Sunday, November 14, 2010

Spring beef

The "Malus walk" is looking magnificent this year:

Malus ioensis or Betchel crab apple would have to be in my top five favourite trees.  So pretty and not too big.

But that is just a distraction, there are weeds out there, appearing overnight like the triffids, and the lawns need a weekly mow.    A cow has also ended up in my freezer.  Actually, it is a steer, and the freezer is absolutely chocker block, to the point that even if I take something out I have to repack it all so it fits back in.

Since there is also a couple of lambs in there, I'm guessing I won't have to go to the butcher for a while.  Carnivore though I am, I feel quite daunted about all that red meat.  After all, we are trying to eat less of it, although I have a husband and a son who wouldn't care if there was nothing else on the plate.  There are only two eye fillets and two scotch fillets, and I did ask for a wing rib, which you don't see around much these days, big treat.  Otherwise there is loads of corned beef, stewing steak, mince, sausages and topside roasts (which I'm not sure what to do with).  I will let you know as I progress..

Most farmer's wives are confronted with the same problem:  how to have lamb or beef three nights a week and still keep it interesting.  We can't just buzz to the shops to pick up something for dinner at the last minute so forward planning is essential.  First you  have to get the meat out of the freezer in time for it to thaw out (bone in can take up to 24 hours out of the fridge if the weather is cool).  Roasted legs of lamb are a fantastic family dinner and it is good to have the cold meat for sandwiches and salads.  What I really love to do though, is bone out the leg, marinate it, then cook it on the barbeque.

I am totally self-taught in the art of boning a leg of lamb, and although it's a bit rough, I can usually do it in about ten minutes.  This is a skill everyone who has a home grown meat supply should have as it is a classic, very easy, do-ahead dish (vegetarians and butchers please look away):

I have butterflied this leg and I then marinated it in olive oil, lemon juice, chopped garlic, a couple of chopped anchovies, rosemary and oregano for 12 hours.  I cooked it straight on the bbq, turning once for 45 minutes, allowing it to rest for 15 minutes.  All you need with it is some crispy potatoes and a leafy green salad.  I don't have a photo as I had had a couple of glasses of wine by then and forgot..

The dogs are very happy too.

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