Our Sunday roast this week was a Haunch of Venison. This was thanks to the roe deer Archie shot early in the new year. He is a good shot and the deer dropped down dead. After immediately gutting it, Archie put it in the cool room to hang for just a few days. Then I called up Matt, a local lad (has appeared in previous blogs!) who trained with a high class London butcher. Dan and Archie have butchered a deer before, but I only end up with very basic joints. Matt did it properly. We set it all up in the barn over two evenings, Matt brought his knives and equipment. In the freezer there is now a beautiful selection of venison cuts, lovely cutlets, fillets and such. But the favourite part of the whole event was definitely sausage making.
We minced the venison with a fatty shoulder of pork, from a neighbouring farm, swapped for some highland beef. (Hector licked the end of the mincer when we finished, not health and safely approved but nothing wasted!) Matt added spices, then he went to work with the sausage machine. All hand cranked, the sausages come out in one long tube. Having made sausages a few years ago when we had pigs, I was able to do the twisting up, then we hung them back in the cool room for 24 hours. 10 kilos of sausages - delicious!!
On Saturday we moved the lambs to another field. It has more grass and is steep and not soggy. The wet weather is so bad for their feet. I popped two lambs in a temporary pen set up in the old dairy shed. The dry straw will give their sore feet a break and they are already looking much better.
Jo Stover has daily adventures on her small farm, together with her Highland cattle and Portland sheep, bees, a few hens, dogs, and some two-legged family and friends.