Four retro-classic recipes with a native ingredient update by Mark Olive

Although they’re growing in popularity, native ingredients aren’t readily available at most supermarkets – yet. The easiest way to source Indigenous ingredients, including those featured in these recipes, is online, suggests chef Mark Olive. “Do a bit of an investigation to ensure you’re purchasing from Indigenous sources,” he says. Sites like Supply Nation and Bushfood Sensations’ directory of Aboriginal owned and managed businesses are good places to start.

Spinach, warrigal and goat’s cheese savoury muffins

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 20 minutes
Makes eight muffins

(Pictured above)

25g unsalted butter
200ml milk
30g baby spinach leaves
30g warrigal greens
250g self-raising flour
50g finely grated parmesan
1 egg
120g soft goat’s cheese
8 cherry tomatoes,







cut in half
1 teaspoon ground bush tomato
, also known as desert raisin, kutjura and akudjura
1 teaspoon ground salt bush


Preheat oven to 190 degrees, and lightly grease eight holes of a muffin pan.

Season the cut surface of the cherry tomatoes with ground saltbush and bush tomato.

Heat butter and milk in a pan over low heat, until butter is melted. Add spinach and warrigal greens and stir for one minute, until wilted. Remove the wilted greens and set aside. Take the milk off heat and leave it to cool.

Sift flour into a large bowl, stir in egg and gradually add the cooled milk. Fold in parmesan and crumble in goat’s cheese, then stir gently until just combined. Finally, add wilted greens.

Fill muffin pan with the mixture, and top with the seasoned cherry tomatoes. Bake until muffins have risen and cooked through – around 20 minutes. Serve warm.

Whiting fillet in paperbark with dill mayonnaise

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 30 minutes
Serves Two

For the fish
Paperbark
4 whiting fillets
60g butter

, melted
10ml lemon myrtle oil
Ground lemon myrtle
12 lemon myrtle leaves
12 lemon slices



For the mayonnaise
250ml grape seed oil
½ bunch dill
30g egg yolk
20ml white wine vinegar
20ml lemon aspen syrup
20ml lemon aspen juice
1 teaspoon dijon mustard





Preheat oven to 180 degrees. Cut paper bark into squares large enough to fully wrap the whiting fillets, then soak in water and pat dry with kitchen towelling. Combine the butter with lemon myrtle oil, and brush the mixture on to the wet paper bark, leaving some aside to coat the fish. Dust the bark with ground lemon myrtle, then place each fillet on a slice of bark, skin side down. Brush more melted butter and lemon myrtle oil on to the fish. Top each fillet with three slices of lemon, and three lemon myrtle leaves. Wrap fillets with the bark, tying the ends with string. Loosely cover parcels in foil, and bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes.

While the fish is cooking, make the mayonnaise. Using a food processor, blitz dill through grape seed oil, then strain through a muslin cloth and set aside. In a bowl, whisk together the egg yolk, vinegar, lemon aspen syrup, lemon aspen juice and mustard. Slowly incorporate the dill oil until emulsified, and season to taste.

Braised lamb shanks

Prep 20 minutes
Cook three and half hours
Serves three

6 lamb shanks
50g butter
3 tablespoons olive oil
2 onions


, cut into eighths
1 head of garlic
, cut on the equator
2 carrots
, peeled and cut into rounds
1 turnip
, peeled and cut into chunks
1 parsnip
, peeled and cut into chunks
3 royal blue potatoes
, peeled and cut into chunks
400 ml beef stock
500ml merlot
2 tablespoons tomato paste
2 tablespoons whole bush tomato
2 dessert spoons bush tomato




, ground
1 dessert spoon dried native mountain pepper leaf, ground, also known as Tasmanian mountain pepper leaf, mountain pepper or native pepper – pepper berries come from the same tree
1 dessert spoon dried saltbush
½ cup fresh saltbush leaves


Preheat oven to 160 degrees. Heat oil and butter in frying pan and brown shanks all over. Transfer shanks to a casserole dish. Place garlic in frying pan and cook until golden. Remove and add to shanks. Fry onions for five minutes, until translucent, and add to shanks. Deglaze frying pan with merlot, add bush tomatoes and reduce by half. Stir in stock, tomato paste and spices, then add vegetables. Pour into casserole dish with lamb, reduce oven to 120 degrees and cook covered in oven for three and a half hours.

Pear and red wine tart

Prep 15 minutes
Cook 15 minutes
Makes two tarts

4 fresh pears, peeled and cored
1 bottle Malbec
500ml lemon myrtle syrup
2 cinnamon quills
4 cloves
4 fresh lemon myrtle leaves
All butter puff pastry





Preheat fan-forced oven to 200 degrees. Line tray with baking paper. Place wine, lemon myrtle syrup and spices in saucepan and bring to the boil. Add pears and poach until tender, but still firm, remove and set aside. Reduce liquid until syrupy.

Cut puff pastry into long rectangle and place on the tray. Slice pears and arrange fanned out on the pastry. Brush pears with syrup, then bake for 15 minutes until the pastry has risen. Reduce heat to 180 degrees and bake until golden, brushing pears with syrup occasionally. Remove tray from oven and, whilst still hot, spoon syrup over the pears before serving.

The second season of Mark Olive’s On Country Kitchen premieres on NITV on Wednesday 23 October at 7.30pm