Slow-Cooker Pulled Pork

Pulled pork is easy to make in your slow cooker and super versatile. We often cook up a pork roast and have it in the fridge to shred and eat for several meals. It makes great sandwiches, tacos, stir fry meat, filling for tamales, meat to add to a soup or to a breakfast hash in the morning. Here are some general guidelines and ideas.

  1. Thaw and season your pork roast on all sides with salt and a few grinds of pepper. Don’t be shy with the salt!

2. Place in your slow cooker, with the fattiest side facing up.

3. Add onions. One chopped big onion is good. You can also add garlic if you want, or dried chilis and/or a couple bay leaves. For a Mexican version, we’ll add a Chipotle pepper. Whatever sounds good to you…

4. Add 1 cup of liquid. We like half and half beer and orange juice. You could also due a barbecue version with apple cider vinegar, ketchup and Coca-Cola. Or half broth, half wine. My grandma makes pulled pork in a base that’s half Pepsi, half cream of mushroom soup.

5. Slow cook it in your slow cooker on low. You be the judge of when it’s ready: ideally when it is falling apart when pulled with a fork. It helps to turn the meat from time to time during the day, but it isn’t necessary. This could take all day, so be ready to cook your pork overnight or start it in the morning.

6. Remove the meat from the liquid and place on a baking sheet to cool. Then shred the meat with a fork and a knife, discarding any gristle or parts that don’t look like what you want in your dish.

7. Pour the drippings from the slow cooker into a pot. If you can, remove any fat. Then reduce the liquids down to make a thick sauce. This is a good base for a barbecue sauce.

8. Add the meat back to the sauce (if that’s what you want to do) to reheat and get your shredded pork all glistening.

9. Serve and enjoy or place in the fridge for later.

 

Don’t have a slow cooker? Place all ingredients in a non-reactive dutch oven or heavy pan, cover, and cook in your oven at 250 degrees.

Enjoy!

Pork Carnitas

This recipe is our take for Texas-style pork: pork shoulder gets cooked down into its own rendered lard and juices to crisp up at the end into an irresistible dish for tacos or just for eating. You can achieve a similar effect by cooking in a slow cooker,, then browning the shredded pork at the end if you don’t want to watch the pot. We love this recipe with all our hearts and we think you will, too.

Pork Carnitas

1 pork shoulder roast or 1 package pork shoulder steaks, cut into 2 inch chunks

Salt

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon chili powder

3 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed

1/2 cup orange juice

1/4 cup lime juice

 

Method:

Season meat all over with salt, cumin, chili and coriander. Place in a non-reactive dutch oven, such as enameled cast iron. Add orange juice, garlic, lime juice, and enough water to just barely cover the pork. Bring the liquid to a boil. Then lower and the heat and simmer uncovered and untouched for two hours.

After two hours turn the heat up under the dutch oven. Occasionally stir the meat as you let almost all the liquids evaporate. Near the end it will be only the rendered fat sizzling in the pan. Turn the chunks of pork gently to brown and crisp up.

Taste and adjust seasonings.

Serve with:

tortillas

radishes

sour cream

lime

avocado

sliced onions

etc.

 

Enjoy!

 

September Add-ons

This month we have some great additions to your meat shares. You can pay by cash/check or credit card and we’ll deliver the add-ons along with your share.

Whole Pastured Chicken

Braunschweiger

Pastured Pork Lard

Organic Paulared Apples

Newsletter – September 2017

August just ended and it already feels like fall. The mornings are cooler and the maple leaves already have a hint of yellow on the edges. We had the wettest spring in history and now we’re in a drought. The grass stopped growing! Peter goes out everyday with a chainsaw and cuts down elm, prickly ash, box elder, and mulberry for the cows and sheep. It’s much cheaper than feeding hay and the animals love it. They come running as soon as they hear the chainsaw fire up. We’re really hoping for rain this week so we can keep grazing through the fall! Otherwise, we’ll have to start feeding hay in a few weeks and we won’t be able to afford to do that for long.

The majority of August was spent running our bandsaw mill, sun up to sun down, every single day. Maureen’s dad, Leif, has been running the mill while Peter felled and limbed pine trees, and stickered and stacked the finished wood in the barn while apprentice Rachael cleared brush and made woodchips. We now have stacks upon stacks of beautiful white pine posts, beams, panneling, flooring, stairs, counter tops, framing lumber, and shelves – a whole home’s worth of wood. Due to this small hindrance in our climate called winter, which seems to be coming soon, we are pausing the frame raising for now and delaying until 2018. That will give us a chance this winter to spend that time tending to animals, planing and sanding boards and beginning all of the joinery for our frame. There is a beautiful concrete foundation in place to motivate us, so we won’t get discouraged.

September Shares

Along with your meat shares this month, we have lots of add-ons available including braunschweiger, chickens, lard, and yummy organic apples. You can order add-ons here.

There are some gorgeous pork chops are in shares this month. You’ll notice the deep red color and excellent fat color and marbling. I enjoyed this article by Melissa Clark from The New York Times about one of our favorite cuts, the bone-in pork chop: Fattier Pork Is Better Pork. We enjoyed her recipe for Pork Chops with Tamarind and Ginger.

We still have chickens available! We’ve been really enjoying Buttermilk Fried Chicken lately. Fried in our pastured pork lard, of course. You can buy both chickens and lard as add-ons this month!

We’ve been experimenting with new recipes for ground beef. One of our favorites is this turkish recipe for Spiced Beef Kofta. 

Enjoy!

Buttermilk Fried Chicken

Brining the chicken first in buttermilk tenderizes and adds a bit of flavor. Frying in very hot oil, lard or beef tallow gets the perfect crunchy crust.

Brine:

1 whole chicken, cut into pieces, the breasts cut in half

1 quart buttermilk

1 teaspoon hot sauce

2 teaspoons salt

Dredge:

2 cups white flour

1 tablsepoon salt

1 tablespoon paprika

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 teaspoon garlic powder

freshly ground pepper

1 to 2 quarts lard, from pastured pigs, rendered beef tallow, or peanut oil for frying

Mix 2 tablespoons salt, a bit of hot sauce, and fresh ground pepper with buttermilk. Place chicken pieces in a large pan, and cover with brine. Marinate in the fridge overnight.

Mix flour, 1 tablespoon salt, and spices in a large paper bag, like the kind you get from the grocery store. If you don’t have one, a big bowl is ok.

Heat lard in a heavy pan, preferably cast iron, over medium high heat. You want a depth of 2 inches of fat, preferably.

When ready to fry, pull the chicken from the bag, shake off excess buttermilk, then drop the chicken pieces in the plastic bag and shake up to coat.

Check oil temperature. When it reaches 350, you’re ready to fry! Using tongs, carefully place breaded chicken pieces in hot oil. Turn heat to medium and cook until internal temperature of the thick part of the meat reaches 160. It helps to fry the thighs and drumsticks first, as they take a while to cook. Turn occasionally to keep from burning. Make sure oil comes back to temperature before adding the second batch, and add more lard as necessary.

Place chicken pieces on a wire rack to drain. Enjoy.

Coconut Beef Kofte

This recipe is based on Turkish kebabs, traditionally made with ground lamb and spices. We include coconut in ours, which act almost as breadcrumbs, lending a bit of (gluten-free!) texture and sweetness that is surprising but delicious. These can be served on their own, with condiments and salad, or as a sandwich.

If you plan to make the yogurt sauce (tzatziki), make sure to strain your yogurt the night before, or buy thick greek yogurt.

Ingredients;

1 lb ground beef or mutton

1/2 cup ground coconut

1 small onion, grated on a box grater

1 clove garlic grated on a microplane or small holes of a box grater

1/4 cup fresh mint, minced

1/4 cup fresh parsley, minced

1 tablespoon cumin

1 tablespoon ground coriander

1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground allspice

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon salt

A pinch of red pepper flakes, or to taste

Zest of one lemon (if you don’t have a lemon, just skip it!)

Method:

Mix all ingredients in a bowl. Work with your hands to mix, then form into patties. If you’d like to grill the kofte, form into oval shapes, then wrap these around skewers. Or grill the patties. They can really be cooked in whatever suits you. we picked small patties because they were easy and quick to cook inour skillet for dinner.

Heat a cast iron skillet or medium heat, or heat your grill. When hot, cook the kofte until done in the center, 2-3 minutes per side depending on size.

Serve with tzaziki and sides of your choice. Pita or flatbread sandwiches would be a good choice here.

This recipe was adapted from the recipe for Coconut Kofte by Melissa Clark in her excellent book, How To Dinner.

Cucumber Kohlrabi Tzatziki Sauce

If you don’t have kohlrabi, just use more cucumber.

1 cucumber, peeled

1 kohlrabi, peeled

Salt

1 clove garlic, grated on a microplane or the small holes in a box grater

1/2 cup fresh mint

1/2 cup fresh dill

2 tablespoons lemon juice

Zest from one lemon

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cups plain Greek yogurt or strained yogurt

Freshly ground black pepper

Method:

To strain the yogurt, place full fat plain yogurt in a colander lined with cheesecloth and let drain in your fridge overnight. Use the strained yogurt like greek yogurt, and the whey to soak grains, inoculate ferments or for drinking. Otherwise, use store-bought Greek yogurt for this recipe.

Grate the cucumber and kohlrabi in the large holes of a box grater and place in a bowl. Sprinkle with 1/2 teaspoon of salt and let it sit for a while.

Meanwhile, mix remaining ingredients, plus 1 teaspoon of salt. With your hands, squeeze the kohlrabi and cucumber to remove all the liquid. Add to the yogurt sauce and stir together. Adjust for seasonings. Enjoy.

Newsletter – August 2017

Expert plant watering

It’s August and we are beginning to get tired, welcoming the shortening days with a bit more sleep, as our work days last from sun up to sun down. The garden is in full swing with produce galore, our chickens are packed away sweetly in the freezer and it’s time to start building as fast as we possibly can. The foundation is being poured today for our new house, and we are furiously felling pine trees and milling beams. It’s sort of a race with old Grandpa Winter to see if the frame gets raised this season or next!

Exciting new update for this month: we are now fully committed to on farm slaughter for all of our animals! This does not mean on-farm processing: the carcasses get loaded into a refrigerated truck and driven to a licensed butcher shop in Spring Green. There they get cut by experts and packaged into some beautiful vacuum-sealed bags ready for your freezer. And table.

It is the month of the chickens. We have some glorious, delicious chickens available this month. They are also large…25% larger than what you might by at the supermarket! Enjoy a couple meals from each bird, as well as some broth, knowing that the longer lives of these critters makes for more delicious and nutritious meat. Because they are a bit larger, cooking times might be a little longer than for recipes that call for smaller chickens, so plan ahead. Chickens need time to come up to room temperature before they are cook, so take the bird out of the fridge at least an hour before you plan to cook it.

We sell whole chickens. They are great for roasting as is, or for grilling or other recipes, they will need to be cut into pieces. Here is a nice video by Mo’s hero, Shannon Hayes, on cutting up a whole chicken.

How to Cut A Pasture-Raised Chicken:

http://theradicalhomemaker.net/grassfed-cooking-recipes-and-tips/how-to-cut-up-your-pasture-raised-chicken/

And here are some wonderful chicken recipes for you to enjoy!

Simple Poached Chicken: This is a very simple way to cook a whole chicken when shredded chicken meat is desired for stir fries or chicken salads. It is much like a precursor to making broth, only removing the chicken when the meat is just cooked so it is just done, before it has a chance to be overcooked.

Smoked Chicken: This is one of our favorite ways to prepare whole chickens, especially for guests, as it can be prepared early in the day and reheated to serve a crowd

A whole, smoked chicken, ready for devouring

Roasted Chicken: A simple recipe for roasted whole chicken

Grilled Chicken: Grilling a whole chicken outside is the epitome of summer eating for us

Chicken Rub: A tasty seasoning blend for grilled chicken (and pork chops, too!)

Chicken Bone Broth: With all of the bones and chicken leftovers, make a batch of nourishing broth for your family

Honey Lime Steak Marinade

Mix up:

  • 1/4 cup lime juice
  • 1 tablespoon honey
  • 1 bunch fresh cilantro, leaves removed and finely chopped
  • 1/4 cup soy sauce
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 diced jalapeño, or red pepper flakes to taste
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • black pepper to taste

Place steaks in a dish large enough to hold them and pour marinade over to submerge. Or place in a ziplock bag with marinade. Let marinate in the refrigerator at least 2 hours or up to 24.

Let come to room temperature, pay dry, and grill or broil, until done to your taste. Enjoy!

Smoked Chicken

Make the honey sage brine, or other brine, and brine the chicken 24 hours in the refrigerator. Let it drain and come to room temperature about one hour before you plan to cook it.

To smoke on a gas grill:  Preheat your grill by turning all burners on high. Place a foil tray of smoked woodchips on one burner. Close the lid. When the woodchips start to smoke, turn off all but the burner under the woodchips and bring down the temperature to 275- 325.

To smoke on a charcoal grill: light the coals. When hot, create a pile of coals on only one side of the grill and allow it to heat to 275-325. Place a handful of soaked woodchips directly onto the hot coals.

When your grill is ready, place your chicken in a cast iron skillet, add to the indirect side of the grill (not directly over the coals or the flame), cover the grill, and cook for 2 to 4 hours or until the meat is very tender. Add wood chips once or twice while it cooks. Let the meat cool 10 minutes before serving. Check for doneness by taking the temperature of the thickest part of the meat, which should read 160. Serve right away with barbecue sauce or cold in a chicken salad.

A whole, smoked chicken, ready for devouring

Basic Roasted Chicken

Preheat the oven to 350. Rub the outside of the chicken with melted butter and sprinkle with 1 to 2 tablespoons of coarse salt. If you wish, rub with herbs or your favorite chicken seasoning (omit the salt if yours contains salt). Place a peeled clove of garlic in the cavity of the chicken. Roast the bird 1.5 to 2 hours until the internal temperature of the thickest part of the chicken is 160 and the juice between the cavity and the thigh run clear.

Another method: 

Brine the chicken with the honey sage brine. Remove 1 hour before you are ready to roast, pat the chicken dry, and then proceed with the recipe, omitting the seasoning step, but placing the strained brine ingredients in the cavity of the bird.