Thanks for stopping by our Farmer Owned Online Butchery and welcome to my Meat Blog & Country Kitchen Featured 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 Online Butchery in 2014 to promote locally farmed "paddock to plate" ethically farmed 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 when sourcing produce, 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
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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
- Plan weekly dinners around healthy family favourites so everyone looks forward to the meal.
- Plan school and work lunch boxes around weekly dinners. Cook a little more at dinner and put aside for lunch boxes.
- Use wholesome leftovers for the lunch box. Having a yummy meal for lunch will prevent overspending and overeating during the day.
- BALANCE; look at incorporating local nutrient rich seasonal produce and portion size. When produce is abundant and in season it is less expensive.
- Halve the amount of oil and butter when preparing meals, healthy can be far from boring.
- 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.
- AVOID takeaway during the week, this adds an unnecessary weight to your weekly budget and waste line.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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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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.
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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Each year I try a new way of preparing Turkey. I enjoy tackling different cooking methods as well as making my Christmas cooking more efficient. Some years when the whole extended families at the farm, it is far more efficient to light the webber and take the strain of my country kitchen.
I love the smokey taste of slow cooking my whole Turkey in the webber BBQ over coals. This is the way my mother always prepared the bird and is a great option when feeding lots of people. The webber will fit a huge Turkey size that most conventional ovens will struggle with.
When I have less to feed on Christmas day, a particular family favourite is a deboned and rolled Turkey. I simply bone out my Turkey, stuff it with something exotic and roast it in a conventional oven. By deboning I save hours of cooking time. My favourite stuffing is Cranberry and Chestnut and then I simply baste the outside with pan juices and my Turkey Basting Marinade.
You may wish to use a Turkey Buffe to save on cooking time. A Turkey Buffe is a great option if you are not a fan of brown Turkey Meat. It is basically Turkey Breast on the crown, with all the legs and wings removed. To cook a Turkey Buffe follow the directions below, just lower the cooking time according to weight.
A Turkey is a large investment so it is worthwhile checking out my tips and tricks to perfectly roasting your bird. There is nothing worse than sitting down to an overcooked dry bird Christmas Day. As with any cooking instructions please use my instructions as a tried and tested guide. Ovens vary in heat distribution and temperature control.
Instructions on How To Roast Your Turkey Or Turkey Buffe:
- Pre-heat oven to 170°C
- Rinse and wipe your fresh Turkey dry with kitchen paper.
- Add stuffing to the turkey cavity and pack it loosely not compressed.
- Transfer your turkey to a deep baking tray and massage your whole turkey with a simple Turkey Basting Marinade of 4 tbs olive oil, 60g melted butter, 2 cloves of fresh garlic roughly chopped, 6 sprigs of thyme, sea salt and pepper.
- Add a cup of vegetable stock to the bottom of the baking tray. (This will keep your turkey moist and succulent as well as assist with basting juices and extending the gravy)
- Place your turkey in the oven covered loosely with foil to stop the skin from burning and drying out.
- You need to bake your whole turkey or buffe for approximately 40min per kilo. For example a 4kg turkey will take approximately 2 hours & 40 mins to cook.
- Remove your turkey every 20 – 40mins and baste it with the cooking juices that are in the bottom of the baking tray.
- Remove the foil completely from your turkey for the final 40 mins to brown the breast.
- If unsure, your turkey is cooked when juices run clear after being pierced in the breast with a skewer. I prefer to use a Meat Thermometer which is guarantees a perfect result.
- Allow your turkey to rest in a warm place for approximately 20 minutes before carving. This will ensure that the juices have settled and will make the meat very succulent.
- While your turkey is resting, strain the juices from the baking tray to make a rich accompanying gravy. Serve it along with my simple Christmas Pear & Cranberry Relish.
Enjoy your festive cooking! It's all about family and friends...
I would love to see your turkey pics! Email them to us or post them on our Facebook page or tag us on Instagram @countryproducepantry
If you would like to purchase a Turkey please go to the MWM Online Christmas Hamper Selection. We have a large range of Frozen and Free Range Turkeys, Geese and Ducks Instore & online.
Our Christmas Hamper Butcher Box gives you the option to grab a Turkey at a special discounted price.
If you would like to purchase a Whole Turkey and have it deboned, please let us know in the "Additional Information" box at the checkout.
Deboned Turkeys will loose approximately 20% of whole weight. Please check out my pictures below as there are two options for deboned Turkeys ~ Boneless & Rolled or Semi Boneless (wings & legs left on).
For Online customers we will provide you with either string or netting so you can tie your bird up after stuffing in your fresh home delivered produce box, for store customers simply bring your stuffing in a few days prior to collection of you Turkey.
Merry Christmas from the Team at MWM
Boneless Stuffed Whole Turkey Netted
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It's all about the American craze of festive Turducken in my Country Butcher Shop. Each year we prepare more and more of this speciality poultry roast for clients.
As previously mentioned I am a huge fan of the Webber Kettle when cooking large poultry such as Turkey & Turducken. Please refer to your BBQ manual if that's the way you'd like to roll.
This article focuses on a traditional oven roasting method which allows everyone to have a go at cooking a Turducken feast! Let's face it, we all have an oven, even though on a super hot Chrissy day on the farm it's the last place I want to hang out.
As with any of my cooking instructions please use as a tried and tested guide, as ovens may vary in heat distribution and temperature control. Always use my "No-Fail" doneness tests and whenever possible a Meat Thermometer.
What is a Turducken?
A turducken is a semi deboned turkey stuffed with a de-boned duck that’s stuffed with, yes, a de-boned chicken.
The turkey still has its legs and wings – however, the rest is all meat, layered at each layer with our very own homemade cranberry and chestnut seasoning.
The MidWest Meats Turducken is prepared to order and generally weighs at least 5kg. This article refers to the cooking of a MidWest prepared Turducken as each Turducken is prepared by different Butchers.
Cooking a Turducken is easy, it follows the same cooking principals as a Turkey. Its all about the length of cooking time and making sure your internal temperature is spot on so you know the inside of the Turducken is cooked.
I like to layer some bacon or prosciutto on top of the bird to keep the breast moist until the final browning of the breast. I do this as well as baste, however that is completely up to you.
Instructions on How To Roast Your 5kg Turducken:
- Pre-heat oven to 170°c.
- Transfer your Turducken to a deep baking tray and massage the outer bird with a simple Basting Marinade of 4 tbs olive oil, 60g melted butter, 2 cloves of fresh garlic roughly chopped, 6 sprigs of thyme, 1 tablespoon Maple Syrup, sea salt and cracked pepper.
- Add a cup of vegetable or chicken stock to the bottom of the baking tray. (This will keep your turducken moist and succulent as well as assist with basting juices and extending the gravy)
- Place your turducken in the oven covered loosely with foil to stop the skin from burning and drying out.
- You need to bake your turducken for approximately 40min per kilo. Your 5kg turducken will take approximately 3hours to roast.
- Remove your roast every 20 – 40mins and baste it with the cooking juices that are in the bottom of the baking tray.
- After 2 hours probe with your Meat Thermometer, or skewer to start testing for "doneness".
- Remove the foil completely from your turducken for the final 40 mins to brown the breast.
- If unsure, your turducken is cooked when juices run clear after being pierced in the breast with a skewer.
- Allow your turducken to rest in a warm place for approximately 20 minutes before carving. This will ensure that the juices have settled and will make the meat very succulent.
- While your turducken is resting, strain the juices from the baking tray to make a rich accompanying gravy. Serve it along with my simple Christmas Pear & Cranberry Relish
For a "NO FAIL" test to make sure the Turducken is cooked, please a Meat Thermometer through the top of the bird into the very centre of the meat. You are looking for an internal temperature of 74OC when roasting poultry.
Make sure your Turducken is freshly prepared by your MWM skilled Butcher
Turducken Ready to Roast
Internal View of Turducken
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Product featured in the Christmas Hamper Butcher Box
which includes your amazing artisan locally farmed Rolled Loin of Pork
Follow my simple HOW TO steps and you'll be a Pork Crackle Star!
My cooking method is also suitable for our wonderful Rack Of Pork!
Support local Aussie Pork farmers and your LOCAL Butcher when purchasing your Pork Roasts!
As you are using a Loin OR Rack of Pork prepared by our artisan Butchers, it is already prepared, rolled and scored and ready for you to roast.
Using a 2KG Boneless Loin Of Pork:
1 Preheat your oven to 220°,
2 Make sure pork rind is dry, then rub pork with a mix of oil, salt & plain flour,
3 Place pork on a rack in a large, well greased baking dish,
4 Cook for 30 minutes until a great level of crackle is achieved,
5 Reduce heat to 180° and cook pork for a further 45 minutes or (30 minutes Rack of Pork),
6 Stand for 10 minutes,
7 Remove string & carve!
We enjoy this cut of meat for any occasion, but it is especially fantastic for a Christmas Table. A 2kg Boneless Rolled Loin of pork will feed 6 people.
Roasting normally reduces end weight of the meat on average by about 20%. Always take this into consideration when buying meats for roasting. Alternatively, ask your friendly Butcher to calculate the weight and cooking time for your meat.
When resting your roast make sure you transfer to a warm plate!
Check out this product In Store, or in the Pork Section of our Butcher Shop “The Country Produce Pantry”!
To accompany your delicious roast pork, try my super quick and easy Christmas Pear and Cranberry Relish recipe. Obviously it can be Christmas every day in your kitchen, why not enjoy all year round.
Cook, Eat & Enjoy
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