There is something wonderful about eating a young lamb when you had cared for it since inception. I ensured it’s happy, carefree, grass fed existence. I clipped hooves, rotated paddocks, and kept it healthy (organically). It was killed humanely and butchered by a bona fide butcher.
Mrs BYF did justice to the lamb by roasting the joint to perfection.
Preheat the oven on the hottest setting, leave at this setting for 30 min before putting the meat in. 1 lamb forequarter – as much peeled garlic as you like – a few sprigs of fresh rosemary, olive oil, a few organic lemons and salt One hour before cooking, brush the joint with oil, put a bit of oil in the oven pan. Make holes all over and stick the garlic cloves down as far as possible. I find that keeping the knife in and twisting it slightly to create a small gap so one can slide the garlic down the blade stops the garlic from popping out. Break the Rosemary in to 2 cm pieces and stick them all over as well. Put the meat in the oven and leave the high setting for 10 minutes then turn the heat down to 180C for about 2 hours.
A dear friend gave us four abalones. We have not often cooked this before but we knew that we could not mess this up. Many videos were watched, shockingly some recipes included so many additives that one could replace the abalone with just about anything and not notice. Mrs BYF’s simple effort was absolutely delicious so here is the recipe:
Firstly, lock all the doors so no one can come in and share. Then tenderise the abalone by beating it with as mallet or, go the dramatic African way by tying it in a tea towel and smashing it repeatedly on the back step. Both ways worked beautifully.
Heat a large cast iron skillet
4 Abalones tenderised and sliced in 2cm thick slices
2 Cloves garlic chopped
Handful of parsley
No salt was needed, so don’t be tempted lest the abalone goes tough
Melt the butter in the hot pan and add the garlic, then the abalone. Stir the abalone turning it over a few times and fry for about 2 minutes. The result was lovely soft abalone that tasted of the sea. We like raw fish so if some of it was a bit underdone we were happy. We ate it sprinkled with parsley, on saffron rice and with a fresh salad from the garden.
We opened a bottle (or two) of wonderful Prosecco for the occasion. After lunch we had to have a nap.
Even though I am not a loyal KFC customer, I know lots of people who are (Obviously not close friends of mine). When I stumbled upon an Italian food site claiming to have “acquired” the famous KFC recipe (tongue in cheek off course from the Italians) and disclosed it all on their page, I was interested. I am often asked how to cook rabbit as I have AMPLE supplies in my freezer, my standard answer always is that you can cook it in any way you cook chicken. Having made the connection between chicken and rabbit and having the secret recipe at hand, I was determined to try some KFR (Kentucky Fried Rabbit) or DFR (Dunedin Fried Rabbit) in my mission to eat every one of these NZ PESTS!!!
It was my turn to cook Saturday lunch and I thought I may as well try my new adventurous recipe on Mrs BYF. Weighing out the ingredients to the closest gram and carefully following the intricate steps of the recipe, I had some food on the plates about two hours later and to my BIG SURPRISE it was very good (Some of my regular KFC munchers even seriously commented it to be better than the famous KFC!!!) Watch out Colonel here comes New Zealand!!
Cut the meat (Silverside, Topside or Rump) into strips of about 25 mm thick. Remove excess fat, but not all. Also clean meat up by removing connective tissue, lumps, glands and non solid pieces of meat.
Mix enough 25 : 75 :: Worcestershire Sauce : Brown Vinegar to quickly dip and rinse the meat in and then put in a flat container, layer by layer. Sprinkle Biltong Spice Mix to start with in the container, then follow with a layer of meat. Repeat until all the spice and meat has been used. Put in fridge for 12 hours, turn and put back in fridge for 12 hours.
Meat can be hanged as is, or washed with a 10% brown vinegar water solution (boiled and cooled) and then hanged. Make sure the hanging area is about 12 C and well ventilated.
Being creative in the kitchen is a lot of fun, especially if one can rely on the hunter who often brings lovely, fresh, organic rabbit. He hunts on properties where insecticides are not used, and the grass is not sprayed with hormones and other awful things. Mrs BYF has always loved chicken tikka saag, with saag in restaurants being mostly spinach, so she decided to re create the dish using a young rabbit and some tender stinging nettle tips. I do not normally enjoy Indian food, but this was delicious. What made it even more delicious is that the main ingredients were free. The rabbit was a gift and the nettles were picked by me in a friend’s vegetable garden!
1 rabbit cut up in pieces
1 cup blanched nettle tips, seeds included if they are still green
1/4 cup vegetable oil for frying
1 table spoon of flour (I know this is the hard one!)
1 medium onion finely chopped
1 teaspoon fresh ginger
1 small chili
1 teaspoon mustard seeds
4 cardamom pods, smashed
1 teaspoon coriander seeds ground
2 cloves garlic
2 teaspoons garam masala
1 cinnamon stick
1 tablespoon butter
1 cup of stock, I used home made quail stock
Heat the oil in a pot or pan big enough to hold all the rabbit pieces lying flat. Brown the rabbit well and remove from the pan. In the same pan, fry the onion until soft then add all the other ingredients except the nettles. Fry the spices until they release their aromas. Add the nettles, the rabbit and the stock, sprinkle the flour over the mix, stir until the rabbit is covered in sauce, cover the pan and cook on medium heat for about 1 hour (this depends on the age of the rabbit) until tender.
I served the dish with a cup of cooked basmati rice, tinted a lovely yellow by adding a teaspoonful of turmeric.
Mrs BYF has done well again and we washed it all down with some home made Elderberry Wine