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Episode 31 - Matakana

This week on Neighbourhood, broadcaster Wendy Douglas lifts the lids on a few of the cultural delights hidden in Matakana – just one hour’s drive north of Auckland.

We see how overseas volunteers are contributing to the upkeep of Tawharanui regional park, and head to the great outdoors with a local foodie – a former city slicker who’s swapped a café lifestyle for the good life. We hear the incredible story of a Hungarian refugee’s heroic post-war escape and the talisman he carried with him, plus we visit the studio of a local Russian artist and animator.



Wendy grew up in London but her parent’s Caribbean heritage forms a big part of her cultural identity. She met and married a New Zealander in the UK and they re-located to Matakana with their 2 young children, 6 years ago.

Wendy has had a long career in broadcasting making regular appearances as a ‘culture vulture’ on both TV and radio.


This week on Neighbourhood we visit The Old Barn, a rustic barn conversion in Matakana.

The Old Barn's owner Angelo Georgalli shares his recipe for goat stifado, a traditional dish from Cyprus.

Goat Stifado

3 tablespoons olive oil
800 grams of prepared and jointed goat
2 large cloves garlic, crushed
2 tablespoons wine vinegar
1 glass/8 teaspoons red wine
a stick of cinnamon (or 1 ½ t of cinnamon)
1 bay leaf
3 medium sized tomatoes, grated or 1 ½ tablespoons of tomato puree
2 glasses/400 ml hot water
salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
8 tablespoons sunflower or vegetable oil
1 ½ lb (675g) pickling onions, peeled whole
2 tablespoons of demiglaze (optional)

Heat the oil in a large heavy based casserole and fry goat to seal all sides

Add the garlic, fry quickly then add the wine vinegar, wine, cinnamon, bay leaf, tomatoes, water and seasoning

Cover and cook in a medium oven for about 45-50 mins

Meanwhile heat the sunflower oil in a large frying pan.  Toss the onions in it gently for about 15 minutes until they are brown on all sides.

Add the browned onions to the stifado and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes.

10 minutes before you are finished add 2 tablespoons of Demiglaze and stir in, this gives your stifado a nice shine, if you don't have this product you don't need to add it.

The stifado should have a rick, thick sauce.  If there is too much liquid left after the inions have been added (onions make extra juice) remove the lid and simmer the casserole over moderate heat to allow some of the juices to evaporate.

Optional – You can then put this mixture into a pie or just have it as a stew.