Friday, 21 July 2017

Slow Cooked Mutton

Earlier in the year we had a ewe killed. 
The price for cull ewes was rubbish at the time and in all my years of keeping sheep I'd never tried mutton and I quite fancied giving it a try. Mutton is a popular meat all round the world, just in the UK we seem to think that sheep should only be eaten as lamb. 

The ewe was three years old, fairly big and as you'd expect, had a good layer of fat on her. Mutton has a well placed reputation for being fatty, all this means is you need to be careful in how you cook it. 
Talking to friend we decided to make a rub for the meat and cook it long, slow and low. Making the rub in the recipe above (my mate had to come over as I didn't have many of the ingredients!), we then covered the meat, scored the fat and set it in a low oven (160) uncovered for a little while then covered with some water in the tray until the fat started to come out. 
After an hour or so I lifted it up onto a rack on the tray to continue cooking (still covered), this bit is essential because I wanted the fat to cook out of the meat. 

The joint was in the oven for a little under five hours and was cooked to perfection (if I do say myself). I did brown it off a bit at the end by cooking with no cover. 

as you can see the half inch layer of fat in the bottom of the pan shows that this is the right way to cook it! 
The meat just fell off the bone.
I served it chopped up on some rice with steamed french beans (french beans with everything at the moment!), it was beautiful. So tender and so full of flavour. 

Who else likes to eat mutton? 

How do you cook the big joints?

Thursday, 20 July 2017

Another Preppers Paradise - Farm To Sit Out The End Of The World?

I've no intentions of ever moving from this place but sometimes I stumble on an interesting property and just have to share it with you guys.
What about this for another Preppers Paradise
I say it's a little harder to get to than the last one, as this one has a causeway you can cross at low tide. but from the Orkney Islands! 

It also comes with 40 acres of land and although not in what I'd call "prime" growing area, I'm sure you could support your own family on an area like this, with sheep or goats as a main meat source as well.
It has a range of out buildings and some breath taking views as well as a seal colony!
I'd imagine to make it work you'd need to make the farm earn it's keep but also have something you could do from home (writting, workshop work, etc) that would pay in the quiet times, I'd imagine (although I might be wrong) that jobs might be hard to come by out there.

Certainly an interesting property and not badly priced with offers over £300K, maybe someones dream property, I know my wife would hate it! 

What do you think? 
Your type of property? 
Too remote?
Somewhere to watch out the end of the world?

Wednesday, 19 July 2017

Shepherdesses

The most common question I'm asked is how do I fit so much in when I've got the kids full time?
Simple, they do it with me when they can.
Last night I got the sheep in to check them over. It's proper fly strike weather and the sheep were twitching enough to get me worried. 
Turns out they were absolutely fine, not a maggot in sight but it pays to be careful in this weather. 
The girls weren't going to stay inside, not when there's chance of a ride on the quad bike (the boy was napping and mum was home).
My younger daughter won't leave the bike if she can help it, she comes for the round up and beeps the horn whilst my eldest mans the pen and helps me funnel them in.  
waiting for another go on the bike
We always go for a ride after we've finished, just a quick blast round the field with one child shouting faster and the other saying to slow down!  

Not sure how old they should be before I get them their own motor bikes! I know I was always a little crazy on them! 

Who else can remember being a kid and going on the back or front of a motor bike or quad? I certainly can! 

Tuesday, 18 July 2017

First Ripe Tomato

 Each year I'm always desperate to see when I'll get my first ripe tomato. 
This year it's a rather small one and grown outside, but it's a ripe tomato no less!
It was even smaller when I split it into three, but it saved arguments with my little ones! 
Hopefully many more to come now! 

Who else has had their first tomato?

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