Pig Face Pickles & Pole Dancing

Well finally I got to play with some pig face (Portulaca oleracea) and I absolutely love it. The only previous experience I had with this plant was as my most hated nemesis of a weed whilst working as a gardener in the town ship of Tomprice in the Pilbra region of Western Australia. Being totally ignorant of it culinary uses and it’s fabulously tart/sour flavors I cursed it’s very existence every back breaking hour I spent ripping it from the earth only for it to return with vengeance.

Pig Weed (Portulaca sp.) & Sow Thistle (Sonchus sp.)

Pig Weed, Sow Thistle & plant in back unknown

Now I can see the error of my ways I can tell you that it is a most welcome friend on my plate, it is tart and sour and crisp it is very nutritious and if in the rite areas very very abundant hence it’s reputation of being a ferocious weed to many a gardener.
It is also a plant utilized as a food by the Australian aboriginals/Traditional Owners it comes up after their fire stick farming where they burn patches of land over certain seasons and habitats and this is where I harvested mine in one of their burned areas just after rain, in these areas it is like the land has been reborn with many young vibrant green shoots from many species of flora coming up through the ash beds everywhere just like a garden.

Pig Weed, Portulaca sp.
Pickled pig weed (Portulaca olercea) So I decided to pickle some to see how it was and it is amazing as a pickle.
Not long after doing this I found another fresh road kill so I jumped out of the van and quick as ya like chopped his tail off all the time having to watch my back as there were three wedge tailed eagles feasting on the kill that I ruddily interrupted to get my share a new experience for me and I would say probably for them! I didn’t feel to bad as it was a big male Roo and they got the rest and there was plenty of road kill on this road.
My friend Petal and I cooked this up into a big stew with some of his fesh home grown produce and had it acompanied with the pickled pig face a few beers and ciders and I even got some free entertainment in way of a pole dance preformed by Petal himself.
It was a great night with friends and Petal really liked the pickled pig face so I think any pig face that dares to come up in Petals garden is going to be pickled for sure.
I love it when people arent afriad to try new things and I love seeing their reaction and excitement at discovering something yummy when they do, it is a pleasure all of it’s own but not unexpected of Petal as he’s not ya average run of tha mill type of guy hence probably being the only male to ever enter the darwin pole dancing competition……..

I copied this from Wikipedia for your interest
-Purslane contains more omega-3 fatty acids (alpha-linolenic acid in particular[4]) than any other leafy vegetable plant. Research published by Artemis P. Simopoulos states that Purslane has 0.01 mg/g of eicosapentaenoic acid (EPA). This is an extraordinary amount of EPA for a land-based vegetable source. EPA is an Omega-3 fatty acid found mostly in fish, some algae, and flax seeds.[5] It also contains vitamins (mainly vitamin Avitamin C, and some vitamin B and carotenoids), as well as dietary minerals, such as magnesiumcalciumpotassium, and iron. Also present are two types of betalainalkaloid pigments, the reddish betacyanins (visible in the coloration of the stems) and the yellow betaxanthins (noticeable in the flowers and in the slight yellowish cast of the leaves). Both of these pigment types are potent antioxidants and have been found to have antimutagenic properties in laboratory studies.[6]


Road Kill Euro Wallaby Tail Stew

Ok this is my first road kill stew of the trip and it is also my first taste of the Euro wallaby, the Euro is a species of Macropod one of the few native animals that flourished with European settlement/ invasion. It is so abundant around the Flinders Rangers unfortunately to the extent of pest proportions. It has obviously benefited the gorgeous wedge tailed eagles and of course the humble crow that I’ve seen feasting upon the plentiful road kill but they are really destroying the flora of the area which is effecting the smaller residence down the food chain.

Anyway I was lucky enough to come across this fresh one before the eagles got it it, I would hate to feel like I was steeling from them! So I removed it’s tail stored until that evening and made yes another stew, you will have to get used to my favourite way of preparing foods which is obviously stews!! especially meats, it is just the most simple and easy way to prepare foods and especially now living on the road with minimal cooking area and equipment.
Also that day in Chambers Gorge on a short walk to some of the best petroglyph’s I’ve seen outside the Pilbra in Western Australia I found some fresh greens ones lucky enough to be out of the many goats greedy reach,  but not mine, these included sow thistles (Sonchus sp.) some sort of wild mustard green (Barasica sp.) a very strongly flavoured one and some sort of large fleshy leafed sorrel (Rumex sp.) I’m sure it is a sorrel but don’t know for sure, it was very nice anyway very tart/sour so the stew ended up being a ripper and I had the night before made mustard greens flat bread so it was quite a meal.

Wild mustard greens,sow thistle,large leafed sorell
The stew was the norm what ever bought root veggies I had plus my sun-dried tomatoes, dried sow thistles (Sonchus sp.) dried Nettles (Urtica dioica), one of my home made sauces, other herbs n spices and I added Tassie peppers (Tasmanica lanceolata) to this one for extra kick.
The flat bread were just normal flour water yeast and I added dried mustard greens to give them some kick.
Again cooked on the open fire you cant beat food cooked on an open fire.

Road kill Euro tail stew and Tassie peppers