Lamb

We have gotten our experimental lamb back - it was delicious and we think our lamb customers will be very pleased with the packages we will be offering. BUT, we have run into an unexpected obstacle . Our processing house and all of the processing houses are extremely busy this time of year. There is a bottleneck caused by the confluence of county fairs increasing the livestock coming in from the 4H auctions, deer season is in swing, and Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year celebrations increasing demand for the processors’ facility. We think we will work through this, but it may require us to push our lamb offering to Easter rather than the end of year holidays. We will keep you up to date as we work through the issue.

That caution being expressed, In the belief that we will have lamb packages to offer for our coming December/January holy days, I have begun trying some approaches to the cooking of lamb. I started with lamb chops and found this recipe at the allrecipes.com site. It is called brown sugar chops. The brown sugar label attracted me, knowing that it would put a nice and delicious crust on the meat whether grilled or in a skillet.

First make your dry rub marinade, consisting of:

  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon each of ground ginger, cinnamon, black pepper, and garlic
  • 2 teaspoons dried tarragon
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

(a confession: I cut ginger down from 2 t. to 1 because I have had bad experiences with ginger being so dominant it tastes like soap. Add it back if that is not your concern.)

Mix the ingredients together. Place all sides of each chop in the rub so that it is covered. It helps if the chops have been brought near to room temperature so that moisture has started to form, allowing the seasonings to attach to the meat.

When all chops are dredged in the seasonings, place in refrigerator and cover for an hour, allowing the seasonings to penetrate. 

Ready to cook? Warm your grill or skillet up to medium-high heat. Brush the grill or skillet with oil to avoid sticking, give the chops 5 minutes on each side for medium rare, more if you prefer them medium or well. But it must be a hot grill or skillet in order to get the crustiness you need for the brown sugar.

Enjoy! Really delicious.

A note to those who prefer less of the gamey taste of lamb: the more done the meat is, the less gamey it is. Medium-well chops are still tasty, but with less and less gaminess as they cook further. I like gamey, Honi doesn’t so much. But I’ve been eating wild duck and venison all my life so my palate developed a receptiveness to it. So, experiment to suit your taste.
 

JVF Rice Mambo

Ingredients

  • Small cans (or fresh frozen) corn, Le Sueur peas, carrots and mushrooms.(Splurge with fresh broccoli florets and chopped yellow, red and green bell peppers.)
  • 1⁄2 stick butter
  • A large clove of garlic, crushed.
  • 2 cups dry rice, cooked in the vegetable broth combined with vegetable or chicken broth. (If you want to raise the cost and the nutrient value, use wild and brown rice.)

Directions

Drain and save the liquid from the canned products for cooking your rice. Proceed by melting the butter in a wok or deep skillet, add garlic and the vegetables to warm. Mix in the rice and let it all steep on a very low fire for 20 minutes. Serve.

If you want to make it an “all in one dinner dish”, add a meat and fill the dinner plate with this multi-veg and protein with a starch dish. You’re eating like TJ!
Rice. It can be “what’s for dinner” again.

 

Recipe: Smothered Steak

On a recent road trip into my roots in South Louisiana, we stopped for lunch at a favored café. Their  lunch specials included smothered steak, aka “grillades” there. This was a prized dish in my  mother’s  kitchen —  she a South Louisianian herself — so I ordered it. Took me back to my childhood! Even cleaned up the remaining gravy with the yeast rolls provided. So here’s the recipe and you will soon have the necessary cutlets in your cooler.

Mom’s Smothered Steak

Ingredients:

  • 1 package JVF tenderized beef or pork cutlets, cut into quarters
  • 1/2 t. salt
  • 1/4 t. black pepper
  • 1/4 t. garlic
  • 1/2 t. onion powder
  • 1/2 c. flour
  • 1/4 c. oil (I add a tablespoon of butter)
  • 1 c. water
  • 1 beef bouillon cube (or use 1c. organic beef brother and eliminate water and cube)
  • 1 medium yellow onion

Directions:

  1. Mix the seasonings in a small bowl. Put flour on a flat dish. Coat each piece of cutlet with spices and rub the spices into the groves in the cutlets. You should cover the pieces with the spices while retaining some of the spices for later. Dredge each piece in flour. Rub flour in too, then re-dredge in the flour.
  2. Heat oil and butter on a medium high burner and preferably in a cast iron skillet but any will do. Add cutlets and fry for 1 minute then cut heat back to medium. Fry 4-5 minutes on each side, then remove to drain on a paper towel.
  3. Remove all but 3 tablespoons of oil/butter and bring back to medium high heat, sprinkling in 3 T. flour. Whisk it into the oil and cook until you have a brown roux. Add the cup of water and a bouillion cube (or not) and mix until the gravy thickens slightly. Add all or part of remaining seasoning to taste.
  4. Replace cutlets in gravy, top with onion rings, cover and simmer for 30-40 minutes and you’re ready to eat. I like it served over rice or with a good yeast roll. Whatever you prefer is fine but the gravy is delicious too so have some method for cleaning the plate at the table!

Recipe: Bone Broth

The world is discovering the richness of the elixir, bone broth, even to the extent that restaurants are now serving it as an appetizer or muse (see Houston Chronicle Flavor section of January 20, 2016). So happens that Honi and I had recently spent 3 days making what ended up as 4 gallons of same, putting it in the deep freeze in pint and quart jars. Only problem? We found that a pint per person before dinner soothed our appetite and we could not finish the main dish. Ha! We’re living high on the broth.

Boudreaux's Bone Broth Bonanza

Here’s the recipe I like best after years of experimenting. For 2 gallons of water:

Ingredients:

  • 2 carrot tops, big chunks of the carrots that came with it
  • Garlic, peeled but left whole. (How many? How much do you like garlic?)
  • 2 sprigs thyme
  • 4 parsley stems
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon peppercorn
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt

Directions:

  1. Add salt to water in your stock pot and bring to boil, stirring to meld the salt into the water. Once the salt has dissolved, the water should taste a bit salty. If it doesn’t, add a teaspoon.
  2. Add the rest of the ingredients into boiling water, and put your beef, chicken or pork bones (or all 3) into the water. When the pot returns to a boil, reduce heat to very slow simmer. Cook for 24 hours or less, lid off. Longer is better, but do what you have to do.
  3. One note: I find that a bouillon cube enhances the broth and was surprised by the absence of negative ingredients on the nutrition label. 

Recipe: Kosher Brisket of Beef

“Cooking is like love. it should be entered into with abandon or not at all.”
— Harriet Van Horne

When this venture of direct farm sales began 10 years ago, Honi had dedicated Jewish patrons who insisted on celebrating their holy days with our grass-fed, unadulterated brisket of beef. Through them, we learned this Kosher recipe for brisket – but it’s just as good with Roasts or Osso Buco cuts. The gravy is the secret and it is fabulous! You’ll want to have plenty of crusty French rolls or other good bread for dipping and enjoying the gravy along with the wonderful flavor imparted to the beef.

I cooked this most recently in our handy-dandy digital pressure cooker in 1 ½ hours. Expect twice that time in a dutch oven on the stovetop or in the oven. In either case, cook until fork tender. Times are not exact, so cook until tender.

KOSHER BRISKET OF BEEF

Ingredients:

 Kosher Brisket of Beef
  • 2 T. Kosher salt
  • 1 T. paprika
  • 2 t. garlic powder
  • 1 t. black pepper, freshly ground
  • 1 brisket, cut into pieces to fit the bottom of your vessel (but it can stack if necessary)
  • 2 T. olive oil
  • 2 T. real butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions or 1 large, medium dice
  • 12 cloves fresh garlic, crushed and peels removed
  • 6 T. light brown sugar
  • 2 T. tomato paste
  • 2 T. BBQ sauce – don’t use Kansas City style, too sweet. Need a tart sauce. I like Stubb’s Original.
  • Cook with abandon! And have a Merry Christmas and Happy Holiday. 
  • 1 (14 ½ ounce) can of canned tomatoes, chopped into large chunks. Drain liquid first and discard or save for other things.
  • 2 t. rosemary
  • 1 bay leaf
  • ¼ cup cider vinegar
  • 2 cups beef broth

Procedure:

  1. Combine spices and rub on the meat. Set aside while it is absorbed.
  2. Put oil and butter into the cooker on “sear” setting. When hot, sear the meat on each side. Set seared meat aside and sear onion, garlic and sugar together until onion begins to caramelize. Add tomato and BBQ sauce and stir to cover the vegetables.
  3. Add tomatoes, rosemary, bay leaf, vinegar, and beef broth until hot and combined.
  4. Add beef, fasten the lid and turn cooker to high pressure and set time to 90 minutes.

That’s it, folks. You’ll love it. Remember the bread, or serve rice, pasta, grits or mashed potatoes on the side and cover all with the gravy.

Recipe: Pork Belly

Ryan Hartzog sends this photo and recipe for a very savory rendition of the JVF pork belly. I know how flavorful the belly can be with a simple recipe – throw it on the grill until done. So this one must take us to pork heaven! Check out these ingredients and processes – definitely a Sunday meal.

Thank you, Ryan, with attribution to Gordon Ramsey.

JVF Pork Belly

 Ryan Hartzog

Ryan Hartzog

Ingredients:

  • 2-3 pound Jolie Vue Farms Pork Belly (Skin on if possible)
  • Sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 fennel bulb, trimmed and roughly sliced
  • 4 fresh bay leaves
  • 3 garlic cloves, peeled and bashed
  • 1 tsp cardamom pods, bashed
  • 4 star anise
  • 1 tbsp fennel seeds
  • Olive oil
  • 1.5 cups white wine
  • 2-3 cups chicken stock (depending on the size of your pan)
  • 1 tbsp wholegrain mustard

Directions:

  1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  2. Score the pork belly skin diagonally in a diamond pattern at 1 inch intervals. Season generously with salt and pepper, rubbing it well into the skin.
  3. Put the fennel, bay leaves, garlic, cardamom, star anise and half the fennel seeds into a hot roasting tray on the stove top with a little oil and heat for about 2 minutes until aromatic. Push to the side of the tray, then add the pork, skin side down, and cook for at least 5 minutes until turning golden brown. Turn the pork over, season the skin again with salt and sprinkle with the remaining fennel seeds. Pour in the wine to deglaze the pan, scraping up the bits from the bottom (be careful not to get the skin of the pork wet). Bring to the boil, then pour in enough stock to come up to the layer of fat just below the skin and allow to boil again. Transfer the tray to the preheated oven and cook for 2½ hours.
  4. Transfer the meat to a warm plate and set aside to rest. Meanwhile, spoon off any excess fat in the roasting tray or drag a slice of bread along the surface of the cooking juices to absorb it. Heat the tray on the stove top, adding the mustard. Mix in with a whisk, then taste and adjust the flavors as necessary.
  5. Remove the star anise and cardamom pods and pour the sauce into a jug. Serve the rested pork with the sauce alongside.

Carnitas

Paula Sokolich brings us the recipe of the month. I would only add that I bet it would be good with any roast, be that from the ham or the beef shoulder or round. But Carnitas traditionally come from the pork should, so Paula is spot on there.

“I wanted to share a recipe with you that our family really enjoys. It uses the JVF's pork shoulder. This month's roast was a hearty size and perfect for this recipe. Please feel free to try this and let me know what you think. In the past I've saved up the pork roasts and used two or three to make a really big batch. It tastes even better the next day after cooking. It takes awhile to cook this recipe, but cutting the onion and peppers takes the longest, it really isn't that labor intensive. The house smells great during the cooking process.”
— Blessings, Paula Sokolich

Pork Carnitas

Ingredients:

  • 1 JVF's pork shoulder or similar roast
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
  • 2 teaspoons cumin + 1 teaspoon for use later
  • 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
  • 2 cartons (32 ounces each) reduced sodium beef stock
  • 2 red bell peppers, quartered, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 green bell pepper, quartered, seeded, and sliced
  • 1 large yellow onion, sliced
  • 1 large bunch cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • Large flour or corn tortillas
  • Toppings - guacamole, shredded cheddar cheese, sour cream

Directions:

  1. Cut pork roast into baseball size chunks. Leave bone in with the rest of the meat for flavor. In a small bowl, combine garlic powder, salt, pepper, 2 teaspoons of cumin, and chili powder. Sprinkle over the pork. Cover and let it sit overnight.
  2. The next day, in a dutch oven, heat oil over medium-high heat. Cook meat in batches until browned.
  3. Add beef stock and browned meat and bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium (or lower to keep meat to a very low boil) and cook uncovered for 1 hour, stirring occasionally. Stir in additional 1 teaspoon cumin and cook another 1 hour. Add water as needed to keep liquid from completely evaporating until meat is done. Add lid tilted on the dutch oven (do not completely cover). Add bell peppers and onion and cook stirring occasionally another 1 hour.
  4. When meat is very tender, use spatula or fork to break into bite size pieces or shred. Remove bone and add any meat off of the bone to the dutch oven.
  5. Add cilantro and cook 5 to 10 minutes. Increase heat to medium-high, cook stirring often until the liquid is reduced to your liking (I prefer to have extra juice with the carnitas) approximately 30 minutes.
  6. Serve on your choice of tortilla and add your favorite toppings.

Recipe: Beef Liver

Liver. The essential food we love to hate, right? We just have a hard time dealing with it. It looks and feels bad. To make a difficult problem worse, it doesn’t taste good unless prepared correctly. One of you even pleads with us to leave it out of her cooler because it makes her sick to even look at it in its frozen state (sorry, cannot do that. We don’t pack custom boxes. We are a “farmer’s choice” producer.)

So why fool with it at all? How about because it is one of the most nourishing foods on the planet? And you don’t need to eat it regularly, but only occasionally. It is notoriously rich in otherwise hard to absorb nutrients, including B vitamins, iron, zinc, and vitamins A and D. That’s right, Vitamin D. And you thought you could only get D from exposure to the sun. Nope. You get it in beef liver.

So one of you (the Elaine Howard family) was looking for a way to capitalize on the colossal benefits of liver while also enjoying the eating experience. She found this recipe on a former, emphasis on former, vegan’s cooking blog (if a converted vegan likes it, who wouldn’t give it a try?) Note this as my only caveat: Elaine reports that the adults LOVED it and the kids HATED it. But kids hate a lot of exotic dishes, right? Give them some time.

Here it is, from Mickey Trescott’s blog*. I add one step which I find to be an enhancement no matter how I cook liver – rinse it and salt it with coarse Kosher salt and refrigerate for 24 hours, sliced across the grain, covered loosely in plastic wrap.

Mickey Trescott's Beef Liver

Ingredients:

  • 1 lb beef liver, sliced across the grain
  • 6 pieces bacon
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 small onion, minced
  • 2 T. fresh rosemary, minced
  • 2 T. fresh thyme, minced
  • 1/2 C. coconut oil, melted
  • 1.2 t. sea salt
  • slices of fresh cucumber or carrots

Procedure:

  1. Cook the bacon to crisp in your cooking pot (cast iron if you have it). Set aside to cool, leaving the bacon fat in the pot.
  2. Add the onion and cook for 2 minutes on medium high. Add the garlic on top and cook for another minute.
  3. Add the liver, sprinkled with the herbs. Cook for 3-5 minutes per side until all pink disappears.
  4. Turn off heat and remove contents to a food processor or blender with the coconut oil and sea salt. (While I have not tried this recipe, when I do I willadd some fresh lemon juice at this point) Process into a thick paste. Add more oil if needed. Remove to a serving bowl, sprinkle with the bacon bits (and chopped parsley if you like.) Serve on fresh cucumber or carrot slices.

*Mickey moved to a Paleo diet after 10 years of veganism left her with Celiac and Hashimoto’s disease, adrenal fatigue and multiple vitamin deficiencies. She is the author of THE AUTOIMMUNE PALEO COOKBOOK