Savory Brisket

Jeanette & I were discussing the values of roasts today. We are on our summer cut sheet schedule of  using our chuck for more steaks and ground chuck for tasty tasty burgers.

She kept asking me what cut makes a fall aart cut like the chuck. I kept telling her brisket and she was all ” But its so expensive!” And I was all teenage Groot attitude saying ” No it’s not”. It is in fact 50 cents a pound more. With a 5 lb roast that is $2.50. But guys there is no bone unlike the chuck & the roast is bigger. HELLO LEFTOVERVILLE … Maybe I shouldn’t write blog posts after hanging out with Jeanette.

Our Briskets are amazing and this summer I will put my not so famous not so secret K.C. Style Smoked Brisket recipe up this summer. I hope life’s a bit nuts at the moment so I’m not cooking anything other than basics lately.

Brisket Tostada

While our NCF Chuck roasts are $8.75 per lb our Brisket is $9.25 per lb. We have used this recipe for parties. Shred and place out buns, tostadas , tacos, salads, on mashed potatoes and just as a dinner roast. And I’m really craving it after writing this. As we run low on Chuck roasts this summer please give this tasty recipe a try.

Shirred Duck Eggs with Fresh Tarragon

When Jeanette began working in the store last fall she brought a wonderful thing with her Duck Eggs. We have had them in the store a few times before but keeping them in stock was a bit rough.

For many who are allergic to chicken eggs , duck eggs are a great replacement. Bakers love the eggs for their richness they bring to cakes and doughs.  I’ve been hesitant to try them though as I constantly have chicken eggs on hand from the flock here on the farm.  But alas Jeanette has convinced me to give duck eggs a try for more than just baking.

Shirred eggs are great for when the Grandparents are in town and you need a fast easy dish for a crowd. Years ago I made a breakfast brunch for my sister in laws wedding. Then I did  Frittatas for 30, looking back this would have been so much easier.  The food was good though. And I think you just might be able to get the kids on this.

Duck Eggs sell in the NCF store for $8 per dozen. Simply Natural Heavy Cream is $4.60. I am in love with this cream and use it daily in my coffee.

This recipe comes from Lisa over at Fresh Eggs Daily

 

Steakhouse Au Gratin Potatoes

Winter will just not end, somebody please go capture spring and tell it, its suppose to be Spring. My poor garden is completely perplexed at what it should be doing currently.

I’m taking advantage of this extra cold spell to continue cooking my winter comfort foods. This recipe for Steakhouse Au Gratin Potatoes has passed around my girls friends and I’m not sure where it is originally from. We have all added our own personal take on it. For me, my addition was simple ground mustard. Ground mustard adds a level of depth in the flavor when it comes to cheese dishes. Dress this dish up with some pancetta or add some earthiness with mushrooms. All around it is a solid dish that you can play around with.

This recipe uses two things from the NCF store Simply Natural Dairy Heavy Cream and Ashe Co Redneck Romano Cheese. The heavy cream is is $4.60 and the Romano is 9.45 per lb.

At Last Oven Pastrami

In Honor of St Patrick’s Day we are repeating this 3 part series.

The Big Finally is here lets make some Pastrami!

Last week I brined my brisket, Sunday night I slice it & made corned beef. Today were are going to use the power of smoked paprika to make this brisket into something magical.  This whole week I have struggled back in forth. Do I cold smoke to I hot smoke, then it came to me. Most people do not have access to a smoker hot or cold, they do however have access to the grocery store & an oven. The whole premise of how I cook is to make it easy for those at home to follow and do the same. Let’s go!

As you can see the left over portion of my brisket is small, There will only be a few servings. Next time I make this I will order one of the giant 12 pounders and make enough for left overs.

 

Corned Beef 

With St Patrick’s Day close by we are republishing some old recipes

St Patrick’s day is getting closer do you have your Brisket yet. The good new is that you still have time. The recipe I posted last week only takes 3-5 days. For you last minute folks out there (like me) this one is for you.

The dark color is due to not using nitrates in the brining process. I used beet juice unfortunately it was not dark enough to preserve the color

 

This past weekend my family hosted a farm game night for all of us that live here at NCF. We served the Corned Beef with Cabbage, it was a big hit.  It scored a solid 8 out of 10, every last morsel of the beef was consumed.

Mark & Dustin grabbing their dinners.
SWMBO didn’t even get a bite.

The only issue we had was coloring and it may have been due to my beet juice not having enough of the coloring in it. My beet juice was not nearly as colorful as other brands I’ve seen out there. In fact it was downright pale.

 

Alarita Cider Turkey Breast

We haven’t made too big of a deal about it yet, but we will now. Brittany Ridge Farms now has Turkey Breast. This means the NCF Store now has Turkey Breast. SWMBO & I have had some fun filling our families bellies with these wonders. Now I have to share. Even if I don’t want to share.

The one thing I try to keep out of my house is processed lunch meat. I try to make a bit extra at dinner for a light lunch for us for the next day. Somehow there are rarely leftovers on meat though no matter how hard I try.  This means that once or twice a week I make an extra roast. Or if I make a Turkey Breast then my family has plenty of meat left over for a few sandwiches. And as much as my family loves the Herb Butter Recipe from Thanksgiving I prefer something a bit different from time to time.

The one thing we still need to do with Turkey though is Brine. Turkey is just too low in fat through the muscle to make it a moist meat without Brining.  I recommend that you simply make the Brince the night before drop your Turkey Breast in it. Then cook it the next day the perfect brine time is somewhere between 12-23 hours. Some folks I know do a 36 hour brine, I only recommend this if you are using a bird that hasn’t had time to properly rest after being harvested. Brine is a simple recipe 4 tablespoons of Kosher Salt to 4 cups of water.

Turkey Breast is sold in the NCF store for $10 per lb. The breasts weigh between 2.5-3 lbs. I usually get a dinner and 2 days of sandwiches for my family of 3. I then use the carcass to make soup. Waste not Want not.

Alarita Dry Rub is now a constant in my kitchen. I’ve gone through 2 bottles in the past year. I use it for roast vegetables and meats alike. It is a solid product at $8 a bottle.  It take a ho hum green bean or eggplant to “ooooo green bean & eggplant”. The tiny bit of brown sugar in it balances the flavor for herby flavor.

 

Brisket to Corned Beef to Pastrami

It is March, this dish was a favorite among our clientele last year. Now I’m bringing forward for this year.

 

This is a several part series stay tuned…

Brisket, that mighty versatile cut of beef.  While I was mostly raised in Nashville, TN I was born in Missouri meaning smoked K. C. brisket is my favorite. We can make it sweet, savory, BBQ,  & corned. Dan claims Ribeye is king, nope Brisket is king for this girl.

Corned Beef is an American Classic for St. Patty’s Day sorry folks it’s not Irish. The reason being most Irish at the time this recipe came together could not afford the cut of meat. The good news is today you can afford it and it is readily accessible in our store at NCF.

The NCF Brisket sells for $9.25 lb. Last summer we decided that our clients preferred a smaller family sized cut ranging from 3 lbs to 5 lbs instead of the giant 12 pounder our processor was sending. Even a small 3 lb roast will feed a large party of people. I’m using this one brisket to make 2 things. Add in a hash and that is 3 meals.

The recipe I’m using today is not my own. I’m using a recipe from  Katie at the Wellness Mama website . This is a new recipe for me, it has good reviews. The reason why I am going with a new recipe is to use a recipe that is nitrate free.  I hope we all enjoy it. The good news is my family gets to go first.

After we have corned the beef we will the make 2 separate dinners corned beef & cabbage & pastrami.  Where many recipes will call for you to remove the excess fat here we need to keep it  for the pastrami.

The beautiful fat cap there to the left. LEAVE IT!

Balsamic & Wine Beef Shank

Oh beef shank how do I love thee? Let me count the ways.

Beef Shank is one of the most versatile roasting cuts of meat we have in the store.  Sold in pack of 2 it is great for just 2 people. Packs range from 1-2 lbs due to the increasing size as the butcher works their way up the leg. At $8.49 per lb it is a pretty good deal for small households. In fact I really can’t tell you the last time I made a huge chuck roast. 1-2 packs gives my family of 3 plenty to eat with leftovers for another meal.

Rich in flavor, lightly marbled, & plenty of connective shank must be cooked for a long time.  Don’t let it scare you off though. It is the perfect piece to throw in to the crock pot or dutch oven then come home to at night. In fact I’m going to recommend that you use the crockpot on low for this one for 6-7 hours. I used my dutch oven for 4 hours then complained that dinner wasn’t ready yet. Jeanette made fun of me deservedly so. It came out perfectly done 2 hours later.  Tonight my family will enjoy it for dinner, meats dishes always taste better the 2nd day anyways.

She keeps me oh so humble.

 

Basic Roasted Chicken

Folks you have blown through our Chicken Freezer this winter. Poor Christy at Brittany Ridge Farms cannot keep up. Normally winter is a downtime for chicken. This year you fine folks said, “NOPE!”.

Since this burst of chicken flying off the shelves has hit I have been bombarded with emails and texts. “Why is my chicken tough? Chicken from XYZ store is never tough” At first I was perplexed, then I asked how it was cooked. Now this is where I giggle.  350 is not the magic oven on the  oven folks. It seems that is the go to temperature that most folks set their oven at.  Please stop cooking everything at 350.

You see chicken at XYZ regular ol’ grocery store is pre-brined. It is pumped full of a saline solution. This tenderizes the muscles & weighs more per pound for the grocer. This also allows for the water to cook the chicken at a lower temperature. Having less moisture in it to begin with our chicken requires a higher cooking temperature.  Brittany Ridge pasture raises their birds allowing them  free reign over what they eat. They are given access to a milled grain with 21 % protein from Statesville. Keep it local folks.

Beef & Pork Roasts= 280 F, roughly 1 hour per pound.

Chicken skin on bone in should be cooked at 425F unless it is whole. Then we have some fun. With a whole chicken  you want to start off with a hot oven at 475F then after 20 minutes drop down to 425F for the remaining time.  How long though is up to the state of the chicken. Completely defrosted 50-60 minutes. You want the thickest part of the chicken to reach 165F. This is not negotiable.

There is trick though to help insure super crispy skin, dry off the chicken thoroughly first with paper towels. You do not need oil or any thing else.

For crispy all the way around I suggest. lining a  sheet pan with tinfoil then place a cooling rack in it.

Below are prices and cooking times, remember they vary on size and temperature when going in.

For the price I recommend Quarters-at $5 per lb= 40-45 min ,2 per pack. Each person receives 1 as a serving,

Drumsticks- at $6.50 per lb = 30-35 minutes 4 per pack typically.

Thighs-at $6.50 per lb ( they are currently out of stock),= 30-35 min. 3-4 per pack. Each person receives 2 as a serving.

Split Breast-at $10 per lb 40-50 min, 2 per pack. Each person receives 1 as a serving,

Boneless skinless breast at $12 per lb, 2 per pack 1 per person. Cook at 375 for 20-25 minutes until 165F. Each person receives 1 as a serving.

 

 

 

 

Cube Steak Alarita Style

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.