VINO di SAMBUCO (Elderberry Wine)

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Make sure to pick clean, ripe elderberries and remove all the leaves and stalkes. Wash well under running water.

Crush the berries to create a must –  I use my PASSATUTTO machine which works very well for this.

Once you have your must, pour it into a large enough container to hold all the product and have some spare space to allow for foaming during the first few days.  Now add about three litres of boiling water for every litre of fruit.  Close it well and leave it  for one day to sterilise the must. Add pectinase enzyme and leave for another day.  Adjust the pH and sugar contents, add your wine yeast and yeast nutrients and ferment on the must for about ten days. Remember to stir twice a day and always use clean sterilised equipment. Always close the container well to prevent contamination and fruit flies getting into the must.

After 10 days, rack and filter and adjust for sugar if required. Now pour your wine into a large enough Damigiana to make sure their is not too much air space, then put on an airlock and wait.

Rack and filter when the ferment is becoming clear and sediment is visible (about 2 – 3 weeks). Every time you work with the wine, top the Damigiana up to the neck with similar sugar content syrup or fruit juice. Airlock and ferment.

After another few weeks the fermentation will become slow and it is then time to rack, filter and top up again.

Make sure the fermentation has stopped completely before you rack, filter and bottle.

Leave it alone for a month and ENJOY!!

UOVA di QUAGLIA SOTT’ACETO (Pickled Quail Eggs)

2019-05-11 - Pickled Quail Eggs

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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!!!

Vino di Fiori di Sambuco (Elder Flower Wine)

2018-12-24 - Elderberry Harvesting Team

The Elder Flower Pickers hard at work. We had a trial run a few weeks ago making Elder Flower Sparkling Wine. It was delicious. We set out to harvest enough before the flowers disappear, at which stage we will attempt elderberry wine!

Vino di Sambuco ( elder flower wine ) Recipe as it happened step by step

2018-12-03

Add about 1 Liter Elder flowers, stems removed, to a 10 L plastic drum and cover with 5 Liters of boiling water – seal

2018-12-04

Stir in 1 Kg of Sugar until dissolved

Ad lemon zest of four lemons

Ad lemon juice of four lemons (about 210 ml)

Re – hydrate yeast by adding 6 g ‘GoFerm’ and 5 g ‘Lalvin EC1118′

(the seller is called Make Wine) and 50 ml of cooled boiled water Leave for 30 minutes

Add re – hydrated yeast to the must

Add 4 g ‘Ferm Aid ‘ to the must

SG (Specific Gravity measured with a Hydrometer to determine the sugar content) – 1.055 (Ad more sugar later)

Stir very well and put lid on tub – ferment on the must

Stir twice daily

2018-12-08

Rack and filter into two X 5 Liter Damigiane or large glass wine bottles. Top up with about 0.5 Liter each of 1.09 SG sugar syrup

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.06

2018-12-11

Rack and Filter

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.04

2018-12-15

Rack and Filter

Airlock and Ferment

SG – 1.02

Top up with 200 ml (100 ml per Darmigiana) of SG 1.09 Sugar Syrup

Taste – Pleasant, sweet and a bit bubbly

SG – 1.04

Airlock and Ferment

2018-12-20

Still fermenting slowly

SG – 1.02

Rack, Filter and Bottle in a Champagne bottles

Drink and ENJOY!!!

 

 

Cured Salmon

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Today was Salmon curing time. With a beautiful, fresh fish I like to keep things simple, adding as few flavours as possible to enhance the taste but not change it. Fish, salt, sugar and lemon rind only. Smoking overpowers the fish and all the freshness is lost. This cured Salmon recipe is so easy and tastes wonderful. I vacuum seal the cured salmon, after processing, in smaller portions and it lasts for several weeks in the fridge.

After filleting, I remove all the small pieces of flesh from the carcass and then freeze these in smaller portions for making a very tasty and quick risotto. Everything remaining – bones, head, tail, etc goes into the stock pot wit some onions, celery and carrots. Add water and reduce the liquid by at least a third before portioning and freezing.  Use the stock for soups, risotto and fish stews.   NOTHING WASTED!

Rabbit Pie

AE87D4B3-C0F6-4F5B-91FF-E11F6A1652E6Every time I shoot a rabbit or get some as a gift I make stock with the ribs, neck, tails, flanks and all the cut offs, keeping the prime cuts for roasting. Into the stock pot goes a few carrots, onions and celery. Somehow some leeks became too woody for normal use, so this time, I included those as well. Just add water and boil down to about half of the quantity you started off with. I don’t  add salt or pepper. Pour the stock off using a pasta strainer or colander and freeze the stock for soup or stews later. What is  left are  the meat and vegetables. Mrs BYF has been fretting about how to make the best use of these stock ‘leftovers’ . The chickens were never impressed with them and composting after tossing out the meat and bones seemed criminal, so she decided to spend the time and make a rabbit pie. This was delicious, well worth the time picking meat off the bones!

Rabbit Pie
Off cuts of about 4 rabbits
4 Large carrots, chopped
6 Small leeks including leaves, washed well and sliced thinly
2 Small onions chopped
3 Large cloves of garlic, chopped
6 Medium field mushrooms, roughly chopped
3 Tablespoons flour
3 Cups rabbit stock, more if needed
1/2 Cup sherry
Salt and Pepper
100 g Butter for frying
100 g Butter for the sauce
6 Tablespoons of olive oil
Livers, hearts and kidneys of the rabbits (optional)

Cook the stock and strain. Freeze the stock or keep in the fridge for a few days. Pick as much meat off the bones as possible, keep separate. Dice the cooked carrots. Compost the rest.

In a big enough pot to hold all the pie filling, pour the olive oil.  Fry he onion, garlic and leeks over low heat until soft and translucent. Add the carrots. Meanwhile fry the mushrooms in some of the butter until almost cooked, add to the vegetables. Stir a few times and cook for a few minutes until heated through. At this stage I fried the livers, hearts and kidneys in a bit of butter and added them to the mix. I suppose you could use chicken livers, but this is optional. Add all the fine rabbit meat you picked from the bones. In another pan, melt about 150 g butter, add the flour and salt and pepper. This will make a paste or roux , cook for a minute without burning. Add the stock a little at a time, stirring fast, until you have a thick gravy. Add the sherry, and pour the gravy into the pie mix.  Mix well and heat through.

I made one pie big enough for 3 and 4 small individual pies. With the leftover pie filling I intend to make small hand pies.

We had a lot of very tasty pie filling from ingredients we used to throw out or give to the chickens! Zero waste is still our goal!