Sunday, 6 July 2014

Sausages and Meatballs.(raw meat Photos)

On the last trip to the farm, we had so much going on that I have decided to break it up into specific posts covering  each separate  activity we did.
Shortly after arriving, hubby got in and butchered two  big weather sheep that need butchering, we did them straight away so that they could hang in the coolroom for a few days before we had to process them.
After about 3-4 days we then processed the meat, we saved the legs and shoulders off both sheep and cut the balance up into chops( we eat a lot of grilled chops,one of our favorites,quick and yummy)
We placed the legs and shoulders in the fridge and froze the chops. Our little freezer up there was packed to the top. I even gave some away to make room.
Then we set to work boning out the legs and shoulders, hubby does the rough cutting off the bone and I trim and dice further. We enjoy doing this, gives us a chance to sit and chat and relax.

We then  grind up the meat, and the fat that we  saved when butchering the sheep.

This is then added all together(sausages usually have a 70% meat 30 % fat ratio)
To this we then added the  chosen herbs and spices, we chose, our own dried rosemary,carrot,radish,tomato and celery powders, along with sage, garlic salt and pepper, and a good slurp of homemade plumb sauce.  We also add iced water to moisten the mix then chill the whole lot for a few hours.

That's when we hit a huge hurdle, The casings that I had purchased on the coast turned out to be small, not the large I had asked for and no where near enough to complete the job.The small casings wouldn't fit on the large stuffer nozzle of our  grinder.
Then hubby remembered that the band saw had a grinder attachment and  we found that it was smaller. So we continued the process up in  shed on the band saw, which was painfully slow , using what casings we had.

As it was Saturday afternoon and the shops were not open, we decided to freeze the remaining ground mix until Monday and drive to Coonabarabran and hopefully purchase more casings.
Unfortunately we could only get small ones, and after thawing the meat and making a painful few more kgs of sausages we gave up and decided to convert the rest of the mix into meatballs to can.We also realized that as the mince had  been frozen, we then had to cook the 2nd batch before re-freezing them.

The mix made great meatballs,but the only issue we had was when we cooked them pre-canning was that because of the very high fat content we had to keep draining of lots of fat as they cooked.
I decided to use my Fowlers Vacola preserving jars as they are wide necked, meatballs pack and release well .

I chose to cover them with  lamb stock that I had previously canned and pressure canned them at 11lbs pressure for 90 minutes.

We tried them with gravy and vegetables a few nights later and they were delicious.
While we were there I also canned a load of carrots and a load of potatoes and  a load of the ever handy pantry item, dried beans and chickpeas.

When we traveled to Dubbo for the day, a friend of my mother's who lives in the same retirement village passed on to me a couple of boxes of Fowlers Vacola Jars, that she used to use when living out on a farm before retirement, when sorting them out I found these beautiful small blue ones which are quite an uncommon jar, maybe even collectable. She told my mum that she still has several more boxes to bring in. I am so excited to see what  will be in them also.

Just before we headed home I gave one of the pantries a bit of a sort out, checking seals, rotating and organizing. Hopefully this will be the last time  before we relocate it all onto open shelving.
Overall, we had a great time away, with some great successes and some not so great, but have shared them all, as that is the only way we learn, by our mistakes .
So, that's it for now,
Hope you all keep safe until next time,

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