RSS

Tag Archives: beef

Just like Animals….

IMG_4581

DRC and I were married over 27 years ago and when we ended up in suburbia the second time… we had nested long enough to want a dog. We got our first Golden Retriever, Brooklyn, from the Calgary SPCA.  She was a year and a half old.

When you become a dog owner, your life changes. Not to compare it to children, but it does take out some of the selfishness in your life. You always have to think about a pet. There is always a responsibility.  We bought our first dog a new vehicle.P1030339

It sounds worse than it was.  We had a sedan and a big flannel sheet (wrong sheet for dog hair btw) and so within a few weeks (and a lot of dog barfing and dog hair) we traded it in for the first SUV and a large metal divider to keep the dog and her hair in the back.  Or so you think.  Dog can be contained… blowing hair…not so much.

P1020721We also bought a leash that cost more than the dog. After 18 years, the leash still works like a charm… they don’t make them good like that anymore… $55 for an SPCA dog in 1997 and $60 for a big-ass retractable leash.

She came with the name Brooklyn.  She had more energy than you can imagine.  The first thing she did when she met us was take a dump. and a pee. At the time we didn’t realize this was a good trait. It meant that in the future she would wait a VERY long time before using her personal space for a toilet.Brook closeupIM000411

We had her for years.  She died a few weeks short of her 14th birthday and she was vibrant until the end.  We put her on raw food when she was 6 and half and it turned her back into a dog with puppy-like energy.

After she was gone, it took a year before we were ready for another. Our home situation was a lot different because we had DRC’s Dad living with us so we weren’t sure if a young dog was in our plans.   We found a 6 year old Golden on Kijiji.  IMG_20140430_175859IMG_20140930_165046We call her a rescue because it was an extremely bizarre scenario.  She was vastly overweight and very needy.  We have since determined that she was most likely a puppy-mill dog who spent most of her time in a crate.IMG_20140512_190355

She is Ginny our present Golden. Her other name is Dog. IMG_3737 She has been the only pet in the house for some time … well other than the pet mice that moved in.  And because of those resident rodents, we decided to get cats. Cats that catch mice. Not all cats hunt.  But then never being a cat owner in the past… I knew none of the cat things that cat owners inevitably know.  Sure I had laughed at the cute cat tricks that showed up on friends Facebook feeds.  But that is not even being close to being a cat owner.

We have chickens, layers who have an impeccable pecking order…IMG_2850IMG_2841IMG_20141027_143849 previously we have had pigs and sheep.  We thought about getting a donkeyIMG_20140524_135520 and goats. Every Spring we get a couple of cattle to run on the property to keep the field mowed…       IMG-20120509-00090 then butcher them in fall for the freezer and sell some of the halves to friends. All these animals are not pets but we do have some animal husbandry going on.IMG_2828

Cats on the other hand… don’t need husbands.  Nor do they need humans at all…. or so they like you to believe.

They arrived in May… they certainly did not look old enough to leave Mama cat… the Great Hunter. I was worried we had them too early and Mama wouldn’t have passed on some of her great hunting skills.  How could these two balls of fur possibly hunt, let alone kill?

For the first weeks they just slept in their little bed, all curled up together.IMG_20140524_205325         IMG_20141204_082405       IMG_20140701_085333Then they started venturing out. They were skittish… they were shy… they ran when we came near.  Dog ignored them.

Slowly they became bolder and ventured out of their garage closet that was their home. When they started exploring… they would not leave Dog alone. IMG_20140627_090252Dog was not interested and was very jealous if we managed to catch the kitties and give them cuddles.  We polled our friends and gave them official names.  Marley and Hattie. Named for Marlborough and Manhattan. Marlborough being the region in New Zealand that is may favourite…think Sauvignon Blanc…mmmm….it being our house wine.   And Manhattan’s, our house cocktail.

But their real names are White Kitty and Brown Kitty.  And Dog continued to dislike them. IMG_20140806_182908_edit They would not leave her alone… she was of course, their older sister. They cajoled, they tickled, they chased, they laid all over her and eventually they wrestled their way into Dog’s heart. It took months. IMG_20140623_175601IMG_20140623_175208IMG_20140625_204335 Dog is almost 10 in human years so that makes her how old?… White and Brown Kitty were merely adolescents, then teenagers…. and now?  Still don’t have that cat thing completely down so not sure how human years translate to cat years but in April they will be a year and already the non-stop wrestling has been replaced with hunting or sleeping.

And Dog?  She hates to admit it… but when she went on a sleepover recently, she missed them like crazy.  Upon her return, the first thing she did was search them out.  We have officially been replaced.IMG_20141212_124146IMG_20150109_122145IMG_20141205_120411IMG_20150204_161024_editIMG_20150130_090028_edit

And DRC and I?  we gaze out on our deck to see the 3 of them curled together on Dog’s deck bed…and our hearts swell…  The dog bed being the catalyst… the straw that broke the camel’s back…. the deck bed has become the shared sleeping quarters for these animals. It broke the barrier for the Dog… that and the cold.  Two little furballs keeping her warm was just to hard to resist.   We feel we have a perfect little furry family.IMG_20140705_101723

 
6 Comments

Posted by on March 1, 2015 in Sharing

 

Tags: , , , , , ,

Triple B… and Gluten Free… Beer Braised Beef becomes a take away meal

Finding time to get together with friends can sometimes prove challenging when everyone’s schedules need to converge to make it happen.  We made arrangements last month with new friends who have recently moved into our neighbourhood.  The lady of that house has just recently found out that she needs to eat gluten-free… after years of struggling with a bad stomach, at 40, cut out gluten and the symptoms cleared up.  So when we coordinated on a day, I offered to bring the main meat dish for the meal.

We just filled the freezer up with this years side of beef.  We love knowing where our food is coming from.  We are very fortunate and grateful to have the ability to raise our own cattle and then get the satisfaction of exceptionally great tasting cuts all year.

Our friend Carla Johnson, has written a great book called ‘Cooking With Sin…Great recipes dipped in alcohol and wrapped in a wonderful story…’   She also has a blog, http://cookingwithsin.com/wp-content/themes/cookingwithsin-newtheme/images/headerad.png.

I know… you are wondering where I am going with this…  well Carla wondered if I had a great Gluten Free recipe that featured alcohol (that’s the Sin part of her book!) and whether I could give with her one so that she could share it on her blog.  I got to thinking that I could combine my homegrown beef with a some beer, get a nice hearty winter meal AND a blog post at the same time.

I decided to take an existing recipe and adapt it to Gluten Free.  The recipe also called for it to be cooked in a crock pot and that the beef be cut into stew sized chunks.  I did neither.  I did use the slow cooker setting

on my oven,  but I hadn’t left quite enough time for that so I ended up finishing it on top of the stove.  In the recipe I won’t put the stove option as this step would actually make the recipe more time-consuming and most home cooks are looking for ease these days.  Not everyone is interested in slow food…

Beer Braised Beef (Gluten Free)

5 slices thick bacon, diced
3 large onions, halved and sliced
2 tbsp brown sugar
1 tbsp cider vinegar
salt
black pepper
vegetable oil
3-4 lbs round steak, 3/4 inch thick cut in desired portion sizes
all-purpose celiac flour or other GF flour
1 bottle, 12 oz, of GF beer or ale
1 cup GF beef stock or other stock or water.
2 tsp dried thyme ( I used more than the original recipe)

Cook the bacon dice until crisp and transfer to paper towels and set aside. Add onions to drippings and cook over medium heat for 15-20 minutes, until soft.  Sprinkle brown sugar over onions and increase the heat to medium high and cook onions until they are golden,  about 8 minutes. Add vinegar, salt and pepper.  Transfer the onion mixture to your baking dish. Large enameled oval roaster works well.

Sprinkle the beef with a bit of salt and the flour.  Heat the oil in a large skillet and brown the beef on both sides.  Transfer the beef to the roaster on top of the onions.  Add the beer and stock to the heated pan and scrape up the brown bits,  reduce the liquid a bit, then pour it over the beef in the roaster.  Top with the bacon and thyme.

Cook in a 350 over, approx 2 hours.  Check after 1.5 hours for desired tenderness. Alternately, you could slow cook for about 8 hours or braise on the top of the stove for about 1.5 hours.  More stock would be needed for stove top braising.

When I checked my beef about an hour before we left, I realized that I had not left enough time to use the slow cook setting in my oven.  I have a VERY large All Clad straight sided Saute pan so I transferred the beef and liquid to it and braised it on the stove top.  The result was great and the liquid cooked down nicely.

The flavours in this dish are considered Flemish… or Belgian… so our friends cooked up Belgian frites(twice cooked) to go with it.  I must say the combination was fabulous.  Will definitely be adding this one to the cooking roster and with the deep fryer that I hope to be getting for Christmas… I am sure you will be seeing a future post when I start experimenting making fries….yum.

 
 
3 Comments

Posted by on December 18, 2011 in Food, Recipes

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , ,