“I think Milperra is like Alexandria was, twenty years ago,” Celina Pereira offers. We’re standing in her family business, Sunshine Meats, located deep within an industrial area in Milperra. Here you’ll find the streets are wider, and there is not a hipster affectation to be seen… yet. Only time will tell if Celina is correct.
Sunshine Meats first caught my attention with their double-smoked maple-infused ham. It scooped up the best bone-in ham award from Australian Pork Limited last year, as well as taking out the best overall artisan ham the year before, just with a boneless ham. The bone-in version graced my Xmas table last December, and we enjoyed it all the way through January in a variety of applications. Made using Aussie pork, the ham was nicely moist with beautiful balance between sweetness and smokiness.
Celina Pereira shows me through the impeccably clean factory that produced my standout Xmas ham, keeping me entertained with a running monologue on her folks, the family behind the business. Her father Jose Pereira started his butchery career back in 1988, quickly moving into making smallgoods. You can see pictures of him and his wife Maria, whom you’ll find working in the café side of the business, in framed newspaper clippings outside their famous charcuterie room.
The most famous Sunshine Meats product is their Double Smoked Chilli Chicken Breast ($25/kg), which you’ll find in IGA supermarkets and other independent delis across NSW. It’s hand-shaped using two double chicken breasts, flavoured with their secret blend of spices, and topped with premium quality chilli flakes before being smoked using natural wood chips.
As a regular IGA shopper, I’m more excited by their new Smoking Duck range, taking home a nitrite-free Smoking Duck Piri-Piri Butterfly ($26). If you’ve ever passed over whole duck because you doubt your cooking ability, this is the product for you! All you need to do is warm it through, then serve up a spectacular roast duck meal for four. The Sunshine Meats piri-piri has just the right amount of liveliness against the smoky bird. To take full advantage of the expertise of this Portuguese family, load up with a tub of piri-piri while you’re there – it’s great with chicken.
Jazz up a cheese platter with an inexpensive Smoking Duck Thigh Fillet ($6/100g). They’ve packed flavour into these hand-shaped, spiced, and double-smoked thigh fillets, so when you slice it up, a little will go a long way. Best product I tried was the Smoking Duck Turducken Salami ($6/200g), which combines your three favourite birds – duck, turkey and chicken – into a natural casing that’s double smoked after more fun with their secret spice blend. After a little charring on the grill, we added ours to saffron linguini with cherry tomatoes and buffalo mozzarella – belíssimo!
Now if I haven’t already convinced you Sunshine Meats are worth a peek, they also offer a nifty way to try before you buy in The Charcuterie Room. Sitting amidst the hanging plant baskets in their nicely decked out outdoor space, you can tuck into a Flaming Chorizo ($12) in chicken or pork, mild or with chilli, presented with Brasserie Bread. Even better – pay the $3 to upgrade to my favourite Turducken Salami version. There’s also the Charcuterie Room Board ($18) decked out with a selection of Sunshine Meats’ smoked meats, cheese, antipasto, chutneys and bread. Whatever you order, my money is on you heading inside afterwards to purchase more of what you ate.
360 Horsley Road, Milperra
Ph: (02) 9774 5543