Thursday, 21 February 2013

Colonial Goose

What is Colonial Goose I hear you say? Well I can tell you it's been around for many years, in fact it goes back to the colonial days when the early British pioneers were some of the first white settlers to reach New Zealand. On the menu was mutton mutton mutton and the few eateries that were around then decided to re-vamp their menus and entice their customers with a new dish called Colonial Goose. This new dish was actually mutton dressed as a goose as it was easy to bone a leg or shoulder of mutton and then tie it to resemble the geese that the pioneers were missing from back home.

You can use either a leg of mutton or a shoulder of hogget as I've used here. Start by removing the shoulder blade along with the humerus bone from the inside of the shoulder. Once the bones are removed, fill the cavity with a stuffing, traditionally honey and chopped apricots were included as they were plentiful, once stuffed tie the joint to secure the stuffing and also to help keep the shape of the goose, pinning the knuckle bone with a skewer will give it an upright swimming appearance.

In order to get a silky brown colour to the joint, it would be marinaded in red wine thus taking on the rich colour of a real goose. Personally I would cure my joint in salt for at least 3 weeks before butchering and stuffing as this imitates the goose better than just using a wine marinade.

I prefer Colonial Goose cold and sliced thinly served with chutney and bread, but you can eat it warm with vegetables and lashings of gravy if you wish. Which ever way you choose to eat this dish I'm sure you will enjoy it and it will be a talking point amongst your family and friends.

Tip: For the professional butcher / chef; I cured this joint sous vide for 3 weeks using between 30g-40g of curing salt per kilo of meat. Afterwards I take out the joint pat dry with paper towel and then re-pack in sous vide along with a few herbs a little lemon zest and cook at 71c degrees for 3hrs and then leave in the bain marie until chilled.

Voila !

Try it and let me know what you think guys...

Tuesday, 19 February 2013

Oyster Shucker

I've lost my trusty oyster shucker, I can't find it anywhere.

Albeit I do use it to open oysters from time to time, of coarse that it what it is designed for.

However I use it on an almost daily basis as a butchery tool.

Removing wisbones from chicken with it, makes work a lot easier.

Best of all it is the best tool to use to clean the bones on a rack of lamb.

Some tools designed purposely for a task, accidently find a better use elsewhere.

Albeit the shucker is the best tool for cleaning bones, I'll just have to use a knife until my oyster shucker is either found or returned by someone who has borrowed it and hasn't as yet returned it to it's proper place.

I know who you are......

Friday, 8 February 2013

Lamb Butchery with the Flockable Lasses

I first met Sophie one of the two  via Twitter, she kindly remarked on my charcuterie and expressed how she one day would like to learn those very skills that I had recently posted about, including on how to make a lamb cushion from a shoulder of lamb.

Well a week or two passed and I had followed Sophie during this time and all that I had witnessed was a young lady and her friend trying very hard to break out into Farming along with helping to save some rare & traditional breeds of sheep. These included the Castlemilk Moorit and Whiteface Woodland breeds and I know she would like to have some Herdwick sheep too within her present flock.

This determination along with her polite manner and comradeship with her friend Annabelle made me think if only they could get a little help from people that can offer it, they could become a formidable team that could inspire the next generation. That's it, my mind was made up, I had decided I would offer her and her friend free butchery and charcuterie training for a whole year. This is December 2012, so I decided to wait until Christmas before informing Sophie of my offer. I followed her on Twitter and witnessed through her tweets her commitment to farming. She was often by herself working through the cold nights delivering lambs into this world whilst the rest of us were tucked up in a warm bed. Well Christmas Eve was upon us and Sophie once again was working nights in the Lambing Shed by herself, she would be breaking in Christmas Day in a cold dark barn with no-one to talk to other than the sheep and as any sheepish events unfolded she would tweet them to the outside world for the rest of us to read in the comfort of our homes. On this occassion and just after midnight I emailed Sophie with my offer, this automatically transferred to her mobile phone and she received it whilst in the lambing shed working (not that I knew that would happen).

Sophie later told me she had become emotional and that my offer of help was the best Christmas present she could of wished for and that she would accept my offer along with her good friend Annabelle.

Well folks here is a video the lasses made recently of their first butchery & charcuterie lesson and if you can offer them any help at all with their Farming career do get in touch with them, for they are our future and we need them to succeed for the benefit of us all...

Just like to say a huge Thank You to Sally of for allowing us the free use of her butchery department.

p.s. Sophie, Empire Farm is in Somerset not Dorset....Lol