Category Archives: Game

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens and a braised bunny

Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Before we left home, we bought ourselves a year’s English Heritage Membership for 72 pounds. Last time we were here, we bought one for a week and had a great time using it so figured we’d get our money’s worth this time over our 10 week stay.

Today is the start of our 4th week here, and yesterdays visit to the magnificent Brodsworth Hall and Gardens saw our membership more than paid for!

It’s not just the visiting of various abbeys, churches castles and homes like Brodsworth, it’s the getting to them that makes it all fun. I can’t count how many times we’ve got ourselves slightly lost before arriving at our destination!

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Of all the properties visited so far-Brodsworth Hall is maybe the best. It’s an old Victorian mansion that was last lived in in about 1990. The one remaining woman living there just found it too big and too lonely so moved out. It has enough original furnishings to make it feel comfy but not overstuffed, and they are in the same condition (but preserved in various ways) as when she left.

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

Brodsworth Hall and Gardens

The gardens are stunning with a number of separate gardens (rose garden, fern grove, annual planting etc.)

Russ and I took a guided tour then spent 1.5 hours walking around the gardens, then ate a way overpriced lunch from the tea rooms on site. We finished our visit with a look around the bedrooms upstairs and the servants quarters before driving on to Leeds.

We’re staying with friends Iona and Simon for a few days and I was so pleased to finally get here after the drive from Brodsworth Hall. Leeds has a ring road around it with a roundabout approximately every 1/4 of a mile along it. We missed a few turns as our GPS dropped out at critical times so I was quite rattled by the time we finally arrived.

It was so nice to see Iona (we haven’t seen her since Todd and Deb were married well over a year ago) and great to meet Simon and his daughter Lucy finally too. Iona and Simon cooked us a lovely roast chicken dinner which we thoroughly enjoyed.

Today they’ve all gone camping leaving us to house-sit for the next couple of days. Tonight I’m cooking the rabbit we brought at Brigg farmer’s market on Saturday morning. I made stock out of last nights roasted chicken carcass and will add in the leftover roast potatoes and some fresh peas to my braised rabbit towards the end. What an easy dinner!

 Braised British Bunny

  • 2 tablespoon oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped coarsely
  • 3 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 2 slices bacon, chopped
  • 1 rabbit, jointed into 6 pieces
  • plain flour
  • black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons English mustard
  • 1 tablespoon tomato paste
  • 2 cups chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup creme fraiche or sour cream
  • chopped fresh parsley
Braised British Bunny

Braised British Bunny

Method

  1. Heat the oil in a baking pan and saute the onion, garlic and bacon until the onion is softened.
  2. Toss the rabbit in flour seasoned with plenty of pepper then add to the pan and brown all over.
  3. Stir in the mustard, tomato paste and pour in the stock.
  4. Cook, covered in an oven heated to 160c for about 2 hours or until the rabbit is really tender.
  5. Stir through the creme fraiche and parsley and serve.*we had leftover roast potatoes from last night, so I added them and some green peas to the dish about 10 minutes before I served.

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Busy Days

Shark Beach pano

Shark Beach pano

Thursday we spent a quiet day in. We went to friends for dinner, but I cooked. With 7 of us eating, it was much easier to eat at their flat with its dining table, plenty of crockery and glasses etc.

Beaty and John organised nibbles-I really loved Johns home-cured olives! I made savoury bread cases filled with curried crab for entree, followed by braised rabbit and veg and a pasta bake for mains. Beaty bought us drumsticks for dessert which was great.

Friday, we put the boat in at Eagle Bluff and fished for a couple of hours just bringing home two black snapper. That night we had drinks and a sausage sizzle with some of the lovely people on our level of the park. Thumbs up to the butcher-his black pepper beef, and beef and garlic snags were wonderful, as were his hogget (two tooth) loin chops. Hogget was half the price of lamb and twice the flavour so it was a win!

Yesterday, we were to move from site 108 to site 12 down on “death row” (someone has to die for a site to come vacant lol). As it turned out, the office stuffed up the booking and we had to move across the way from 108 to 104 for the night, then move today to 12. What a pain ITA!

Shell Beach

Shell Beach

After our move yesterday, we took a drive out to Shell Beach, back to Goulet Bluff, then across the road for a look at Shark Beach. It’s a well kept secret with much, much nicer shells than Shell beach, thick, white and loose so you walk ankle deep in the tiny cockle shells that live in the super saline water, then are thrown up on the shore in big tides and storms. We put the ute in 4WD to explore some old station tracks until we reached the old shearing shed bore then got back on the highway and came home.

After drinks with Beaty and Charlie before dinner, we ate our two black snapper along with wedges and salad. Just salt and pepper and baked in foil in the oven, they were wonderful. Our neighbour Narelle came over after dinner to sit and chat and have a drink. It was a great evening.

Today, we moved at last onto site 12 where we’ll stay for our last 16 days here. What a bugger of a site to get on to. We are the biggest van in the row-everyone else has smaller pop tops. We broke a concrete paver and scraped the shell cement wall, then got the van to a point where we couldn’t go any further back with ute. We had to unhitch, re-hitch in a different position and push the van back. What a performance!

I’m making pea and ham soup while I write this and relax.

Braised Rabbit and Vegetables

  • 3 rashers bacon, diced, fatty ones are good, I cook slowly to render the fat, then don’t use oil
  • 1 onion, finely diced
  • 2 sticks celery, finely diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, crushed
  • 8 Rabbit Pieces (I had the back ends of two rabbits-saddle and legs),
  • 2 tablespoons tomato paste
  • 1/2 cup white wine
  • 2 cups water or low-salt chicken stock (the gravy mix is salty remember)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 2 large carrots, chunky cut
  • 2 large potatoes, cut into eight pieces each
  • gravy mix (enough to thicken the two cups of stock/water), mixed to a paste with cold water (I use a really good commercial demi glace made by maggi. I buy it in 2kg tubs)
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 2 tablespoons chopped parsley (I had it but I forgot to use)

    Braised bunny

    Braised bunny

Method

  1. Gently fry the diced bacon to release the fat, then add the onion and fry until softened. Add the garlic and celery and cook a few minutes more. Tip onto a plate.
  2. Add the rabbit to the pan and cook on all sides until lightly browned. Add the tomato paste and cook stirring a minute or two, add the wine and cook until it’s reduced.
  3. Now, add the stock, bay leaves and thyme, the celery and bacon on the plate, bring to the boil then reduce to a simmer and cook for about 30 minutes.
  4. Add the carrots, cook a further 30 minutes. Next it’s the potatoes-add them and cook all gently for about 30 minutes more or until the potatoes are tender. In total, about 1.5 hours cooking.
  5. Finally add the gravy paste to the pot and stir gently until it thickens, then add in the green peas for a couple of minutes. Serve in bowls with parsley scattered over and fresh white bread and butter to mop up the gravy!

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Fried Quail with Spicy Salt

Fried quail with spicy salt

Fried quail with spicy salt

Monday we put the boat in at Fowlers Camp and headed out to our fishing spot off Eagle Bluff. We’ve been fishing there for years always catching heaps of just undersized pink snapper and the occasional size one that we can bring home. It’s a beautiful spot that we often have to ourselves apart from the dolphins there fishing for the small pinks. We came home with 2 pinks and 1 black snapper and a big flathead-something we’ve never caught there before. I cooked one of the snapper whole in the oven, stuffing the cavity with lemongrass, ginger, kaffir lime leaves and coriander stalks. Simple but good food!

Snapper on the plate

Snapper on the plate

It was so nice out there Monday, we headed out again Tuesday but couldn’t even catch the bottom!

Today, we spent the afternoon out crabbing at Monkey Mia. We had to wait for some dimwits on the boat ramp-they couldn’t back a trailer then pulled out and did all the tying down of their boat while we waited for them, then we only got 6 crabs and soaking wet in some promised rain that finally arrived. It was lovely to get home to a hot shower.

Before we left, I made the spicy salt and marinade, while Russ split the quail for tonight’s dinner. We didn’t shoot these quail, but bought them in Perth to enjoy one night in the future on our trip north. Tonight was the night. After an average day at Monkey Mia dinner was a feast!

I like my quail treated simply so the flavour still comes through-I think intense marinades kill all that-this recipe is one of the best. We ate the quail with a Green Papaya salad made with some of our last Carnarvon ingredients. It amazes me how long this good, fresh produce actually lasts; even now one week and 5 days after purchase the stuff is still better than if I’d brought it “fresh” at a supermarket today!

This recipe comes from a book Taste of China I bought years ago and is a family favourite for quail. I save the rest of the spicy salt, sieve it and use it on fish (especially sand whiting) and squid.

Fried Quail with Spicy Salt
Salt and Pepper Mix

  • 4 teaspoons salt
  • 2 teaspoons Szechuan peppercorns, crushed
  • 1 teaspoon Chinese five spice powder

Quail

  • 4 quail
  • 1 teaspoon salt and pepper mix
  • (see above)
  • 1 teaspoon sugar
  • 1 tablespoon light soy sauce
  • 1 tablespoon rice wine
  • 2 -3 tablespoons plain flour
  • oil (for deep frying)
  • lemon wedges, to serve
Fried quail with spicy salt

Fried quail with spicy salt

Method

  1. To make the spicy salt and pepper, combine the ingredients and dry fry over a low heat for 2-3 minutes or until aromatic.
  2. Split each quail in half down the middle and clean well. I like to remove the back bone with my knife and pull out the ribs, breast bone and wishbone with my fingers.
  3. Marinate with the teaspoon of spicy salt and pepper, sugar, soy and rice wine for 2-3 hours, turning frequently.
  4. Coat each quail piece in flour, dusting off the excess.
  5. Fill a wok to 1/4 full with oil and heat the oil to 190c.
  6. Fry the quail for 2-3 minutes each side then remove from the wok and drain on kitchen paper.
  7. Serve with the lemon wedges on the side.

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