A chilly late winter light storm again in our area made me crave some good old fashioned comfort food! I thawed out one of our 100% grass fed beef top round, and while still partially frozen, (makes it easier to slice), sliced it across the grain, sprinkled it with salt and pepper, added some balsamic vinegar, about a Tbsp., mixed it up to cover the beef, added 3 Tbsp. corn starch to dredge and then a couple Tbsp. of water. In a little olive oil, I cooked one sliced onion and after tender added about 2 Tbsp. of chopped garlic, after the onions are tender and cooked for another couple minutes. Turned up the heat to high and added the beef mixture, not cooking it all the way through, just searing until sealed, Once it's seared, remove the beef and onions to another platter, leaving all the juices and bits in the pan, add a Tbsp. of unsalted butter, after it's melted add in about a Tbsp of flour and cook until it's slightly brown, a minute or so. I poured in 1 1/2 to 2 cups beef broth and brought to a boil. I usually use white wine and reduce the broth by 1/2 cup, but didn't have any, imagine that! Turn down the sauce to medium heat and reduce, about 5 minutes. Stir in 1/2 cup heavy cream and a couple tsp. of lemon juice and bring it to a simmer. Add the beef and onions back to the pan and heat through. I sometimes add a little sour cream when adding the cream, if you want a little thicker sauce. I served our Stroganoff last night over egg noodles and a little side salad. Enjoy!
Lambing season started this year on Super Bowl Sunday 2019! These gangsters were out enjoying the sun yesterday on the farm! Always a fun time on the farm! The sheep shearer's daughter came to the farm yesterday and while her mom was shearing sheep one of the lambs came right up to the girl and sat in her lap for about 1/2 hour. I wish I was there to see it and take a photo!
Last Sunday was an all cooking day! I started by scoring one of our pasture raised hams and making a glaze of "refrigerator ingredients". About a cup and a half of our homemade applesauce, a 1/4 jar of pepper jelly, some ground ginger, some soy sauce (I used Amino acids), about 1/2 small jar of fig/orange spread, heated it up in a sauce pan and painted about 1/2 of it on the outside! I didn't have any whole cloves, but that would have been perfect in between the scores! I put it on the bbq, low and slow and in 4 hours at about 250 it was up to temperature! Sunday night was a ham dinner of sliced ham, a cheesy potato dish I made, and fresh roasted root vegetables. Monday morning was ham and cheese omelette breakfast. Dinner Monday night was ham dip sandwiches, using French rolls, and piled high ham (heated through after wrapping with tin-foil and sweet potato fries. There is still another meal or two left of this ham...I'm thinking split pea soup!
Exciting news! We now have our beef and pork available by the piece or variety pack. Our pasture raised pork and 100% grass fed beef that has been USDA inspected and processed is now available by the piece! That means you can come by, or if you are staying at the farm, and purchase a NY steak, a Rib steak, or tenderloin, a roast, etc...The pork is the same, you can purchase a pack of pork chops, a tenderloin roast, ribs, sausage etc...almost all cuts available on both meats! This is exciting for you and us!
OUR NEXT BUTCHER DATE HAS BEEN SET FOR APRIL 25, 2017!
Our all natural, 100% grass fed beef is $4.00 lb., hanging weight, plus processing. Beef splits evenly down to 1/4, so you can order 1/4, 1/2 or whole. Discount on meat is offered if we get a whole beef order at one time. Go in together with 3 others, neighbors, friends, family, co-worker and order 1 whole beef to receive the discount on the meat. You can all still have your order custom cut separately. This can be 4 1/4s, 1/2s etc...as long as it is one whole ordered. The beef dry age hangs at our butcher shop for 10-14 days before it is custom cut/wrapped according to your instructions. Our all natural pork is $4.00 lb., hanging weight, plus processing. Pork is available by the 1/2 or whole. Pork processing time is 7-10 days, to allow for curing/smoking of the bacon and hams. The other cuts are cut before then. You choose your custom cut/wrap, using our butcher's processing sheet. Our all natural, grass fed lamb is $6.00 lb., hanging weight. The lamb is also available by the 1/2 or whole animal. There is no "hang" time on lamb, so it just depends on what day they cut/wrap, after butcher date. The lamb processing sheet is also available on our butcher's web page. We use Del Fox Meats, Stanwood. There is always wiggle room on processing of the lamb, pork and beef! You can customize it however you wish. I always remind people to ask for the alternative if there is a cut you don't prefer.
Having your freezer stocked with local beef, pork and lamb, that is raised naturally and conscientiously, and humanely butchered is comforting. Knowing it is void of any chemicals, such as hormones, fillers and antibiotics is equally as comforting.
I incorporate fish, chicken and vegetarian meals into our diets weekly as well. However, having lamb, pork and beef, that we know every day of their life, what they ate, how they were treated, the cleanliness of the areas they are raised in, is a real relief, knowing what we are consuming!
I'm a big foodie and find that having all the cuts of meat, at my disposal, makes me even more creative in my cooking! Food brings people together and is something that can be shared with children as well as among adults, in not only knowing where your food comes from when you buy locally raised meats, but is fun to come up with creative and constantly searching or making up my own recipes for our meats! I relax by cooking, and find it hugely satisfying when I put a meal out for friends and family (or even just for Jay and I), that I know is healthy (ok not always :)...but most of the time. I try to make healthier versions of the comfort foods we all love. But sometimes you have to just go for it!
I love to try making new foods, from different cultures! This Moussaka I made here was SO delicious! I used our ground lamb to make it. It was a really traditional Greek recipe, with lot's of spices, eggplant, etc...It was quite a feast for your eyes, and palate!
This cheek meat stew, shown here, was inspired by Jay's grandmother Minnie. He told me stories of how she would come from Seattle every weekend, where she and his grandfather lived and owned a lamp shop. She would make the family Oxtail stew. I do the same now for Jay. This particular stew is made from the cheeks of the cow, but I use pretty much the same basic recipe when I make him Oxtail stew! I make my own beef stock a few days before, if I don't have any frozen, and add that to the stew, along with almost a bottle of red wine (I may or may not drink the rest :)...I like to think I am both using all parts of the animal, and respecting that it gave it's life for us as well as carrying on a tradition from Jay's grandmother!
Some of my most .treasured things are the passed down, hand written recipes from various family members. Every time I pull out the card or paper they are written on, I think of the person who passed the recipe down. I will definitely leave these for my girls and my grandkids! Earlier this week, I put one of our all natural, smoked/cured hams in our smoker in the late morning. I just scored it, don't cover it, and let it heat through low and slow. By afternoon, it was ready. I pulled it out and brushed it with a sticky sauce, also homemade, by Will Zeober, covered it with tinfoil and let it sit while I made the hot sauce recipe that was handed down by my daughter's grandmother. I have fond memories of going to their farm and having these sandwiches and I still make them! The Carlson farm was in Mill Creek, just minutes from our farm. Unfortunately, it has long been developed, but I can still see the driveway entrance when I drive by and it brings back a lot of good memories!
Dipping sauce....from our farm to your family~
1 cup ketchup
2 cups water
1 tsp salt
1 tsp chili powder
dash of tabasco sauce
1 medium chopped onion
1/3 cup Worcestershire sauce
Give it a good stir, bring to a boil then lower temperature and simmer for 30 min.
I use this sauce for both ham dip sandwiches and beef dip sandwiches. I use a hard French roll hoagie, as it holds up better when dipping. I like to butter each side, sprinkle with a little Johnny's seasoning and put under the broiler for a few minutes to get a nice golden brown.
Before I take a "share" of our own lamb, pork and beef, I always try to eat down our freezer before taking more. We don't go out to dinner that often, and mostly eat at home for all of our meals. Therefore, we go through our freezer contents pretty quickly. I try to make well rounded meals, incorporating fish and chicken and vegetarian meals every week as well. Of course, we all get excited about the prime cuts of beef steaks and roasts, but when you order a share, whether it is a 1/4, 1/2 or whole, it is important to make recipes that include the stew meat, if you take it, rather than have it ground into burger, as well as cuts like bottom round,(I have mine run through the butcher's cuber during processing, to tenderize). The Chuck Roast cut can be one of the tough cuts of meat, so I marinade mine. Last night's dinner consisted of Chuck Roast, broccoli tots and a side salad. Of course, the frugal part of me, always saves the leftovers for our lunches that week until it's gone. In our throw away society we seem to live it, which includes food, I feel better knowing that along with saving $ by not eating out so much, I am consuming every part of the animal, without too much waste. I often "re-invent"leftovers into lunch meals, another dinner meal(s), until it's gone. I can't be the only "farmer's wife" that get's frustrated about all the little bits and pieces that get saved on the farm~but it comes in handy eventually and just like our leftovers, these leftover 2x4s, hog panels, buckets, building materials, eventually get used! Up-cycling, recycling and repurposing are nothing new to farmers~I find it's the same as when I make a meal and I have left overs! I might make Quinoa salald one day and the next day, I will put the leftovers in our stew! So on to last night's dinner:
Chuck roast: After thawing~ I cut slits in the roast and stuffed with garlic cloves.
I made up a marinade of lemon juice,balsalmic vinegar,red wine vinegar,chopped garlic,salt and pepper, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard. I poured it over the roast that I had placed in a plastic bag sitting on a pie pan. I twisted it tightly closed and placed it in the fridge for about 10 hours, turning it every so often when I remembered.
I took the roast out about 1 hour before I was read to cook it. I cooked mine in the oven last night, but it would be great on the grill!
I cooked it on 425 for 15-20 min., then down to 350 for about 20 min. per lb.
We like our beef med-rare, so I took it out about 120-125 and covered it after taking out of the oven. It turned out a perfect med-rare. I made a sauce of horseradish, Greek yogurt and a little lemon juice to serve with it. (That was for me, Jay would not touch that with a ten foot poll).
As the roast was resting, I made broccoli tots:
I blanched a small head of broccoli florets for one min. plunging them into a ice bath after straining to stop the cooking.
While they were cooling, I chopped about 1/4 cup white onion, put 1 whole egg in the bowl, 1/3 cup panko crumbs, 1/3 cup Italian bread crumps, chopped parsley and about 1/4 cup shredded parmesan cheese. I chopped up about 2 cups of the broccoli quite fine and added to the bowl. I had pre-heated the oven to 400 (left it on) and brushed a piece of parchment paper with a little olive oil. I formed a small handful of the broccoli mixture into a ball, squeezing them to hold together and then while still in my hand, forming them to look like a tater tot. I baked them for about 20-25 min., turning them over half way through! They were so good! I felt like I was eating a tater tot, but without all the carbs! Next time I am going to maybe add chopped jalepeno's and try cheddar cheese...a lot you could try!
I served our dinner with a side salad, that included the previously blanched broccoli that was leftover, I had made too much for the tots, so I threw them in the salad!
I try to take Sunday's off...sort of. There are the usual chores we can't get away from every day, but I try not to add anything extra to our plate on Sunday's. It's a good day for us to re-charge our batteries. I like to fit in some of the things I like to do, read, planning of future farm projects etc.. I like to make a nice Sunday dinner and take the time to do much of the prep before, so I'm not standing at the stove for hours on end. Last night's dinner was fun to make and turned out especially good! I always make a menu out for the week, as I have mentioned, $ saver and you aren't scrambling at the last minute trying to figure out what to make for dinner. I love having our all natural lamb, pork and 100% grass fed beef available at our finger tips. I went to the freezer in the morning and pulled out a pork shoulder. Jay's mother left a metal defrosting plate on the farm when she moved to Texas, and I love it! It's called a Miracle Thaw. I take the paper wrapping off the meat, and leave on the plastic. Periodically, I turn over whatever it is I have thawing. Whatever the reaction is to the meat, it certainly thaws out faster! I do this whenever I forget to pull something out in the morning, right away. For the dry rub, I made my own pork rub of garlic powder, paprika, cayenne pepper, and dried thyme. To that I added our wild blackberry honey, red wine vinegar and olive oil. I made a paste and after slicing an onion in half and putting it in the bottom of a slow cooker, I chopped the pork shoulder in half, placed the two pieces, one on each onion half, and poured the paste over the pork. Seven-eight hours later on slow, this is what it looked like. I have some nice pulled pork "claws" I bought a few years ago, when we bought our smoker and they did the trick! I had put together an Asian coleslaw I've been making for years, it was doing it's trick in the fridge, the cabbage absorbing the dressing I make of mayo,sour cream,sugar,lemon juice,and some sesame oil, I thinned it out with a little coconut milk. I also made cornbread, using yogurt and again the coconut milk, as I was out of regular milk. After it was baked, I took it out of the oven, poked the top with holes using a skewer, rubbed butter over the top, brushed it with some of our wild blackberry honey and put back in the oven under the broiler for just a minute. I also made corn pudding yesterday afternoon and it all came together as the perfect pork storm for a delicious farm to table Sunday night dinner!
City born and raised, now living among the corn maze. I don't profess to be an expert at anything, but I hope you enjoy what I have learned along the way and landed right where I love...this farm!