A temporary farewell…

Hello everyone,

As you all know, we are building a fantastic meat processing plant in Skagit Valley in order to make all of these cool meat products for the wholesale markets.  We came to the farmers’ markets in order to test some products and build up some word of mouth.  We have been happily blown away by the outpouring of enthusiasm and love from this community.  Not only have the markets been popular and successful, but we feel like we have met many fellow sustainable meat enthusiasts. 

Bittersweet news:  Our plant is being built at a rapid clip, so fast, that we are going to have to take a long hiatus from the farmers markets, in order to get ready to open for real.  Tomorrow will be our last one, until next year.  We are sad to go, this has been such a fun summer for us.  However, we will be back and available in a store near you, come Winter.  Also while the markets started as a lark, we have decided that working the farmers’ market scene will be a big part of our overall plan.  We will be back. 

Thank you for all of your love and support.  Please check back here at the blog to learn various updates and find out where the products will be placed. 

~Gabriel

Wednesday Market update: Tomorrow we have sandwiches!

Wow, it has sure been a busy summer.  So much to do! :) 

Tomorrow, at the Wednesday market, we are finally ready to share our “Kiddie Dogs”.  We have made smaller versions of our normal Beef Franks, grilled to order and available FOR FREE to kids 10 years old and younger, with purchase. 

We also are finally bringing sandwiches to the Wednesday market:  Ready for tomorrow are:

  • Jambon-French Ham sandwich
  • Bahn Mi-Country style pate sandwich
  • Italian Grinder
  • Grilled Bratwurst and sauerkraut
  • Italian sausage sandwich with sauteed peppers and onions
  • Grilled Dogs

Also, we are now making pre-seasoned and portioned roasts, ready to cook for dinner.  Follow our simple directions and Voila! Dinners ready. 

Let’s make midweek dinners a little easier, together. 

Meat us at the Market!

~Gabriel

Tomorrow is the day, join us on the Green!

We are very excited to announce, that commencing tomorrow July 2nd, we will be at the Wednesday market at the Fairhaven Village Green. We did a test run, last Wednesday and now we are ready!  Not only will you be able to purchase your favorite sausages, bacon, and sliced meats, but starting next Wednesday 7/9, we will be making LUNCH!

So far, the tentative menu is as follows:

Cold

Jambon de Paris-Our roasted Ham on a baguette with butter, Dijon, Gruyere, cornichons

French Country “Bahn Mi”- Country style pate on a baguette, with market pickled vegetables, cucumber, and a house made “green goddess” dressing

Italian Grinder-Ham, Capicolla, Pepperoni and Salami, cheddar, provolone, house pepper relish, on a hoagie roll

Charcuterie Sampler- 4 of our house cured meats, 2 cheeses, 1 cracker, mustard and chutney

Hot

Grilled Brat-Beer braised Bratwurst, sauerkraut, roasted beet and fennel slaw, grainy mustard, hoagie roll

Italian Sausage-Grilled Sweet Italian sausage, caramelized onions and peppers, provolone cheese

All Beef Frank-Our Famous Grass Fed Hot Dog on a bun, the way you like it

Merguez Sandwich-Moroccan lamb sausage on a baguette with roasted peppers, harissa, mayo, and cilantro

I can’t promise we will debut with everything, but this is what I am shooting for… it will be delicious. :)  Also thinking about some sort of meat pops.  Any ideas?

See you tomorrow!

 

~Chef G

 

 

 

Summer Solstice Market! New Yummy Products

Hello Everyone,

We have been in a flurry of activity getting ready for the longest day of the year.  In addition to our wonderful pigs, we have had the pleasure of receiving some beautiful lamb from Waterwheel Farms in Arlington.  They are big and meaty and full flavored without being gamey.  Try the Merguez sausage or the Greek.  

Also new this week:

Jambon Persille: This is a very special spring/summer dish from Burgundy in France.  It is a terrine made from slow simmered ham, mixed with lots of parsley and fresh herbs, all set up in a light white wine tinged gelee.  This makes a great lunch for two, along with a baguette, a little salad, some mustard and maybe a pickle or three.  

Creamy Pate:  Just got better!  I was pretty happy with it before, now, I am ecstatic. Creamy pate is now in an 8 oz tub, topped with a sage leaf.  

Pepperoni, Landjaeger, and Cervalat are back, and better than ever.  

This week we have 3 perfect “Porchetta-tini”- our loin roast, rubbed with Tuscan fennel pollen, rosemary, garlic, salt and black pepper.  This delicious 2-5# roast will feed you and your family and make the whole house smell like the Tuscan countryside.  We only have three though, so text me if you want to reserve one!

Mexican Chorizo, Biscuits, Breakfast Sandwiches, oh my…  

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Meat you at the Market

 

~G

 

Something to do with our Andouille Sausage-GUMBO

Lots of people have asked me what the best way to use our Andouille (ahn-dew-ee) sausage is.  There are a lot of great ways to enjoy this particular sausage, but Gumbo is the classic.  Serve this with crusty French bread and cold beer.  

Chef Gabriel’s Wicked Crawfish Gumbo serves 8

Brown Roux

½ C vegetable oil                                       1 C Flour

Gumbo Base

1/2 # Andouille Sausage                            1 T vegetable oil

¼ # Chicken Thighs, large dice                  ½ C Onion, small dice

1 stalk Celery, small dice                           5 cloves Garlic, minced

½ Green Bell Pepper, small dice                2 Jalapenos, minced   

½ bunch green onions, sliced thin             3 oz Okra, small dice   

kosher salt and pepper to taste                 2 Tomatoes, seeded and diced

10 oz cooked Long Grain Rice                    2 quarts Chicken Stock           

½ # crawfish tail meat

Spices

¼ tsp Dried Basil                                        ½ tsp Oregano, Dried

2 tsp File Powder                                       ½ tsp Thyme, Dried

1 Bay leaves                                               2 tsp cayenne

 

Make Roux: In a medium sauté pan, heat the ½C oil up over medium heat.  Whisk in the flour until it forms a paste.  Stirring constantly, continue to cook the roux until if forms a dark brown paste, about 30 minutes.  Be careful not to burn the roux!  Set aside.

Start Gumbo: In a large pot over medium heat, heat the 1 T vegetable oil over medium heat.  Sauté the sausage for 3 minutes and then add the chicken, sauté until lightly brown. Add the onion, green pepper,celery, jalapenos, scallions, garlic, okra, and tomato concassé.  Sauté until tender and translucent.  Add roux.  Add stock, stirring to work out any lumps. 

Finish Gumbo: Add spices; simmer for 30 minutes.  Then add rice and crawfish tail meat and simmer for 2 minutes. Add file powder, whipping well.  Do not allow the soup to return to a boil.  Adjust seasoning.  Serve hot.

Myth Busters Vol 1; The Elephant in the Room…Nitrites/Nitrates

Ok, it is time to discuss Nitrites.  I know a lot of folks have pretty particular opinions about this subject, so I will tread lightly.  Many people have asked me if our products contain Nitrates.  I could flippantly say “NO” they don’t.  But they do contain Nitrites, and that is what most people mean.  I am going to break this post up into 2 sections: History of Nitrites and curing; then the modern debate.

History of Nitrites and Curing

Let’s start at the beginning:

Meat has been cured as a method of preservation since the Roman times.  And since the Roman times, occasionally when we are smoking or hanging meats for a long time, regardless of good sanitation and temperature control, they would create a product that would kill everyone.  

This is due to Clostridium Botulinum (or CBOT for short).  CBOT is found most everywhere and is the single deadliest pathogen on earth, 96% fatal at any dose.  It can easily get into meats.  However, it only “wakes up” and forms a toxin in an anaerobic environment, i.e. without air.  The problem is that smoking is very low in oxygen and a sausage hanging in a cave doesn’t really have too much oxygen inside it.  CBOT can definitely form a toxin.  There is only 1 way ever found to confidently prevent CBOT from forming its toxin and that is NO2 (Nitric Oxide).  

Nitrite does three things:

1:  Makes the meat pretty in pink:  It is nicer to look at than old and grey

2:  Sets the flavor of the cured meat:  Anyone who has ever tasted “uncured bacon” has noticed that it doesn’t taste the same

3:  MOST IMPORTANTLY: prevents CBOT from getting its groove on and killing us. 

The Romans discovered this first and started to use what they called “Red Salt” to cure their meat.  It was salt that naturally had sodium nitrite as an impurity in it.  The problem with using red salt is that the amount of NO2 varies batch to batch (since it is an impurity).  Sometimes they weren’t getting enough to stop CBOT and sometimes they were actually getting sick from too much.  Over the last 2000 years, we have been working on refining Sodium Nitrite into a stable compound.  Salt petre was used for a long time (compound used in gun powder, potassium nitrite) but that was banned in the US in 1973, still had too much variability.  

In America, today, it is mandated BY LAW to use NO2 to cure your meats.  There are very very strict rules, per product, detailing the exact ingoing parts per million of pure sodium nitrite allowed.  The thing is, NO2 has a very short life span, usually around 2 weeks.  So if I put 120ppm in the the bacon cure (the max allowable by law) and then cure it for 7 days, then smoke it and package it, by the time you eat it, it should have less than 10ppm.  

Nitrate is the more complex form of Nitrite.  Nitrate (NO3) breaks down slowly into Nitrite, which breaks down into nothing.  We would use Sodium Nitrate in longer cured items, such as salami and coppa and such.  These would keep the product safe for the length of its time in the anaerobic zone.  

So to recap:  Nitrite prevents CBOT from forming its toxin.  It is required by law in some form.  Nitrate is only used in dry cured things that age a long time.  Using Nitrites is NOT a product of our modern industrial complex, it is as ancient as meat curing itself.  (Unlike a lot of the other garbage in meats).  

More to come…

A wee bit of the meat science

So Hot Dogs are surprisingly hard to do well.  You wouldn’t think it being how ubiquitous and debased they are, but to do a really good dog is a challenge.  Hot dogs belong to a family of meat emulsions along with bologna, mortadella, and weisswurst, to name a few.  The cool part about them is that they are literally a stable blend of meat, fat, and water… if you do it right.  

We get to use massive chopping machines, called bowl choppers (our big one is named Harley), that will finely mince all of the meat up first.  Then we add ice.  We need the temperature of the mix to go down to 32F and then go back up to 40F due to friction.  Then we add the semi frozen fat and keep processing to 45F.  Then a binding agent.  We use dry milk powder.  It is pretty cool stuff.  Makes things stay juicy and binds them together, without ever being wet.  At this point, if you have done it right, you can let ‘er rip to 54F exactly.  It is done.  

This all gets stuffed into a casing and then smoked.  Or poached.  Or poached and then smoked. Or smoked and then poached.  Each permutation has a differing effect on the finished product.  

Today I took a batch of pretty darn good, all grass fed beef dogs out of the smoker.  We are using natural old school lamb casings, so it makes and old timey wrinkled affect.  Let me know what you think.  They will be there tomorrow.  Image

 

The Big Push to Market-Week 2

Well Week 1 at the Bellingham Farmers’ Market sure went well… we had a line about 20 minutes before we opened and ended up selling out of most everything by 2pm!  An awesome first day.  

However, that means we ran out of everything and need to make more of everything!  Paul Klingeman from Pure Country brought us two more beautiful Berkshire/Landrace pigs on Wednesday and the team has been working around the clock.  Everything is coming out pretty well and we have a few new products to add this week:

Smoked Hocks

Roasted Ham

Andouille

Mexican Chorizo 

and yes, it is true we are bringing Warm Fluffy Wonderful LARD Biscuits! (We have a secret plan to take over the world with biscuits, this is just the initial foray…)

Meat you at the Market!

 

~GImage