Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Making the most of meat

Hidden in my collection of cookbooks is one called 'Making the most of meat'. Most of the recipes feature heavy use of lard. Another gem in my collection is a Woman's Day publication called 'The Meat Lover's Cookbook'. Many of the recipes involve using fruit in meat dishes, a pet hate of mine. Especially apricot chicken, urgh. However, the book also contains useful diagrams of animals showing where the different cuts of pork, beef and lamb come from, along with suggestions for how to cook them and how to carve them. I used it last week when slicing up some magnificent pieces of beef for the freezer.

Cradoc Hill Abattoir is open for retail sales on Friday afternoons from 2-5pm. There you can buy good quality, locally grown and butchered meat, in bulk, at good prices. I had been meaning to go for ages, and finally made the trip during a week off work earlier this month. We can see the large white abattoir building from our house, so it's quite close as the crow flies, but about a 25 minute drive to reach the other side of the river. On our recent visit, we bought a huge rump, some scotch and about 6 kilos of fresh silverside (not corned, as most Australians know it) which I wanted to marinate and turn into a lovely German roast called Sauerbraten. It all needed another couple of weeks aging in the fridge before I divided it up for the freezer and cooking.

Then we had the offer of a 'quarter of beef' from friends in our village. The offal from the beast is already in the freezer and the dogs have been happily eating hearts and tongues and things for their dinner. Then this week, we took delivery of many kilos of beautiful aged beef. There are several things I love about this. The animal was on pasture just down the road from us, we drove past them most days. They had a good life. No chemicals or added hormones in sight. It's well-aged and lovely quality meat. But most of all, having a variety of cuts that I might not normally cook with means we try yummy new things. Generally, we eat less meat these days, but when we do, why not make it special. And local.

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