With temperatures rising and with possible water shortages looming we have to waste less food. What is viewed as food in today’s supermarket shopping culture is a good question. If you have your own garden and you don’t use insecticides, secondary harvests like beetroot and carrot tops, pumpkin and radish leaves and nettles are nutritious and delicious, doubling the harvest of greens in small veggie patches. The main harvest in my garden at present is broad beans and throwing away the lovely young fresh pods has rankled with Mrs BYF for ever.
What we did today was to remove the beans from the pods and save them for later. The pods were rinsed, cleaned and sliced sliced in about 3 mm thick pieces, much as one would slice green beans, to be used in a stew. The stew was so delicious that I had to share the recipe with you.
Broad Bean Pods Stew
500 g any meat, cubed or on the bone. Because I had to make room in my cages I butchered some birds and I used:
2 quails, wings, neck and the backbone of a chicken. I also added all the livers.
1 onion diced
1 clove garlic chopped
1 tablespoon tomato puree
1 1/2 cups of white wine
5 cups sliced broad bean husks
1/2 cup stock, more if needed
6 tablespoon olive oil
pinch of chili flakes or one small chili
sage, about 1/2 cup sliced
Large pan or dutch oven with a tight fitting lid that will take all the ingredients.
Soften the onion in the olive oil over low heat, do not let it change colour. Add the garlic and meat and lightly brown over medium heat. Turn the heat up and when bubbling add the wine, leaving it to boil the alcohol away.
Add the sage, chili and puree and turn the ingredients over in the pan until well covered. Add the husks and a few tablespoons of stock. Cover the pot tightly and leave to cook over slow heat. Check in 20 minutes for moisture and add salt and pepper. Cook for about 60 minutes or until the meat is tender, adding stock only if necessary. The dish should not be soupy.
Serve with polenta or rice to soak up all the lovely sauce, or enjoy with crusty home made bread and a glass of home made red wine.
Today I had my 8 year old Grandson to assist me in making Pickled Quail Eggs. He was also the Director, Photographer and Script Writer for this post.
Once you have peeled the eggs , pack them in a clean sterilised bottle mixed with your chosen fresh spices. In this case we used rosemary, garlic, chili, salt and black pepper.
Boil enough 50:50 White Wine Vinegar and Water to cover the eggs. Pour the hot wine vinegar mix over the eggs until the container is full. Seal immediately and leave to stand for at least one week before use.
These are obviously very good for any antipasto plate, or a late night snack with a glass of wine – ENJOY!!!
It is in my nature to measure and monitor, which makes life interesting and the only way should you want to select and make progress with any animal breeding. I slaughter about ten old Quail Hens every two weeks and 20+ Young Quails every alternate week and always weigh all animals and carcasses at slaughter. Obviously there are many other measurements and observations I frequently collect and record to assist in selecting that “perfect” bird.
Here are some of the figures I collected over the past week and which are fairly representative for the past six months.
||Mature Birds – g
||Young Birds – g
Live Bird – Average live bird mass after food and water were withheld for 12 hours
Carcase 1 – Average carcass mass after heads and lower legs were removed and feathers plucked
Carcase 2 – Average carcass mass butterflied, which in my case means the removal of the entire backbone, all internal organs removed, wing tips removed and excess skin trimmed.
After all this lovely Quail Meat you have harvested there is still the Coratella that makes a wonderful meal on its own and Quail Stock which I use in almost all of my daily cooking.
It will be hard to find a better light dinner than quail eggs topped with truffles and home cured salmon on the side. All washed down with good hand crafted Home Made Wine (organic and preservative free)
I came across these pictures taken over Christmas and remembered that I wanted to post them. The occasion warranted some extra work, and I had a request for home made pasta anyway. The brightness of the colours impressed everyone, including me.
Make fresh egg pasta dough as described, leaving out two of the eggs as the spinach / beet paste will have some moisture. Divide the pasta dough in to 3 equal parts
For the Colours
Blanch about 250 g spinach and then squeeze our all the water. Process in a food processor to a smooth paste then pass the paste through a fine sieve to have a thick intense green juice. Do the same with 2 medium sized beetroots processed to a thick intense red juice
Mix enough of the green juice into one third of the pasta dough, which should be very dry as one egg was left out, until you have an even coloured pasta dough with a smooth consistency. Repeat the process with a second of the three portions, using the red beetroot juice. The third portion should be corrected with water to ensure all three portions have the same amount of egg and consistency.
Cook in salted water until al dente, (make sure that you cook equal amounts of every colour). Drain the pasta (do not rinse it under the cold tap) and transfer it to the pan with hot sauce. Mix and serve with plenty of grated parmigiano.
The Quail Sauce being a home favorite as we have plenty of quail, goes particularly well with home made parpardelle and did the tricolore a lot of justice on this occasion.
ENJOY !! Do not forget the home made red wine.
Breakfast cannot be more enjoyable than with fresh home grown free range eggs and organic spinach out of the garden. I am lucky enough to have a combination of quail and chicken eggs for breakfast.
Wash two large bunches of spinach (beetroot or radish tops work equally well). Do not add water, the water clinging to the leaves from the washing will be enough. After a while press as much water out of the spinach as you can and put aside. Add one tablespoon of extra virgin olive oil and one tablespoon of butter to a pan. Also add three large cloves of garlic and one small chili finely chopped, simmer for about two minutes on low heat. Add the spinach to the pan and season with salt and pepper to taste. Now break in as many eggs as required and cook until eggs are done to your liking. You can cover the pan for a while when cooking if you want the eggs hard. Sprinkle with grated parmigiano, black pepper, add a dash of olive oil and serve with home made bread.