Thanks, Kev! – With Marcella #166, #167, #168, #169, #170, #171 & #172 (of 466)

Here on our property at Razorback, NSW, we’ve raised some Charolais cattle. We’ve done this through times of green and, more recently, a year of drought. During that time, a few of our bovine family have ‘gone to Grandma and Grandpa’s’. Normally this means they’ve gone to greener pastures and some hand-mown grass clipping treats from Grandpa.

However, recently the drought has meant that even their greener pastures have been challenged. Kev (a Charolais-Wagyu cross) had a couple of good years up at the grandparent’s place. But then he proved not to be a very ‘effective’ bull. In lean times, an ineffective bull means it’s more effective for him to migrate to the freezer.

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A younger Kev (on the right) at my parent’s place, in greener times.

Tough. But true.

My parents have a kind butcher that came to the farm to assist Kev on that final journey in a non-traumatic way. He was then shared between the freezers of three households including ours.

While it can be somewhat unsettling to eat meat from one of your own cows, it is comforting to know that Kev lived a happy life that ended without trauma.

Marcella’s ‘Beef’ chapter proved helpful. The butcher declared that Kev was ‘pretty lean’ (because of the drought), so we didn’t end up with lots of ‘marbled meat’. But we figure it’s healthier that way….

The one beef recipe I remembered to take a photo of is seen below, along with a few others made from things other than beef. The other beef recipes mentioned at the end were equally delicious.

Each time we sit to eat a meal of beef, we toast Kev and give thanks for his life!

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Tuscan Meat Roll – with a view from Razorback Ridge of temporary greener pastures.

 

 

All caught up!: #166 ‘Beef Fillet with Red Wine’, #167 ‘Boiled Swiss Chard Salad’, #168 ‘Beef Roast with Braised Onions’, #169 ‘Tuscan Meat Roll with White Wine and Porcini Mushrooms’, #170 ‘Veal Scaloppine with Tomato, Oregano and Capers’, #171 ‘Sweet and Sour Tuna Steaks, Trapani Style’ and #172 ‘Fried Courgette Sauce with Garlic and Basil’ with the extended family and Kev at our table.

 

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The Art of Artichokes – With Marcella #162, #163, #164, #165 (of 466)

Artichokes. When not marinating in a jar, they look quite lovely (see the previous post). To eat them however, one must discard most of the lovely-looking bits until one is left with the beige-coloured heart. With a small sharp knife, and a cut lemon to rub the heart as you go, this isn’t too much of a chore.

While in season, we ordered some. We braised them with peas. We baked them, layered in a dish with potato and onion. They were worth the little bit of paring work involved.

Broad Beans. I’m not a huge fan of them, but Nick is. So we also ordered a bag of those during their brief season. Marcella’s ‘Roman Style’ recipe calls for simply sautéing them with some pancetta cubes. They were, of course, delicious.

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Broad Beans, Roman Style

Finally, Fennel. Simply braised in olive oil. Two ingredients. That’s it.

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Braised Fennel. Tasted more delicious than it looked.

Catching up: #162 ‘Braised Fennel with Olive Oil’, #163 ‘Broad Beans, Roman Style’, #164 ‘Gratin of Artichokes, Potatoes and Onions’, #165 ‘Braised Artichokes and Peas’ with the husband and I at our table.

49 Years of Marriage and 5 more recipes – With Marcella – #157, #158, #159, #160 & #161 (of 466)

On the 23rd August, last year, we celebrated my Mum and Dad’s 49th Wedding Anniversary. While they and my husband Nick, worked hard all day with fencing around the farm, I went shopping for a whole Barramundi fish and some seafood to stuff it with.

Marcella Hazan encourages you to ask your ‘obliging fishmonger’ to debone the whole fish for you – not just fillet it – but leaving it intact as a whole fish with a split down it’s belly. The young fishmonger I approached said he’d never done it, but was willing to give it a go. I reassured him that if it ended up as two fillets, that would be an acceptable substitute for the preferred method, according to Marcella. It took him half an hour, but he presented it to me with a flourish, as I exclaimed “That’s exactly how she describes it should be!” He was rightly very proud of himself.

I did the remaining work of stuffing and cooking the fish in the oven. It was certainly a fine dish worthy of a wedding anniversary.

 

A few weeks later, Nick and I enjoyed Marcella’s ‘Veal Scaloppine with Marsala’ with the allowed substitute of flattened chicken fillets.

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Veal Scaloppine with Marsala

Artichokes were on offer in September, in season, from our local providers of fresh fruit and vegetables. So I ordered a bunch and tried my hand at the ‘Artichokes, Roman Style’. A slightly fiddly process the first time I prepared the vegetable. It got easier as I tried a couple of other recipes (see the post to follow). I had only ever had marinated artichoke hearts from a jar before trying this recipe. The difference is quite remarkable!

 

To finish this post, one successful recipe that was required to make another not-so-successful recipe.

The ‘Mashed Potatoes Bolognese Style with Milk and Parmesan’ was delicious (based on the teaspoonful I ate before turning to the next recipe).

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Mashed Potatoes Bolognese Style, with Milk and Parmesan

Clearly I had made it a little two smooth and moist, as the croquettes I then attempted to make went a little slushy in the oil… They still tasted fantastic.

That’s five more recipes from the back-logged list. Another ten to come…

Still catching up: #157 ‘Baked Sea Bass/Whole Fish Stuffed with Shellfish’, #158 ‘Veal Scaloppine with Marsala’, #159 ‘Artichokes, Roman Style’, #160 ‘Mashed Potatoes Bolognese Style with Milk and Parmesan’ and #161 ‘Potato Croquettes with Crisp-Fried Noodles’ with assorted family members at my table.