At the moment I am holidays at our shack on Bruny Island. The weather hasn't been that kind, nor have the fish, so a lot of time has been spent eating and drinking by the fire. Yesterday, feeling like we needed to do some exercise, we went for a walk and a bit of a cook up.
I while ago I scored some mutton birds off my butcher (there are pretty tight restrictions on harvesting them these days, you can't do it at all in the south of the state). Mutton birds are sea birds that nest in Tasmania in late summer after a massive migration from the northern hemisphere. You either love or hate mutton birds. They are really strong in flavour; I would describe them as duck crossed with anchovies. They also stink when you cook them - my girlfriend only will let me cook them outside. So it seemed fitting that they came with us on our walk to an old mutton birding hut.
Cooking It was perfect out at the hut. We had the whole beach to ourselves. We lit a fire and chucked on some spuds and threw the birds on the grill. When they were cooked we ate them with shots of vodka (whiskey would be better) - this helped cut through the fattiness of the birds. I got this idea from the way the Swedes eat their surströmming (fermented herring) - just with potatoes and schnapps. I remember it being a pretty good way to eat it but that may have been the schnapps talking. But what I mainly liked is the way they make a bit of a party/event out of eating the herring - they do the same with their freshwater crayfish. It is something that I think we miss out on a bit in Tassie, maybe because we are quite young country? Anyway as you may have gathered by now this is not really a recipe, more of a way to enjoy these birds. Yes I know that sounds pretty wanky and probably is. I promise not to be a tosser in future posts. BTW I got engaged on Saturday.