Tag Archives: Christmas

Beef Left Overs

I am going a bit pie crazy at the moment, having been given a pie maker for a Christmas present I am doing many (exciting things) with pastry & left overs. I am beginning to get the feeling the farmer doesn’t share my excitement of the product. I made some lamb pies the other day and he asked for a chicken sandwich !

Lucky we have paddock fed chickens in our freezers as well. we can now supply Little Greenbush Poultry paddock fed meat chickens to be able to cook and eat. They are like us, no hormone, no anti-biotics and no GM feed substitute, we don’t feed our beef and lamb grain either.

Anywho, I made gluten free shortcrust pastry – a bit more fiddly than normal and as neither of us have an intolerance, I’ll go back to normal. I put the pie base into the maker, cut the beef, veg’s and potato straight from the fridge, put them in a bowl and then add gravy to cover. Spoon the mixture into the shell and place a filo pastry cover on top brushed with milk. Close the lid and let cook, Yummy.

Beef pie 1    Beef pie 2

Old Broads and Farming

The farmer didn’t like my post yesterday, he thinks I have no understanding of what we do here on the farm, when it comes to drought management and animal husbandry. Having been with him for 13 years (I know a long time) I have marveled at how he manages the farm, the cattle, the sheep and the crops. I have long stated I won’t have time to learn what he has forgotten when it comes to farming, business planning and management of animals.

Why did he take offense? because he’s thinks the work he does I don’t see and when I comment it’s a criticism of his abilities and it’s not. It is far from it, he doesn’t see that I worry about the animals that I can’t help with, other than the odd assistance or (slavery as I call it) I can help with lamb marking, putting rings on tails & testicles, whilst vaccinating them, I am no good at crutching or shearing. We rely on our great mate Ronnie to come and help pick up, put up and as a team we can do over 300 in a day. It’s hard yakka, bending, lifting, drafting (I can do this as well) we manage to work together and enjoy each others company (thanks Ronnie).

I can help with ear tagging the cattle, mustering and weighing, I can’t do the ringing of testicles as the size of these animals scare me and he gets to them young enough they are only about 200 kilo so it’s not so hard. When we ear tag them we have to put them in the race, head bale them (hold their heads with metal doors) whilst I grab their right ear and pierce it and put the legislated ear tag in it. Boy they can make a large noise as they bellow in protest, it’s the same as having ones ear pierced.

I have watched over the summer months as he has gone outside to check waters in troughs and dams, if they are out of water he has to locate the problem and fix it. We spent the best part of one Christmas day – missing lunch with my family to dig up water pipes clear them and wait for the troughs to fill over the farm in 40 degree heat (104 fahrenheit). Cattle and sheep can die without water in one day in this sort of heat.

I have watched him go out and feed hay to animals when our feed has declined, I see him jumping on and off a hay trailer whilst the ute is moving slowly so as to spread out the hay to keep animals fed. He does this every day maintaining the quality of our animals and their food source. I have watched him and gone with him checking things over our 5000 acres, I have taken him drinks and lunch whilst he is sowing, reaping, raking and fencing. We have spent weekends planting up to 3000 trees per year to give animals shelter belts and to re-vegetate tops of hills that blow with sand.

I have adapted to farming and I do have a deep love of what it is I don’t see and I don’t have the passion nor the drive for all of it like he does. I rarely criticise anything he does as I am aware he drives heavy machinery, he can build a shearing shed from plans drawn up with Ronnie on a scrap piece of paper,  he can swear like a farmer (as only they can) at anything and everything, he can care deeply for small animals which is why I am hand rearing 2 calves & a lamb currently.

How to shut me up – sorry Chris it won’t happen.

2014-09-19 21.28.47

Christmas in Australia

It’s that time of year when most people are winding down, going on holidays, catching up with family & friends, spending time in stores and at the beach and generally having time out. Farming is different, if you raise animals one can not go on holidays and take a break without having someone move in and take over. In Australia it is hot and places are going into drought, some have missed rain for a year others have had minimal,

Farmers are emptying out their land of stock so that they don’t have the expense of feeding them over summer or worse still watching them die in the extreme heat. We are lucky we have a centre pivot which can provide stock with green grass during these times and with hay that we have grown ourselves. We currently have some beautiful angus steers ready for export and ready to leave the property we need an importer to assist.

It is currently 10pm here and we are still 30 degree Celsius or 86 degree Fahrenheit so we have fans on and the house in darkness except the Christmas tree lights which I love. We are moving into the warmer part of our year. It is this time of the year, I miss the beach and our pool at the city house but hope the tenants enjoy it. I would love to get to the beach for a couple of days but that is highly unlikely due to the fact that we need to be on the farm.

I went to make Christmas cookies today and realize that I didn’t have a Christmas cutter, no gingerbread, bell or tree shaped cutters but what I did have were purely Australian ones that I picked up in a market and I decided to use them. I also had no icing bags so used plastic freezer bags and pierced the ends – a very amateur job but they taste quite nice.

I hope where ever you are you are enjoying the winding down of the year and you are celebrating with loved ones and friends. I wish for you all the happiness and success 2015 can bring and if you wish to contact me about our meat, please feel free.

steers

our beautiful market ready steers

 

 

The benefits of eating Pork

This week we have had the pleasure of getting organic pork from the farm gate, but delivered to our door. It is fresh and ready to go into our freezer, but not before I planned and cooked ribs that night for dinner. I have avoided pork for many reasons, not that I didn’t like it I do, there is nothing better at Christmas than the fresh ham off the bone is there?

I am just not use to eating it, there is the tried and tested ‘sweet & sour pork’ which as a ‘Chinese food‘ is a stable take away, I have even attempted to make it but wasn’t successful. But it got me thinking about other pork dishes and now we have our own, I am going to be a bit more experimental. After having done some research on it pork met is as healthy as red meat. I also avoided it as watching my husband order and eat it in restaurants use to make his face go red. This never happened with any other meat but then no other meat is cured with salt and having high blood pressure, he use to react almost instantly. This is did not occur with the organic pork we had the other night.

It is important to have a balanced diet so white meats are recommended, and pork is considered the ‘other’ white meat, along with chicken and fish. Should you want to order some pork,  try to find a local grower, free range and organic. I can safely say there is nothing nicer than that taste.

Ounce for ounce, pork tenderloin has less fat than a chicken breast. The downside to this is that fat is what makes pork taste so good—which explains  why ham and bacon are far more popular than leaner cuts. Bacon and other cured meats often contain sodium and other preservatives, such  as nitrates, that may raise blood pressure or increase your risk for cancer. To  limit your risk, choose fresh meats or packaged products that contain no  preservatives—typically labeled “all-natural”—whenever possible.

Read more about interesting facts on eating pork: http://www.menshealth.com/mhlists/saturated_fat/Pork.php#ixzz2frYkubwd

buying fresh meat

At this time of year Christmas and holidays, food takes centre place in many social gatherings, family get together and work place meetings. Most societies celebrate, mourn, rejoice and relax whilst sharing food. Food is seen as a sign of acceptance and a sign of hospitality, in olden times you would be offered a meal as you may have travelled for days, the weather and distance would play a part in what you were going to receive as a guest into some bodies home.

Beef is a staple in Australia, “it is the second most popular fresh meat consumed through the food service industry (after chicken)”(1)

“Australians eat an average 33kg of beef and veal per person, per year. This has remained relatively constant for the last 15 years.” (2)

Meat & Livestock Australia, fast Fact 2011: Australia’s Beef Industry (1) (2)

Make sure when you purchase your meat it is as fresh as possible, you are more likely to get fresher meat from a local butcher, farmers market or ordering direct from farmers you know than from super markets. No place will sell ‘bad’ meat let me make that clear but those listed above will be fresher and you will notice a completely different taste to anything you purchase in the supermarket. When meat is packaged there is an absorption pillow under packaged meat and the longer the meat has sat on the pad the more it has absorbed and the ‘older’ the meat is. If there is juice in package the fresher the meat, but it is like anything else if you open it and it smells off, it is likely to be off, do not eat ‘turning meat’ return it immediately to the place of purchase in Australia, they will refund you and notify their supplier immediately. It is better they know than not for other consumers may have also bought something that is not right.

 

 

 

Carving Roast Beef Meat to bring out the best flavour

I didn’t know there was a special way to carve the meat you are serving to people. Butchers here will scoff, they are the experts in this field and will happily tell you how to do this should you ask. The days of butchers are disappearing with supermarkets taking over as places to buy meat, I am not knocking to supermarkets, they have on many occasions bought our animals.

I always wonder why once they buy them they do not make them a premium meat as they are all grass-fed, our cattle & sheep roam freely on our land to eat the natural pastures to get a good lean fat cover. If you are on a farm and you see cattle with a non shiny coat – this is the sign of good meat according to the farmer. Those animals you may see on TV ads etc look like they have been washed to look clean and shiny, but I will leave this for another blog.

Today I want to talk about cuts, even the farmer here is learning something after watching a butcher at a field day. There is nothing worse than tough meat, it leaves an unpleasant taste in your mouth and makes you think twice about buying it again. It makes you not want to finish the meal and not return to the restaurant, I have not seen anybody return “tough” meat to the chef, they return it for being under or over cooked and this is acceptable.

There is nothing nicer and mouth-watering (to non vegetarians) than the smell of a roast coming out of the oven, many children associate family meals and happy times with a roast dinner. So to have it not taste as good as it smells is disappointing. The secret to carving tender slices of roast beef is the grain – the direction of the string-like fibers of the beef. Find the grain of the roast and cut against (across) it with a slicing knife or chef’s knife. You’ll get perfect slices every time. Carve one slice and taste it if you are unsure how the grain runs, then cut it the other way and taste again. Work out which appears more tender and less chewy and this will be your guide to mouth-watering beautiful tasting roast.

Enjoy!

Here is a video from cooking for Dummies

http://www.dummies.com/how-to/content/how-to-carve-roast-beef.html#.UOIi1oHAOIo.email