AUSSIE SNAGS…..

Today we made sausages in readiness for a BBQ we are having on Monday to celebrate Australia Day.  It has become a bit of a tradition over the last few years, (mostly due to a highly successful marketing campaign to sell more), that we cook lamb on this day. I took advantage of a great sale price for legs of lamb and used this meat to make our so-called Aussie Sausages. I was a little surprised to see the ingredients in this “Aussie Sausage” were:

3-lbs ground lamb, 2-sun dried tomatoes, finely chopped,8-oz feta cheese, crumbled, 3-tbsp fresh basil, finely chopped, 1-tbsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped, 1-tbsp minced garlic, 1-tsp salt,1/2-tsp freshly ground black pepper. Combine all ingredients, mix well & stuff into hog casing.

I had expected more lamb with rosemary and maybe mint sauce! Maybe even some peas and mash thrown in for good measure. I might have to have a crack at that, doesn’t sound too bad. I quite liked the sound of the combination though, so on we went. My deboned lamb weighed in at 2.1 kilos so I adapted the quantities of the other ingredients (roughly) to suit that meat total.

First up was to debone the leg of lamb, quite easily done by following along the bone with a sharp knife and because it’s sausages, you don’t have to be too neat.

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Meat was cut into portions about an inch (2.5cm) square. I added some pork fat (10%) as the leg meat was so lean.

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The shank and the bones I removed are going into the freezer for another day. I’ve changed the way I label things in the freezer, I never can seem to be able to read what I’ve labelled so now I wrap some reno tape around the parcel and mark it nice and big. God, I hope that doesn’t mean I have to start borrowing large print books at the library!

IMG_9467The meat, feta and herbs were fed through the mincer,  a small pattie was cooked to check for flavours and seasoning. We added some extra pepper but everything else seemed ok.

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Next was to stuff the mix into sausage casings. We used the ‘stuffer’ we bought after our visit to Tasmania last year. It makes a job so much easier when you have the right equipment.I buy our sausage casings online from The Casing Boutique. They sell quality, natural casings and have been super quick with delivery, these ones are hog casings.

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The hardest part about the whole process is getting the casings onto the stuffer!

IMG_6160All done! We now have a nice big batch of “Aussie Lamb Sausages” ready to hit the BBQ on Monday. I quite like the fact these sausages include ingredients representing a few different nationalities and cultures. After all, that is part of what has made Australia such a diverse, exciting and wonderful place to live!

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Not inside enough!

I seem to have not posted anything about the reno for ages, probably because we haven’t had a lot to add. With Christmas, being away for holidays, dreadful weather and a little issue of needing to sell another property to free up cash flow, has meant we have been focussed on working outside on garden and landscaping projects more than on inside jobs. The domino effect is huge inside, can’t fit skirting board back until floorboards are sanded and waxed, can’t do floorboards until majority of painting is done, can’t paint until plaster is repaired etc, and so it goes. Just have to run with what we can and make the most of it. Mr ATMT has this weekend been, filling grooves between panelling in the hall so we can cover with thick heritage style paintable Anaglypta wallpaper.

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Back into the kitchen – The one I don’t have!

My favourite butcher Wayne The Great had a special on Legs of Lamb the other week so I  bought 2 and knew the opportunity to decide what to do with them would arise. They came cryovacced, so there was no rush to decide. With a plentiful supply of lemons (thanks Melissa for the Eurekas!), garlic, tomatoes and parsley, I thought lamb marinated in garlic and lemon, tabouli salad and some pomme frites would make a nice dinner. I de-boned the leg of lamb,

deboned lambCut the boneless (butterflied) joint  into three and put 2 sections into the freezer for future use. The remaining section was marinated in some olive oil, 3 cloves crushed garlic and juice of 2 lemons. A few sprigs of rosemary went into dish too and that was that, ready to sit for a few hours in the fridge.

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I love tabouli, it is  a great way to use up a surplus of parsley and tomatoes and it has such a fresh, clean flavour  I never tire of it! I would NEVER buy this in a deli as it must be fresh to avoid that musty, almost dank off taste that comes with more than a day old parsley and mint. Added bonus that every ingredient (apart from the burgul) came from the

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garden. I don’t think you need to follow a recipe too closely as far as proportions of ingredients goes in a tabouli salad, but I do like a LOT of parsley. Just go with what you have to hand.

My recipe tonight was roughly:

  • 1/3 cup bulgur grain (soaked in equal quantity of boiling water)  sit in fridge till ready to assemble.
  • 2 large chopped tomatoes (if juicy strain juice off)
  • 2 cups chopped parsley
  • good handful chopped mint
  • juice of 1 or if you like tangy 2 lemons
  • good generous drizzle of olive oil (get out the good one!)

Fired up the barbecue and threw the lamb onto hotplate on medium heat, fat side down and seared for 3 minutes, turned heat down to low, turned meat, shut the lid and cooked for another 10 minutes. Turned heat off keeping lid shut to rest while I assembled the tabouli and cooked the pomme frites (fancy chips!).

I had peeled the potatoes, cut them into chunks the size I wanted, then cooked them in the microwave for about 6 minutes. Took out and shook jug so the cooked potato had a roughened surface. I then turned potatoes out onto another plate so they dried off really well ( I had actually done this step earlier).  Lit the gas ring on barbecue, placed  a pan with some olive oil on to heat, when hot enough I added the cooled potatoes and continually turned and moved around until nice and golden all over.

Plated up the tabouli, some fresh cucumber, the pomme frites, a dob of greek yoghurt and the carved lamb. So tender, I know why I don’t shop at supermarkets for fresh produce!

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And for dessert!

We are not dessert people. I have however put my hat in the ring to try and seek out everyone’s favourite lemon tart recipe. With this in mind I set forth to test a recipe that was recommended on my Facebook page ‘Worlds Best Lemon Tart’. The tart this week was a recipe from Alice Medrich’s book ‘Sinfully Easy Delicious Desserts‘. I will add a link to the recipe over the next few days. After a disastrous beginning with the pastry (not Alice’s fault I assure you)  got it together and as a result enjoyed a beautiful tart.

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