COOKING TIPS

From The Butchers

cook_beef

BEEF

60° Medium rare

1 inch thick steaks
Hot BBQ or pan. Cook on one side until blood droplets appear on top of the steak, then turn over and cook for another 3 – 4 mins.

Casserole Cubes
Sear on stove top until brown, then braise (with liquid) for 2 hours.

Kebabs
Hot pan or BBQ or griller for no more than 10 minutes.

Crumbed Beef Schnitzel
Hot pan, 30 seconds on each side.

Roast  Beef
Preheat oven to 180C, then sear all sides for 2 mins (each) on a hot BBQ or roasting pan, then roast for 40 mins per kilo, uncovered. Rest for 15 mins before slicing.

lamb_plain

LAMB

60° Medium rare

Lamb Cutlets
Hot pan or BBQ or griller for no more than 10 minutes.

Lamb Loin Chops
Our loins are thick cut, so BBQ, pan or grill for 5 mins each side on a medium heat.

Chump Chops
Roll around on the BBQ or pan for 10 mins on medium heat. Serve with tzatziki or minted yoghurt.

Lamb Kofta
4 mins each side on the BBQ or pan.

Mini Roast
Sear the outside for 5 mins before moving into a preheated oven 180C for 35 mins. Rest for 10 before slicing.

Butterflied Leg
Hot BBQ, direct heat, 5 mins each side OR oven for 40 mins on 180C, fat side up. Rest, then slice.

Boneless Leg
Preheat oven to 180C, then 40 mins per kilo. Rest for 10 mins before slicing.

cook_pork

PORK

60° Medium rare

Herb Crusted Cutlets
Medium heat pan, lots of butter, 5 mins each side. AMAZING!

Sweet & Sticky Ribs
1 hour on 150C, then cut into individual ribs.

Pork Loin Chops
Sear them on the BBQ, then move into a preheated oven 160C for 20 mins (with a sauce)

Pork Scotch Fillet
Sear, then braise for up to 3 hours or slow roast on 120C for 3 hours.

Pork Shoulder Roast
Oil, then salt the skin. 30 mins on 220C, then approx 2 hours on 140C.

Pork Belly
Oil, then salt the skin. 30 mins on 220C, then 2 hours on 120C. Well worth the wait.

chicken_plain

CHICKEN / TURKEY

75° In the breast

Butterfly Chook
Oven or BBQ (lid down) for 45 mins on 180C

Chicken Schnitzel
Medium heat pan, lots of butter, 5 – 7 mins each side. Cook until golden brown. Butter makes it!

Whole Roast Chicken (1.6kg)
Preheat oven to 200C. Oil and season the skin. Place breast side down in oven for 30 mins. Then flip it over so the breast is facing upwards and bake for another 30 mins on 180C. Rest for 15 mins before slicing.

Whole Turkeys & Turkey Buffet
40 mins per kilo on 180C for pieces less than 4kg. 40 mins per kilo on 160C for pieces greater than 4kg. Cover with foil until 40 mins before end of cooking time.

Turkey Breast Roll
Preheat oven to 180C. Cover turkey breast in foil and bake for 40 mins per kilo, removing foil 30 mins before the end and baste with own juices or olive oil. Rest for 15 mins before slicing.

sausage_plain

SAUSAGES

There are certain things we tend to take for granted: our Mum’s, electricity, water, fresh sausages.

Yes, that’s right only a few things are as accommodating as the humble snag and yet they earn so little appreciation. They are very often ridiculed with the name of “mystery bags”.

At Alstonville Quality Meats we definitely do not agree and that’s why we have been named Sausage King for the past years.

Just remember, the snag will silently help you raise money for your local club at the sausage sizzle or fill up little kids appetizingly and economically.

It will happily spill its guts so you can toss it on a pizza or stir its interesting filling in a tomato sauce for pasta.

Yet behind this humble exterior lurks a dignity, a dignity that is essential and intended for extreme taste and enhanced by flavours that steak could never have. The sausage comes decorated in spices like a fairy princess dressed in the family’s best jewels.

So with this in mind, a task was set to research the impeccable way to cook sausages. “There’s a sort of a secret society of sausage sizzlers talking online about how they fry, grill, bake, poach (really), barbecue and casserole snags.

“I’m pretty sure there wasn’t a single female voice among the debates. It felt a bit like intruding on ‘secret men’s business’. And this must be men’s business because I’m sure there is not a woman on Earth who would spend 45 minutes watching a sausage fry unhurriedly on low heat.”

So check out below the four different ways of cooking the unpretentious snag!

Poaching
Poaching your sausage is a more common than you may think. There are two schools of thought here.

One way is to gently poach sausages in a small amount of water to cook them through before browning them in a pan or on the barbecue.

To do this, place sausages in a pan with about half a centimetre of water and bring it to the boil. Before the water boils away completely, turn the sausages to evenly cook them, then allow them to continue cooking in the pan to brown the skin. This makes for a nicely cooked sausage, but there’s no fat-reducing benefits to this method of poaching.

The second way to poach them is to submerge the sausage in a cold water bath over medium heat.

Hold it there for as long as it takes to bring the internal temperature of the sausage to 65.6C. Then sear the snags in a hot pan to brown the outside.

The danger here is that to get a good colour on the snags you risk overcooking the sausages in the pan as you do it. But I’m not a fan.

Frying
The main thing here is to avoid rapid cooking or a too-hot pan, which can lead to a burnt sausage with a raw centre or, worse still, exploding the sausage when the moisture in the snag turns to steam and bursts the skin.

The secret of frying is to cook the sausages slowly over a low to medium heat, until just cooked through, while getting a nice brown on the outside.

For a fat snag this may take up to 45 minutes.

Baking
Baking sausages is often seen as the easiest way to cook them, especially when there is a large number to cook.

It is also the most energy-efficient way to do so.

The danger here is that baking sausages can dry them out, but popping them in a baking dish with some chopped vegetables and tinned tomatoes to make a one-pot meal is a neat solution.

Barbecue
For me, the barbecue has the greatest affinity with the snag.

The barbecue has a number of heat zones perfect for evenly cooking snags, both big and small. Also, any fat rendered out of the snag drips away rather than heading to your waistline. Note, however, that fat can cause flare-ups that can burn your snags.

The skinny on cooking snags on the barbecue is first to take the sausages out of the fridge about 30 minutes before cooking. This allows the internal temperature to rise and will result in more evenly cooked-through snags. It also reduces the cooking time.

Next, turn the outside burner on the barbecue to high and the one inside it on too low to create a hot and a cool side.

Now separate the sausages from their links and lightly oil them. Start cooking the snags over the hot burner to seal them. Leave them there until they are a nice medium-brown, but keep them away from random flames and flare-ups.

At this point, move thick snags between the low burner (and a switched off burner next to it) so they can continue cooking without burning.

Thin sausages can be moved directly over to the low burner to finish cooking.

To reduce the cooking time of thicker sausages, you can always try poaching them for four to five minutes first in a pan and then searing them on the grill. But don’t limit yourself to water however; you could try red wine, beer, stock or even miso soup as the poaching liquid to add extra flavour. After all the research, one glaring question remains when it comes to snag cookery. All the websites talk about using a calibrated meat thermometer to tell when the sausage has reached the desired internal temperature of 65.6C, but they also all agree that under no circumstances should you pierce the skin of a cooking sausage.

Now that’s a real snag!