Thursday, January 27, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Grass Fed Lamb Chops

The honey does not sweeten the chops-it just helps them brown. For an authentic accompaniment, uncork a bottle of the pungent Greek wine called retsina, or simply opt for a favorite Sauvignon Blanc.

You can make these year round by just throwing them under the broiler in bad weather.

3/4 cup dry red wine
1/4 cup olive oil
3 tablespoons chopped fresh oregano
2 tablespoons minced garlic
2 teaspoons red wine vinegar
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
8 1- to 1 1/4-inch-thick loin lamb chops (about 2 1/2 pounds total), fat well trimmed
2 tablespoons honey

Mix first 7 ingredients in large glass baking dish. Arrange lamb chops in single layer in dish; turn to coat. Cover and refrigerate at least 2 hours, turning and basting often. (Can be prepared 1 day ahead. Keep chilled.) Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Transfer lamb to plate. Mix honey into marinade. Grill lamb to desired doneness, turning and basting with marinade often, about 10 minutes for medium-rare.
Prepare barbecue (medium-high heat). Transfer lamb to plate.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Cut of the Week: Grass Fed Lamb Chops

I am amazed at how many people are intimidated by this succulent piece of meat but that may be a by-product of the confusion that surrounds all the cuts of lamb that can tout the name of chop. There are leg chops and shoulder shoulder chops which do best with some marinating and then there are the juicy, beyond tender loin chop and rib chop.

The loin chops have the very distinctive T-Bone that separates the filet from the NY Strip. While these are a bit more work to remove all the meat from the bone, it is definitely worth the work. The Rib Chops on the other hand are best known as the chops you will see in an 8 bone Frenched Rack of Lamb. The "Frenching" removes the meat, cartilage and fat from the long bone for a neater presentation.

Here is a rule of thumb for feeding your crowd lamb chops.

Loin Chops:
2 chops per person (6 oz. chops for small appetite)
10 x 6 oz. = approx. 5 people with small appetites
8 x 10 oz. = approx. 4-5 people with large appetites Rib Chops:
2 chops per person (6 oz. chops for small appetite)
8 x 6 oz. = approx. 4 people with small appetites
16 x 6 oz. = approx. 8 people with small appetites

Thursday, January 20, 2011

Dairy News

Well Dara had her baby. A wee baby boy that looks more like Daddy than Mommy. One major thing that separates us from the big dairy guys is that we keep babies and mommas together for as long as possible. If the baby isn't too rough on mommas udder he can stay as long as they want. Once they start to hurt the udder we keep them in a separate area but they still get momma's milk until they can get all they need from grass. This little boy is a cute but he's already keeping Brayden hopping. He escaped through the fence when only hours old and of course, Dara had to follow and since she can't quite fit under the fence, she goes through it!

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Recipe of the Week: Grass Fed Beef Tenderloin with Blue Cheese Topping

When a magazine asked Debbie to cook for a grilling article this is the recipe that she contributed. She has made this recipe so many times that she might be able to make it in her sleep! This recipe can be used with all of the more tender cuts, including lamb chops.

Ingredients:
2 grass fed beef tenderloin steaks, cut 1.25 - 1.5 inch thick (about 1 pound)
1 large clove garlic, halved
1/2 teaspoon salt
2 teaspoons chopped fresh parsley

Topping:
2 tablespoons cream cheese
4 teaspoons crumbled blue cheese
4 teaspoons plain yogurt
2 teaspoons minced onion
Dash ground white pepper

Instructions:
1. Combine topping ingredients in small bowl. Rub
beef steaks with garlic.
2. Place steaks on rack in broiler pan so surface of beef is 2 to 3 inches from heat. Broil 13 to 16 minutes
for medium rare to medium doneness, turning once. One to two minutes before steaks are done, top evenly with topping.
3. Season with salt; sprinkle with parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Cut of the Week: Filet

Usually when Debbie needs to know something about cooking she grabs Larousse Gastronomique
or Escoffier: The Complete Guide to the Art of Modern Cookery but the information found there regarding the grand tenderloin is a bit outdated and can be slightly confusing. Those true cooking geeks out there can email the farm for a detailed explanation of the cuts and their specific uses.

A lesson in vocabulary is where we should begin. What we in the United States call the tenderloin — the lower portion of the sirloin — the British call the fillet, and the French call le filet. You will usually find it either whole, cut into small round medallions or as part of the famous Porterhouse or T-bone steak divided by the t-bone from the NY Strip.

The broad end of the tenderloin yields fairly large steaks, which are generally cut thin. The French call these le bifteck, while some people in this country call them ch√Ęteaubriand. In the United States, filet mignon is a well-known and well-loved term, and is used for any and all cuts regardless of where they come from within the tenderloin. At the Farm Shoppe we have always cut out medallions 1.25" thick. This helps to keep the center of the medallion nice and rosy pink.

When cooking the whole tenderloin we prefer to sear the tenderloin in butter until a good crust is formed. Then put it into a 250F oven until it reaches an internal temperature of around 115-120F and finally crank up the temperature to 500F until the desired internal temperature is reached. ALWAYS tent the tenderloin and let it sit for at least 15 minutes to set.

Disclosure: This post contains affiliate links.

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Farm News: An update on the cows

We are purchasing some very expensive silage for the girls and they seem to be responding very well to the change in their diet. Silage bales are baled wet and wrapped in plastic to keep the moisture in and to allow for some fermentation of the grass. These bales usually weigh somewhere around 900lb and approximately 55% is water.

No babies from Sweet Pea yet but she is getting bigger and bigger so it shouldn't be long now!

Tuesday, January 4, 2011

Happy New Year From the Farm

As this farming year comes to a close there is pure amazement and thankfulness that so many Tennessee farmers are still standing. Too much rain in the spring and no rain in the summer is a recipe for disaster in the agricultural world and that was our weather pattern last year. Indeed we lost several good farmers who just couldn't find their way past the flood and our new local food economy will surely suffer for our loss.

We have certainly had our ups and downs this year but the things that really matter, family and friends remain steady and strong. We were all very healthy and haven’t even been plagued with so much as the flu this year.

Our animals are healthy and happy in their new surroundings and with Rocky as the new boss of the herd all the girls are pregnant and expected to calve between August and October.

The sheep are sheared and bred and we expect lambs to start hitting the ground sometime in May. Next spring we will start to milk our dairy sheep and my mouth is already watering just thinking about sheep's milk quark and yogurt.

Thank you for your friendship and support in 2010 and we wish you all a happy and healthy new year!