Written By Ulla on April 22, 2011
Written By Ulla on April 22, 2011
My friend Liza from Food. Curated filmed a 2 part series on the potential, challenges and triumphs that face Upstate New York agriculture by exploring the inner workings of a new USDA slaughter plant and the reasons why plants like this are so important.
When Liza approached me about filming in a slaughterhouse I was really open to helping her tell the story of how meat becomes food and to also showcase the skill, talent and passion that goes into the work at an Artisan slaughterhouse. Truthfully, I was also a bit apprehensive. This is all very personal. The future success of my family’s farm rests on the simple fact that processors like Larry’s Custom Meats thrive. As a farm kid, I was teased about raising animals for food, “how can you do it?” kids would ask, as if knowing the animal I was eating made me cruel. I have always felt the opposite: that knowing the animal, respecting that it was once alive, and cherishing ALL it’s parts, was what was RIGHT. But, I am protective of farmers, and sometimes I wonder how much people really want to know about their food. I have witnessed slaughter many times, and it always makes me more committed to eating meat because it can be done in a way that is humane. So maybe I should have realized that transparency makes people aware and more comfortable.
When Liza went live with the video, I was so close to it all, I was almost afraid. I was afraid people would not be open to how transparent and generous Larry was in showing the whole process. I was also sensitive to the fact that this is Larry’s livelihood and legacy. Thankfully, I was wrong, the thoughtful and appreciative comments show that people are earning to not only have a closer relationship with farmers like me, but also the folks that farmers depend on: processors and butchers.
Here is just one of many comments that the video has received:
“Thank you so much for sharing this story. I am a vegetarian but I still truly appreciate the hard work of people like Larry, who wish to treat animals with respect and to be transparent about their business so that meat-eaters can see the right way to slaughter and process animals. I hope that Larry’s business thrives and that more people will follow his example!” -Ashley
For my sensitive readers this video is graphic but you will have a better understanding of what goes into the whole process of meat.
I find it very moving when people are appreciated for their talents and hard work, one of the reasons I am such a fan of Food Curated and the talented and passionate woman behind all the wonderful stories on the site. Liza was able to capture the humanity and thoughtfulness in the work that Larry does, a testament to her talent’s as a filmmaker and story teller.
Also, please become a friend of CADE on facebook so you can connect with our work.
Written By Ulla on April 19, 2011
Written By Ulla on April 18, 2011
Our pork has been a revelation! It is so darn good! This has been a long time coming, a porky collaboration between my father and I and I guess it makes me a farmer of sorts even though I am not living on the farm full time. After connecting with folks down in the city my parents are making monthly deliveries of our grass-fed beef, lamb and pastured pork. The system works really well and my dad still sells many of our animals wholesale but it is great to connect with the folks who want to buy directly from farmers. So if you are interested in purchasing some of our pork please contact my father and check out availability here. We are planning our next delivery at the end of March and I am going to be selling some meat out of my chest freezer here in Sunnyside, Queens.
We do not have our ground pork made into sausage because it is 1) a lot cheaper and 2) we like the idea of our customers using it for meatloaf, meatballs, dumplings or even making their own breakfast sausage like this easy and delicious preparation:
Homemade Fresh Breakfast Sausage with Sage
- 1 pound of ground pork (I used boar)
- 2 teaspoons of home dried sage
- 1-teaspoon sea salt
- 2 cloves garlic
- ¼ cup shallots (onion would work here too)
- 2 teaspoons dry sherry
- Lots of freshly cracked pepper
- In a food processor process shallots, garlic and sage until it is minced and almost paste-like.
- Add shallot and garlic paste to ground pork, add salt, freshly cracked black pepper and 2 teaspoons of sherry.
- Mix well. You want the pork sausage ingredients to be fully incorporated and take on a smooth texture.
- Form into patties and fry in lard or olive oil.
- You can make this in advance and keep in the fridge for a day or two to develop flavor or make it the fresh.
- Also you can add any number of herbs and chili peppers you have on hand to change up the flavors. So simple and wholesome!
Written By Ulla on March 7, 2011
Believe it or not my mom does not use broth when she braises. She just braises our meats in water for a few hours and what is the result? Insanely tender intensely flavored grass-fed meats. Do not get me wrong, I love broth braised meats (that is a mouthful!) and they can bring braised meats to another level of intensity but if you do not have homemade broth available they are not needed if your meat is of good quality. Grass-fed meats are at their best braised and the flavor profiles shine when they are braised simply.
I love this blog post by Michael Ruhlman that you should never ever use canned broth but use water instead. If you are not making the broth yourself do not bother. And I agree, and with good quality grass-fed meats this is especially true because they are filled with flavor already.
My mom made the most intensely flavored and decadent short ribs while I was staying on the farm last week. She browned them, seasoned them with salt and pepper, put them in the slow cooker for 8 hours with a few cups of water. They were incredible and the sauce was deep in flavor with lots glorious fat and perfect over our steamed homegrown potatoes.
Simple Braised Lamb Shanks with Wine
- 1 onion, minced
- 1 garlic clove, minced
- 3/4-cup carrot, chopped
- 2 celery ribs, chopped
- 1 bay leaf
- 2 lamb shanks
- Salt and freshly cracked pepper
- 1 cup red wine
- 2-3 cups water
- 2 teaspoons of cornstarch
- Season the lamb shanks, chop the vegetables and heat a Dutch oven at a medium high heat.
- Add olive oil and brown shanks for about 7 minutes on all sides.
- Remove shanks.
- Add onions, garlic sauté for about 5 minutes.
- Add vegetables sauté until soft.
- re-ad Add shanks.
- Add wine and water and bring to a boil and lower heat and braise for about two hours until tender.
To serve, remove lambs shanks and add cornstarch until sauce is thickened serve over boiled or mashed potatoes. Enjoy!
Written By Ulla on March 3, 2011
I have been so busy lately that I have not had time to post. Apologizes! I have a fascinating writing job, writer’s block and my family and I are starting to sell directly to the public! The writing block has not been that fun but working to market our meat directly has been a wonderful way to procrastinate. Thankfully, we have had a wonderful response from readers, tweeter friends, buying clubs and people who want to connect with the farmers that raise their food. My father even created a blog and I created a facebook page. Come on over and say hi!
Written By Ulla on February 23, 2011
My mom and I have been collaborating on creating the most authentic pate recipe and it has taken a while. We tried it with bacon, cognac and flour. But we liked this recipe best. It is extremely simple and we think it is perfect, the spices add a perfumed flavor to the truly decedent pate. You can add anchovies which would add a salty depth to the flavor but it is nice to keep the recipe pure if you are using pure ingredients. My father does not like salt(I know odd) so we made a salt-less version which came out extremely well too.
- 2.2 pounds pastured pork liver
- 2.2 pounds lard, cut up into one inch pieces
- 2 cups whole milk
- 3/4 teaspoon ground cloves
- 3/4 teaspoon ground all spice
- freshly ground nutmeg about 1/4 teaspoon
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 small yellow onion, grated or ground in grinder
Makes two large pate loaves.
- Preheat the oven to 350
- Our butcher cuts up the liver but you will need to cut up the lard so that it goes into the grinder smoothly.
- Using a grinder(or you can use a food processor but grinding it creates a better texture) combine liver and lard and grind. We processed it twice but I think once on a fine setting would have been easier.
- We then grinded the onion.
- We mixed the grinded lard, liver and onion with milk and the ground spices together.
- Using two meatloaf roasting pans add mixture. We placed the pans into a water bath of about an inch.
- Bake for an hour at 350 degrees.
Written By Ulla on January 16, 2011
My Irish Terrier Flynn would follow me to the end of the earth he is so loyal. Our guinea boar who is spending his winter in the barn. He will be a stud soon. He is quite possibly one of the cutest pigs I have ever seen. Our sheep spend the winter in the barn which is open on one side. They do not like being outside like the cattle do in the winter months.
Rural America has had little to be hopeful for, we have been losing farms, young people and economic investment and ultimately prosperity. However, there was a sense of hopefulness in the room that was palatable. It is moving to be part of it all, and even more exciting to think I might be able to make a go at farming myself.
Written By Ulla on January 15, 2011
I love roast beef and have found that even inexpensive cuts are excellent roasted—granted the bottom round roast is a tough cut but it has great flavor and I don’t mind beef that is toothsome. This recipe pairs one of my favorite herbs, thyme, with garlic, which compliments the flavor of our beef perfectly. I made this recently for a New Year’s brunch and served it with horseradish cream sauce but it is also excellent on it’s own for dinner: think mashed potatoes and sauteed wild mushrooms as a side. A real crowd pleaser that is also easy on the wallet!
In a mortar and pestle grind the garlic, thyme, salt and pepper.
I massaged the rub onto the roast and brought the roast to room temperature and then preheated the oven.
Perfectly Roasted Bottom Round Roast with Garlic and Thyme
- 3 cloves of garlic, minced and mashed
- 1 teaspoon dried or 1 tablespoon of fresh time thyme
- 1/2 teaspoon of black pepper (to be crushed), or more to taste
- 1-2 teaspoon coarse sea salt
- 2 tablespoons of olive oil
- 1 Bottom Round Roast(about 3 pounds) you can also use Top Sirloin or Blade roast.
Equipment: a meat thermometer.
- Preheat the oven to 425.
- Meanwhile create rub with minced garlic, thyme, and kosher salt by crushing garlic, salt, pepper and thyme together in a mortar and pestle, add olive oil and massage over meat.
- Set aside and bring to room temperature(about 20 minutes).
- Roast in hot oven for 10 minutes, then reduce heat to 300 and cook for another 30-40 minutes. You want the internal temp at about 120-130. This is rare, but you can cook it to your liking. Let rest for 10-20 minutes under aluminum foil.
Written By Ulla on January 3, 2011
Outside fires in the winter are surprisingly wonderful for entertaining. If you can create a respectable fire, a group of people can sit comfortably outside around the fire and sip whiskey or hot chocolate even if it is snowing. There is something about fire that relaxes the mind, helping one to contemplate the year and what is to come. On new years we usually have a Scandinavian style smorgasbord but without any “hot” plates: we have pickled herring, canned sardines, mussels and octopus along with dozens of cheeses and homemade mayo. Hot tea and aquavit are a most too! Happy New Year everyone!
I didn’t have an iron but you get the idea!
Written By Ulla on January 1, 2011