Have we all recovered from the “This is Us” crockpot episode? I may never! Rutabaga’s need to use my oven on the daily basis to bake desserts has me using my new trusty crockpot to all of my friends & family’s glee. After my 2 decades of disdain for crockpot they are all getting a great laugh that I’m using one. I’ll sit here and eat my humble pie. I’m still not happy with relying on the darn thing. My tween baker though needs to experiment and bake tasty desserts much to my waistlines demise.
The crazy weather we have been having is wrecking my weekly menu. Today and tomorrow will be in the 60’s the rest of the week will be 40’s. The nice thing though is that it is sunnier here in Raleigh than it was in Nashville during February. I remember one February back in the early 2000’s that we had 0 days of sunshine in Nashville. Good sunshine goes a long ways on cold days.
The folks at Alarita are always full of sunshine though. It is a great family business where I have yet to see one of them smiling. It is pretty contagious when you’re around them. Their happiness for life translates into their products giving you bright happy flavors. Their dry rub has a great herb mixture for my tomatoes with just enough sweetness to dampen the acidity. The dry rub also works well on roasted veggies. The first time I met Jeanette I took her roasted eggplant with Alarita on it. She was an instant fan & is the one behind my home canned tomatoes I’ll be using today.
Cube steak is a machine tenderized coming from the round. Typically top round. It is one that needs a slow cooking process to help make it tender. Hello Crockpot. In each package of NCF Cube steak there are 3-4 steak(mostly 4) priced at $9 per lb. Perfectly portioned for a hearty meal when the sun goes down and it turns cold out. Alarita Seasoning runs $8 a bottle, buy it this will not be the only recipe you use it for. This is one spice I use frequently in my cooking. Finally I’m going to top this meal at the end with Redneck Romano as tomatoes slow cooked beg for cheese. Redneck Romano is sold for 9.45 per lb and is sold in 8 oz wedges in our store.
Now to throw everything into the pot set it and forget it till dinner. Try not to think of Jack too much.
Traditionally Ninja Cow sells English style thick cut short ribs. These are great for the crock pot or dutch oven. For smaller families I recommend them or shanks instead of roasts. They have great flavor & texture while still being quite a bit cheaper. This is what I usually feed my family since we are now a party of 3 these days. The bonus is you can be pretty versatile with these and use any leftovers for sandwiches or fajitas.
This past spring we began getting requests for a thinner Asian style rib. I talked to Chaudhry’s. Unfortunately they couldn’t get us down to the 1/4″ that I had desired. The were able to cut them much thinner and horizontal to give me a more versatile product for grilling and stir frying. Wait did I just say the word fry? Hmm what could be more delicious than an Asian style sticky rib. Ooo I have that 5 spice from the Drunk Duck.
Boys & girls this is where being a Chef becomes 1 part art and another part mad scientist. Last year I had a 5 spice rib on a food truck. I talked watched and learned now it is time to recreate with this awesome rib here at home. This will be a project where irresponsible children should not be in the kitchen. And one where distractions should be kept to a minimum. And where I kinda wish I had one of those new fancy air fryers. After I remove the rib from the frying oil I will immediately be dredging in brown sugar. The heat will caramelize the sugar and spice to the rib. To add a bit of crisp to that we will hit it with the broiler. MMMMM, let’s go.
The cost on ribs in the Ninja Cow Store is $7.99 a lb. That is roughly $1.75-$3 a lb cheaper than our roasts. And since we now carry the 2 different cuts they are quite versatile. Let me also give an honorable mention to the Beef Osso Bucco cut at $8.49 lb. That is the perfect amount for 1-2 people, it is a perfect crock pot cut as well.
Last weekend my family hosted the tween girls on the farm for dinner & movie. Having 4 tween girls between 3 families is full laughter and sometimes a tiny bit of drama, I brought the drama on myself this night. We made homemade pizzas for 3 of the girls then came the 4th, who has a strong dislike of pizza. For her I made oven smoked bbq style ribs. Next thing I hear from my very own Rutabaga. ” Mom, will you make me some BBQ Brisket for the 4th of July?”
Now for those of you who have met Rutabaga she is cute as can be. When she asks for something so sweetly & homemade to boot I can’t resist. Then to top it off she said those works all Momma’s want to hear. ” Mom, will you teach me how to make it too.” This led to a tiny bit of jealousy from Daddy who she normally bakes with. They are my baking team. After the BBQ was going Daddy promptly made a cherry dump cake with Rutabaga to get in a cooking lesson himself.
With our recent March 1st price cut on Beef our brisket became alot more affordable. The price went from $12.99 lb to $9.25 lb, nice eh? Our briskets are also cut family style into quarters making them between 3-4 lbs each. Enough to feed a crowd. To top off the Brisket I used Buh’s The Sweet Side Sauce which retails in the NCF Store for $5 a bottle. I only used the sauce to drizzle across the brisket, leaving enough for at least 2 more dinners if not more.
Full disclosure- my smoker is off limits to me at the moment (I got sick). If you want to to this on the smoker I recommend using hickory wood and keeping the grill at 225. Cook for 3-4 hours until fork tender. These smaller cuts cook quick so keep an eye on the heat. Always remember fat side up. If you need a little insurance cover extremely loosely in aluminum foil
One of the things the kids enjoy, at least for now, is to go and feed the cows vegetables and fruit. They like to hand feed the cows but their favorite thing is to stand in the back of the truck or the trailer and hurl things to the cows. It’s a big game and they are improving their aim constantly. They especially enjoy trying to kill bugs that are bothering the cows by biting them on their backs where they cannot reach. The kids are getting pretty good arms on them, and I really feel for any band that performs poorly in my kids future as I’m sure the tomatoes being hurled onstage will be accurate and forceful.
I had a picture this week of another new calf. Today I was able to get some closer shots.
Yesterday our new calf got her earring and her name. #33 was the tag and Birdie is her name. She’s a cutie with white whiskers and white sort of eyelashes.
I’m not sure how we could have an adult themed farm related news article but Darling Wifey has somehow managed it. Now we deal with adult themes on a farm. Any farm kid older than 8 will tell you it takes a boar and a gilt to make baby pigs. Well, those are extra farmy words. How about it takes a cow and a bull to make a calf. Maybe said 8 year old hasn’t connected the dots with how they arrived on this planet yet, but they know where baby goslings, baby chickens, and baby cows come from. With all that said, this farm related article is a bit more adult than normal so if your kids are in the room, send them to find a toy while you are laughing at this poor sod.
At least this happened in Britain.