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Howdy, thanks for stopping by the MWM Online Store and welcome to my Blog & Country Kitchen Recipes! 

My name is Sara and I live on a farm with my family at Birregurra, Victoria, the heartland of the bountiful regional food hub of the Western District!

My husband Justin & I are the proud owners of the iconic local bespoke Butchery &  Produce store, MidWest Meats which now incorporates the Online "Country Produce Pantry".

I created MWM Online Country Produce Pantry to promote and sell legitimately locally farmed "paddock to plate" ethically & farmed produce to others that are concerned with food source and giving our local farmers credit for their amazing produce.

The produce we sell is produced by my family, my neighbours and reputable farmers in and around Birregurra. 

We have a 100km localism ethos, that keeps the food in the Country Produce Pantry local, fresh and community based.

I have been working in the Meat Industry owning and operating Bespoke Butcheries with my husband Justin, since I completed my studies at Orange Agricultural College back in the "hay" day. Studies which I furthered at Sydney University, and then Queensland University!

My areas of expertise is quite simply FOOD! Farming food, sourcing ethically farmed foods, butchering, preparing & cooking seasonal locally sourced food!

My passion is enjoying quality ingredients with family and friends and knowing others are doing the same.

I believe everyone can afford fresh wholesome food, and the more people that value local food source, the more affordable it will become. 

In order to enjoy food, we need to respect and understand it's many complexities. Once we understand where and how our food is grown, we have a greater ability to prepare amazing delicious meals for family and friends.

This BLOG is designed to give you all the tips and tricks of the trade and have y'all smiling each and every meal!

 

Have an enquiry about any of my local produce? This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

 

 

Stay in touch ~ find out about super deals, cooking tricks & tips & whats been cooking in #mycountrykitchen


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Each MidWest Ham on the Bone has been hand cured and hickory double smoked in our store to traditional artisan methods.

We only use local Australian Pork unlike other Hams. Did you know over 70% of all Bacon & Ham is imported? Not ours, we've been smoking hams to a traditional method for over 70 years.

Our Hams are available at Christmas & Easter and the rest of the year by special order.

Step 1

Place ham skin side up. Then run a small sharp knife under the rind around the bottom (opposite end to hock) and each side of the ham to about halfway up. Peel the rind back.

Step 1. Peel skin back 
Step 2

Run the tip of the knife around the bone, on the underside of the ham. Begin to slice on a slight angle down to the bone.

Step 3

Run your knife length-ways along the bone to remove slices. Continue to slice towards the hock.

 

Step 4

Continue slicing down to the bone, working your way around the ham until you reach about a third of the way up. Remove the bone by making a few short cuts at the joint.

 

Step 5

To keep your ham fresh, fold rind back over exposed surface, place in a Ham Bag, pillowcase or wrap in a tea towel and store in the fridge.

 

 

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You've seen the advertisements, you've considered the healthy facts but have you tasted how delish Pork Steak is cooked to perfection?

Using the 6-2-2 method, in just 10 minutes you can prepare a wonderful tender, healthy meal for family and friends.

Season & rub a little Olive Oil on your pork steak and follow the simple 6-2-2 cooking method for the perfect pork steak!

  • Into a hot pan sear pork steak on one side for 6 minutes
  • Turn pork steak once and sear for another 2 minutes
  • On a warm plate, without turning rest pork steak for 2 minutes

 

 Top 5 Porky Facts 

  • Lean trimmed pork is a source of protein, thiamin, niacin, B6, B12, selenium, riboflavin, size & omega-3. 
  • There are plenty of cuts that are lean and trimmed and that we can also trim if required;
    1. Pork Steak
    2. Pork strips
    3. Diced Pork
    4. Loin Chop
    5. Fillet
  • Trimmed lean pork can easily be substituted for other meats and poultry in your recipes to make them tastier and healthier
  • The leanest pork cuts come from the loin, fillet and the leg, trimmed of external fat.
  • It is a myth that lean pork is dry and tough. There's no need to over cook especially if you refer the the 6-2-2 information video above. This cooking method can be applied to any 2cm thick boneless pork steak, including scotch, loin, leg & trimmed pork cutlets that are 2cm thick. This method will cook the chop to white which is the best way to eat pork unless your on MKR where everything is under cooked!

 Now you know the secret to the perfect pork steak try my feature recipe: Pork Steak with Lentil & Pumpkin Salad

Ingredients

4 X pork sirloin steaks 2cm thick approximately 1kg

Salad

1 cup of cooked and strained french lentils

180g pumpkin peeled & thinly sliced and baked in the oven 10 minutes

1 red onion thinly sliced

1/2 cup of chopped continental parsley washed and sliced

1 cup rocket

120g Meredith Goat Feta

Dressing

1 lemon zested & juiced

2 Tbsp malt vinegar

2 Tbsp Olive Oil

2 Tbsp chopped mint leaves

2 Tbsp sunflower seeds

seasoning 

Cooking Instructions

  • Pre-heat your pan or BBQ just like you would do for any other steak 
  • Brush the pork steaks with a little oil and season
  • Place pork steaks in pan or on BBQ char-grill and use the 6-2-2 method
  • Whilst steaks are resting prepare the salad by placing all the ingredients into a large bowl and gently tossing to combine.
  • To prepare the dressing put all ingredients except the sunflower seeds into a jar and shake well to combine, then pour over salad tossing well.
  • Serve the pork steak with tossed salad and garnish with sunflower seeds. 

* Source ~ Australian Pork Top 5 Facts 2006

 

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Back to school, Back to work & Back to a busy schedule

Planning is your key to "Back To School" success.  Healthy bodies need healthy "fuel" three times a day, breakfast, lunch and dinner.

 

A balanced diet of three meals a day and a little exercise sounds conceptually simple, however add school, homework, sport and WORK into the mix, and we have a recipe for health and budget "melt down".

 

Providing healthy meals five days a week can be challenging, especially when some of those meals are not even in the home. However, I believe it is super 'doable' with planning.

Look at proteins first, they are packed full of nutrients. Beef, pork or lamb 3-4 times a week turn your evening meal into a balanced meal. Other protein options include poultry, eggs and legumes.

But how do you know if a meal is healthy and nutritious and where can you get recipe inspiration? Don’t complicate it! Use wholesome family favorites and employ healthy cooking techniques such as less butter and oil, and try char grilling rather than pan frying.

Check out my 10 easy tips and tricks for success

  1. Plan weekly dinners around healthy family favourites so everyone looks forward to the meal.
  2. Plan school and work lunch boxes around weekly dinners. Cook a little more at dinner and put aside for lunch boxes.
  3. Use wholesome leftovers for the lunch box. Having a yummy meal for lunch will prevent overspending and overeating during the day.
  4. BALANCE; look at incorporating local nutrient rich seasonal produce and portion size. When produce is abundant and in season it is less expensive.
  5. Halve the amount of oil and butter when preparing meals, healthy can be far from boring.
  6. Once you have your plan buy in bulk at the start of the week. This will prevent you running in and out of stores for one item or being tempted to grab an unhealthy expensive frozen meals or take away.
  7. AVOID takeaway during the week, this adds an unnecessary weight to your weekly budget and waste line.
  8. FRESH is best! Shop once or twice a week or use local weekly fresh home delivery so you can spend more time preparing meals with the family and not out at the shops whilst the kids lay around at home waiting for food. When kids are waiting for food they are more prone to eat snacks and not eat the wholesome meal you prepare. When the family does not eat the meal you’ve prepared, that’s simply money down the drain.
  9. AVOID overly complicated recipes during the week. You are tied therefore prone to throw in the towel and order pizza! Simple fresh easy meals are the way to go.
  10. AVOID dining out during the week; this disrupts your whole routine. If you need to get together with friends, go to each others home and contribute a healthy component of the meal. This way everyone enjoys the evening with minimal fuss. We all need a healthy balanced routine to function at 100% at work and school. Late nights with unhealthy food are not the way to achieve this outcome. Dining out is great on the weekends when its time to relax and have fun.  

Healthy is far from boring

The days of believing that healthy food has to be boring and bland have thankfully long since passed.

Meals will be naturally healthy and enjoyable when you use:

                 Mainly fresh, unprocessed ingredients

                 Flavour with fresh herbs and spices

                 Fruits and vegetables that are in season

                 High fibre, wholegrain or lower GI carbohydrate foods (such as whole grains, pasta, basmati rice, brown rice, noodles and sweet potato)

The key to a healthy, wholesome meal is BALANCE!

There is a simple rule to apply to any meal to ensure it is balanced, healthy and delivering you and your family the vital nutrients we all require.

When plated or combined (as in a stir fry) aim for your meal to have:

                 ¼ beef or lamb (trimmed of fat, unless already purchased lean)

                 ¼ carbohydrate (e.g. sweet potato, brown rice)

                 ½ vegetables (at least 3 different types of vegetables)

You don't need to change a lot to have a proper dinner

Using the principles of balance outlined above, you may find that with little or no change, your current dinner repertoire is brimming full of healthy and delicious recipes.

A little help – what to buy, what to cook and how to turn it into a healthy dinner success

Using our Seasonal Butcher Boxes you will find a minimum of 6 meals that can be for lunch or dinner or can be used to get you through to your next delivery.

Having healthy fresh local produce in your fridge automatically saves you time, money and improves your chances on making a healthy meal choice each and every time.

If you prefer to drop into the store, these same items are available each and every day. We also have a changing selection of meal ideas if your planning went a little “hay wire” and you simply see a better alternative. All our ready-made meals are wholesome and made daily with fresh local seasonal produce. 

 One of my family’s favourite healthy meals in #MyCountryKitchen is Vietnamese Beef Salad. Why not check it out and put it in next weeks Meal Plan? Makes a wonderful dinner and a fabulous Lunch Box treat. This is just the recipe to set you up for a healthy "Back To School" journey.

 

 

 

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Life is busy, stressful and full of tempting unhealthy easy meal options. Taking this path can lead to long term health issues for you and your family.

Kids sport, work and lack of time to get to the right store for wholesome fresh produce can all effect our health. Easy options such as preservative filled pre prepared meals and takeaway are not the right choice for keeping the family healthy

Nutritious food such as beef, lamb or pork with salad or vegetables 4-5 times a week will boost energy and productivity. 

Dinner should be a time to catch up, relax and enjoy a wonderful family meal together. Preparation of the meal should not fall to only one member of the household, everyone has had a busy day and if everyone contributes to one component of the meal, then everyone will be smiling at the end of a delicious meal. Simply making a rule the family eats at the kitchen or dining table 4-5 nights a week will enhance family relationships as well as provide an opportunity to make sure everyone is okay.

At the end of a long hard, stressful day it is easy to look to high fat comfort foods that are going to give 'short term' relief. It is possible to get the same enjoyment from a wholesome, healthy meal. Healthy does not have to be boring.

Meals will be healthy and delicious if you incorporate;

  • fresh ingredients
  • fresh herbs and spices
  • local seasonal produce 
  • high fibre, low GI carbohydrate foods

I have banged on about "seasonal produce" in most of my BLOGS. Quite simply, seasonal produce has more nutrients and tastes better as it has not been stored or traveled from far off lands for long periods of time. 

To make sure you are providing a well balanced nutritional meal aim for the following 'rule of thumb';

  • 1/4 lean protein (beef, lamb, pork or chicken)
  • 1/4 carbohydrate (try substituting brown rice for white rice and sweet potato for normal potato) 
  • 1/2 vegetables or salad with a good mix of local seasonal produce

Thinking about your 'cooking methods' will also keep you on the healthy path;

  • Grill on a BBQ or in a dish on a rack instead of pan frying, this will separate the fat from your food
  • Roasting of a Rack will also separate the fats, simply retain liquid from pan, pop in the fridge while you finish roasting to separate delicious pan juices from fats
  • Stir Frying will reduce the amount of fat needed to cook meat and vegetables and lock in nutrients
  • Incorporate "dry-hea" cooking technique where you brush the protein in oil instead of adding to the pan. This will significantly lower your fat intake.

At MidWest Meats we only use local, seasonal produce that is prepared in store fresh each and every day.

By choosing reputable fresh food specialists you have a head start in the battle to prepare wholesome, nutritional family meals. 

Want some wholesome family meat inspiration? Look no further than my country Recipe archive collection featuring wonderful hearty cooking such as my take on Irish Stew.

  

Traditional Lamb Chump Chop Irish Stew

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Embrace the BBQ! 

 

The BBQ does not have to be all about sausages, steak and kebabs. You can sizzle just about anything and impress friends and loved ones with your amazing skills. I love the BBQ as grilling is such a healthy way to prepare meats, chargrilling gives such a distinctive amazing flavour.

 

Roasting on the BBQ couldn't be simpler! Roasting wonderful locally farmed MidWest Meats butterflied lamb is a great summer treat and this article is all about achieving the perfect BBQ Butterflied Leg of Lamb.

 

If you’re a novice meat cook grab a Meat Thermometer so you can relax and not be concerned about when you meat is cooked to perfection. Refer to my article Meat Perfection when using a meat thermometer for even more "tried & tested" protein cooking tips. 

 

At MWM prepare many cuts of lamb that is suitable for the BBQ. Boneless Lamb Shoulder has recently become a customer favourite. I prefer to BBQ a lamb shoulder in a slower cooking BBQ, such a webber kettle. Lamb shoulder is a tougher cut than lamb leg therefore requires a lower temperature, longer cooking and resting time. I like to marinate it for at least 12 hours with citrus and wine.  That will start to tenderise the lamb. Together with the slow cooking to break down the meat, you will have a BBQ winner!

 

By far my personal favorite lamb cut to BBQ is a butterflied boneless leg of lamb. Removing the bone reduces cooking time and provides and more even cut of meat for the BBQ.  Butterflying makes it easier to distribute the cooking heat. All you need is a boneless butterflied lamb leg, a BBQ with a hood, family and friends and you are ready to BBQ.

 

We have a few options, Greek Style Butterflied legs of lamb and Honey Mint & Rosemary butterflied legs of lamb that have already been marinated for you. Alternatively a plain leg of lamb is perfect when simply seasoned and cooked on the BBQ. Serve with a fresh garden salad and you have a delicious healthy meal.

 

With Australia Day coming up, this is the way to go! Australia Day would not be the same without a Lamb Barbeque and a few cold ales & vino's.

 

Tips & Tricks To BBQ’ing Butterflied Lamb Leg

 

  • ·      Take butterflied boneless lamb leg out of fridge 1 hour before cooking.
  • ·      Determine the boneless weight of the lamb, MidWest Meats are mostly around 1.5kg.
  • ·      Season to taste with salt, fresh rosemary and cracked black pepper EVEN when marinated. Brush with EVOO to avoid the meat sticking to the BBQ, especially if marinated.
  • ·      Preheat the barbecue to 200ºC (the burners should be set at medium). 
  • ·      
Place the lamb in the centre of the barbecue with tongs for a few seconds to seal meaty side, then place back down on the fat side lifting quickly so meat does not stick.
  • ·      Turn the burners directly under the meat off and render fat for a few minutes then turn roast onto meaty side to roast.
  • ·      The remaining burners are left on to conduct and circulate the heat around the roast. (indirect heat cooking method)
  • ·      Close the lid and roast for the recommended cooking time:

- Rare: 20-25 minutes per 500g

- Medium: 25-30 mins. per 500g

- Well done: 30-35 mins per 500g

  • ·      Remove roast when cooked to desired doneness, this is a great time to test with your meat thermometer. 
  • ·      Transfer to a warm plate, cover loosely with foil and rest for 10-15 minutes before carving.
  • ·      Carve the roast across the grain to ensure tenderness. 

STEP ONE: BONELESS BUTTERFLIED LEG OF LAMB

STEP TWO: PLACE LAMB ON HOT BBQ NOT ON DIRECT FLAME

 

STEP THREE: CLOSE LID & COOKING TIME DETERMINED BY WEIGHT OF LAMB

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