Friday 26 August 2011

Killer of a Day

So this is a bit late but we did a kill on Monday and Tuesday this week. A butcher isn’t exactly close at hand out here, although some places do buy their beef, where I am however sticks to the old fashioned way of getting our beef. That means a steer or cow is carefully selected for our consumption (basically, not being good enough to sell is the only requirement). Then one evening, the selected beast meets an untimely demise. This usually coincides with the meat house being cleaned from top to bottom and the freezer being cleaned out.

Meat houses are a feature of a lot of rural/remote properties

 It is then skinned and cut into quarters to be hung overnight outside the meat house. Drawn and quartered in reverse order really.

The following morning we excitedly get into the work of cutting up and bagging the beast for freezing.

The work has just begun.

Breakfast tradition says that the brains, liver and skirt are on the menu. Well for those with any brains it is just the skirt … offal, eww! We dig in like it is our last supper as we have usually been without, or at least skimping on, beef for quite some time. Cutting up, salting meat for corned beef and mincing meat for mince and sausages keeps everyone occupied for most of the day. You are certainly over the sight of beef after spending a day playing with it so chicken, well anything that isn’t beef, is on the menu for dinner.

Almost everything is used.
The tail for ox tail stew, the heart is stuffed (or fed to the dogs if we have any say),
 liver, brains and kidney are all cooked up and anything left over is mince meat.

Me, well I usually run back and forwards like a headless chook between the schoolroom and the meat house, getting kids on air for lessons while helping to bag up meat. Not much in the way of school gets done but I try to get them to the lessons with their teachers during the day, we can catch the rest up another time. The kids love making the sausages. I think they might even have the tying process nearly perfected, three sausages per group, all twisted together.

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