21st January 2015
19th January 2015
A late start because of the extended Wallaby hunt last night. Ross O’Meara is a major find, or would be if he hadn’t been a bit found previously by Australian TV, hunting, cooking, talking good game. After freezing our arses in the soft Tasmanian rain that would be charming if not for the need to film in it, in a field, on a cold and moonless night, we are dotted about the countryside in B&Bs. Self, camera and sound departments roosting in a lovely chalet at Ross’s farm.
This morning began early with a trip up to see Ross with his pigs, who, prior to becoming pork products famous throughout the island and in Australia to the north, live like, well, pigs in shit. Rick is enraptured by the porcine family who work rest and play in the forest, curling up together in a barn at night.
But the main event is the cooking of last night’s Wallaby, which is found on the butcher’s block, cleaned, as country folk say, and ready for camera and oven. Ross explains how to joint these vermin, so populous that the Tasmanian government employs gunmen in helicopters to mow them down and then bury them. In contrast, our host bags a few dozen at a time and uses every scrap.
Tossed in goose fat, the flank steaks are delicious, says Rick, especially slathered in Ross’s own mustard. It’s a viable, fat-free protein source that would do well with health-conscious diners in metro Australia and beyond. Bang on message for our film.
A quick lunch – pork pies and Wallaby items – and it’s time to fly. The conveyance has landed in a lonely cove nearby and after a bit of pre-flight wading, it’s off to another cove, made slightly less lonely by the presence of an abalone fishing boat, where Scott Palmer whips us off the floats and onto his poop deck. Rick waxes lyrical again, now in love with this giant bivalve, sliced up and tossed in breadcrumbs. Australian take-up is small, it’s mostly destined for the Asian market, where it fetches more than one hundred Australian dollars a kilo.
Scott works about 80 days a year, dives in crystal waters, has never seen a big shark and quaffs Tasmanian Pinot Noir when the sun dips. Note to self: never too late to consider a career change.