Wednesday, 26 June 2013

Our own meat.

We have just spent a nearly a week up the bush. My husband did not want to return to work this morning (and I can't blame him). It is a little dry up there but we are getting a few small showers to keep everything plodding along.
We arrived late in the afternoon to find our front lawn covered with wonderful mushrooms, which of course we picked and devoured for our tea that night. What better dinner than  wild grown mushrooms with so much flavour and a nice piece of your own steak off a animal that you have raised yourself.
We had to restock our hay while we were there, our very kind next door neighbour feeds the occasional bale out to our stock while we are away if there hasn't been enough rain for good feed. Although we do keep Dorper breed sheep which are a South African breed which do really well in drier country. They also have the added bonus that they are good heavy meat sheep and they don't have to be shorn as they automatically loose their wool/hair by rubbing aaginst trees, posts,frnces and gates. You see lettle  bits of fluff all round the place if you look carefully. They are also a very friendly, quiet  breed.
We get our hay from a friend a few kilometres away  for which we pay about $8 per bale.
We butchered two lambs while we were there just for regular meat(no processing or canning)
We kill early in the morning ,we then portion the meat into smaller sections and age for 4-5 days in a spare refrigerator up in the shed.We hope to get a cool room down the track when finances allow, (to allow the  carcus to hang whole )but for now we find that the refrigerator works just fine.
Then when we are ready we get out the trusty electric band saw and cut up the meat...feels like we have come along way, we used to do it all by hand with a knife,hand saw and cleaver...such a neater job now. The  worst part is cleaning the band saw after, so we usually make it worthwhile and do at least two  animals at a time.
Just love all that meat..We love our veggies too but also love meat. Sometimes we  do all the legs and shoulders into chunks to raw pack and can, other times we make sausages and sometimes into lamb/beef bolognaise sauce..whatever we find ourselves needing. We are slowly learning to be more varied with our final products for the freezer and pantry.
Here also is a photo of the lamb sausages we made last time, this was 16kgs( approx 32 lbs)  We got this from 4 legs and 4 shoulders of lamb.They were lamb and rosemary flavour. We are still experimenting with different ones, as we are real beginners in the sausage making world.
We had a lovely break away, didn't get half the  jobs done that we had planned, but oh well.There is always next time,and the time after.
Winter is really starting to set in,good big frosts of a morning, but usually good days, then a roaring fire of a night. Nothing better than a nice glass of wine by the fire to end a productive day.
All the best until next time,

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