Pepperberries are more versatile than conventional peppercorn, able to be used in sweet and savoury dishes.
The leaves, stems and berries have an aromatic peppery taste producing approx. 3 times the anti-oxidants of blueberries. Native birds, such as the Black Currawong, eat the berries.
Tasmannia lanceolata is usually a compact 2 metre bushy shrub but can grow to 10 metres tall. Leaf stalks and young stems are red; its leaves are hairless, green, thick, and elliptical in shape.
Plants are either male or female, with sexually-distinct flowers found in umbels at the base of the new season’s growth.
Both sexes have tiny cream-coloured flowers with narrow oblanceolate petals. The male flower has many stamens; the female flower has 2-lobed ovary. Flowering occurs in mid-Spring in the southern hemisphere (October-November). The ripened fruit (March-June) is a pea-sized 2-lobed lustrous deep-purple, almost black, berry with many small angular seeds.
Mountain Pepper plants feature heavily in indigenous traditional uses, both in cooking and medicinally. Mountain Pepperleaf and its berries are now being cultivated in plantations across the cooler parts of Australia.
Although Native Pepperberry can be used in the same way as conventional pepper, it has an added herbal dimension, particularly towards the end of the palate. The dark Pepperberries also infuse a rich plum color to sauces.
The Mountain Pepperleaf has a more subtle, organic herbal flavour than the berry and is ideal where the intensity of the pepperberry is too dominant.
Pepperberries will bleed a soft pink colour into marinades or pickle solutions, pale sauces and yoghurt.
Use it for preparing savouries and soups, vinaigrettes, ice cream jellies, candy, pasta, and game, etc.
Taste Australia Bush Food Shop has Pepperberry either ground, air dried whole or freeze dried whole.
Tanami Fire Carrot Dip
1 kg carrots
165ml Macadamia Nut Oil
2 tspn Outback Pride Tanami Fire Seasoning
Pinch ground Ginger
2 garlic cloves roughly chopped
2 Tbspns Bush Tomato Vinegar
Peel and slice carrots. Place in pot of water and cook until just tender (approx 10 mins). Transfer to a baking tray with 2 Tbspns of Macadamia Oil and bake at 200C for 20 minutes. Cool.
Blend carrots, Tanami Fire, ginger, garlic and vinegar. Then slowly add the remaining oil and whiz until smooth.
Smoked Paperbark Vegetable served with Wattleseed Balsamic and Onion Marmalade
Par cook the vegies and then layer into moist paperbark
with Tanami Fire Seasoning between each layer.
Char grill each side for 5 minutes and then bake 180C for 15 minutes. Serve with Wattleseed Balsamic and Onion Marmalade
Marinated Pepperberry Crocodile with Lemon Myrtle, Orange and Ginger Sauce (4 entree portions)
400 g crocodile meat – cut into 2 cm cubes,
40 ml orange juice,
200 ml chicken stock,
30 ml honey,
5 gm ginger – finely diced,
30 ml Macadamia Nut oil,
10 gm corn flour,
salt and pepperberry to taste,
8 bamboo skewers.
Thread crocodile meat onto bamboo skewers, place in flat dish, season with salt and pepperberry, pour orange juice over it and place in fridge for about 1 hour.
Heat oil in a frying pan and sauté crocodile for about 2 minutes per side, set aside and keep warm.
Combine residual orange juice, honey, ginger, chicken stock, and corn flour in a saucepan.
Bring to boil, reduce heat and simmer for 2 minutes.
Place skewers on plates, spoon sauce over meat and garnish with fresh herbs.
Kakadu Plum and Pepperberry Vinaigrette
250ml white wine vinegar
100g frozen Kakadu plum
50gm shallots peeled and fine diced
Juice of one Lime
1 tspn ground pepperberry
Slice most of the flesh off from the kakadu plum stone.
Place the stones into the vinegar & sugar and boil briefly.
This will soften the remaining flesh.
Strain through a coarse sieve, working the pulp through the mesh.
Add the other flesh and puree finely.
Stir pepperberry, lime juice and shallots into the mixture.
Pepperberry Emu Pie
500gm emu rump
2 teaspoons of macadamia oil
half cup pepperberries
375ml good Australian red wine
1 cubed/skinned egg plant
2 cubed/peeled sweet yam (the orange ones)
2 cups of beef stock – leave a little for sauce.
packet of puff pastry or shortcrust pastry
For the Meat Mixture
Place the the cubed emu rump, cubed and skinned eggplant and sweet yam in a large pot.
Pour in 2 cups of beef stock and cup of red wine. Add 3 – 4 pepperberries.
Leave to stew for about 30 mins stirring every 10 mins so the mixture doesn’t stick to the bottom of the pot.
Add 2 tablespoons of flour and a tablespoon of butter to thicken the sauce.
Assembling the Pie
Cut 15cm square piece of pastry.
Add about a 2 heaped tablespoons of meat in the centre.
Pull up the sides of the pastry to make a parcel – and pinch in the middle.
Bake at 180C for 15 – 20 mins.
1 sliced onion
teaspoon ground pepperberry
splash of wine
splash in beef stock
2 tablespoons of honey
Cook sauce until it reduces a little. Serve with the pies
Marinated Tofu and Vegetable Kebabs
1/2 large red capsicum cut into squares
3 pickling onions quartered
1 zucchini cut into 2.5cm chunks
250gm firm tofu cut into 2cm cubes
Soak 6 wooden skewers in water for 10 mins. Thread vegetable and tofu alternately onto skewers. Place in a rectangular baking dish.
Combine 3 teaspoons white miso paste, 100ml honey, 1.5 Tbspn Sesame Oil, 1 Tbspn water and 1 teaspn each of Lemon Myrtle, Sea Parsley, Pepperberry, salt.
Pour over the kebabs. Cover with plastic wrap, Marinate for at least an hour.
Heat the BBQ. Cook for approx 6 mins, brush frequently with the marinade.
2 cups Macadamia Nut Oil
1/2 tablespoon Whole Pepperberries
1/2 tablespoon Ground Pepperberries
Place oil and Ground Pepperberries into a saucepan and heat to not more than 70C (160F). Strain into a sterile oil bottle; add the whole Pepperberries. Seal.
Allow to infuse for at least four weeks when the oil will turn a shade of purple and infuse the oil with the delightful flavor, aroma and heat of the Pepperberries.
Pepperberry and Kalamata Tapenade
350gm Kalamata Olives
1 teaspoon Ground Pepperberry
75g anchovy fillets in oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
3 tablespoons Macadamia Nut oil
Pepperberry Oil (see recipe above)
Pit the olives and then blend with Pepperberry, anchovies and garlic in a food processor until a smooth paste is formed. (Approx 5 minutes).
Store the tapenade in sterile glass jars and pour just enough Pepperberry Oil over the top to seal the tapenade from the air. It will continue to develop its flavor, so make it at
least a day before you want to use it. Put the lids on the jars and the tapenade will keep refrigerated for several months.
Serve with crusty bread, or in sandwiches (with ham, tomato and bocconcini or goat’s cheese), or toss through pasta. Use as a dip or serve with poached eggs.
Pepperberry Potato Cake
½ tspn Ground Pepperberry
1 tspn Ground Lemon Myrtle
60g melted butter
4 large potatoes, peeled, boiled but firm and very thinly sliced
60g parmesan, flaked
Mix Pepperberry and Lemon Myrtle into the melted butter.
On an oiled tray, arrange 4 piles of potato slices brushing each layer with the flavoured butter.
Top with the parmesan
Bake 180C for 15 minutes.
Lemony Kale Salad
1 bunch Kale
1 Shallot (minced)
1 Red Capsicum (minced)
4 Tablespoons Macadamia Nut Oil
Juice of 1 lemon
1/4 teaspn Native Thyme
1/4 teaspn Salt
1/4 teaspn Ground Pepperberry
Chop Kale into bite size pieces
In a separate bowl mix the shallot, red capsicum, oil, lemon juice, Native Thyme, salt and Pepperberry.
Then pour it over the kale briefly rubbing in with your hands until the kale softens.
(Kale is easy to grow, is rich in Vitamins A & C as well as anti-oxidants.)
Slow cooked Pepperberry Wagyu
2 small red onions
1 stick of celery
1 red capsicum
2 cloves of garlic (crushed)
420gm cubed Wagyu Chuck Beef
1 Tablespoon Ground Pepperberry
2 Tablespoons Tomato Paste
1 cup of water
1 teaspoon crushed bush tomato
Dice the vegetables and place in the slow cooker, add garlic, beef, Ground Pepperbery, Tomato paste and water. Mix well to combine.
Slow cook for 7 hours.
10 minutes before serving add bush tomato and a salt to taste. Serve with pasta, steamed beans and wild rocket salad.