We continue our week of Aussie bush recipes, thanks to our source for the week - several editions of the Perth newspaper The Western Mail, which ran a competition on the topic in 1938. I can pretty well guarantee that you wont find today’s dishes on the menu anywhere.
The galah is a noisy, pretty pink and grey cockatoo found all over Australia. It also used to be an ingredient for the stew-pot in the days of real bush cuisine. The ‘real’ way to cook it of course is well known, but just in case you have forgotten them, let me give the instructions again via the words of a South Australian newspaper correspondent in 1934.
“DR. A. M. Morgan, North Adelaide, writes:- "Dear Bufus -Your friend who says galah is too rough to eat, evidently does not know how to cook them. The proper way is to put the bird in a billycan with a medium-sized stone, and fill with water, and bring to the boil. When a fork will go easily into the stone, and come out clean, the bird is done, and will be found tender and tasty. This is an old bush recipe, and I am surprised that your friend did not know it.”
The newspaper competition provides some slightly more sophisticated ways of dealing with the bird, which I am sure will adapt easily to any sort of cockatoo or parrot that might fall into your hands.
Take six galahs, cover with about one quart of water. When boiled for half an hour add two onions, pepper and salt to taste and let boil for half an hour longer. Then take out half a cup of the galah stock and add to it one tablespoon of curry and two tablespoons of flour. Mix well together and add to galahs. Let simmer for quarter of an hour before serving.
Allow one galah for each person. Cut off the heads and then skin the birds and clean them. Place in a dish of salted water for a few hours. Make a nice stuffing of onion and herbs, breadcrumbs, a knob of butter, salt and pepper and a grating of nutmeg. Bind with a well beaten egg. Stuff the birds with this stuffing, make some dripping very hot in a saucepan, and place in the birds. Turn occasionally to brown. When half cooked put in a little hot water and finish cooking. A rasher of bacon placed on each bird while cooking is delicious.
Take four or five birds, skin (do not pluck them) clean and soak in salted water for a few hours. Cut a rasher of bacon into small strips, put two or three pieces inside each bird, then arrange them in a casserole, cut up an onion very small, put over the top of the birds, sprinkle a dessert spoon of flour over them, then small dabs of butter, or dripping on top. Now half fill the casserole with cold water, put the lid on and cook in a slow oven for about two and a half or three hours. The result is a cheap and appetising dish. Bronze wing pigeons and parrots done in the same way are delicious.
Quotation for the Day.
Not presume to dictate, but broiled fowl and mushrooms – capital thing.