Tuesday, 10 March 2009

Beefing It Up

Our neighbour's son came round on Saturday selling beef as he had just slaughtered his cow (which had been pastured near Pika), so Bertie put our names down for 2 and a half kilos. It turned up yesterday morning for a bargain €20 and this morning I set myself to chopping and cutting and grounding before freezing - it was a long process! Thanks to mum who gave an experienced hand and had the bright idea of sharpening the knife on the stone wall!
In the end, I put about 700g in my little blender to try and make minced meat - not quite as good as a real mince machine would produce but it did the job! I have been searching for mince for weeks so it was lovely to be able to make a spaghetti bolognese at last (I also slipped in the red wine Evs brought me from the plane - delicious!).
I have frozen 1 kilo of chopped beef, which I shall no doubt put in a stew or casserole of some type, and I have frozen a steak of 350g for Bertie and I to enjoy one evening (with a glass of orange juice for maximum iron absorption!). I was feeling rather cheated as I surveyed the big bone that was included, until mum came up with the obvious suggestion of making beef stock and that is now boiling up with some veg and a bay leaf - umm, it smells lovely!
Following all this beefiness, I decided to have a look online for more info on this subject and I found this website of particular interest. Bertie has assured me our cow was definitely grass-fed (no grain-fed cows in Guadeloupe he said emphatically, and judging by all the cows randomnly grazing in fields along the side of the roads I can believe that!) and it was nice to find out how good for us that is! It is lower in fat and saturated fat and higher in Omega 3 fat and vitamin E - hurrah!
However, I was interested to note that as a result of it being less fatty, it is much easier to overcook, leaving you with dry food. I had noticed this in my bolognese, so I will have to pay more attention to the cooking process next time.
I have been reading about people who buy half or quarter of a cow straight from the farmer and I am musing on the possibility of doing this back home. You would need a mighty big freezer - and what happens if the power goes off for a long time... Oh yes, that only happens here in Guadeloupe!
Anyway, if you have any beef recipes that you would recommend, do let me know!


bachman said...

Sounds as though Mum has paid her way from her assistance rendered in this section!! I can appreciate the hard work. I have had to prepare the vegetables for the soup in your dear Ma's absence myself, and being a tall fellow it's a a back-breakibg, neck-cricking job, which cannot be done quickly or with shortcuts. However I do blend the softened veg in the pan instead of taking a bit out at a time to put into a small container which I think is what Mum and Evie do. So that saves some time, and energy.

Hevs said...

Yes i blend in the pan too - great invention the stick blender. Evs said over my shoulder (when i originally read your comment) that she does too.