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Goat Stew

Recently I spotted some goat chops at the local health food store. Goat is a hearty flavour rich meat that lends itself beautifully to stewing. It was organic, and at the right price for me to imagine a rich hot dinner full of gorgeous gamey meat. This is my goat stew adventure.

[ Serves: 6  |  TIME: 3+ hours  |  COST: $18  ]
[  Joe’S RATING:  4  / 5  |  MY RATING: 4.5  / 5 ]

Ingredients

500 grams organic goat chops
2 potatoes, diced
2 sticks celery, chopped
1 cup red wine
1 tin chopped roma tomatoes
1 litre vegetable stock
1 onion, diced
1 carrot, diced
2 tablespoons  parsley, shredded
2 tablespoons garlic, minced
1 tablespoon basil, shredded
4 – 6 bay leaves
splash oil
salt and pepper to taste

Method

  1. In a hot sauté pan, add a little oil and saute the onion. Add the garlic, celery, carrot and herbs. Fry until tender and fragrant.
  2. Add the goat chops and fry until browned. Top stop the vegetables scorching, either remove them from the pan or place them on top of the chops.
  3. Once the chops are semi cooked, deglaze the pan with some wine. Add a tin of tomatoes, potatoes and bay leaves. Add enough stock to ensure everything is covered and braise on a low heat with the lid on for 3 or more hours. Check the pot ever 15 minutes to ensure there is enough liquid covering the ingredients. Stir frequently and top up with stock when needed.
  4. When the meat is tender and the sauce is rich and well infused with flavour, remove the lid and allow the sauce to thicken.
  5. Remove the bay leaves before serving it hot on a bed of polenta, pasta or with hot crusty bread.

Observations

  • I adore meats that have been braised in a stew over a long period of time. There is nothing like the fall off the bone type hearty meat of a stew. Adjust your cooking time to suit your taste. If you require a firmer meat, shorten your cooking time, or length it for tougher cuts.
  • You could serve this with hot crusty breads, polenta, rice, pasta or just on its own! It is so versatile.
  • Notice how my vegetables haven’t fallen apart to mush even though this was cooked for almost 4 hours? Well, that is because I cooked it at a low heat. The trick here is longer cooking times over a lower temperature and careful stirring during fluid checks. A gentle, loving and patient hand will produce better results here.
  • Diabetic Note: What is not to love about this dish? It ticks all my diabetic boxes and my blood glucose levels were fine following this meal (and lunch the next day!!)
  • Ethical Note: I am almost certain that this is farmed goat, but some markets source wild goat that was culled as pest management. Where possible, I would choose the latter. It generally has a gamier flavour and is a wonderful choice for the environment. If you use wild bush meats, ensure that you cook it very well to kill off any parasite eggs and routinely worm your family ever six months.
 

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Pork with Plum Sauce – Gourmet Garden Blogoff

Hmmm, pork. So tasty… And do you know what’s better than pork? Organic free ranged pork! The other day at the farmers markets I bought a lovely piece of collar butt pork from Sunforest Organic Meats. We grabbed some local organic veggies for steaming and Joe suggested the most delightful accompaniments to jazz up an otherwise ordinary meal; Chilli Plum Sauce and Garlic Butter. Welcome to heaven!

Organic grilled pork with plum sauce, steamed vegetables and garlic butter.

[  SERVES: 8  |  TIME: 10 MIN  |  COST: <$4  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 3.5 / 5  |  MY RATING: 4 / 5 ]

Ingredients – Plum Sauce

375 g plum jam
1 teaspoon Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic Paste
½ teaspoon Gourmet Garden Hot Chilli Paste
½ teaspoon Gourmet Garden Ginger Paste

Method – Plum Sauce

  1. Place all the ingredients in a saucepan and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat and summer until reduced to a desired consistency.
  2. Serve hot but note that the sauce will solidify upon sitting.

Hmm, sauce. Sweet, sticky, silky, spicy sauce!

[  SERVES: 2 – 4  |  TIME: 2 MIN  |  COST: <$2  ]
[  JOES’ RATING: 4 / 5  |  MY RATING: 4 / 5 ]

Ingredients – Garlic Butter

1 – 2 tablespoons softened butter
1 teaspoon  Gourmet Garden Chunky Garlic Paste
1 teaspoon shredded parsley
freshly ground pepper to taste

Method – Garlic Butter

  1. In a small bowl or container, mash all the ingredients together.
  2. Place a dollop on hot steamed vegetables to add a special something.

Observations

  • Oh yum! This pork and the plum sauce was a marriage made in heaven. In fact, I am pretty sure this plum sauce just became a favourite sauce for our family. These quick, cheap and easy condiments will make any meal taste heavenly. It doesn’t take much to jazz up a normal family meal. Just imagination!
  • The plum sauce will thicken on sitting, but a little heat will see it back to its delicious silky sweet liquid form! It can be stored in the fridge for several days in an air tight container until needed.
  • Garlic butter is pretty much made of winning and can be used in everything from vegetables to bread. You can store any left over garlic butter in an air tight container in the fridge for a few days or so.
  • Diabetic Note: hahahaha…… oh right. yes. Ummm…. Diabetics… I hate to break it to you but… jam = bad. (I know! Here, share my tissues *sob*) There is SO much sugar in the jam that it’s probably best reserved for special dinners. And used sparingly. (I am sure licking the plate clean of any sweet sticky goodness wont add any additional calories…). The butter isn’t good for you either, but its tasty! Again, sparingly. (I know, I know, I’m the fun police!)
  • Ethical Note: If we all switched from beef to more sustainable meats such as pork and poultry, most of our climate change issues would almost disappear. Every small change we make as individuals affects the world we live in, for the good and bad. Make a commitment to switch one meal a week to an organic option, and give the earth that sustains us a bit of a break. One meal, one step, one earth.

Dinner was so awesome that everyone wanted their fair share.

 
2 Comments

Posted by on May 16, 2012 in Food: Ethical Eating

 

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Byron Bay Farmers Markets

Today Joe and I had the good fortune to venture to Byron Bay Organic Farmers Markets. Usually, we visit our local farmers markets, but we had heard that the ones at Byron was something special, and as it’s a neighbouring town, it’s not too far out of our way. And let me tell you, I am so glad we did make the trip! Yes, it was a little expensive compared to our regular markets, but wow! So much goodness in one place is well worth it. This is our grocery bag. You be the judge and see if you could call the price of our haul.

We got:

  • 500 grams free ranged pork loin chops from Sunforest Farms
  • 500 grams free ranged pork collar steak from Sunforest Farms
  • 280 grams goats cheese – lemon merthyl flavoured from Nimbin Valley Dairy
  • pepper pecorino from Bangalow Cheeses
  • 300 grams tempeh with fava beans and wakame from Byron Bay Tempeh
  • 500 grams brown rice from Nimbin Valley Rice
  • 3 large squash
  • 5 baby corn
  • 300 grams cherry tomatoes
  • 500 grams shiitake mushrooms
  • 250 grams Dutch cream mushrooms
  • 4 passionfruit
  • 2 punnets of blueberries
  • 1 dragon fruit
  • 1 star fruit
  • 5 bananas
  • 5 bunches Bok choy
  • 1 kilo Kipper potatoes
  • 3 large zucchini
  • punnet lettuce seedlings (not pictured)
  • punnet broad bean seedlings (not pictured)
  • punnet bok choy seedlings (not pictured)

Pinny is a local favourite with her produce, jams and preserves. She does can be found at both Ballina (Sunday am) and Byron Bay (Thursday am) Farmers Markets.

How much do you think this would have cost us? Go on, have a guess!  (Please put your guess in the comments section – I am actually interested in what you guessed!) This little bag of goodies cost $80. When assessing the value of these goods, there are a few things to bare in mind:

  • All of these products are fresh. They haven’t been bought in bulk, shipped to a distribution centre, spent a few months in cold storage and then put into retail outlets for the consumers. They were hand-picked within the last day or so.
  • All of these items are locally made. Purchasing these items supported the local economy, and supports local enterprise.
  • All of these items are organic. The carbon footprint of these products will be dramatically lower when compared to commercially produced alternatives. Additionally, organic farming practices are much more sustainable when compared to the alternative.

For most people (us included) this is not a weekly shop. We just couldn’t afford it on a weekly basis, but once a month, for one shop, it is definitely a more sustainable (and economically possible) option. For our family, the price / ethical trade-off is an acceptable justification. Remember what I said recently about you having an incredible weapon each time you shop? The choice is ultimately yours, and  a commitment to just one more ethical shop a month or switching to one organic brand per month is a huge step. So what are you waiting for? Find your local farmers markets, and check it out. You never know… you just might be surprised!

Ballina Farmers Markets (pictured) operate on a Sunday morning, from dawn to 10am.

 
14 Comments

Posted by on April 11, 2012 in Env: Food Related, Env: Sustainability

 

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