Tuesday, 6 July 2010


We engaged in some culinary experimentation tonite with muttonbirds.

Not the well known salted muttonbird which is normally cooked by boiling it and replacing the water a few times to get rid of the excess salt.

No, we cooked fresh muttonbirds. They are not brined.

So what did we do?

Well first you have to catch your muttonbird and Bustedblonde did that a while back.

Then you gut it.

Then we did something we have never done before - we boned it out.

We removed the ribs and backbone and breastbones. So all that was left with the bone in were the legs.

Now muttonbirds are very very oily. More on that later...

We lay the bird skin side down on the chopping board.

Then we got some of our favourite salt - its a smoked herbed version and lightly sprinkled it over the meat . Not too much though..

Then we made the stuffing - its a traditional sage and onion stuffing with good old dried mixed herbs.. And a chopped up raw onion. Then we chucked an egg in to bind and then we used Fejoa and Apple juice to moisten...

Then added salt and pepper to taste.

Then we trussed it up .. ( sorry no camera but it look a bit like a mini version of the goose in the pic)

Then we scored the skin with a knife to let the fat out. This is really important.

Then we placed in an open baking dish with about 1/2 a cup of water.

It was pretty hot oven to start them we turned it down a bit and as the water evaporated the oil drained and roasted the birds for about 2 hours.

We took a cup of oil off when they were finished.

Now fresh muttonbirds have a propensity to dry out. Not these babies... They were divine..

Moist, meaty and rich and the bed of potato and swede mash a perfect sweet foil to the richness.

Just wish Busted had caught more of the buggers.


Heine said...

Food porn is always good in my books. Sounds brilliant.

Anonymous said...

Had my first taste of mutton bird in Arrowtown 17 months ago at daughters wedding......... tasted like anchovy to me, any body else picked that up (whiteys only LOL)

CW said...

Geez that Busted is a useless tart. Only doing half the job. Needs a good kick in the ring gears if you ask me

Blondini Gang said...


Anonymous said...

Yes I have had it in pasta dishes at "Plato" in Dunedin, certainly could mistaken for anchovy but better

Anonymous said...

Ha! I too had my first taste at MY daughters wedding in Arrowtown 2008 and I too reckoned it tasted like anchovy (which I love and husband hates)

Do I know you? LOL

medusa (the whitey ;))