With terrible timing, this week we have, as well as catching up on all the digging, and sowing and starting the planting out, been butchering a mutton. Well, that was Wednesday – and no we would not have planned it had we known it would turn hot – but I distinctly remember the news stating the cold weather would continue until June – and it was definitely cold last week!
Still, fortunately our house is cave like and perma cold, and even a big sheep carcass is a relatively fast job to butcher – we kept everything we were not working on in the freezers chilling down as we went.
And one 43 kilo mutton wether makes:
10 roasting joints – that is 4 legs, 2 chumps, 2 loins and 2 racks.
2 shanks and 2 shins
6.5 kilos of lean cubed mutton shoulder
4 kilos of minced mutton – which was made into over 100 small burgers
the liver, kidneys and heart (the lights I gave to a friend for his dog)
and a big vat of stock and meat which will one day become scotch broth/stew
We did the mincing and burger making the next day, having let the trimmed meat chill down to almost frozen, and worked in the cooler evening, yes once again making burgers at midnight!
I’m glad we live in a detached house, as the drone of the faithful old 1960s kenwood chef mincer, a good old workhorse plodding its way through the mountain of mutton might have annoyed the neighbours.
I am, as always, sad to see one of the sheep go, but it was always going to be so, and I do firmly believe in what we are doing, particularly when it comes to grass fed animals. I also believe in nose to tail eating, but do make the allowance for not blocking my arteries with the fat, so excess lard is removed. We have previously made soap from mutton fat, but pig lard soap is much much better. And both better than palm oil!
So it’s been long days of digging and sheep rounding up and trailer backing and butchery and seed sowing and planting and more digging and late evenings of mincing and burger making. We are trying, to get that balance right and throw in some fun too – like our breakfast BBQs
This morning though, as it rained, we slept in.. a lovely long lie in. Accompanied by the sound of summer rain. The day brightened, the digging was finally finished, plants going in, the sun came out and we cooked over charcoal again for tea, before more planting.
Nine pm, and I have finished watering and it might be time to rediscover what the living room looks like.. as it has been a while.