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Blogger's Choice: Winter Warmers

10 July 2018

By Rachel Seeley

Nothing keeps the chill of a cold day at bay better than a warming meal in WA’s oldest wine region. 

The Swan Valley is dishing up the goods with epic vineyard views and cosy fireplaces, transforming the best local and seasonal produce into delicious dishes that’ll help you forget the rain and create wonderful winter memories.

Here are our top picks. 

The Hen’s Classic Pork Belly at The Henley Brook

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The crew at The Hen live and breathe the Swan Valley, bringing together the region’s best produce, wines and beers in a laid-back colonial-style tavern. With a rustic double-sided log fire and a buzzing, family-friendly atmosphere, The Hen is a cosy haven on a cold day.

Head Chef Beth has made The Hen’s Classic Pork Belly stand out by using top quality ingredients and plating up a generous serving. The incredibly tender pork belly is served with creamy truffle and confit garlic mash that you could easily eat by the bowlful, and crisp local greens with mushroom gravy. This mouth-watering combination is topped off with a perfect piece of crunchy, salty crackle.

With the trio of crispy skin, juicy meat and decadent mash, you really couldn’t ask for anything else – except maybe a glass of Sitella Shiraz/Grenache/Tempranillo to really bring out the wintry flavours.

 

Osso Bucco at Pinelli Estate Winery Restaurant

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Nestled among the grapevines and serving up delicious Italian cuisine, Pinelli Estate Winery Restaurant is a relaxed and understated spot focussed on quality. Head Chef Caleb lets local produce lead the menu, picking only the best seasonal goods and pairing them with ingredients and inspiration from around the world.

Pinelli’s cosy Italian classic, Osso Bucco, is a real treat on a cold night. The rich and aromatic veal shanks have been slowly cooked until the meat is sweet and tender, braised with San Marzano tomatoes, herbs picked fresh from the Estate garden, and a dash of red wine.

It’s served on a bed of soft polenta that gets its incredible taste and texture from Italian mascarpone, and there’s a splash of colour from a gorgeous purple cabbage coulis. Delicate chilli drops dotted over pumpkin puree add a finely balanced burst of flavour and warmth, and it’s this attention to detail that makes this heavenly-scented dish a winter feast you won’t soon forget.

 

Chicken and Gidgegannup Mushroom Pie at Homestead Brewery

Swan-Valley-Blog-Pie.jpgWith warm industrial vibes, vineyard views and an inviting fireplace, Homestead Brewery at Mandoon Estate is a lively spot to spend a wintry afternoon. Taking pride in producing food that matches their brewing style – think big, bold and balanced flavours – the winter menu put together by Executive Chef Michael is fresh, seasonal and hearty. 

The Chicken and Gidgegannup Mushroom Pie is everything you could want on a blustery cold day. Golden, crunchy, flaky pastry encases big chunks of juicy free-range chicken, cooked to perfection in a light but warming white wine sauce, with fresh, top quality mushrooms grown in the Perth hills.

Tender and crisp veggies drizzled with olive oil and herbs add a good contrast of flavours and textures, making this a classic combination that will leave you full and content.