Self-proclaimed ‘crap housewife’ Jessica Rowe, has been busy of late, travelling around the country chatting to some of the greatest butchers in the nation in an effort to put butchers everywhere back on the map within their local communities.
The popular TV personality, Jessica Rowe, who blogs on her site Crap Housewife, has been listening to amazing tales of resilience, family history and of course meat, from butchers. She’s also learned how to finally cook a steak properly, prepare tasty, quick meals for her family, and how to be more creative when it comes to meat!
“I’m a shocking cook because it doesn’t interest me!” Jessica admits. “I cook for myself and my girls but my husband Peter [Overton] has a meal delivery service deliver his meals for him every week. He finally told me – ‘I really can’t face another spaghetti bolognaise of yours!'”
If you’re a meat lover, you’ll love Jessica’s best hacks she’s learned from some of Australia’s top butchers.
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Use Your Local Butcher
I’ve had the most wonderful time travelling around Australia meeting incredible butchers. What’s been a revelation for me is we don’t use our local butchers enough. Everyone should go and talk with their local butcher and find out about the great cuts of beef and lamb that they have. They are value adding to all of their products, all prepared for you so all you have to do is put it in the oven and you have a really delicious meal. Butchers have come a long way – they’ve really listened to what customers want and have adapted their businesses.
Rest meat at room temperature before cooking
Steak has long been the bane of my existence – I’ve always been nervous about cooking it. Usually, I burn the outside and serve it up raw and uncooked on the inside. However, thanks to the wonderful butchers I met, I finally understand how to cook one!
The best tip is to take it out of the fridge 15 minutes before cooking and let it rest at room temperature before hand so it can tenderise a bit. Then you just rub it in a little oil with salt and pepper on both sides and cook for a few minutes either side. Use a griddle or a heavy pan and make sure your pan is very hot.
Remember to ask your butcher for the best cooking time for the thickness of your steak, and don’t poke it, leave it alone until you’re ready to turn it. My daughter Giselle now loves my steaks, although Peter says I still burn them – I don’t agree!
Let your meat rest before eating
This goes for both steaks and roasts. Once cooked, let your meat rest – tent some foil lightly over it (don’t seal it in or it will steam) and rest it for five to 10 minutes to let it relax. Your meat will be more tender.
Cook sausages low and slow
My daughter Allegra doesn’t like steak so I’m forever cooking sausages – and not very well! However, I am improving, one of the butchers I met said the key to a good snag is to cook them on low heat for a slow period of time. I always make the mistake of turning up the heat too high. However, the slow does work, and it doesn’t take that much longer.
Ask your butcher for cooking tips
I think people sometimes feel silly asking butchers for cooking tips, but they are honestly so helpful. You’ll have far less disasters in the kitchen if when buying a piece of meat you ask your butcher how to cook it. Depending on the size and width of the piece, they cooking instructions will differ. Everyone should use their butchers as a resource more often!
Use ready meals from butchers
So often you get into the habit of just picking up a packet of raw meat from a supermarket and then have no idea what to do with it. Nowadays there are so many great meat products at butchers which already have all the herbs, spices and toppings already added to them – all you literally have to do is cook it. It really saves so much time and there’s less chopping up and hunting around for things.
If you have the cash, hire a housekeeper
I admit I do have a housekeeper who comes in every week and is worth her weight in gold as it’s such a time-saver. For me, its money well spent and is an investment in my mental health and my family’s wellbeing. If your budget allows for it, it’s worth considering – and don’t allow anyone to make you feel guilty about it. It’s a service that is readily available so why not make use of it if the housework is causing you grief?
Take the pressure off
My best hack for a stress-free home life is to simply take the pressure off yourself. Tell yourself that it doesn’t matter if the house is a bit of a mess or that you’ve got a laundry basket full of unwashed clothes and make sure your other half agrees! As mums we get too caught up in thinking life needs to be perfect, and that’s just not reality. Tell yourself ‘I am enough’ every day and do your best to get through.
Greatest Butcher On Your Block
Jessica will be sharing 12 unique stories from butchers across the nation for the Meat & Livestock Australia’s Greatest Butcher on Your Block campaign, where you can win lots of fabulous prizes.
For more information about The Greatest Butcher on Your Block visit www.greatestbutcher.com.au
Do you buy meat from a butcher or the supermarket? Tell us in the comments below.