Saturday, 9 May 2009

Rare Food at the Market

Last Saturday, Nellie bought some Lamb Pies (and a few other assorted goodies which I didn’t get to taste) at Salamanca Market from the Rare Food stall. This Lamb Pie cost $5. Can I tell you it was the best investment ever made for a pie? It was THE most delicious pie I have had for about 15 years. (The most beautiful pies I have ever had were ones made for my café by Lesley, caterer extraordinaire from South Hobart. I’ve never had one that equated to hers since then, hence I tend to use hers as my yardstick for pie judgments).

The pastry was to-die-for, and the filling was pure melt-in-your-mouth perfection with not one ounce of anything other than slow-cooked lamb meat – no gravy or vegies as fillers. The pie itself was the size of a party pie, so a normal shopper could possibly ask the rhetorical question WTF when looking at the $5 price tag for this pie – but I would have gladly paid twice that amount for this little piece of gastronomic heaven!

So – today Rita made the monumental decision to brave the hordes and go to the Market to buy some for myself! In days gone by (ie when the market first started 20+ years ago) I used to go down there weekly to shop for fruit and veg, and other goodies. I loved the Market, and had a great time there, shopping and meeting friends. Those days are well and truly passed, and the market holds absolutely no charm for me now.

I hate the kitsch stalls selling disgusting wooden fruit bowls and the like. I hate the crowds. I hate the people that tend to congregate there. I hate that I have to park miles away and lug the heavy fruit & veg that I buy the many miles to my car with much inconvenience and difficulty! OK – so I am turning into a Grumpy Old Woman!

I’m telling you this so you can appreciate what I was prepared to forego in order to buy some food from Rare Food, who unfortunately insist in trading only at Salamanca Market on a Saturday!

So – after a good chat with Ross and Matthew, I came away with a great cross-section of Rare Food. They didn’t have what I went for – the Lamb Pies – (as they explained, that’s why they’re called Rare Food – obvious really!) but they had some equally interesting looking and sounding food. I bought a jar of Berkshire Pork Rillettes (just had some on toast – fabulous!), Green Berkshire Bacon, a tub of Pure Pork Cassoulet and a tub of Real Italian Pork and Veal Ragu. The lot cost me $40, which I thought great for what I got.

The cassoulet and ragu are instant meals – ie the ragu is a Bolognese sauce to be eaten with pasta, so I look forward to eating them for dinner tonight and tomorrow. The cassoulet instructions which came along with the tub read “Pork neck, our famous sausages and confit belly are cooked down with white beans in this French classic. Reheat gently, perhaps with some more water, in the oven or on the stovetop. Avoid stirring too much and enjoy with a Tassie pinot.”

Now that’s the kind of “instant food” I like!


Maggie said...

Ohh sounds delightful. May have directions to the stall? Just for a local, I can translate "just outside the such and such" I am market familiar.

I'm supposed to be writing my assignment, but I might have to pop down to the market!

Mary said...

I too visited this stall today Rita. The chaps were very friendly, and told me all about each product. I was tempted by the ragu, but unfortunately far too hungover to commit to anything. Maybe next week. Although I do find it a little off-putting that there are no price labels visible on the products.

Maggie - it is basically outside the fruit market, on the same stall as Bruny Island cheese. Opposite Stefan.

Rita said...

Hi girls
I couldn't wait till tonight so just had a bowl of cassoulet for a late lunch - it was, as predicted, gorgeous. Yummmm.

Maggie said...

Thanks Mary, I know the one. I thought it was just a bruny island stall. That will teach me for not having a closer look. Obviously too late now, but next weekend, I'll be all over it.

Tassiegal said...

I have a slight addiction to their rillette - its gorgeous on Jean Pascale white vienna lightly toasted with some good butter.
If they have the sausages they are lovely as well. Especially if you cut the skin and use the mince in some good passatta. Makes a lovely sauce for spagetti.

Anonymous said...

I too went to the market scoping out a new business idea... the guys at Rare Food are great. Rita, you were lucky, market was quiet on Saturday... may be everyone was at Agfest?


Anonymous said...

you may find this article interesting too...

Rita said...

Thanks TJ - I had a read, and it does indeed make for an interesting article.
Glad that was a quiet market and not a busy one!! I was there just after 8.30 am and it still seemed packed to me! Mind you, not too packed for me to miss Nellie and Nellie Jnr doing their own marketing.
Am I growing antisocial in my old age or is it just my father's genes showing?

sir grumpy' said...

The place for pies is apparently Flynn's Cafe at Kingston.
My daughter says they are wonderful.
You need a wee bit of gravy, Rita for the perfect pie.

Anonymous said...

Those boys at Rare Food are genius! I'm there almost every week and always pick up something new and delicious to try. I remember those lamb pies - amazing. Last week they even had falafel, which kept my vegetarian sister happy - gorgeous too. Like you Rita I had turned in to a slight Salamanca-phobe but those boys just keep bringing me back! Oh, and it helps they're both so charming too - I must admit I have a small crush on the shorter one!

Anonymous said...

I am from Dunsborough, in the Margaret River wine region but having just read the descriptions of Rare Food products makes me want to catch the next flight to Tassie. GH

Rita said...

Do it GH! Come on down! We love you mainlanders, especially those from Margaret River!