La Chatte Gitane (or The Gypsy Cat) was the name we chose for our cottage in France. We chose it while on the road, moving home, from Ireland to France with 2 dogs and 7 cats in the car.
This blog began its insignificant life as a recipe book for friends and family who would ask me repeatedly for a recipe of this, that and the other.
Since then it has taken many different directions, like gypsies tend to do. Sometimes making a U-turn and revisiting familiar roads and taking a break when necessary.
You'll find recipes here, but also musings about the places we've called home, the gardens that we've established, not always successfully, the homes we've improved and the environments we've lived in. Currently, that is back in Ireland.

Monday, November 30, 2015

A Lamb for the Freezer

Yep ! You know what's coming. Vegetarians, vegans look away now.

You've still got time.

This is the third year that we buy a lamb from a friend of ours.  We order it in springtime and it is ready end of November. It is very good value, I find, 100 euro (slaughter and cut, included).
But, I've learnt my lesson. I don't want 200 (slightly exaggerated ) chops. I want legs, shoulder for stew or curry, minced lamb for kofte, a loin roast, some ribs and 16, yes, only sixteen cutlets. 
So, this year I asked for the lamb to be just halved. Isn't it strange that 'people' just assume Bert (the husband) is going to cut up the lamb ? Erm ... that will be me. Bert will be hiding out in his office, babysitting the dogs.


It can be daunting to start. But if you have experience in cooking meat that goes beyond a steak or a chop you should know which part of the animal is what. If you don't, the internet is full of good info on this.




 Leg, shoulder and belly

 Cutlets, loin roast and tenderloin (tenderloin is suitable for meat skewers)

The ribs

 I boned the shoulder and cut into cubes for stews. The legs will be roasted and the shanks, yumm, I'm sure I'll find a good recipe for these.

The meat that wasn't too cleanly cut or cubed, plus the belly, got minced.

I cooked the bones in a large pot of water. The 'nice' meat that came off is for shepherd's pie. The not so nice meat was for the dogs. They also got a bit of the stock, but most of it is now in the freezer to add to stews, soups or gravy.

The piggies will leave us this Tuesday, but I promise not to post any butchering on this blog, unless there is a huge demand.

I am now about to take the Christmas decorations out from under the stairs and see if I can make this place feel festive in some ways.
When will you put up the decorations ?
Patricia xxx...x

8 comments:

  1. I was brave I read and looked right til the end ;-)

    I usually put our Christmas decorations up in time for our wedding anniversary which is on the 4th. Not many but a nice display on the mantlepiece and tinsel draped round the place a bit. At night with the log burner and candles lit as well it's festive enough for us. And ours are in the cupboard under the stairs too, in the deep dark recesses of the second bend.

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    1. You are now officially 'braver than I' :-D

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  2. dat is specialisten werk goed gedaan ziet er ook lekker uit!!

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    1. Thanks Ma ! Made some koftas yesterday and they were so good.

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  3. No, you are correct it is not a sight for veggies or demi veggies to which category I belong, for just occasionally I eat meat when my body asks me. I saw nothing more than what can be seen on a butchers counter :)
    This time of the year I enjoy the stews, the roasted garlic, the dumplings and best of all the marzipan sweets. To sit in candlelight next to the stove with a glass and a pipe that is my winter and roll on the deep dark of Winter Solstice!

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    1. It is true. It's nothing more than what one can see at the butcher's. I respect my veggie readers, hence the warning.
      We (that is husband and I) are omnivorous but we (that is mainly I) like to be involved into rearing our own meat, if at all possible. I used to help my parents with the cull of chickens and ducks and later on did my own. Not anymore because I am not the brave young person I used to be.
      Why haven't I had marzipan yet this year ? Hm...thanks for reminding me. :-)

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  4. I am vege but I enjoyed this post ;). I do cook meat for my family and am slowly learning the different cuts of meat and what to do with them. I am told they taste good but it is odd to cook something I will never eat!

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    1. That must be quite difficult for you. I hope they are very grateful to you for doing this but also enjoy a substantial veggie meal too from time to time.
      If I were given the choice of only eating meat OR veg for the rest of my life, I would choose the veg option.

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