture reduces to a thick cream consistency.
3. Meanwhile, cut the pastry to accommodate the fish and pour over the sauce. Fold and seal the parcel. Glaze with an egg wash.
4. Bake in a hot oven till the pastry is golden brown.