Category Archives: MEAT…




I know the purest would say you shouldn’t mix Paella’s (seafood and meat..but I like seafood and meat and so does the rest of the family …so apologies purists Smile with tongue out


We all love Paella and so on that basis I bought a Paella pan …like you do….and because I’ve got a horrible ceramic hob at the moment used a small gas hob to cook on which gives a better heat for cooking Paella.

Apologies again but the mixing of the ingredients…. Chicken, Chorizo, Kalamari, fish (I used Hoki), King prawns with just a few peas and a small amount of peppers to give a little flavour and colour (again I know not authentic), saffron (which I’m lucky I was given…I know!!).  

It might not have been authentic but I have to say it was a unanimous decision that it was delicious.



DSC00815Pretty much says it all really doesn’t it. We grow our own meat and this is what happens when we decide the time for beef into the freezer has come.                                             There is nothing to match the taste of home grown meat- homekill as it’s known in NZ (well I don’t think so anyway). You just need to get your head around knowing the animal. I’m OK with that though because I know they had a good life.


We processed Alf today….it’s only when you weigh things then add then altogether you realise how big something is.

45kgs of meat is now in our freezer…no stinky ram smell (which is good because believe me stinky ram smell is not good!)….lots of mutton to go and we’ll borrow our neighbour’s band saw to do the ribs once they’re frozen.


Another little addition…..

When we picked up the pigs last week we went back up to check on them a little later and we had a surprise addition…she must only have been an hour old!!


It’s not that she was a surprise totally…I was expecting lambs but if I’m honest I couldn’t remember when Who me?


We picked up some pigs last week….they’re not very old but they’re pretty big already.

We made the decision to not breed pigs for a while …it’s hard keeping them long term not the least because you get attached to the sows.

These will be here for a short time before they move to colder climates….but while they’re here they will be loved….and VERY well fed.




Game Pie…..

T came home the other weekend with a few pigeon breasts, a couple of hares…so we thought it was the perfect time to make a raised pie.

We had some wild boar and duck breasts in the freezer so added that to the mix…..

For the pie I had a look on the net and did a bit of a meld of Delia Smiths

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and from this site

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I didn’t have any red wine when I decided to do it…and T was out with the truck so I couldn’t get any (as mine is off the road!!)….so I used some red wine vinegar….and a bit of sugar….and do you know what it was lovely as a marinade !

DSC04240                   DSC04243

So hot water crust..which I had never made before but was relatively easy to make…more a challenge to actually get into the tin (I used a springform cake tin)….it was getting it so that you didn’t have a really chunky bit at the bottom of the tin as it comes up the sides….I still think it was a bit thick right in the bottom but hey it was a first attempt.

The meat I mixed with a good amount of salt and pepper (think it could have had a bit more to be honest), some herbs, cinnamon and ginger.

The cooking time was a bit of a guestimate in fact the whole thing wasn’t an exact science  but I got there in the end…….


….and it tasted nice

Today mostly I’ll be making Sausages!!…

Well the picture says it all really….the other day was a monumental one for us really our last pig heading towards colder climates..A monumental day because the pig concerned was Rusty…one of our first pigs who with her sister Mere were our breeding sows.


Rusty developed arthritis in one of her front legs which if you have ever spent any time with pigs is hard because they’re not the easiest animal to get near and she couldn’t stand for a long time on that leg….the time had come and so the deed was done.

As Rusty was getting on a bit (4 years plus) we decided we would make sausages….and so it began.

The bowls in the picture held about 10kgs of pork and fat mixed together…YUM!…and there was more where that came from Winking smile


All in all about 25kgs of Sausages – Cumberland Style sausages (didn’t do them in a coil but made them into sausages so they can be done individually if need be) and Worcestershire Sauce and Cracked black pepper….and 5kgs of Salami.

On top of that about 10/15kgs of diced pork which will be great for casseroles for the winter, Loins of Pork, Belly – one of which has been  turned into bacon and is now sat in the fridge drying out and is going to be cold smoked  which is something we haven’t done before.

It’s been strange not having any pigs but I have to say ….it’s also been liberating as well…

We’ve kept pigs for over 4 years now and it’s a commitment. T has been out everyday feeding  – you can’t miss a day and in fact if you’re too late ….well they come looking for you…. and with a snout that can shift up to 2 tonnes that is no problem for them!!!



Now before the purest start screeching that they don’t look right…no they don’t look right…I didn’t have a sheeps stomach handy and the beef casings that I had weren’t as big as I thought so I couldn’t produce the “proper” shape…but at the weekend our Scottish friends were coming and I wanted to make some so we could decide whether the recipe was the one….so Haggis sausages it had to be.

Set of sheep’s heart, lungs and liver (cleaned)
One beef bung
3 cups finely chopped suet
One cup medium ground oatmeal
Two medium onions, finely chopped
One cup beef stock
1½  teaspoons salt                                                                                 1
teaspoon pepper
One teaspoon nutmeg
½ teaspoon mace

Trim off any excess fat and sinew from the sheep’s intestine and, if present, discard the windpipe. Place in a large pan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for an hour or possibly longer to ensure that they are all tender. Drain and cool.
Some chefs toast the oatmeal in an oven until it is thoroughly dried out (but not browned or burnt!)
Finely chop the meat and combine in a large bowl with the suet, oatmeal, finely chopped onions, beef stock, salt, pepper, nutmeg and mace. Make sure the ingredients are mixed well. Stuff the meat and spices mixture into the beef bung which should be over half full. Then press out the air and tie the open ends tightly with string. Make sure that you leave room for the mixture to expand or else it may burst while cooking. If it looks as though it may do that, prick with a sharp needle to reduce the pressure.
Place in a pot and cover with water. Bring to the boil and immediately reduce the heat and simmer, covered, for three hours. Avoid boiling vigorously to avoid bursting the skin.

Now of course if like me you make sausage shaped haggis (yes yes I know they’re not the right shape!!) then you don’t cook them for 3 hours….I cooked these for half and hour and then finished them off in the oven for 15 minutes (while I was making some garlic bread).

Result… Well the opinion was and between the two of us we were prepared to be critical…the seasoning was right, the texture was right but it needed some more oats added…so next time…and I will make sure I have the ability to make a properly shaped haggis as well….maybe.

Wild Rabbit / Hare stew.

Now whilst I’ve been busy doing snack bars hubby’s gone off this morning with his mate to go shooting rabbits / hares.

Someone was asking about a nice recipe for rabbit stew…here’s the one I like…


2 wild rabbits, skinned and jointed
250g salted pork belly or pancetta, cut into chunky cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 large onion, thickly sliced
3 large carrots – I cut them into large chucks.
4 celery sticks again large chunks
2 bay leaves
A sprig of thyme, if handy
500ml cider or red wine (a nice Merlot)
1 generous teaspoon honey (I use Manuka but any nice heavily flavoured honey will do the job)
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


Fry the pork belly / panchette till the fat runs (do this slowly) then take that meat out and put it in the slow cooker
Brown the rabbit in the pork fat
Fry the onions …sweat them so they don’t go brown then put them and everything else into the slow cooker as well.
Mix them all around and then pack them down
Pour the cider over the top and then if you need to add enough water to cover the whole lot.
Add the honey and seasoning. Then put it on and cook as you would a stew in the slow cooker.
or you can do it on top of the stove…bring it to a simmer, cover then turn down and cook for about an hour and a half…keep on a low simmer.

I usually do multiple amounts of the same recipe, stick it in my big stew pot bring it to the simmer and then cook the whole lot in the oven (low temp about 120) for a couple of hours or until the rabbit is falling apart.

This makes quite a thin gravy so if you like it thicker when you fry the onions put in a bit of flour and that goes towards thickening the gravy

Paprika Chicken….

I seem to have hit a “That’s what’s for dinner tonight” …as Rachel Ray would say.

Tonight Paprika chicken…as I said yesterday I like to keep things simple when I’m working – I don’t want to have to stand over the cooker. This is one of those meals and it can be quicker if you want it to be if you cook the chicken a little first in the microwave before it goes into the oven.


Pre-heat the oven to about 180 ºC, 356 F.

  • Brown the chicken – I use 8 chicken thighs which serves 4 (this is the time when you should cook chicken first if you want to reduce the cooking time) and remove it from the pan (the pan I use is the roasting tin I’m going to cook it in). 
  • Fry onions until they are soft then add a palm full of smokey Paprika.
  • Sprinkle on a little all purpose flour (to thicken up the sauce whilst it’s cooking). and then add chicken stock (about 1/2 pint)and a tin of tomatoes.
  • Add half each of a sliced red, orange and green pepper (or in the case of tonight I used about a third of a packet of frozen stir fry mix (carrots, sugar snap peas, carrots, peppers, green and yellow beans).
  • Put the chicken back into the roasting tin and then put into the oven then depending on if you pre cook the chicken it can be anything from 30mins – 1 hour.

I serve it with plain rice and a nice bread …either a nice crusty loaf or Ciabatta