Venison pies latest tasty food treat

8 Feb 2017

Venison mini pies flavoured with herbs and onion will be the wild food treat used to lure visitors to the Northland Regional Council's marquee at Kaipara's upcoming Northland Field Days.

Over the past few years the regional council has used a variety of wild food treats – most made from pests – as a fun way of attracting visitors to the Dargaville event.

Natasha Stubbing with a mini venison pie.Natasha Stubbing and her regional council colleagues expect to give away about 1500 free venison mini pies at this year's Northland Field Days. The council has turned all sorts of pests into tasty treats for the event in the past, including possums, rabbits, wild goats and pigs and even wasp larvae.

Penny Smart, the regional council's Kaipara constituency representative, says previous wild food treats have included rabbit rissoles (last year's offering) as well as possum burgers, pies and pate, wild pork and goat meat pies, rabbit sausages and even wasp larvae ice cream.

This year will again see another potential pest animal – wild deer – turned into an appetising treat; mini venison pies flavoured with a variety of herbs, onion and other tasty ingredients.

About 45 kilogrammes of deer meat has been sourced from an approved game meat supplier, which Whangarei company The Baker's Crust will then turn into roughly 1500 pies.

Councillor Smart says the pies will be served over the three days of the Thursday 02 to Saturday 04 March field days at the council's usual location, site 251 on 'Fonterra Road'.

The pies and similar treats are a quirky but successful way to boost visitor numbers to view the council's displays and speak with staff about the more serious side of its work.

"This year our marquee will be modelled around a 'Hills to Ocean' theme showcasing the way our water resources travel through catchments and the huge range of work council does with the community as part of that journey." Cr Smart says.

"Displays will include pests and weeds, maritime, Enviroschools and CoastCare, land management, biodiversity and an interactive water quality display.

“As usual, we’ll also have council specialists across a range of fields on hand to offer advice or chat about land and other issues people may have and a number of councillors also plan to attend.”