Tag Archives: grass fed

Parmesan Pork Chops

You’re probably going “Lucy knows it’s chicken parmesan, right?”. Yes I do know, when a craving hits & there is a chicken breast shortage hits (now remedied), you substitute. In this case I used Pork Chops from the NCF farm store coming in at $9.50 lb. It makes for a good fall meal on these still cooling off nights.

In my pictures you will notice the bone & extra fat. Don’t do what I did and leave those on. My crew was startled to find they couldn’t cut their meat under layers of sauce and cheese, from now on I will use my noodle a bit better and remove the extra fat as well as the bone.

There is no Parmesan cheese in Parmesan dishes. Why?? The dish is named for the area it is from in France.  Also I do not add my seasoning to the breading. I season the meat after egging. I’ve found that this adds a bit more flavor to my fried dishes. And please make sure to let the meat come to room temperature before frying. Cold meat in a fryer = burnt breading

You can’t have any. Hands off!

About a week ago, I posted that we had a new cut of pork in the freezer. It was just a little note at the end of a beef update. The cut of pork showed up and looked like this.

Boston butt pork steaks
New cuts! Boston butt steaks

I wasn’t really sure what it was. Lucy had attended the Women in Meat Conference and she and Brooke (Hi Brooke) from the processor had some sort of pow wow on new cuts Lucy wanted to bring in. I kinda tuned out of the conversation so I really didn’t know what she ordered.

So I’m unloading the truck and these things are in the box. Boston butt steaks. Looks cool, no idea what it is. Stick them in the freezer somewhere and worry about it later.

In talking to Lucy later, she informs me these are cut wrong and aren’t what she asked for. Go figure. I explained that this is what happens when we go out of the norm. Now we have 20 packs of these things that we’ll have to do something with but oh well, it’s ok. When you are a farmer, your mistakes taste like bacon!

Last night, SWMBO finally got around to cooking our first batch of these butt steak thingies. That’s how it is at our house. Something getting old? Something out of date? Something with damaged packaging? The farmer gets the stuff nobody wants, not the ribeyes.

Not knowing what else to do with these weird cuts, she just cooked them the way we do our pork chops, along with some peas from a bag and a bottle of vino (for the sauce and the chef!) She plated the steak thingies about 10 minutes after walking in the door and pushed one in front of me.

“They looked good. Hmm, they cut good, kinda tender like a porter house or a ribeye. They seem to have great marbling… if I didn’t know better, I’d think this was a steak….”

So I took a bite, and another. Good Lord these things are awesome! I didn’t really taste the pork flavor, they tasted more like a steak than a pork product. They were tender, juicy, flavorful. SWMBO said she tasted the pork and she’s probably right but I don’t care. They were awesome!

I ate mine. Then I gnawed the bone. Then the kids wandered off to play. I ate theirs. Then I was eyeing the one that was for lunch later but I decided to behave.

So we’ve got like 12 packs of these things I think. I’ll have to look when I steal them all and hide them from everyone so they don’t get sold. I think this is my new favorite thing! The only problem is, I’m not in the store today so hopefully nobody will know about our secret new cut till I get back home and can hide them from customers.

Nobody reads this blog, right? I’m safe.

Short ribs with asian flavor

Flavors from Asia,  they’re complex by nature. You bite in and instantly go “How did they do this”?  Umami is a word in Asian Cuisine used to describe the savory taste.  Short ribs have a bounty of Umami.

The ribs come in packs ranging from 1 lb- 2 lbs at $8.99 a lbs.   With ribs you want 1 lbs per person due to the removal of bone.  While this recipe is for 5 lbs I typically use 2-3 lbs of the ribs.  When doing this freeze part of your unused marinade for later use.

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The secret to short ribs is the cooking time.  Once again we are going to using that trusty dutch oven and set the oven at 280F.  The length of time will vary on the density of meat, towards the end check every 30 minutes.  You’re not just checking for fall off the bone you also want the connective tissue broken down enough to bite through easily.

 Short Ribs with Asian Flavor

  • 1 large Fuji apple
  • 1 large Asian pear
  • 1 ¼ cup soy sauce
  •  ¾ cup sugar
  •  1 red onion, roughly chopped
  •  4 green onions, chopped (optional)
  • 1 tbsp ginger, grated
  • 3 tbsp sesame seeds (optional)
  • ¼ cup sesame oil
  • 5 lbs Short ribs
  • Enough water to cover ribs
  • Green Onions, chopped (garnish)

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Cooking Method

  1. Preheat oven to 280F
  2.  For the marinade: Grate garlic, ginger, apple and pear into a large bowl, making sure to catch all of their juices.
  3. Add the soy sauce, sugar, onions,  sesame seeds, and sesame oil, mixing thoroughly.
  4. Place short ribs to the bowl, use tongs to ensure all of the ribs are coated with the marinade.
  5.  Refrigerate the meat & marinade for at least 12-24 hours before cooking. (The longer you marinate the meat, the better it flavor!)
  6. Remove from refrigerator 1 hour before cooking.
  7. In a Dutch oven place ribs & 1-2 cups of the marinade. Place in oven with the lid on 280 until tender 6-7 hrs.
  8. Remove and let sit for 10 minutes before removing ribs and breaking down the meat.
  9. While the meat cooks simmer the remaining marinade till syrupy & pour over finished ribs or serve beside them.
  10. Serve over rice or steamed vegetables.
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If you prefer fine dining break down the ribs after braising. The other option is the ever popular caveman style.

Brisket Tostadas

The NCF Store recently started carrying a smaller sized brisket. Instead of 7-8lbs the new cut is more manageable for a family at 2 ½ to 4 lbs. This meal fed 2 families, 5 children and 5 adults for under $70. That’s a big crowd when you realize the kids are hitting peak growth and hunger ages. Yesterday, was a typically busy house day. It’s the beginning of the homeschooling year, creating a bit of chaos.

I started watch Big Bang Theory years ago, since then I’ve wanted to make Howard’s Mother’s Brisket. It always appears to be one of those sought after items and much discussed. At 11 a.m. I realized, “Oh no the brisket isn’t in the oven yet. Is it too late?” Usually when I smoke a brisket, I like to keep it at 225 F for 12 hours. This however, was going to be served at 6 pm. OOPS!. As I seasoned the roast I discovered I was out of garlic powder. My mise en place was non-existent. I did what any good cook does and turned up the heat, changed the recipe and crossed my fingers.

In the afternoon, I met up with Erin (our neighbor & NCF’s milker) and run a chicken errand. When Erin and I walked in the door at 5:30pm; Bam the smell hit us. Something amazing had happened while we’d been out, the garlic powder missing was a great accident. Erin was planning to make tostadas for dinner and we both thought the kids would love to have dinner together and pulled beef brisket tostadas just sound AMAZING. I must admit they tasted even better, especially since Erin pampered us with fresh fried tostada shells.

Sorry, there aren’t a ton of pictures of the process as I did not plan on blogging this due to my loss of time management. It is too good not to share though.

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Savory Brisket

  • 1 3-4 lb beef brisket
  • ½ tsp onion powder
  • 1 tbsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp kosher salt
  • 2 med. yellow onions sliced thinly
  • 2 heads of garlic cut in ½
  • ½ cup Worcestershire Sauce
  • 1 cup high quality no salt beef broth
  1. Pre-heat oven to 285 F
  2. After bringing the roast up to room temperature season both sides with salt pepper and onion powder.
  3. Place in Dutch Oven fat side up with a firm lid ( If no dutch oven is available use an oven safe deep skillet with tight fitting lid.) Or yes a crock pot on the high (about 250F) and be prepared to wait an extra hour or 2.
  4. Lay garlic & onions across the top and sides of the brisket evenly
  5. Pour Worcestershire Sauce over the top of the roast
  6. Pour beef broth on the sides of the roast.
  7. Place lid & place in the oven for 6.5 hours
  8. Once the brisket can be pulled apart gently with a fork remove and rest for 15 minutes before pulling apart completely. Serve warm

As for the tostadas fill that puppy up anyway you like. We topped the shell with refried beans, brisket, onions, lettuce, cheese and fresh tomatoes.

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No side dishes needed here, Tostadas are a full meal.

For another application serve it as a pulled apart roast. Remove the fat off the top of the sauce with a turkey baster, remove the garlic & onion, reduce and serve in its own dish. In my house folks a picky about the amount of sauce they use.

Lamb Sliders with Chevre Cream

Ninja Cow Farm is now carrying a wide arrange of lamb products from High Rock Farm and Thistledown Farm. Dan goes to great lengths to search out small farms that meet his standards. He wants clients to get the best flavor of ethically raised, local meat possible.

Imagine tasty lamb as a burger, now as a fancy cheeseburger. This is  a meal to impress friends. The grand total for it should ring in under $25 for 4.  I served this decadent slider with  a small simple salad and vinaigrette.  A great way to introduce your kids to a more complex flavor palate without spending $75 at a nice restaurant that serves lamb.

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In this recipe, I’m going to teach you how to make Chevre into a condiment called crema.  It is a simple way to use a semi-soft cheese, turning it into a spread.

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Chevre Cream

  • 1 small log of Celebrity Dairy Chevre
  • 1/4 cup Simply Natural Dairy Heavy Cream
  1. Slice all rind off of the chevre log.                                                                     * While some prefer the flavor of rind I’m not a fan. It is not so friendly when melting down into a sauce.
  2. Crumble or cut Chevre into small pieces we want this to melt into the cream quickly.
  3. Using a heavy bottomed pan heat cream over a lo-med heat. Stir often as the fat & sugar content will cause cream to scorch quickly.
  4. When cream is beginning to steam whisk chevre into cream. Whisk until smooth. Remove from heat, serve warm.

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Lamb Slider

  • 1 lb of Ground lamb from the NCF store
  • Salt & Pepper
  1. Bring lamb up to room temperature by setting on counter for 1 hour before cooking.
  2. Separate into 2 ounce patties. Yes they are small but with the bun and added ingredients it will be filling. Theses are sliders.
  3. Season meat 5 minutes before frying.
  4. Warm cast iron pan on med-hi heat, let this heat thoroughly, you want to get a nice crust on the lamb patty.
  5. Add seasoned lamb patties to hot pan, after 2 minutes check to see if the release easily and flip. If they don’t  wait 45 seconds and try again.
  6. Remove from heat let rest for 3 minutes. Place on bun & dress to your liking.

These are rich flavors, the best way to not be overwhelmed by them is to add a bit of acid. To do that I added pickled red onion and a garden fresh tomato slice.  Ru & my brother added ketchup to theirs. My husband (the short bearded man spotted periodically on the farm) added mustard to his. Lots of ways to dress a slider and none of them are wrong.

For dessert I highly recommend Celebrity Dairy’s Ginger Goat’s  Milk Gelato.

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Surprise! We have beef for sale!

Freezer full of beef.
Our freezer, full to the brim with pasture bred, born, and finished beef.

Friday Spork and I took the new reefer truck(that’s a refrigerated truck to you snickering out there)  and picked up Sam from Chaudhrys. We had enough truck to pick up 30 cows so I was a bit worried we didn’t get enough meat from one cow because the meat looked pretty puny in the big truck. However when we got home and started packing the freezer, we filled it to overflowing and had to put the rest into another freezer. I guess there was more there than I thought.

In talking to SWMBO this morning, she’s agreed that we could sell some of the beef we have to make a bit more room in the freezer just to be organized. If you’ve been asking me when we’ll have beef, now is the time. Shoot me an email if you want some. We have all kinds of cuts and will be updating pricing on the website as soon as possible.

Now, onto the rest of the story.

Spork riding in a big truck
Spork riding back from picking up Sam, dead asleep.

As you can see, not only did Spork get to ride along (I love home schooling) but he was able to catch up on his sleep as well. Don’t let the snooze fool you. He worked hard on each end of the trip and was a joy to ride along with for the hour trip each way. As you can see we had the windows down on this trip. It was mid-July in North Carolina and it was about 84 degrees, low humidity, and a light breeze. It just doesn’t get any prettier.

Chaudhry’s did a great job with our cow, packaging, communication, etc. The only hiccup we had was they didn’t box our meat for us, which I’m used to. It’s not even remotely a problem, except I didn’t have boxes with me so we had to scramble a bit but it all worked out fine. Next time I’ll have plenty of boxes with me so we’ll be prepared.

Steak and eggs, pasture raised, organic.
Breakfast of champions, natural grass-fed beef, scrambled cheese eggs from our chickens, and fresh cantaloupe.

We had dinner plans last night and tonight so I couldn’t whip up a test steak to see how everything came out which was driving me crazy. What to do? How about steak and eggs for breakfast? The verdict? Holy cow! Quite simply the best grass-fed beef I’ve ever had, and I’ve had some “good” grass-fed beef. I cooked these steaks the way you DON’T cook grass-fed beef, fast and with high heat. The steaks were tender, juicy, and flavorful. It’s really hard to get fat into a grass-fed cow but with our methods it seems to have worked in this case very well. When you consider that our cows receive NO COMMERCIAL FEED, no GMO, no hormones, etc, etc it’s pretty exciting that we can finish a cow to this quality. Fat equals flavor and fat is what you need to cook with high heat. We have fat in these ribeyes and they are wonderful. We have a number of ribeyes so we can spare some, along with sirloin steaks, hamburger, stew beef, etc. SWMBO has decreed that no filet mignon’s (her favorite cut) will be sold so I apologize in advance if you want some of them.

Ribeye steaks, ready to be cooked.
Ribeye steaks, ready to be cooked.

Here you get a better look at the marbling in these ribeyes. Ribeye is usually the most heavily marbled cut and has the most flavor. That’s why it’s a prime cut. High end cattlemen have ultrasound machines where they measure the fat on the ribeye before the process the cow to make sure there is enough for the cow to grade out well. Of course we don’t do that here and rely on the old eyeball and experience to tell when a cow is ready to process. Sam looked ready and boy was he. This is a beautiful ribeye with lots of white flecks in the muscle. Those flecks are the marbling that we are after. Seeing that much marbling is what caused me to cook the steaks hot and fast. Our steaks will stand up to the grill.

Cotton, our great pyreneese enjoying her breakfast
Cotton enjoying her breakfast

Of course we couldn’t leave out our hard-working guardian dog. After we’d finished our breakfast, Cotton got to clean up all the scraps and bones. She was a happy dog this morning.