Poronui Welcomes New Head Chef
Steve Carson is originally from Hamilton in the Waikato and did his chef training there. His father was a caterer so Steve developed a love for food at a young age and cooking as a profession was a natural choice.
Like other smart chefs, he believes in using the best produce, keeping it simple and producing seasonal dishes with an element of sophistication.
But there is something else about Steve’s food that makes him a very special chef and the perfect partner for Poronui. Here, we are all about coming together around the table to share stories and celebrate your day in the great outdoors. And Steve’s food philosophy is a perfect match – showing you to how to celebrate, and creating special occasions everyday with feasts of seasonal produce from different regions.
Steve also loves the diversity of dining experiences available at Poronui – all of which he caters for. His favourite is the Safari Camp, where guests can sleep under canvas next to the Mohaka River and still experience gourmet food and wine from his kitchen!
When he’s not fly fishing, his favourite hobby, Steve can be found in his kitchen experimenting – his second favourite hobby! His latest creation is a wild hare and field mushroom ravioli with a parmesan champagne froth, using ingredients harvested from Poronui and local suppliers. He is also testing a number of ways to prepare sika venison – his favourite ingredient – and a perfect match for his favourite tipple – a good NZ or French pinot noir.
We have convinced Steve to share his recipe for the ravioli with us: if you test it, please be sure to give us some feedback, either here or on our Facebook page. And if you don’t, feel free to come stay with us and request it for dinner.
Wild Hare & Field Mushroom Ravioli
2 back legs of a large hare
2 tbsp olive oil
1 cup red wine
2 cups beef stock
1 tsp black pepper corns
2 bay leaves
4 field mushrooms, peeled and finely diced
2 shallots, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
salt and pepper to taste
1 tbsp butter
In an oven proof deep dish pan brown off the hare legs in olive oil, add the red wine, beef stock, pepper corns and bay leaves and bring to the boil. As soon as it boils, cover and cook in the oven at 165 degrees celsius until tender (approx 2 hours).
Remove from the oven and cool slightly, then tear the meat away from bones and put to one side. In a small pot heat the butter gently, add shallots, garlic and mushroom and sweat off, then add finely diced hare meat to the mixture. Cook for one minute and put to one side to cool.
Ravioli Pasta Ingredients
(or use wonton wrappers and follow construction directions on packet)
2 cups all-purpose flour, plus more for dusting
1 tsp salt
3 large eggs, plus 1 more for egg wash
2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
Cornmeal, for dusting
Combine the flour and salt on a flat work surface; shape into a mound and make a well in the centre. Add the eggs and 1 tbsp of the olive oil to the well and lightly beat with a fork. Gradually draw in the flour from the inside wall of the well in a circular motion. Use 1 hand for mixing and the other to protect the outer wall. Continue to incorporate all the flour until it forms a ball. Sprinkle some flour on work surface, knead and fold the dough until elastic and smooth, this should take about 10 minutes. Brush the surface with the remaining olive oil and wrap the dough in plastic wrap; and let rest for about 30 minutes to allow the gluten to relax.
Cut the ball of dough in half, and cover the piece of dough you are not immediately using to prevent it from drying out. Dust the counter and dough with a little flour. Press the dough into a rectangle and roll it through a pasta machine, 2 or 3 times, at widest setting. Pull and stretch the sheet of dough with the palm of your hand as it emerges from the rollers. Reduce the setting and crank the dough through again, 2 or 3 times. Continue tightening until the machine is at the narrowest setting; the dough should be paper-thin, about 1/8-inch thick (you should be able to see your hand through it.). Dust the sheets of dough with flour as needed.
Beat 1 egg with 1 tbsp of water to make an egg wash. Dust the counter and sheet of dough with flour, lay out the long sheet of pasta, and brush the top surface with the egg wash, which acts as a glue. Drop tablespoons of the hare filling on half of the pasta sheet, about 2 inches apart. Fold the other half over the filling like a blanket. With an espresso cup (like a moulded rolling pin) or your fingers, gently press out air pockets around each mound of filling. Use a sharp knife to cut each pillow into squares and crimp all four edges with the tines of a fork to make a tight seal. Dust the ravioli and a baking tray with cornmeal to prevent the pasta from sticking and lay them out to dry slightly while assembling the rest.
1 tsp olive oil
1 shallot, finely diced
1 clove garlic, finely diced
1/2 cup white wine
2 cups cream
1 half bottle French champagne (or any dry sparkling wine)
50g good parmesan grated
sea salt and fresh black pepper to taste
In small pot fry off the shallot and garlic till clear and then add the white wine. Reduce by half, add the cream and reduce by half again.
Cook the ravioli for four minutes in rapidly boiling salted water.
Just before you serve add the parmesan to the sauce, and only moments before you plate up, add 1/2 of the champagne to the sauce - watch it double in volume - this is the froth!
Arrange three ravioli on a plate, dress with sauce and garnish with fresh chopped Italian flat leafed parsley and fresh parmesan. Serve immediately before the froth disappears!