Sunday, May 29, 2016

Farm Butchering Day

We haven't killed a beast for ourselves for a long time. We usually have some left over from the markets so we don't really need to do it ourselves. However, we've had a dexter steer that we were given by some friends. They didn't know what to do with him and didn't want to eat him themselves, so they thought that we may be able to put him through the markets. Well.....he was quite a bit older than he looked and we weren't really sure how old, and to top it off he was cut proud. This is a term used when the castration wasn't successfully done and they are a kind of bull. We had no idea what he would taste like, so we decided to do him ourselves and if he was too tough we could just cut all up for dog food. And....Edmund wants to learn how to kill and cut up a beast, so we thought we'd do it.

After two weeks hanging in our coldroom - today was the day. We cooked up a bit of topside, which we use for steak, but most people don't! It was tasty and tender, so after a sigh of relief we got into it. have steak again! We never have that left over from the markets! This is the rib fillet and it's quite a small steak, obviously because he was a small animal.

As we were doing it ourselves, we could play around and try some different things.

Bone in Shoulder and Bone in Brisket. Meat cooked on the bone is so much tastier! We also kept one of the shin pieces as a whole piece with the bone in......think osso bucco uncut!

These Mini Roasts were Edmund's idea - one is garlic and herb and the other is Moroccan flavoured.

We did mince and sausages. 

To give an example of how small this fella was, a few weeks ago we helped cut up a bullock of Kim's brothers. We did 65kg of sausages. Today we did 15kg's of sausages. We like plain and simple, so we did herb, garlic and chilli and some of Brad's homemade wine.

I like to mix the seasonings into the meat before we mince. I add the liquid after we mince (in this case it was wine, but often it's water) and before we fill the skins.

I only learnt how to tie sausages a few weeks ago helping out west, so mine are a bit uneven.

Our tradition on butchering day is to have rib bones for lunch, usually this follows a breakfast of offal, but we had the liver and bacon, heart and curly gut two weeks ago when we killed the steer. Today we had topside steak and eggs for breakfast. The rib bones I cooked in the oven with some herbs and a bit of sauce over the top. We also had mince patties, which was the mince left in the mincer after we finished the sausages (you can't get all that out). So a very meat filled day......Vegie soup is what we are going to have for tea!

Oh and you may be wondering what curly gut is - it's what it sounds like, the intestines! Kim gives them a very good clean out and then we cut them into small bits and fry until very crispy(think pork crackling).

On a final note. I have just started a Facebook page called Lucy's Kitchen. If you like hearing about food and what I cook on a daily basis, you may like to follow it. Hopefully this link  will work, otherwise search for Lucy's Kitchen - there is a few of them! Mine has sausages as the background photo!

Thursday, May 12, 2016

Early May

I can't  believe it's another month....the busier we get the less we seem to get done!

Edmund who works at home with us most times, is going away in June, so he keeps giving us weekends off. So like all good parents, we do as we are told. The down side of having time off of course, is that the jobs that you want to get done, don't. That means that all the things I want to do in my off time (ha ha that's a time!!) aren't being done, so the garden is still not planted up for the winter growing. Winter is our main season for growing - when I say winter I mean that short period of time when it's not HOT and that usually occurs sometime between May and August. It's been summer up until today! We had a low of 3 degrees this morning, although it did warm up to the mid 20's I think.

Anyway, I might buy some seedlings to plant out next week. I'm going into Rocky for a weekend off this weekend (did I mention how much I love Edmund!) I also need to plant out my garlic. I saved some garlic (200) cloves from Tom who grows garlic at Yeppoon and I'm hoping that I'll have more success with a local variety. I harvested my turmeric today, and was very dissappointed with how much I got. I cooked it and dried it and this is what I have. I'll freeze some of it as I found one year that it went moldy before I got to the end of it and I don't want that to happen.

A few weekends ago, we went camping. It was a lovely weekend spent with friends and family and fishing. Well we ended up with one feed of fish out of it, but the main thing was that it was relaxing and fun and just so good to get away. Did I mention how much I love Edmund!

We've also had another visit from Peter Andrews. I will post a bit more about that another time. Needless to say, it was interesting, informative and inspiring. The little bit of work we've done in our creek since he was here last, has worked really well and it's great to see how easy it is to halt erosion! 

Last weekend, which was another weekend off, thanks to Edmund, we went to Aramac. We visited Kim's brothers place to help him cut up a beast. He'd killed a steer a few weeks ago and had it hanging in a cold room. We haven't done our own meat for a while, but you just don't forget some things. A job like that is so much easier and fun when done with a few people - the time flies while you chat and catch up. This was us making sausage - we did 60kgs, so we had a mincer doing some as well as a sausage filler.

We enjoyed it so much we decided to kill a steer ourselves this week. We had a dexter steer that we weren't sure would be good enough to sell through the markets so we've now got him hanging in our coldroom for ourselves. I want to have a go at some different sausage varieties. I also want to borrow my brothers smoker and have a go at some salami. I will keep you posted!