A visit to the area started many conversations about moving to the country and after reconnaissance missions to different regions over 18 months, they kept returning to Nundle. At the time Megan was working as deputy editor for Country Style magazine and still freelances for the magazine on a regular basis (watch out for her beautiful garden story on Rockgedgiel at Bundella NSW in the current issue).
Eventually they settled on Nundle, and there they leased (then bought) an old iron and timber store with a view to reviving it's past purpose and glory. The shop, Odgers & McLelland Exchange Stores is now one of the most unique destination stores in the country, featuring a huge range of my new favourite blue and white enamelware (pictured above).
Duncan and Megan carry this range in pretty much every shape, depth and formation but also sell baskets, brooms, gardening tools, twine and homewares. Everything they carry is beautiful, simple and made to last.
I love everything about this place (both the online and 'actual' shop) and so was excited and instantly on board when Megan suggested joining Local is Lovely as a sponsor. I was even more excited when, the next week a parcel arrived from the Exchange Stores, it contained three enamel baking trays wrapped in a cream calico bag. That was a month or so ago and in that time I have used one of them at least daily. Mostly, and most recently, for pies and crumbles up at the Farm Kitchen and at home. The above pie was made from Megan's recipe (via our old friend Jamie Oliver, who has played a big part in reviving the popularity of enamelware) and having just enjoyed it for dinner, team Hansen can't recommend the recipe enough. And of course, it looks and tastes extra good in Megan's bakeware!
Steak and Guinness PieFrom Megan; As soon as the weather turns cold our family starts hankering for pies. The Falcon enamel pie dishes on display in the shop keep pie making top of mind and by the time autumn and winter come along I am keen to bake. If I am at home during the day I love to slow cook the beef filling in a cast iron pot on our slow combustion wood fire (it would work well in a slow cooker too). Of course the smell of the filling cooking during the day builds the anticipation for dinner. If an all day cook doesn't fit in with our plans I still save this recipe for a day when I can start cooking dinner early to allow the flavours to develop. The recipe calls for 565ml of Guinness. I usually buy a long neck and Duncan claims the left overs.
Adapted from Happy Days with the Naked Chef by Jamie Oliver
Ingredients (double quantity if you'd like to serve filling as stew one night and pie filling the next)
680g stewing beef, diced
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 heaped tablespoons flour
1 onion, peeled and roughly chopped
4 sticks of celery, washed and roughly chopped
2 parsnips, peeled and roughly chopped
1 handful mixed herbs (rosemary, thyme and bay leaves)
565ml Guinness (or black beer of choice)
2 x 400g tins of whole or diced tomatoes
500g puff pastry or your favourite pastry recipe (this recipe is for a pastry top only, double pastry quantity if you'd prefer a base as well)
1 egg beaten
Season beef with salt and pepper, sprinkle with the flour and toss around until coated (I use a freezer bag or plastic lunch container). Heat two or three tablespoons of olive oil in a heavy based pan and fry meat until golden in two batches. Add the onion and fry for one more minute, then add the carrot, celery, parsnip and herbs. Fry for a further four minutes then pour in the Guinness. Add the tinned tomatoes and bring to the boil. Stir, then simmer for 2 hours or until the meat is really tender. The sauce should be nice and thick, with an intensely tasty flavour. Season. At this point you could serve it as a stew with mash.
To make the pie/s, preheat the oven to 190C. Put meat filling into a baking dish or dishes if you'd like to make small individual pies. Roll out your pastry, dusting with flour until 0.5cm thick. Cut out a top about 1cm wider than the top/s of your dish/es. Brush the rims of your bowls with beaten egg, then place the pastry on top, squashing the excess pastry down the outside of the bowls to secure. Lightly score the top of the pastry in a criss cross fashion and brush with more beaten egg. Bake in the middle of a pre-heated oven for 45 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with boiled potatoes and steamed greens.
Thank you Megan and Odgers & McLelland Exchange Stores for sponsoring this post. And thank you Megan for extending the following offer to Local is Lovely readers who order any product with Odgers & McLelland this month. Just mention Local is Lovely in the comments section of the order page and receive a free gift Odgers and McClelland calico bag. Nice!