About My Country Kitchen
Thanks for stopping by our Farmer Owned Online Butchery
My name is Sara and my family lives on a farm "RippleVale" Birregurra, Victoria. The heartland of the bountiful regional food hub of the Western District!
My husband Justin & I are the proud owners of the iconic local bespoke Butchery & Produce store, MidWest Meats.
I created the MWM Online Country Produce Pantry Online Butchery in 2014 to promote locally farmed "paddock to plate" ethically farmed produce.
The produce we sell is produced by my family, my neighbours and reputable farmers in and around the district. We have a 100km localism ethos when sourcing produce, that keeps the food in the Country Produce Pantry local, fresh and community based.
I have been working in the Meat Industry owning and operating Bespoke Butcheries with my husband Justin, since I completed my studies at Orange Agricultural College back in the "hay" day. Studies which I furthered at Sydney University, and then Queensland University!
My areas of expertise is quite simply FOOD! Farming and sourcing ethically farmed foods, butchering, preparing & cooking seasonal produce.
My passion is enjoying quality ingredients with family and friends and knowing others are doing the same.
"I believe everyone can afford fresh wholesome food, and the more people that value local food source, the more affordable it will become."
It is becoming more apparent that as a community, we need to respect and understand food source. Once we understand where and how our food is grown, we have a greater ability to prepare amazing wholesome and delicious meals for family and friends.
Please join our community by signing up to our E~Newsletter it has tips, tricks & heaps of savings to make your country produce taste even better!
Follow my simple HOW TO steps and you'll be a Pork Crackle Star!
My cooking method is also suitable for our wonderful Rack Of Pork!
Support local Aussie Pork farmers and your LOCAL Butcher when purchasing your Pork Roasts!
As you are using a Loin OR Rack of Pork prepared by our artisan Butchers, it is already prepared, rolled and scored and ready for you to roast.
Using a 2KG Boneless Loin Of Pork:
1 Preheat your oven to 220°,
2 Make sure pork rind is dry, then rub pork with a mix of oil, salt & plain flour (I prepare a paste in a little dish before applying),
3 Place pork on a rack in a large, well greased baking dish,
4 Cook for 30 minutes until a great level of crackle is achieved,
5 Reduce heat to 180° and cook pork for a further 45 minutes or (30 minutes Rack of Pork),
6 Stand for 10 minutes,
7 Remove string & carve!
We enjoy this cut of meat for any occasion, but it is especially fantastic for a Christmas Table. A 2kg Boneless Rolled Loin of pork will feed 6 people.
Roasting normally reduces end weight of the meat on average by about 20%. Always take this into consideration when buying meats for roasting. Alternatively, ask your friendly Butcher to calculate the weight and cooking time for your meat.
When resting your roast make sure you transfer to a warm plate!
Check out this product In Store, or in the Pork Section of our Butcher Shop “The Country Produce Pantry”!
To accompany your delicious roast pork, try my super quick and easy Christmas Pear and Cranberry Relish recipe.
It doesn't have to be a festive Roast, we enjoy a Rolled Loin of Pork all year.
Cook, Eat & Enjoy
Who doesn't love braised Lamb Shoulder?
A wonderful cut of meat at it's best when slow-cooked.
I love cooking with my own produce and creating a new family favourite.
If you prefer a more traditional braised Lamb, the recipe works perfectly by seasoning with sea salt and white pepper, add a few fresh herbs such as rosemary and thyme. You can refer to my Traditional Lamb Shoulder Recipe or follow the method below.
I wanted to create a simple recipe that elevated flavours and put a twist on the traditional recipe. My Braised Coconut Lamb Shoulder incorporates delicate Indian Spice flavours. You can create your own spice mix, however Screaming Seeds, a local Geelong family company have created the perfect blend with the Butter Chicken Spice Blend. For those of you that love a bit more heat, add a fresh red birds eye chilli or two. I prefer to let the Lamb shine with a hint of curry which is why I've chosen this spice blend. It marries perfectly with coconut and does not overpower the lamb.
With Winter on its way, this dish will compliment any family dinner or get together.
This recipe is best started the day prior to cooking. This recipe will take 3.5 hours to cook in a slow oven.
A Bone In Lamb Shoulder you will give the perfect flavour and texture. A good trick when braising Lamb Shoulder Bone In, is to check your lamb and when the bone is visible and coming away from the meat, the the lamb is well on its way to perfection. I start checking after about 2 hours and also use this time to give the meat a quick baste with pan juices. You can take the lamb further by cooking longer if you like a shredded texture. We prefer our lamb tender, juicy and just holding together. I find if you take the lamb to a shredded texture it can become stringy and dry.
Lamb Shoulder Bone Visible
1 large Onion
400g Tin Diced Tomatos
1/2 Cup Coconut Milk
Few sprigs of Fresh Rosemary
Fresh Curry Leaves
2 Fresh Bay Leaves
Salt & Pepper
Option: Fresh Chilli
You can use a roasting pan with a double foil cover, or a good heavy-based casserole pot. If using a heavy based pot it is always a good idea to also pop a foil cover underneath the lid.
Heat oven to 160°C
- Fresh Shoulder Of Lamb ~ use 2 tablespoons of the Butcher Curry Spice Blend as a rub to fully coat the lamb.
- Place it back in its freezer bag or a container, and let marinade over night in the fridge.
- Shoulder Of Lamb ~ Brown & Render the Lamb on the stop top in your pan.
- Push the lamb to the side of the pan and create a bed of Onion, fresh chopped chilli, tomato and fresh herbs in the pan
- Place the lamb on top of the bed of fresh ingredients and toss some salt and pepper on top of the lamb
- Place the foil on your pan
- Place in oven for 2.5 hours
- Remove from oven and carefully remove foil as there will be a lot of steam
- Check that the bone has come away from the lamb
- Stir in coconut milk and baste the lamb
- Cook for 1 more hour basting every 15 minutes
- Check that the bones have surfaced from the lamb meat and use two forks to gently see if the lamb is soft and tender. If not cook another 1/2 hour.
Brown & Render Lamb
Add Coconut Milk to Pan & Season Lamb
- Shoulder and leg are both great cuts of lamb for this slow-cooked method.
- If the bone has not come away from the meat after 2.5 hours you should check that the seal on your pot is secure.
- Let the lamb shoulder rest covered with a lid or foil so it does not steam dry.
- It would be extremely difficult to overcook this dish, but very easy to undercook, so don't be in a hurry.
- Strain the juices from the pan after the lamb is cooked and reduce down on the stovetop to use as a sauce.
Enjoy your cooking
Why Brine? Because science tells us it's the way to go!
When we talk about Brine, we are most often referring to Turkey. Turkey is fickle poultry to cook, often dry when served. Yet, most of us go to Turkey town during Christmas festivities. Our friends in the US are crazy about this meal at Thanksgiving and probably have the "heads up" on Turkey preparation.
Brining is the process prior to cooking. Brining is a great way to keep your Turkey perishable before the big day, as it also acts as a preserving agent. It is a great way to ensure your meat has a better chance of being served succulent.
Turkey is a relatively lean bird, and the breast-to-leg ratio isn't ideal (i.e., by the time the dark meat is cooked through, the breast meat may have overcooked).
Brine & Pickling liquids are one and the same. Artisan Butchers such as our team, still use the traditional techniques of brining for many of our produce. Adding "sugar & spice" to our Brines to make it our own.
My favourite meats to work with brining are;
Some Pork cuts
Fatter birds such as goose and duck are best glazed not brined.
Brining involves bathing ingredients in the salted liquid. On a microscopic scale, muscle fibres in the meat absorb water through some combination of capillary action and diffusion. As meat cooks, the proteins denature and contract, squeezing water out of the muscle.
No matter how waterlogged the turkey is when it goes into the oven, it’ll emerge dry as can be—unless it’s been properly salted. Why? Because salt dissolves proteins in the meat to form a gel. The salt ions cause the fibrils within the muscles to repel one another, expanding into an open lattice. This new structure holds water much better and doesn’t contract in the same way when it is heated.
The result is moist, tender, flavorful meat.
Common Brines, it's EASY don't stop reading
DRY BRINE ~ Instead of immersing the turkey in a bath of salted water, the dry-brine disciple smothers their bird in salt alone.
BUTTERMILK BRINE ~ Immerse the turkey in a bath of fresh buttermilk
SALT BRINE ~ Add aromatics to give your salt brine flavour and added flavour dimension when brining your Turkey overnight.
How To Dry-Brine
Two days before Turkey Day, pat the bird dry. (If it’s frozen, give it an extra couple of days to thaw in the fridge first.) Remove the giblets, neck, and any other oddments from the cavity, and set up a clean workstation to salt your bird.
Salt the bird on all sides and inside the cavity. Remember, you’re salting the entire bird, not just the surface, so season liberally. To allow air to circulate around the bird, which will lead to crisper skin, place the turkey on a wire rack set in a sheet tray, and place uncovered in the refrigerator. Cover loosely with plastic wrap if salting more than two days in advance.
1 to 2 hours before you plan to roast the turkey, take it out of the fridge to bring it up to room temperature.
How To Buttermilk Brine
Prepare the Brine.
RECIPE FOR 4KG TURKEY 2 litres Buttermilk, 1 tablespoon of salt & 2 teaspoons of white pepper.
You can add extra aromatics to the mix such as fresh thyme, mustard and fennel seeds and even garlic.
Two days before Turkey Day, pat the bird dry. (If it’s frozen, give it an extra couple of days to thaw in the fridge first.) Remove the giblets, neck, and any other oddments from the cavity, and set up a clean workstation to prepare your bird.
Combine buttermilk, salt, and pepper in a large resealable plastic bag, large deep dish, preserving pan or clean bucket. Add chicken | Turkey and chill for at least 4 hours or overnight. Drain before using.
How to Salt Brine
Prepare the Brine at least one day prior to adding Turkey, you will require a tub, stock pot or large container. I use one large stock pot for the whole process, just make sure it fits in the fridge.
RECIPE FOR 4KG TURKEY In a stock pot (28 cups) water, 1 1/2 cups coarse salt, 6 bay leaves, 1 tablespoon dried juniper berries, 2 tablespoons whole black peppercorns, 2 medium onions sliced. Simmer for 10 minutes and allow to cool.
You can add extra aromatics to the mix such as fresh thyme, mustard and fennel seeds and even garlic.
One day before Turkey Day, pat the bird dry. (If it’s frozen, give it an extra couple of days to thaw in the fridge first.) Remove the giblets, neck, and any other oddments from the cavity, and set up a clean workstation to prepare your bird.
Submerge the bird for 24 hours, make sure it is submerged or flip it halfway through.
Remove turkey from brine one hour before you're ready to roast it, and pat it dry inside and out.
Let me be very clear. I have not used a Brine Bag. I have a big Coolroom on the farm so don't face the challenges of keeping large Turkeys refrigerated.
I often recommend to customers that are space challenged, to use an iced-up esky, that way the fridge remains in action when Turkey or Whole Ham arrives.
However, Brine Bags are a great solution for Chicken and Turkey. Whilst I prefer a stock pot, this method does have its advantages.
Using a large stockpot covered with plastic wrap is a common method for brining a turkey, but using a bag offers at least one improvement: "Brining in a bag enables you to ensure the turkey is fully submerged and that the brine reaches every part of the turkey," says chef Waldy Malouf, senior director of food and beverage operations at The Culinary Institute of America. A bag also makes it easier to keep your turkey fully covered in brine during its soaking time, he says: "Halfway through the brining process, roll the turkey over in the bag to mix up the liquid a bit and make sure it's fully submerged."
Where to buy a Brine Bag? That my friends is something you'll have to tell me!
My Christmas Hamper Produce selection is available in-store & online for Home Delivery VIC Wide whilst stocks last.
CREDIT: JOHN KERNICK
I have created this wonderful recipe showcasing our artisan Ham Hocks
We cure and smoke delicious ham hocks in our little Country Butcher Shop seasonally just for you!
Using traditional curing methods highlighting hickory with a double smoke cook, we produce a beautiful range of bacon products, such as Bacon, Ham Hocks & Bacon Chops.
Using local grass-fed pigs that are RSPCA approved, our artisan butchers produce a Ham Hock that is not only wonderful for soups and stocks, you can only make it the delicious hero of your dish as featured in my recipe.
Celebrate Bacon Week with us and help reduce imported pigs from causing havoc with our local farming industry.
Embrace Aussie Made Pork, by getting MWM's bacon on your fork. We only stock 100% Australian farmed meats and poultry.
You wil find our wonderful range of artisan house smoked products in our SMALLGOODS section of the online store or just ask in store.
I have also used a raw non smoked Ham Hock for this recipe, if you would like a Ham Hock that has not been smoked "Just Ask", we are bespoke butchers and can cater to all requirements. If purchasing online, simply put your requirements in the Special Requirements Box at check out and BOOM it will happen!
2 Pork Forequarter Ham Hocks
4 tblsp Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 cloves garlic finely chopped
2 tbsp fresh rosemary leaves
1 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tblsp mustard powder
1 tsp salt
cracked black pepper
2 onions diced
2 stalks celery finely chopped
2 carrots finely chopped
2 bay leaves
500mL dark ale or apple cider
400mL chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup apple sauce/purée
Preheat oven to 220°C.
Score the pork hock rind into 3 sections across the width of the hock with a sharp Stanley knife or simply ask your MWM Butcher to preform this task for you.
Blend the oil, garlic, herbs, mustard, salt and pepper together to form a paste,
Rub each hock generously with the paste.
Place the prepared vegetables and hocks into an oven proof baking dish.
Pour the ale or cider, and the stock over pork in the baking dish.
Place the baking dish into the pre-heated oven for 20 minutes, then reduce the oven temperature to 160°C for 4.5 hours. If the liquid needs topping up, use a little water when necessary.
Serve crsipy roasted German style pork hock with apple sauce and seeded mustard on a platter for a "Family Style" meal with seasonal vegetables & mash potato.
When I refer to "family style" meals, I am simply referring to meals that you can put on platters and share around the table. This is a wonderful way to enhance time spent with family.
Enjoy & STAY SAFE