There’s nothing I love to do more on weekend mornings, than visit some local farmers markets. Brisbane has a great variety of markets and some of my favourites include:
- Davies Park Market, West End (Saturday mornings)
- Brisbane Markets, Rocklea (Saturday mornings)
- Sunday Farmers Markets, Mt Gravatt (Sunday mornings)
During the winter months it can be tough to get out of your warm bed, but going to the markets is a great way to do your weekend shopping chores, get fresh, cheap produce and have breakfast with friends, all in one go! It’s also good for your conscience as you’re supporting local farmers and your local community.
This Sunday was a picture-perfect morning… but it was quite chilly by Queensland standards (17ºC)! I visited the Mt Gravatt Farmers Markets with a friend and we had a great time browsing around the stalls and getting some good bargains. We also had a bite to eat while we were there, plus an all-important morning coffee. My visit to the markets on this occasion was mostly about buying fruit and veg for the week, however the Mt Gravatt markets also have an abundance of flowers, honey, eggs, meat, plants, clothes, bric-a-brac and food stalls. I wish I’d taken some more pictures of the variety of stalls at the markets… but you’ll just have to visit the markets yourself to check it out! I took my produce home and made a hearty beef and vegetable stew for dinner (recipe below), which was perfect for an autumn, Sunday night meal.
Tips for visiting the markets:
- Don’t buy everything at the first stall you come to. Shop around to make sure you find the best quality products at the best price.
- Bring cash. Many markets have ATMs available, but the lines are usually long and the withdrawal transaction fees can be high.
- The earlier you go the better. Peak market times seem to be from 9:30am – 10:30am in my experience, so if you can avoid these times it’s usually easier to get around (and it’s much easier to find a car park).
- Bring some green bags or a ‘grandma’ shopping trolley. If you use a trolley be careful not to roll on anyone’s toes!
- Go with friends. Not only is it a fun and relaxing way to catch up with mates – if you buy too many things, you have someone who can help you get all your purchases back to your car.
For those who are interested, I’ve included a recipe and some pictures of my Sunday night dinner below.
Winter warmer: Beef & vegetable stew
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: approx. 2 – 2.5 hours
Difficulty: super easy!
Serves: 4 people
- 700g chuck beef steak, cut into 1 inch cubes
- 1 brown onion, roughly chopped
- 4 cloves of garlic, smashed and roughly chopped
- 2 tsp of salt
- 1 tsp of ground pepper
- 3 tbs oil
- 1 tbs chopped thyme (dried is ok)
- 1 tbs chopped parsley
- 3 – 4 bay leaves
- 1 tbs Worcester sauce
- 1 tbs tomato paste
- 2 cups of beef stock
- 1 ½ cups of red wine (optional)
- 1 cup of water
- ½ a leek, roughly chopped
- 2 carrots, peeled & roughly chopped (same size as steak cubes)
- 350g – 400g washed baby potatoes, halved (same size as steak cubes)
- 250g cup mushrooms, halved
- 1/3 cup plain flour
- Additional salt & pepper to taste
- Season beef cubes well with salt and pepper.
- Heat 1 tbs oil in a large pot over a medium/high heat.
- When the oil is hot add ½ of the beef and brown on all sides, turning with tongs. This will sear the meat and ensure it doesn’t break apart in the stew.
- Once all sides are brown, put the first batch of seared meat onto a plate.
- Repeat with the second batch of beef (don’t forget the oil), placing all the meat on the plate when done.
- Add 1 tbs oil and when hot, add the onions and garlic, stirring with a wooden spoon to scrape all the delicious brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook for 3 – 5 minutes.
- Add beef stock, wine, water, tomato paste, Worcester sauce and mix well – again ensuring you scrape everything off the bottom of the pan.
- Add the thyme, parsley, bay leaves, leek, carrots, potatoes and mushrooms.
- Ensure the liquid covers all ingredients in the pot – add more water, stock or wine if required.
- Bring to the boil. Once boiling, bring the temperature down to a simmer and cover with a lid. Leave for 1 – 1.5 hours on a low heat.
- After an hour, taste your stew and add some more salt, pepper or herbs as required. You might need to add some more tomato paste too.
- Let simmer for another 1 – 1.5 hours until the meat is tender and vegetables are cooked.
- Take a ladle of soup (liquid only) and place in a small bowl. Add the flour and mix into a paste, ensuring there are no lumps (see picture).
- Slowly add the flour mix back into the stew and stir well. Be gentle with the stirring as you don’t want the meat or vegetables to break apart. The stew should start to thicken.
- Simmer the stew for another 15 minutes to allow the flour to cook out.
- Serve hot with some crusty bread.
This is a super easy, healthy and delicious dinner which will keep you warm through the winter months!
Stephanie is our Regional Marketing Manager for Scandinavia, Western Europe and North America. When she’s not busy meeting new students abroad she loves running along the Brisbane River and eating delicious food. You can follow her on Twitter and Instagram.