National | Food

Mānawatia a Matariki! Karena and Kasey Bird create recipes for today

Celebrity chefs Karena and Kasey Bird (Te Arawa) from the Bay of Plenty are masterminds at creating Matariki recipes whānau can make from the comfort of their own homes.

This year they have partnered again with Silver Fern Farms to create unique Matariki dishes bursting with flavours that explode onto the palate.

Karena and Kasey have produced a trio of Matariki recipes packed with flavours they’ve grown up, with alongside accessible ingredients from te ao Māori.

“With the venison, we made a really beautiful fresh salad but we incorporated watercress and my mom made a beautiful rewena bread to use as croutons in the salad and we marinate it in Horopito and Kawakawa,” Karena says.

“Then with the beef dish we did this beautiful sort of surf and turf idea with a crayfish gratin on top of the seared eye fillet and that's where the kumara puree goes.”

“And then we have one more dish which is like another lamb dish but instead of mash we put smoked kahawai through it. So it's like nice salty pops of Kahawai with the lamb.

According to sister Karena, their collaboration with Silver Fern Farms has been genuine.

“We're really excited to work with Silver Fern Farms because it was it didn't just want recipes. It wanted knowledge as well about Matariki and how the stars relate to our kai.”

The busy sisters are also finishing their third book, which is totally written in te reo Māori.

“I think in terms of career is finishing our cookbook we have been writing for a little while now, which is our third cookbook all in te reo Māori." Kasey says, "So I think, professionally, that needs to be finished because we have been working on it for a while now.”

Karena and Kasey say that in this recipe they use ingredients associated with Tipuānuku, Tipuārangi and Waitā.

Beef eye fillet with crayfish gratin, kūmara and pūhā

Serves: 2


1 pack Silver Fern Farms beef eye fillet steaks

Crayfish gratin

100g crayfish meat, cooked and roughly chopped

½ tsp garlic, minced

¼ small onion, finely diced

1 Tbsp butter

¼ cup cream

2 Tbsp Parmesan, grated

2 tsp chives, finely chopped

Olive oil

Salt and Pepper

Kūmara purée

2 small kūmara, peeled and diced

¼ cup cream

1 Tbsp butter



Small bunch of Ppūhā


To make the crayfish gratin, heat a small pan to medium, add butter and oil. Then add onion and garlic and cook for two minutes or until translucent. Add cream and reduce by half. Then add crayfish and chives. Mix and set aside.

Remove Silver Fern Farms beef eye fillet steaks from packaging, cover, and bring to room temperature. Rub oil over the eye fillet steaks and season. Preheat the pan or BBQ to medium-high and pan-fry the steaks for three to four minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate, cover, and rest for five minutes

Put the beef on a baking tray and top with the crayfish. Sprinkle the parmesan on top.

Turn oven to grill and grill the steaks for five minutes or until the cheese is golden.

To make the kūmara purée, add the kūmara to a small pot and cover with water. Boil the kūmara until soft. Mash with butter and cream and season to taste. For an extra smooth mash put all of the ingredients in a food processor to combine.

To serve, place a portion of purée on the plate and top with Beef Eye Fillet. Garnish with the pūhā.

This can be served with your choice of vegetable or salad.

Mānuka marinated lamb rumps with Kahawai potato purée

Kasey and Karena say this recipe uses ingredients associated with Tipuānuku, Tipuārangi and Waitā.

Serves 3-4


1 pack Silver Fern Farms lamb rumps

1 Tbsp Mānuka honey

3 Tbsp mint sauce

1 Tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper

Potato purée

4 Agria potatoes

4 Tbsp butter, room temperature

½ cup cream

100g Kahawai, smoked

Zest of 1 lemon

Handful chives, finely chopped

Salt and pepper

Zesty sauce

4 Tbsp mint sauce

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

1 tbsp olive oil

Fresh mint, to garnish


Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.

Remove Silver Fern Farms lamb rumps from packaging, cover, and bring to room temperature. Place all the ingredients for the marinade in a bowl, pat the lamb rumps with a paper towel and add to the marinade.

Marinate for at least one hour. For best results, leave to marinate overnight.

To cook, place the lamb in the oven and roast for 20 minutes for medium-rare.

Remove from the oven and leave to rest for 10min before slicing.

Kahawai mash

Peel and chop potatoes into even pieces. Place potatoes in a pot and add cold water until potatoes are just covered. Generously season the water with salt.

Place the pot on medium-high heat and boil for 10-15 minutes or until tender and completely cooked. Once cooked, drain and mash well. Add in butter and mix thoroughly. Then add cream and stir through.

Flake the smoked Kahawai through the mash and gently stir through. Add lemon zest and chives and season to taste.

Zesty sauce

Mix all of the ingredients together.

Slice the lamb and spoon over the sauce, garnish with the fresh mint leaves and serve with the Kahawai mash.

Venison medallions and watercress salad with Rēwena croutons and Kawakawa dressing

Karena and Kasey say this recipe uses ingredients associated to Tipuānuku, Tipuātangi and Waitī.

Serves 3


1 pack Silver Fern Farms venison medallions

1 Tbsp olive oil

2 tsp horopito, dried

1 tsp garlic, minced

1 Tbsp creme balsamic

Candied walnuts

¼ cup walnuts, crushed

1 Tbsp butter

1 Tbsp brown sugar

Kawakawa dressing

3 Tbsp mayonnaise

1 Tbsp white wine vinegar

1 tsp wholegrain mustard

2 tsp Kawakawa, finely chopped

1 tsp chives, finely chopped

½ garlic, crushed

Lemon zest

1 tsp honey

1 Tbsp water

Salt and pepper

To serve

120g watercress

2 slices of Rēwena, cut into 2x2cm cubes

1 Tbsp butter

150g kūmara, cut into 2 x 2cm cubes

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


Remove Silver Fern Farms venison medallions from packaging. Cover, and bring to room temperature. Mix together the oil, horopito, garlic and balsamic, and rub over the medallions Preheat the frying pan or BBQ to medium-high. Pan-fry for two to three minutes on each side for medium-rare. Transfer to a plate, cover, and rest for five minutes.

To make candied walnuts, line a tray with baking paper. In a small pan melt the butter and sugar together. Once bubbling, add the walnuts and stir to coat.

Pour the nuts onto the baking tray and leave to cool. Once cool, cut into small pieces.

In a separate bowl, mix together the ingredients for the kawakawa dressing and set aside.

To make the kūmara, preheat the oven to 175 degrees. Lightly oil the kūmara and season with salt and pepper. Lay flat on a baking tray and bake for 15-20min until cooked through.

Heat butter in a pan over medium heat. Once melted, add croutons, and gently toss until slightly golden and crisp.

To serve, add all the ingredients to a dish and drizzle the dressing over the top,

Mānawatia a Matariki!