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!
Stay in touch ~ find out about super deals, cooking tricks & tips & whats been cooking in #mycountrykitchen
Sign up to my E~Newsletter "The Bull Sheet", it has tips, tricks & heaps of savings to make your country produce taste even better!
Making your meat shine is simple when using premium locally farmed produce from MidWest Meats.
My families favourite cut of meat is the Rack Of Lamb! We have a tradition in my family that we can choose whatever you want for dinner on our birthdays. I have always picked Rack Of Lamb, and now so do my gal's! Over the years I have experimented with flavours to make a Rack Of Lamb shine and keep special family meals interesting and delicious.
Transform a beautiful piece of produce into a dish that exudes flavour with my Brown Sugar & Caraway Lamb Rack sided with a delicious Irish inspired Sweet Potato Colcannon. Now, i'm sure you'll agree, thats one hellava Rack!
When purchasing a lamb rack from MWM we will fully trim the produce for you, so your preparation time will be less than 10 minutes, and you'll need 25 minutes to cook the meat to medium rare. Whilst the lamb is baking, you will have ample time to whip up a couple of wholesome winter sides, such as steamed broccolini and Colcannon.
• 2 x Lamb Racks fully trimmed
• 1 tbsp Aussie EVOO
• 2 tsp caraway seeds
• 1 tbsp balsamic vinegar
• 1 tbsp brown sugar
• 2 bunches broccolini
Sweet Potato Colcannon
• 500 g sweet potato, peeled and 3cm diced
• 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
• 20 g butter
• 2 leeks, thinly sliced
• ¼ cup milk
1. Brush lamb with oil and sprinkle with caraway seeds. Combine balsamic and maple syrup in a small bowl with salt and pepper and pour over lamb.
2. Preheat oven to 200°C fan forced and cook lamb for 20 minutes for medium. Baste lamb once or twice to help glaze to coat the lamb. Rest for 10 minutes then slice between bones into portions.
3. Heat oil in a medium frying pan with a lid and cook leeks for 10-12 minutes, covered, until very soft.
4. Steam sweet potato for 20-30 minutes or until very tender. Mash with milk and gently fold through leek. Season to taste.
5. Steam broccolini for 3-4 minutes until cooked to your liking and serve with colcannon and lamb
• Don't worry if the glaze slides off the lamb at first, it will thicken on the tray as it cooks making it easier to baste.
• Try adding different whole spices to the lamb to vary the glaze such as cumin, fennel or mustard seeds.
• Use maple syrup instead of brown sugar for a richer taste sensation.
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Make A Meat Thermometer your BFF in your kitchen!
You’ve watched all the cooking shows; the contestants and chefs are achieving perfect results with gadgets, which looks simple enough!
You want perfectly cooked meats so you’ve hunted down your own meat thermometer and its still sitting on your kitchen bench because you have no idea what you’re looking for.
If you signed up to our “Bull Sheet” you received a fabulous instruction sheet on how to tell if your steak is done, by using a “ready made tool” your hand! This “Tips & Tricks” article will help you make sure your larger piece of meat is cooked perfectly each and every time using a meat thermometer. It is the easiest and most accurate way to tell if a roast or steak is ready.
There is quite a science behind the degrees of doneness of meat and it all comes down to internal temperature. Your meat thermometer will gauge the internal temperature of meats during any cooking process.
Temperatures that tell when your beef, lamb, veal or goat is done;
When your meat is done the internal temperature of the meat will be:
• Rare 60ºC
• Medium rare 60-65ºC
• Medium 65-70ºC
• Medium well done 70ºC
• Well done 75ºC
Temperature to tell when your roast chicken or poultry is done will be:
Check the temperature of the meat just before the estimated cooking time is up. For the juiciest result, take your roasts out of the oven and steak off the grill just short of the temperature goal as the internal temperature of the meat can rise as it rests. I like to be 10 degrees shy of goal internal heat.
Consider the residual heat, it is important to note that while the meat rests the residual heat continues to raise the internal core temperature of the meat.
It’s a good practice to check the temperature and take the roast or steaks from the oven or barbecue just shy of the degree of doneness goal (about 3ºC to 6ºC short of the goal temperature).
The resting process is extremely important, do not skip! The resting time then allows the roast or steak to complete its cooking whilst the return to the meat fibers.
Which One To Buy
We recommend & stock the IKON Meat Thermometer for its a "value for money" and it does not require batteries or have flash components that can give you grief when you least want it, such as half way through a cook:
• Ikon Meat Thermometer, is an inexpensive, durable, waterproof, and an ovenproof leave-in style thermometer. It is inserted into the thickest part of the roast and can remain in the meat during cooking. The probe shouldn’t touch bone, gristle or fatty areas as they hold more heat. It is not mandatory to leave the thermometer in the meat during cooking. You can simple check the temperature a short time prior to the end of the recommended cooking time given to you by your MidWest Meats Qualified Butcher.
Tips for using a meat thermometer when cooking
• With a roast - place the thermometer in the roast before cooking. The end of the thermometer should be inserted into thickest part of the roast away from any bone and rest half way into the thickness of the meat.
• With steaks (or smaller cuts of meat) – as with the roast, the end of the thermometer should be inserted into thickest part of the roast away from any bone and rest half way into the thickness of the meat. As steaks are thin in comparison with roasting cuts, be careful not to put the thermometer right through the steak and onto the hot cooking surface…or your rare lamb cutlet may well read as overly well done.
• It can be difficult to judge the doneness of odd-shaped meats, as the heat doesn’t reach all areas at the same time. If necessary take two readings of the beef or lamb in different places with a meat thermometer.
• Stuffed and rolled meats require longer roasting times as they have more layers for the heat to penetrate. These are best cooked to well done. The internal temperature of the meat should be taken in two different places
For USA Style BBQ internal temperatures will vary according to different meats and its really more of an art than a specific science. I recommend heading over to www.ausbbq.com.au and checking out articles by pro BBQ experts.
I really loved Hot'n'Fast Smoked Brisket for some great temperature insight.
BUY NOW: IKON MEAT THERMOMETER
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To celebrate Aussie Bacon week I have created this wonderful recipe showcasing our artisan Ham Hocks
We cure and smoke delicious ham hocks in our little Country Butcher Shop seasonally just for you!
Using traditional curing methods highlighting hickory with a double smoke cook, we produce a beautiful range of bacon products, such as Bacon, Ham Hocks & Bacon Chops.
Using local grass fed pigs that are RSPCA approved, our artisan butchers produce a Ham Hock that is not only wonderful for soups and stocks, you can only make it the delicious hero of your dish as featured in my recipe.
Celebrate Bacon Week with us and help reduce imported pigs from causing havoc with our local farming industry.
Embrace Aussie Made Pork, by getting MWM's bacon on your fork. We only stock 100% Australian farmed meats and poultry.
You wil find our wonderful range of artisan house smoked products in our SMALLGOODS section of the online store or just ask in store.
I have also used a raw non smoked Ham Hock for this recipe, if you would like a Ham Hock that has not been smoked "Just Ask", we are bespoke butchers and can cater to all requirements. If purchasing online, simply put your requirements in the Special Requirements Box at check out and BOOM it will happen!
- 2 Pork Forequarter Ham Hocks
- 4 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 cloves garlic finely chopped
- 2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
- 1 tbsp fresh thyme
- 2 tblsp mustard powder
- 1 tsp salt
- cracked black pepper
- 2 onions diced
- 2 stalks celery finely chopped
- 2 carrots finely chopped
- 2 bay leaves
- 500mL dark ale or apple cider
- 400mL chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup apple sauce/purée
- seeded mustard
- Preheat oven to 220°C.
- Score the pork hock rind into 3 sections across the width of the hock with a sharp Stanley knife or simply ask your MWM Butcher to preform this task for you.
- Blend the oil, garlic, herbs, mustard, salt and pepper together to form a paste,
- Rub each hock generously with the paste.
- Place the prepared vegetables and hocks into an oven proof baking dish.
- Pour the ale or cider, and the stock over pork in the baking dish.
- Place the baking dish into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C for 4.5 hours. If the liquid needs topping up, use a little water when necessary.
- Serve crsipy roasted German style pork hock with apple sauce and seeded mustard on a platter for a "Family Style" meal with seasonal vegetables & mash potato.
When I refer to "family style" meals, I am simply referring to meals that you can put on platters and share around the table. This is a wonderful way to enhance time spent with family and friends!
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Australian's adore a fabulous home made pie's!
In my country kitchen I regularly make both savoury & sweet pies.
They always get a big smile from family and friends.
Homemade pies are a fabulous dish especially when made with fresh wholesome MWM Country Fresh produce.
There is no need to buy pies, when they are so easy to prepare and personalise with your favourite flavour combinations.
With these tips and tricks from my country kitchen you'll be the master of the pie in no time at all!
Most cooks seem rather cautious when it comes to making their own pastry, but "FEAR NOT", there's nothing to worry about and if you take the time, the taste will pay off big time.
If I can't convince you to try your hand at pastry baking, a pie can taste just as awesome with a heap of mash potato on top, this pie is often referred to as a Cottage Pie. Infuse mash with a knob of butter and/or cheese to ensure the mash sets nice and brown.
A delicious beef, lamb, chicken or pork pie filling can be as simple as your favourite casserole.
Try my Master Casserole Recipe as featured in our MWM E~Newsletter "The Bull Sheet".
As a guide, one quantity casserole meats or poultry (using 1kg beef, lamb, pork or chicken) will make a pie to serve 4-6 friends and family!
Incoporate your own favourite casserole recipe into a delicious pie. As a casserole is predominately a slow cooked meat or poultry dish, we recommend the following meats.
Time poor? Use a more expensive meat cut that take less cooking time;
- Diced Topside
- Gravy Beef
- Chuck Steak
- Beef Cheek
- Rump Steak (100% flavour & quicker to cook)
- Beef Mince (Fabulous for savoury & cottage pies)
Why not make a double batch when you next make a casserole? Serve up half that night, and freeze the other half to make into a delicious pie!
Making your own pastry
Crisp, flaky, tender pastry can be made in the food processor:
- The butter and water must be cold before you begin - cold ingredients make flaky pastry.
- Use the metal blade and place the flour and salt in the bowl.
- Add cold, chopped butter. The butter must not be soft.
- Use the pulse button to mix the flour and butter until mixture is crumbly.
- With the processor running slowly add the cold water. Keep the processor running only until the mixture comes together and forms a soft ball.
- Put the pastry onto a lightly floured board, and gently knead for 30 seconds. Over kneading will make it tough.
- Flatten it out to a small round to make it easier to roll out.
- Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes. This resting time ensures the pastry won’t shrink as it cooks.
Even if you don’t have a food processor you can make the pastry by hand. Rub the butter through the flour with your fingertips until it’s crumbly. Use a knife to fold the water in and to bring mixture together.
Like to bake a pie, but still not convinced on making your own pastry?
Tips on using Store Bought Pasty
- Puff pastry is a great choice and we sell a great frozen puff pastry in store.
- When buying puff pastry make sure butter is the top ingredient for a delicious tasting pie.
- Cook your pies at 220°C, this high temperature ensures the puff pastry rises and forms lots of yummy layers.
- Uncooked pastry is unsavoury, and will let down your whole pie.
All MidWest Meat diced & mince produce is freshly prepared to order from locally sourced paddock reared produce.
Online Customers receive all diced, minced meat and poultry produce cryovaced, unless otherwise specified.
In Store customers please request specialised produce wrapping from you friendly MWM Team Member!Add a comment
Enjoy this winter dish one pot casserole. Its a mild take on my families favourite "Chilli Con Carne" that we serve with crunchy plain corn chips.
Simply add a teaspoon of fresh chilli to spice it up!
Preparation Time: 20 mins Cook time: 2 hours
- 1kg Diced Chuck Steak
- 1 chopped Onion
- 1 diced carrot
- 1 diced red capsicum
- 2 Bay Leaves
- 3 tsp smoked paprika
- 4 cloves garlic chopped
- Handful of chopped fresh coriander including clean stems
- 1.5 cups Beef Stock
- 2 tablespoons of fragrant Aussie Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 400g diced tomatoes
- 400g soaked red kidney beans (drain well if using tin)
- Corn chips, Soft Tortilla's or Steamed Rice To Serve
- Sour cream to serve
- Fresh chilli to flavour if desired
- Preheat oven to 170°,
- Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil your stove top/oven proof pan over a medium heat, add chuck steak in batches to brown, remove and set aside,
- Place 1 tablespoon of olive oil in pan and gently fry onion, capsicum and carrot,
- Place meat back in pan with vegetables and add garlic and paprika, bay leaves and coriander stems, stir well over heat,
- Add stock, bring to the boil,
- Cover and place in oven till meat is tender approximately 2 hours,
- Add black beans and most of coriander leaves pop back in the oven for 30 minutes,
- Season to taste and serve with a sprinkle of fresh coriander leaves.
My lot love to cover their casserole with lashing of fresh coriander and sour cream, then use corn chips as a spoon!
This recipe is suitable to freeze and left overs make a great Nacho base.Add a comment