Tag Archives: Farmer’s Market

Paddock to Plate!

Part of what I am about is using local and home grown produce as much as I can, so recently I purchased another side of lamb from Forge Creek Lamb, and while you can select the cuts that you would like, I prefer to dress the lamb myself. You see I was raised on a sheep and grain farm about 500 km from where we now live, so am quite familiar with the various cuts of lamb, having observed and helped my mother and father dress many during my childhood and teenage years. One thing that I learnt was that there was very little waste. My mother was meticulous ensuring that all the meat was saved and frozen, even the tiniest of skerricks! Fat was rendered down and the fresh dripping was used to fry the BEST fish and chips – usually redfin fish that dad had caught, the bones were used to make stock for soups, the little bits were used to make pies, and so on.   So with that memory, I set to work.

Firstly I set up my kitchen – bowls each for meat to mince, casserole meat and sausage meat set up close to where I would be dressing the meat; a baking dish for the bones; a bag for the fat (I think we’re probably a little more wary of animal fat nowadays, so mainly use olive oil and peanut oil for frying) were close by; my stand mixer was set up and the mincing attachment placed in the fridge; knives steel, hacksaw and chopping boards were layed out; an area with my vacuum seal machine was set up with various sized bags at the ready; and, finally a pile of tea towels were stacked up. Then I set to work….

So this is what happened

  • The loin was boned out and tied at one inch intervals, wrapped tightly in plastic wrap, and then popped in the fridge for a while, before being cut into little noisettes.
  • Little cutlets were cut, their long rib bones were boned from the flap before being trimmed, and all of the excess fat was removed.

dsc06222-r

  • The flap takes time as there is quite a bit of fat to be removed, and invariably you will end up with the odd hole here and there, but they are easily filled with some offcuts. When it was done, it was laid out flat on a large piece of plastic wrap and then rolled up ready for packaging and freezing. The flap is delicious filled with lamb sausage mince, rolled and wrapped in prosciutto and then cooked at low temperature for a while . It makes for a delicious hot meal with veg, but alternatively makes an amazing sliced cold meat for sandwiches or salad.
  • The shank was removed from the shoulder and Frenched.
  • The shoulder was partially boned out.
  • The neck takes quite a bit of work, removing the ribs and cutting the meat away from the vertebrae. But it is well worth the effort with the finished product rolled and slow cooked for a delicious warming meal.
  • The hind shank was removed from the leg and Frenched.
  • The hind leg was totally boned out and butterflied in readiness for summer family gatherings. It will be cooked on the BBQ.

dsc06230-r

  • The chump was boned out.
  • Larger off-cuts were set aside for casserole and stir-fry
  • Smaller off-cuts were minced
  • Fattier off-cuts were minced together with seasonings to become sausage mince.
  • Finally the bones were roasted and then placed into a large stock pot with water, onion, celery, carrot, bay leaves and peppercorns and left to simmer away for a few hours. After being strained and allowed to set in the fridge, the fat was removed and the stock was pressure canned in Mason jars for use at a later date.

I know it sounds like a lot of work, and I can’t lie, it is! But I have a beautiful product to work with and the most amazing childhood memories to guide me along the way. I hope that my efforts have ensured that the lamb I cook has been treated with the utmost respect – from paddock to plate!

dsc06231-r

Now with all this beautiful Forge Creek Lamb in the freezer, I have the delightful task of coming up with the best way to prepare and serve it. The first meal that I prepared with it used the little lamb noisettes. I simply pan fried them to pink and placed them on a small disk of fried potato.

To accompany these little noisettes we had steamed peas, baby broad beans and asparagus topped with roasted baby rainbow carrots. On the side I put a little roasted beetroot and goats cheese, and to finish it off, I prepared and a delicious sauce with the lamb stock, white wine and aromats. I was so happy with this plate of food, inspired by the lamb and a trip to the local farmer’s market where I purchased all the vegetables to accompany it.

Of course we had to have dessert – Tarte chantilly aux fruits rouges – a berry and cream pie with the first strawberries from our garden.

The work still continues on the corner patch, it is now fenced and has a gate. We’re still waiting for the timber to box the beds, but hopefully it will be ready next week! I have managed to get a few things planted though, including a Boysenberry.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

Links:

Tarte chantilly aux fruits rouges – Berry & Cream Pie

Slow Cooked Lamb Chump

Slow Cooked Lamb Shanks

Glossary

Corner Patch

Forge Creek Lamb

 

A ride to market

What a glorious day it was on Sunday; the air was crisp, the sun was shining and there was barely a breeze. The perfect day for a bike ride, and with a little farmer’s market on in the next town, that’s where we headed – Stratford.

It’s a relatively easy ride along a “rail trail”, that is if you are used to riding a bike and are fit – I am neither! The scenery is beautiful, as is the bird life along the way. At one stage we stop alongside a paddock where a large flock of black swans are feasting, and among them are two beautiful ducks. We couldn’t resist getting the camera out and trying to get a photo, even though these gorgeous birds were some distance away.Slide1

After a few distractions along the way, we finally make it to the market which is set up in a little park, nestled on the banks of the Avon river. It is a very small market, just a few stalls, a honey stall, second hand book stall, craft stall where we find a gorgeous gift for our beautiful great neice’s second birthday, an apple stall and a bag of beautiful crisp red apples are purchased, there’s also a bric-a-brac type stall, a native plant stall, an art stall and finally the vegie stall. I have bought vegetables from this stall holder before and they were beautiful, they keep fresh for much longer than normal, probably because they are much fresher than what you buy at the shop! I walk along and decided to get a couple of leeks – I have leftover cooked chicken in the fridge from last night’s dinner, so will probably make a chicken and leek pie during the week. Then I choose some salad. I want a cabbage, so they climb onto the back of the truck and find a lovely one for me, and finally… I cannot resist the beautiful bunch of coloured carrots that’s laying on the table – I know I have plenty of carrots at home, but these are different. We chat to the stall holder and he tells us that people get confused when they see the white or cream carrots, often thinking they are parsnips!

Slide1

All done, we load our purchases into the basket on my bike, the apples go into my husband’s backpack, and we head off home. I soon discover a problem with the load in the basket on the back of my bike… For a relative beginner bike rider, I find it throws me off balance in certain situations, and almost come to grief as I struggle up an incline. So decide if faced with that scenario again, I’ll get off and wheel the bike. We stop as we cross the bridge over the Avon so that I can take some photos, but I don’t think that they do the scenery justice, I just love this place.

Slide2

Further along the track we look across to the mountains and there are little specs of white, I wonder if it is snow?

Finally back home from our 20 km round trip, we put the bits and pieces away and head to the garden for a while, where I begin to think about what to do with those beautiful carrots for our dinner.

Until next time…

Bon appétit!

%d bloggers like this: