Great Ocean Food: Fit for a President

November 12, 2020 BY

What a difference a fortnight can make.Since I last wrote the weather has turned from unseasonably cold to positively balmy, the Melbourne Cup has been run and won, Joe Biden has been elected US President and Victorians are once again able to travel within their state. I thought it may be interesting to write about the food preferences of the two protagonists of the US election.

After a scant amount of “google research” it turns out both candidates have a penchant for hamburgers and ice cream. (Casual observation would suggest the man with the comb-over and the fake suntan fancies these cuisines just a little too much; extreme in politics, extreme in life I suppose). So, for a food column, there is not much fodder, if you will excuse the pun.

There is, however, lots to write about with the easing of travel restrictions in Victoria. We celebrated this (and my wife’s birthday) with our annual pilgrimage to the Lakehouse at Daylesford. We are usually there in February, so it was wonderful to visit after such a good season.

The creeks and dams were full and the trees and gardens at Wombat Hill were just superb. Having been closed because of COVID-19 restrictions for several months, we were a little nervous.

We shouldn’t have been worried. The service, food and accommodation were of the usual high standard. The only perceivable differences were people in masks, no breakfast buffet and guests were somewhat spread out from one another.

The mantra of the Lakehouse menu is seasonal and local. Many restaurants purport such values, but the Lakehouse really does practice what they preach. So much so, that they have purchased nearby Dairy Flat Farm, a 38-acre farm which is their own regenerative growing facility.
The property includes five acres of dedicated vegetable gardens, a working barn for classes and workshops, glasshouses, grape vines and orchard trees. They have also built a dedicated on-site bake house specialising in slow-fermented sourdough and pastries which can be purchased from Wombat Hill House, in the Wombat Hill Botanic Gardens. We had a wonderful time and I will write next time describing the four course menu we relished on our first night. It was such a highlight, we agreed it could not be topped and decided to have room service on our last night.

You should be able to guess what I ordered? That’s right, a hamburger, chips and ice cream; fit for a President!

HAMBURGERS

Ingredients 

• 250g beef mince
• Half large brown onion, grated
• Chopped fresh continental
parsley
• 1 garlic clove, crushed
• Splash Worcestershire sauce
• Salt & ground black pepper
• 4 rashers streaky bacon
• 150g cheddar cheese, thinly
sliced
• 2 hamburger buns, halved
• Lettuce, sliced tomato, tomato

Method

My burger preference is a relatively thin patty and plenty of bacon. Mix minced beef (preferably twenty percent fat) with grated onion, Worcestershire sauce, parsley and garlic. Make two thin patties and refrigerate Have all other ingredients prepared then season burgers with salt and pepper and fry (or grill) for three minutes each side. In the same pan, cook bacon until crispy then place cooked bacon on top of burgers then top with cheese. While the cheese is melting, toast the burger buns. I spread both sides with butter (optional). Take burgers straight from pan and place on bottom half of bun. Squeeze tomato sauce, then layer with fresh tomato, and lettuce.

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