Experience No.048 in Australian Traveller’s 100 Greatest Australian Gourmet Experiences Jurassic Quail. A big name for that tiny little thing you sometimes see flapping around at the bottom of the birdcage – and often the food chain.
Breeder Charlie Scott’s behemoth bird (we’re talking 300 grams here) has been ruffling feathers ever since emerging onto people’s plates in 2006. Cross- and in-line breeding different varieties of quail, Charlie and his wife Carolyn created the product just for the Australian meat eater: “We wanted a fleshy, protein-based bird because Australians like their meat.” Do they ever. Redgate Farm, about an hour north of Newcastle, produces free-range ducks, chickens and spatchcocks but it’s the quail that has created the high demand.
“Excellent.” – Alla Wolf-Tasker
At any time Scott might have 7000 onsite but he still finds time to head to the Pyrmont Growers Market in Sydney. Stocked in butchers and restaurants around the country, Jurassic Quail practically flies off the shelf. Neil Perry uses them at Rockpool in a smoked tomato and black oil salad and Justin North at Becasse likes them deboned with truffle. But how does the inventor himself like them? “Keep it simple: flash fry and oven roast the entire bird.” If the birds weren’t enough to get us squawking about this farm, Scott and Carolyn sell cheese, pastas, oils, pâtés and terrines from their 80-hectare property.
Where: 866 Clarence Town Rd, Woodville NSW. (02) 4930 5445, www.redgatefarm.com.au
Did you know: They may sell the biggest quail in Australia but they’re one of the smallest producers.