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, January 23, 2017

Freezers Full

Two porkers arrived back from the butcher on Friday morning. Two porkers, minus 2 legs and a side, as they are being cured for ham and bacon respectively.
Thank goodness they were much smaller than our previous pigs. Still, we had our work cut out (scuse the pun), transforming the meat into suitable sized portions.

Luckily, our friend Sophie was here to help.

She's been such a trooper, grating nutmeg as if there was no tomorrow, peeling pistachios, sausage guider and linker, de-boning, slicing chops and dicing for stewing meat....

This time I asked the butcher to mince the meat from two shoulders. I have a meat mincer on my Kenwood food processor, but for such a quantity it is much quicker if the butcher does it.

We made three types of sausage. A Belgian style bratwurst with white pepper, salt and NUTMEG ! A curried sausage and a mild chorizo (see mixture in photo above)

 Belgian braadworst (Bratwurst)

We have acquired a sausage stuffer (see red contraption in photo above). It can handle 3 liters of minced meat at a time and it does a fantastic job. Again, much better than my Kenwood version.

And here they are drying for a few hours. Allegedly, this helps to tighten the sausage and skin together. I believe it worked. We've had some for dinner the other night and they were absolutely stonkingly tasty and firm.

Wait ! I'm not done yet !

This is my sous vide cooker. And what's in there is this :

Our own homemade luncheon meat or mortadella-esque Bologna sausage, with pistachios, pink and green peppercorns. No artificial colouring or flavour enhancers added. Only good quality meat, herbs and spices and pistachios.
We stuffed these on Friday and left them to settle in the fridge till Saturday. Then they went in the sous vide cooker for 3 hours at 60°C. Very nice they are, but next time I'll probably use less salt than what was stated in the recipe.

With that out of the way, it is high time to get the chicken and duck run electrified. The ultrasonic sensors seem to have helped so far (touch wood), but I'll be more relaxed with extra precautions.

In between, I have been sorting through my craftroom too. Moving furniture and folding fabrics. Neatly. A long way to go still, but we'll get there in the end.

Have a lovely week.
Patricia xxx...x


  1. It all looks very tempting, you can see those sausages are good quality xx

    1. Thanks, Marlene.
      I didn't add any rusk or bread to the sausages (except for the curried ones). The chorizo and bratwurst are pure meat and spices. xxx...x

  2. In between???? How did you get any in between time. All that meat, the handmade sausages, the bologne...what meat craftsmen you are!!! FANTASTIC.
    You're going to have some terrific tasting eating out of all that

    1. Haha ! I didn't express myself clearly.
      In between other chores and coffee breaks and not on that particular Friday. :)
      I would really like to cure, dry and smoke meat myself in the future, but we need to figure out a good space for doing that. xxx...x

  3. Patricia you are certainly productive! wow amazing

    1. I have my moments, Sol. I have my moments. :) xxx...x

  4. oh, and how the hell do you get anything done with that view from your kitchen window

  5. Patricia, it's ages since we heard from you. Are you well? Bev


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