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Friday, 20 January 2017

Hangi - How To Feed 850 People

Recently we were in the Bay of Islands during the Tall Ships Race. We discovered they had put down a hangi to feed 850 people for the ceremony afterwards.
Anyone could buy a ticket for $15 and wait for the hangi to be unearthed at 7pm.
The hangi being uncovered


A hangi (pronounced harng-ee) is the traditional Maori method of cooking under the ground using heated rocks. There are a few different ways to do this, but for this particular hangi they used a digger to dig an enormous pit. Normally the pit would be dug with spades. 
The meals were individually prepared and wrapped in tin foil, before being placed over hot stones in metal baskets.The stones were preheated in a fire for about 6 hours. The baskets are covered with wet sacks, then tarpaulin before being covered in earth and left to steam for approximately 4 - 5 hours. 


The table that you can see held hangi cooked mussels (cooked in a separate pit), which besides being delicious, the shells were useful as spoons for the main hangi.
There was more than this - that piece in front is stuffing

There is nothing else like the flavour of hangi cooked food - steamed, smoked and slightly earthy. It doesn't look that attractive, but the meat is amazingly tender. They also did some vegetarian meals. All those people know - it's going to be good.

We took our meals and ate them off our knees, with a nice glass of white wine, overlooking this bay.    
Matauwhi Bay,  Russell, New Zealand

3 comments:

  1. How interesting. I'd never heard of this method of cooking. It looks especially delicious right now as I have missed lunch and am very hungry!

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  2. Scrumptious! Those mussels must have been the best ever

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    Replies
    1. Yes, they absolutely were! The first time I have tried hangied mussels, I can recommend them.

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