Matariki traditions to start with your family

By Elizabeth Beaumont (recipe sourced from Stuff)
TIC Food Technology

With the introduction of a day for recognising and celebrating Matariki for the whole country, I am looking forward to some time with family and friends.

I also thought it would be a great time to start some Matariki traditions that we can share and build on, one of these will be a family lunch.

Below is a delicious recipe for a Hāngi Kono (oven Hāngi), we do this with the students by preparing all the ingredients the day before and wrapping the parcels up, then I put them in the oven when I get to school so they are ready for lunch – they are delicious and so easy.

Tip from experience – the stuffing really does make it so tasty, I just sprinkle it over the food before sealing the parcels.

These kono (food baskets) are simply meat, root vegetables and stuffing steamed inside cabbage leaf parcels. You can use any cuts of meat, but pork and lamb are hāngi favourites. Make sure the meat is well seasoned with salt.

Preparation time: 30 minutes         Cooking time: 3 hours            Serves 3 as a main


3x150g pork chops, well salted
3x150g lamb chops, well salted
1 large kūmara (200-300g)
3 potatoes (300g)
¼ of a pumpkin (400g) (Vegetables peeled and chopped into 3cm chunks, other root vegetables can be used too)
3- 5 large green cabbage leaves
½ cup of water


6 slices of bread
1 onion, diced
2tbsp mixed herbs
2tsp salt
75g butter, melted


  1. Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius.
  2. Prepare stuffing: Break bread into small chunks by hand, or in food processor. Combine all stuffing ingredients in a bowl.
  3. Line a large roasting dish with two layers of cabbage leaves (smaller inner leaves).
  4. Using four large cabbage leaves as “baskets”, fill each with meat, 6 to 8 vegetable pieces, and top with stuffing.
  5. Place each cabbage basket into a roasting dish, season with salt, and cover each with two large cabbage leaves.
  6. Pour the water over the whole dish and cover snugly with two layers of tinfoil.
  7. Cook in the oven at 200C for one hour, and at 160C for a further two hours.
  8. Remove from the oven and serve immediately, using a spatula to place each kono on plates for everyone to open and enjoy.