Saturday, April 25, 2009

Shepherds' Lunch

Since we've been sheep and goat farmers we've stopped buying meat. We used to swap lamb for beef with a local farmer, but these days we don't even do that. We know our animals graze on grass, that we don't overstock and that they live good lives. They have the run of several large paddocks - and sometimes, as in the case of the lost goats, they range far and wide.

The main reason we keep animals is weed control. Goats relish the weed species we have here - blackberry and sycamore especially. And thanks to the sheep we have no ragwort.

When the time comes we kill them ourselves as quickly and humanely as possible. We do our own butchering too. I can't say I love that part, but if we're going to eat meat at least we shouldn't be in denial about it.

Today for lunch I made a shepherd's pie, using minced goat meat and our own potatoes.

I think the secret is in long slow cooking of the mince. Yesterday I chopped an onion and some garlic into a splash of olive oil, and then added the meat, a handful of chopped herbs, some water and a dollop each of Worcestershire sauce and tomato sauce. I thickened it with a little flour and then simmered it for hours. This morning I mashed some potato and spread it on top and cooked it some more. Deelicious!

Add some share farmers, some guests who'd travelled an hour to be with us, sunny autumn weather after a day of rain, and you have the recipe for a perfect shepherds' lunch.

1 comment:

  1. Henry Higgins exclaimed to Eliza Dolittle: 'By George you've got it'. And you have too, Writerbee. It was a perfect lunch; and your post caught it. And the recipe's a delicious bonus. xx