For all of you out there who grow sheep
Guest post: by Giurza
For all of you out there who grow sheep (or any other big meat producing animals)
I am not sure if it will be relevant, but since my stay in Sweden, when I saw how civilized people slaughtered pigs and threw away almost 50% of it, I thought that I might contribute a little.
It would be useless to tell, what I am about to tell, to Swedes or any other squeamish people. But the real rednecks might get good recipes here (redneck is a compliment were I come from 🙂
So let us start.
First, things that most people throw away:
Head, guts, stomach, legs, fat from innards, lungs, kidneys, liver, heart.
Take head, take out brain – use it for tanning the fur.
Take out tongue, it is delicacy! Cook it together with heart slowly for an hour or so, serve both of them cold with a mashed horse radish and mayonnaise.
Skin the head, chop it into quarters and cook it together with skinned and chopped legs over slow fire for 4-5 hours. Take out meat and bones, separate them, chop up the meat and throw back into the broth. Add bay leaf, black pepper, coriander, salt, carrots (cut into nice slices), rosemary, and any other spice that you are fond of. Cook for half an hour more, and then pour out into bowls and put it somewhere cold (not in the freezer, mind you). And after it has set, voila – you have yourself a meat jelly. P.S. it might be required to add some gelatin, because my experience shows that sheep head contains little of it, so the meat jelly might turn a little to soft. Add some and ensure that the meat jelly gets sliceable.
Clean them: pour water in them and flush the $hit. After that turn the guts inside out, take a blunt knife and start scraping them. Be extra careful! It is easy to tear them. When you’re done, you can use them to make sausages with pork and sheep meat, otherwise, you can store them for latter use by salting them heavily.
Also it is a very good idea to try Lithuanian “potato sausages” : Finely grate raw potatoes, add eggs (2 eggs per 1 kilogram of grated potatoes), salt and pepper, some fat (or sautéed smoked bacon chopped into small bits) would be great too. Mix it well and stuff it into the guts. Perforate stuffed guts here and there with fork, so that it won’t blow up when heated. Then have your oven preheated at 200C (392F), put the stuffed guts into the heat-resistant well oiled pan and show it into the oven. Bake until done (you have to taste the grated potato from the center of the sausages – it has to loose that “crunchy” taste to be done).
After you’ve slaughtered sheep and taken care of the meat, take the stomach and cut it open, pour the “contents” out and wash it (the stomach, not contents 🙂 ) with plenty of water. Try to avoid getting the contents on the outside of the stomach; it will be hard to wash it away afterwards. When you’ve done all of the above, salt the stomach inner side heavily and put it away in cool place over the night. Next morning bring some water to the boil (half gallon should be sufficient). Now, take the same blunt knife and after pouring boiling water on the inside of the stomach, start scraping the inside. It should come off quite easily (with young sheep it will come off even if you use only your fingers). Now, mind you, you must scrape it and clean it VERY thoroughly!
When you’ve done it all, it is time to cook the stomach. Cut it into smaller bits and cook it in the water for 4-5 hours over slow fire. Under this time you’ll need to change the water 2-3 times, to get the smell off the stomach bits. It will smell bad, so this recipe is not for the faint of stomach (pun intended). Last time cook the stomach bits with salt and spices (bay leaf, black pepper, you name it). When it is done, it will be both tender and a little spongy. Cool it. You can now freeze it for later use or start doing the dish outright. Note that the stomach bits will still retain some distinctive (and for some not too pleasant), even if faint, smell.
For the dish you will need:
-wheat grain (not ground, whole, but without the outer jacket)
Cook the wheat grains with some salt (to your taste) until it is done (it might take some time, you can re-hydrate wheat during night, so it will take less time to cook it).
While your wheat is bubbling in the pot, take the cooked stomach and cut it into fine strips. Roast the strips in the pan with olive (or any other) oil (or rendered fat). Add finely chopped onion and shredded carrots into the pan. Frizzle until browned. Add the spices.
When wheat is done, pour everything from the pan into the pot with wheat and mix it well. Cook some more (few minutes, so that the spices and flavors mix) and you have yourself a “plekai” Lithuanian style :). Originally it is a Polish dish, but Poles make it into soup. Serve it hot and my preference with Tabasco sause :).
Naturally it is not an everyday civilized world dish, but try it, and some of you may very much like it!
Liver, kidneys and lungs.
Pâté, that’s what we are going to do with them.
First you have to cut the gall from the liver right after you gutted the beast. Be careful not to tear it. See that the gall liquid doesn’t get on the liver (or any other meat for that matter).
Take liver and kidneys, cut them into medium sized bits and put into cold water. Heat it up to 80C (176F), then drain, fill the pot with cold water and repeat the procedure 3 times (this takes away the bitter taste from the liver and bad smell from kidneys).
After the liver is fixed, then cut the lungs into similar sized bits and cook it together with bits of liver and kidneys in the water with usual spices for 2-3 hours. Cool it and take out the bits from the stock.
Grind the bits several times so it is very fine, paste like. In the bowl mix the paste with 2 eggs, spices (mind the salt, you have to taste it, so not to overdo), white bread soaked in the milk, fat (preferable pig fat instead of sheep, cause it will not become so hard and foul tasting after it cools) and 2-3 cups of broth from the cooking. Then mix it well. Add broth if needed, remember, the consistency you aim for is something alike to sour cream.
After all is done, pour the mix into heat resistant bowl adorn with salvia leaves and bake it at 200C (392F) in the oven. Serve it hot with some green olives and pickled jalapeno.
And finally – sheep fat.
You can use sheep fat for many many things – soap, emergency candles (it must be emergency, since it is by far not the best stuff to make candles of), cooking etc. This fat keeps very well, no need for refrigerator!
When you take all the innards from the sheep, there will be some (or a lot of) fat around guts and stomach and kidneys. Separate it from those innards being careful not to tear guts, you don’t want the shit to hit the meat :).
Take the fat and cut it into bits, put them into the pot and boil it with just a tad of water. When fat bits are shrunken and shriveled, the fat is rendered. Take out the bits and cool it. After it is cold, sheep fat will be hard and white (or yellow, depending on various factors). This rendered fat can be used for any of the above mentioned and not mentioned uses.
What I was trying to show is that many people today, even in the boondocks (yet not everywhere) are throwing away a lot of useful stuff from inside of the animals, when they slaughter them. When SHTF, you have to be smart about your food, and not to throw away stuff. And for those that think this is disgusting – remember, those nice smooth sausages are made from the lungs and tits of the cows.