Dawson Valley Free Range

Dawson Valley Free Range

Sunday, January 29, 2017

Pork Osso Bucco/Shanks

I know I go on about these cuts a bit on Facebook (on Lucy's Kitchen and Dawson Valley Free Range - but - they are yummy - and so few people will give them a go! I know it's hot weather and not really the kind of weather  for long cooking food, but.......either cook inside and eat outside or cook outside and eat inside. You can totally cook these in a BBQ!

Pork Shank - what is it? It's the leg of the pork, so we get 4 on every pig. Osso Bucco is the same cut, but it has been sliced into "chops".  Most people know them smoked as Bacon Hocks - we usually only smoke them during the winter months, but if you would like them at other times, please ask and I'll get the butcher to smoke some.

I will link to some recipes - on this blog and on my other blog and I'll post a few yummy photos. The main thing to remember is that you do need to kind of slow cook them for a bit, but at the end, whack the heat up and try and crisp up the rind - you are after a crispy rind (sometimes it can be a little chewy).  This makes a nice contrast, with the soft meat and crunchy rind. The recipes below can be used for either shanks or osso bucco - if cooking shanks, I usually cut the meat off to serve them - one shank should almost feed two people so you don't quite need 1 each. If cooking shanks, cook them on their side covered for a start, turning over after an hour, then towards the end when you increase the heat, stand them up - you have to lean them against each other, so that most of the find is facing up so that it will crisp better. If you still don't have crackling, you could try peeling off the rind and placing back in the oven for a bit.

Pork Shanks Braised in Master Stock (scroll down a bit on this link).

Sticky Pork Osso Bucco or Shanks (either work) (and sorry, I don't seem to have a photo! but they are delicious and a lot less effort than the above master stock ones.

In a 500ml jug, place the following:
100ml soy sauce/tamari
1 tablespoon each of:
coconut sugar
apple cider vinegar
chopped ginger
chopped garlic
then add:
1 star anise, 1 cinnamon stick, 1 tsp szechuan peppercorns, 2 whole cloves, 1 tsp each of cumin seeds, fennel seeds and coriander seeds.
and then top up to 500ml with water or bone broth

Pour over the shanks/osso bucco and bake in a moderately low oven for 1.5 hours then whack the heat up high and bake for another 1/2 hour. You may need to thicken the pan juices with a little arrowroot or cornflour.

Osso Bucco with tomatoes Photo below (Baked Pork Osso Bucco recipe on this link and you can substitute other vegetables if you like. The link also has another one with olives.

Place the veggies on the base of the pan.

Drizzle with oil and dot with Butter (Osso bucco has very little fat)

Honey Sesame Osso Bucco

1kg pork osso bucco
2 tablespoons sesame seeds, toasted
In a mortar and pestle, crush:
3 cloves garlic
1 inch piece of ginger
1 chilli
Then add half the toasted seeds and crush together. Add:
1/4 cup soy sauce/tamari
1 tablespoon each: fish sauce and sesame oil
2 tablespoons honey
1 cup rice wine.

Pour over the osso bucco and bake for 2 hours - turning the heat up for the last 1/2 hour.
You can also roast the shanks as a mini roast - simply rub the shank with some salt, preferably seasoned salt and sprinkle with some oil and place in the oven to roast for about two hours.

We will have both Pork Shanks and Pork Osso Bucco on special at the markets this weekend - $10/kg so please give it a go, I'm sure you won't be disappointed!

Wednesday, January 11, 2017

First post for 2017

Happy New Year to you all!!! Wow the two weeks off over Christmas went very fast! We've been back home now for nearly two weeks and have hardly stopped to draw breath! Mick has been great and worked over Christmas so that we could get away to Western Australia for a family (Kim's side) Christmas so we are eternally grateful to him. We've been here on our own for the first week, but Edmund and Maitland are back now so life is a fraction easier for me! Maitland is back from 14 months of travelling the world, so he will join the Dawson Valley Free Range team for a while (until he saves enough to clear out again!). Edmund is still around but once he's finished helping us with some pig development, I think he plans on doing some travel of his own. Mick will be back at work next week, thank goodness! We did get a little bit of rain while we were away, so it was nice to come back to some green grass, although around the pig paddocks it's pretty short.

Now the bad news......we have made the difficult decision to cancel the January markets. There are a few reasons for this and I shall endeavour to explain some of them.

1.  We have been really busy and would've had to take the animals to the butcher last week, and we really did not have the time to do it.

2.  We are still a little short on pigs - and there are a few reasons for this. We were hammered just before Christmas by our butchers wanting quite a lot of pigs. The two weeks off over the Christmas break did allow our grower pigs to grow a bit more, so that was good but now we really only just have enough to supply the butchers. But one of the main issues we have is that to ensure we have enough pigs for Christmas this year, we need to mate about 20-30 extra sows by March/April. So we need to keep some gilts now so that they are old enough to mate by then. To make things even more difficult, we really need to get rid of some older sows that are no longer producing and so we need to keep replacements for these! While we may buy some replacements in, we won't be able to afford to buy all we need, so will have to keep some of our own.

Butchers are our main source for sales. We make a lot better profit on the butcher pigs than we do on the market pigs, so while we enjoy going to the markets, if we look at it from a profitable standpoint, we need to look after our butchers first. And as I've said before, if we aren't profitable, we aren't able to stay in business! So I do apologise for the cancellation and believe me it hurts me as much as you.

I also think that we may only be able to do once per month until after April. I am hoping to have enough stock that if you want to stock up on meat you should be able to.

We greatly appreciate your support and your patience with our inability to supply the demand that we have.

Markets will be on the first weekend of the month, so that means 4th and 5th of February for the first one.

We will have Beef, Goat and all the Pork products (ham, bacon, fresh pork). 

Future beef - a bit more grass on the cattle country.

Please feel free to send me any special requests that you would like. We don't always do all cuts that are listed on our Pricelist Page so if you don't want to miss out, just let me know what you want. While saying that you can make special requests, I also need to remind customers that it's not easy for me to pack large orders. You can send me a list and I will try and put it together while I'm at the Yeppoon Markets or early Sunday morning at the Rocky Markets. I just can't guarantee that I'll have the time to do it.

We will be visiting Gladstone and I'm not exactly sure which day yet that I'll do it, so Gladstone people please let me know if you want meat and I'll make sure I confirm closer to the day. It will most likely be Saturday afternoon but if I can convince Kim to have a day off on the Friday we might do it Friday afternoon.

I am really looking forward to catching up with everyone and can't wait to get some local fruit and veggies for myself!

And I just thought I'd share a photo of my family - we're all dressed up in our glad rags for Kim's mothers 90th birthday on Boxing Day. It was a pretty special time to have all my kids together!