Green Olive at Red Hill (Red Hill, Victoria, Australia)
Last week we featured Mock Red Hill, an orchard that offers cider tastings and amazing doughnuts, if you haven’t read that review give it a go before our article today. And if you had done that already feel free to continue, for today we will be featuring a neighbouring farm called Green Olive at Red Hill, yeah, I know it’s an olive farm but don’t worry this will not be an olive tasting, we will do much more than that, in fact this place is a one stop shop for almost everything.
At Green Olive at Red Hill, they grow olives, grapes, pomegranate, all sorts of herbs and veggies. They also raise sheep and chickens, they also turn produce from local farmers into a range of goodies like olive oils, tapenade, relishes, sauces, chutneys, jams, marmalades and honey which you can buy at their shop plus they offer dining experiences, cooking classes, a cellar and even accommodation, they really offer a lot and to think this farm is almost self-sufficient, it has its own dam, its own water treatment for recycled water and solar panels for electricity, this is where I want to be when there is a Zombie apocalypse.
When we visited the place, we were welcomed by wines and being in Australia I will have to go for that Shiraz, will even not try the Pinot Noir, as we do it better in New Zealand. Then we were divided into three groups for our own cooking lessons where one is pasta, another is pizza and the one I joined was in the sausage group. Luckily that was my group as I dying to learn how to tie my sausages properly (well that did not sound good), but honestly, I had a hard time tying them when I made longaniza at home before, this would certainly help me.
It was good times, we start first by foraging our ingredients all over the farm while the owner runs us through how the farm operates and what it produces. So, we grabbed some fresh herbs and vegetables as well as pomegranate for what we are preparing for our own dinner. We foraged with our glasses of wines on one hand which was filled as we walk and after that we head over to our sausage making class. Now sausage making was already funny specially with a very colourful group that I had, it even went interesting when the chef that was handling us was introduced as Mandeep. The discussions after that went hilarious until the end, especially when he was explaining how the skin should be moist, the sausage should not be fat and hard, and how to carefully handle it, my jaws was sore from laughing and it was a great night with Mandeep.
Sausages were made from scratch from choosing the best cuts of meat, mincing the meat, what herbs and seasonings to use and how to fill natural sausage casings through to the different ways to cook sausages. We did it everything for ourselves with of course some guidance from Mandeep. It’s quite simple it’s just a mix of lamb meat 15-20% fat at least, tons of herbs and spices like dill, coriander, parsley, basil, garlic, paprika, cumin, fennel seeds, sweet paprika, salt and freshly ground black pepper, I will have to share the recipe later but that’s what goes into it. After fitting it in the sausage stuffer it was then steamed before lightly grilling.
All of that sausage making happened while everyone was also preparing fresh pasta from scratch as well as some wood fire pizza. It was a fun night for everyone and after everyone was finished preparing for dinner, the real chefs did the real cooking, basically we just prepared the end products for the chefs to put in ovens or stove tops, so we can enjoy the night while having some of their fine wine.
Few minutes later the dinner was served, and it started with some greens with the pomegranate we foraged earlier.
Then it was followed by the pizza that was prepared by the team earlier. Some of them also played some pizza roulette where the spiked one slice on each pizza with some hot chillies and this made it exciting.
Our sausages came next, served with thick cut fries, sour cream and sweet chilli sauce. This was surprisingly good, I did not expect it to taste as amazing as it is. I would honestly buy, it tasted good. It was juicy and flavourful, I will definitely make this at home.
We then finished with our last mains which is the pasta, this was good as well, a bit on the salty side and you can taste the olives on it. Love the pasta, it was cooked al dente, and since it was fresh the texture was just good.
Dessert was served next and it was raisin cinnamon pudding served with vanilla ice cream, the top was crusty and crunchy and middle bits are custardy, this was pudding taken to the next level.
While we are all having these drinks are free flowing and there were lots of smiles everywhere, each group even presented how they prepared their meals, it was a cracker of a night!
And if you think that’s finished, not yet, more food arrived as we were served with some cheese platter.
and some chocolate tasting, basically showcasing what these guys can do.
Plus, if wines, ciders, beers and soft drinks is not your thing there are also mulled wine and some single malt whiskey.
It’s such a fun day, I learned a lot, laughed a lot and most importantly enjoyed everything, the food, the place, the things we did and the company of the best colleagues you can ever have. I would definitely suggest this place to anyone who is planning to have a team building if you’re in the vicinity of Melbourne of course.
Green Olive at Red Hill
Address: 1180 Mornington-Flinders Rd, Main Ridge VIC 3928, Australia
Phone: +61 3 5989 2992