Friday, April 30, 2010

Ameeta's Brisket

I love brisket. And since I love brisket, I tend to cook a ton of it. So, I am always on the lookout for an awesome brisket recipe and one of our CSA members, Ameeta, shared this one with me. I have to admit it was pretty spectacular! Thanks, Ame!

Brisket Braised in Porter
Adapted from Bon Appetit
Shared by CSA Member Ameeta

Brisket always tastes better if prepared ahead and chilled. So, plan to make this 1-2 days before you actually want to serve it. Chilling it also makes it easier to slice thinly. Rewarm the brisket in the sauce and serve it with your favorite full-flavored dark beer.

Serves 12

1T kosher salt
2t fresh ground black pepper
2t dry mustard (such as Colman's)
2t chopped fresh sage (I used dried)
2t chopped fresh thyme (I used 2 sprigs)
1 6-lb flat-cut brisket
2T rendered bacon fat or olive oil
4c (or more) poultry broth (I used homemade turkey broth, but chicken broth works well)
1 12-oz bottle of porter or stout (I used an oatmeal stout)
6 whole pitted prunes (I omitted)
4 bay leaves (I used 2 fresh bay leaves- cracked)
2t (packed) dark brown sugar
3 large onions, thinly sliced
8 whole garlic cloves, peeled and smashed
1 lb mushrooms, sliced
1 lb medium carrots, sliced into 1 and 1/2 inch lengths
2T whole grain Dijon mustard
1T (or more) malt vinegar (I used balsamic vinegar and Ameeta used lemon juice)

Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Mix first 5 ingredients in a bowl and rub all over the brisket. Heat bacon fat/olive oil in a heavy extra-large oven-proof pot on the stove to medium-high heat. Add the brisket and sear on all sides until a deep brown, about 5 minutes per a side. Remove brisket from pot and set aside. Add half the broth and deglaze the pot, making sure to scrap up any browned bits from the brisket. Stir in the beer, the prunes, bay leaves and brown sugar and bring to a boil. Return the brisket to the pot and scatter the sliced onions and garlic cloves over top. Add the remaining broth and cover the pot. Put the brisket in the oven and cook (braise) for 4-7 hours. Ameeta cooked hers for 7 hours, but the original recipe calls for at least 4 hours of cooking time. Halfway through cooking add the carrots and mushrooms. When the meat is tender but NOT falling apart, take it out of the oven and let it cool slightly.

Once it cools a little, refrigerate it until you are ready to serve it (1-2 days). The day you are serving it, preheat the oven back to 350 degrees. Skim off any fat that accumulated at the surface of the sauce and remove the brisket. Place it on a cutting board and slice it thinly, across the grain. Place brisket slices in a roasting pan. Bring pan juices and vegetables to a boil in a pot. Whisk in the Dijon mustard and vinegar. Adjust seasonings (salt and pepper) and add more vinegar (or lemon juice) until desired acidity is reached. Pour the sauce and vegetables back over the brisket and cover with foil. Place in oven and cook until reheated thoroughly, about 1 hr and 15 minutes. Serve meat with vegetables and sauce. I also added either polenta or mashed potatoes as a side dish.

Note: I cooked my brisket in the slow cooker on low for 8-10 hours, turning it over every 2-3 hours (my brisket was folded in half since it was larger than the crockpot insert.) Turning helped to make sure that the sauce remained concentrated and the brisket cooked completely on all sides.

CSA Member Recipes

As we transition from our Winter CSA into our Summer CSA, I would like to share some of our member contributed recipes. These recipes were an important part of our last winter newsletter. I was honored to have our members share with me some of the recipes that they have used to prepare the cuts of meat from their CSA shares. I hope you too enjoy these recipes!

Miso-Rubbed Rack of Lamb

Daily Herald

New American Table by Marcus Samuelsson

Submitted by CSA Member Sarah H.


Serves 4

2 tablespoons dark miso (Sarah used white miso)

1 tablespoon unsalted butter, room temperature (may be omitted)

1 tablespoon mild chili powder

1 large egg yolk

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage

2 tablespoons olive oil (Sarah used 1 Tbsp)

2 frenched racks of lamb (1½ pounds each)

Salt and ground black pepper

¼ cup panko (Japanese-style) bread crumbs (may be omitted)


Heat the oven to 400 degrees. In a small bowl, combine the miso, butter, chili powder, egg yolk and sage. Set aside. In a large saute pan, heat the oil. Season the lamb with salt and pepper, then add it to the pan and sear until browned, 2 to 3 minutes per side. (You can skip the searing step, if preferred.) Let the lamb cool slightly, then smear the miso-butter/oil mixture over both sides. Firmly press the panko into the miso-butter/oil mixture on the rounded side of each rack.

Place the racks, rounded fat sides up, in a roasting pan. Roast until an instant-read thermometer inserted at the center of the rack reads 125 degrees, about 15-20 minutes. Transfer the lamb to a cutting board and let rest for 5 minutes.

Korean Braised Short Ribs Recipe

Submitted by CSA Member Sarah B.

These Korean braised short ribs are slow simmered over low heat to a tender and sweet finish. It's hard to have leftovers with Galbi Jim because it's such a crowd-pleaser, whether it's served at a fancy gathering or just as a comforting homestyle meal. To stretch the recipe, you can cut up pieces of brisket or other roasting beef cuts to stew size and cook with the short ribs. But you should always try to make it with bone-in ribs, because like Italian osso bucco or Irish stew, Galbi Jim relies on the stewed bone marrow for its rich flavor.


Serves 4

5 Tbsp sugar

6 Tbsp soy sauce

2 Tbsp Japanese rice wine (mirin) OR 1 Tbsp honey

4 cloves garlic, finely chopped

1/2 onion, grated

3 scallions, finely chopped

1 Tbsp sesame seeds, crushed or whole

1 Tbsp sesame oil

1/2 Asian pear, peeled and finely chopped

3 lbs English-cut short ribs (sometimes called thick-cut), rinsed in cold water

(This is excellent with either the beef or the veal short ribs)

2 small potatoes, cut up into large chunks

2 medium carrots, cut into 2-inch lengths or ½ cup baby carrots


Score the ribs so that they absorb more of the braising liquid. Mix all the marinade ingredients (spices and liquids) together. In a large pot over high heat, put in the ribs and pour the braising liquid over them. Mix well, making sure all the ribs are covered. The liquid should come to about half the 1/3 to ½ the level of the ribs in the pot. Cover pot with a tight-fitting lid. When it begins to boil, turn to a low simmer. Cook for at least 1 hour (90 minutes – 2 hours is better), adding in potatoes and carrots 30 minutes before end of cooking time.*

* If you are adding in brisket or stew meat for more quantity, then it's best to braise for at least 2 hours. The goal is for meltingly tender meat that is falling off the bone. This recipe is also very good prepared in a crockpot!

Sauce Bolognese

Dean & DeLuca Cookbook

Submitted by CSA Members Rod and Shannon

My wife and I were having company over and, in the interest of time, decided to make lasagna. My wife found this recipe for sauce bolognese in the Dean and DeLuca cookbook and saw that it used FOUR of our CSA meat products! We substituted lamb liver for chicken liver and we don’t think it affected the final product. We used this sauce for lasagna, but it can be thinned out with water and/or splashed with some cream for a wonderfully hearty pasta sauce.


Serves 6 (if used as pasta sauce)

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 cups mined yellow onions

1/2 cup diced carrot

1/2 cup diced celery

2 teaspoons kosher salt

1 teaspoon ground black pepper

1 pound ground beef (preferably ground chuck)

1/2 pound ground veal

1/2 pound ground pork

1/4 pound chicken or lamb livers, finely chopped

2 cups tomato sauce

1 3/4 cups beef stock

1 cup dry white wine

freshly grated nutmeg to taste


Heat olive oil over moderate heat in large saucepan. Add onions, stir, and cover. Cook, Stirring occasionally, for about 20 minutes, until onions are wilted and light golden. Uncover and continue cooking for another 15 minutes, until onions are golden and lightly caramelized (watch carefully, so the onions don’t burn). Add carrot, celery, kosher salt, and pepper, and cook for 5 minutes. Add ground beef, veal, and pork and crumble with the back of a wooden spoon. Cook until meat is no longer pink, and add chicken/lamb livers. Cook another 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add tomato sauce, 1 cup beef stock, and white wine. Stir well and simmer, uncovered, over low heat for 1 1/2 hours (the sauce should barely bubble). Add remaining beef stock, stir, and continue simmering for another 1 1/2 hours. Add nutmeg, and adjust seasoning.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Summer CSA Program

The wait is over! We have finally launched our Summer CSA program for the 2010 Farmers Market Season. You can NOW sign up online at our website or you can visit us at the Green City Indoor Market on Saturday April 24th to fill out an application.

Each month as a member you will get an all grass-fed meat share weighing either 5 lbs or 10 lbs. Each share (bag) will contain an assortment of lamb, mutton, goat, beef, rose veal, pork and more. If you do not wish to have pastured pork put in your share, you may request to have it omitted.

Please note: At this time we are NOT offering an additional egg share. This is something that we may offer in the future. However, we are striving to increase our egg production and hope to offer our organic soy-free pastured chicken eggs to more of our market customers.

Each month we try to put some familiar cuts and some more adventurous cuts into each share. Our goal is to encourage our members to have fun in the kitchen and try new foods. We aim to provide all our members with healthy grass-fed meat that is flavorful and easy to prepare. If you ever have doubts or questions about how to prepare a certain cut, just ask! We love to talk food with you. We have an extensive library of recipes and we try to make eating "nose to tail" more accessible for all sustainable eaters.

Sample Share Contents:

Half Share: (~5 lbs)
1# ground goat
1# beef kabob meat
1# lamb loin chops
.75# veal sirloin steak
1.25# pork chops

Whole Share: (~10lbs)
1# ground goat
1# beef kabob meat
1# lamb loin chops
.75# veal sirloin steak
1.25# pork chops
1.5# mutton leg steak
.5# beef ny strip steak
1.5# frenched rack of lamb
1.5# veal short ribs

Locations and Dates for Summer CSA Pick-ups:

Green City (Saturdays 7 am to 1 pm)- Saturday May 15th, June 12th, July 10th, August 14th, Sept. 11th and Oct. 9th
Logan Square (Sundays 10 am to 3 pm) - Home Delivery for May, Sunday June 13th, July 11th, August 15th, Sept. 12th and Oct. 10th
Andersonville (Wednesdays 3 pm to 8 pm)- Home Delivery for May, Wednesday June 23rd, July 14th, August 18th, Sept. 15th (3 pm to 7 pm) and Oct. 6th (3 pm to 7 pm)
NW Suburbs*- Wednesday May 19th, June 16th, July 14th, August 18th, Sept. 15th and Oct. 13th

*This location is a scheduled delivery to a Buying Club location and may be subject to date changes.

Half Shares: (~5 lbs.)

3 months: May-July or August-October


6 months: May-October


Save $15 by purchasing a 6 month membership!

Whole Shares: (~10 lbs.)

3 months: May-July or August-October


6 months: May-October


Save $30 by purchasing a 6 month membership!

Monday, April 12, 2010

April CSA Share

April brings warm weather, wild turkeys and roasts that are perfect for a family-style Sunday dinner.

Half Share:
2.5# Choice of Boneless Roast (Pork Shoulder, Veal Rump, Veal Shoulder or Beef Rump)
1# Pork Sausage (Polish or Andouille) and/or Mutton Stew Meat
1.5# Beef Porterhouse/T-Bone Steak
Bonus: Lamb Soup Bones, Suet or Organ Meats

Whole Share:
2.5# Choice of Boneless Roast
1# Pork Sausage
1# Mutton Stew Meat
1.5# Beef Porterhouse/T-Bone Steak
1# Goat Loin Chops
1# Pork Tenderloin
1# Boneless Veal Neck Filets (Stew Meat)
1# Beef NY Strip Steak or Veal Scallops
Bonus: Lamb Soup Bones, Suet or Organ Meats

Besides making the perfect roast, perfecting and utilizing a nourishing broth/stock in one's cooking will greatly enhance any dish that you put on your table. Here is our favorite version of lamb stock. A basic ingredient that I use in my mashed potatoes, rice dishes, soups/stews, and more. I hope that you give it a try and realize just how rich and deep in flavor your favorite dish can be!

Basic Lamb Stock

Adapted from the Nourishing Gourmet and French Onion Soups


Makes 8-10 cups

1-2 lbs of Lamb Bones (may be raw or already cooked)

1-2 Tbsp of Apple Cider Vinegar (helps to draw out calcium from the bones)

2 Carrots, cut into thirds

2 Celery stalks, cut into thirds

1 Onion, peeled and quartered

1 Bay leaf (dried or fresh-crack the leaf a couple of times if fresh)

4 cloves of Garlic, peeled and smashed

½ tsp dried Rosemary or 1 sprig of fresh

couple of dried Peppercorns (~1 Tbsp)

Salt, to taste (I use kosher salt)


Preheat oven to 425° F. Roast the bones, onions and carrots in the oven for 30 minutes, stirring them a couple of times. Be careful not to burn anything. You just want to brown the ingredients. (If the bones are already cooked, you can skip this part if you want.) Drain away the fat and then put the vegetables and bones in a large stockpot. (It will be helpful to put the bones on top of the vegetables- they will weigh down the vegetables making it easier to skim off fat as the stock cooks.) Add a little water to the roasting pan and deglaze the pan to get all the browned bits off the bottom of the pan. Add these juices and the cider vinegar to the stockpot. Add just enough cold water to the stockpot to cover the bones. (Adding more water will only make the stock less concentrated in flavor.) Bring the stockpot to a simmer on the stove. (Don’t let it boil- it will turn cloudy and bitter.) Once it starts to simmer, skim off any foamy scum or fat that floats to the surface. Add the rest of the ingredients (celery, garlic, bay leaf, rosemary and peppercorns.) Season with salt and cover loosely. (Leave a steam vent.) Simmer stock for at least 4 hours over low heat. Skim off any fat that surfaces to prevent cloudiness. (Add more water to cover bones, if needed.) Strain out all solids with a cheesecloth lined mesh strainer. Adjust salt and other seasonings (pepper and rosemary-may add another touch of dried rosemary.) Let cool to room temperature and then store in the refrigerator for a few days or in the freezer for a few months. I usually portion out my stock into 2 and 4 cup containers, since these are the quantities that I use the most.

For more information on how to make various stocks, their nutritional value and a little history lesson- check out the article Broth is Beautiful from Sally Fallon Morell, the founder of the Weston A Price Foundation.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Lamb Ham

That's right, I said Lamb Ham! We have just started smoking and curing legs of lamb and selling them as whole legs, halved legs or as sandwich slices. All lamb ham products are $10/lb and available at the farmers market or online.

Since this is a new product, I wanted to give it a try. Well, I have to admit it- this actually tastes just like real ham made from a pig! Similar spices and seasonings are used in the curing process so it should not have surprised me as much as it did. However, this is made from lamb and not pork, so it still was a little strange to me that it tasted so similar.

I did like it though. And it really was quite easy to prepare, since it is already cooked. All I did was place the lamb ham on a bed of baby potatoes and pour a little broth into the pan to cover the potatoes and to give the lamb ham a little moisture during cooking. Since these legs are smoked, most of the fat has already cooked off leaving the lamb ham very lean. That is why it is important to give your lamb ham some liquid or it will dry out. I then covered the pan with parchment paper and foil and baked it in a 350 oven until the potatoes were soft, about 45 min. to 1 hour. The lamb ham itself really doesn't need to cook that long, just the potatoes. But as long as there is some liquid in the pan, the lamb ham won't dry out. When it came out of the oven, smelling amazing from the sweet spices of cinnamon and cloves, we devoured it instantly! This meal was smokey and aromatic and the flavor was pure ham. I am excited to fry up the leftovers for tomorrow's breakfast or pile it up on a sandwich with some horseradish mayo. Yum!

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

March Meat CSA

This month we introduced a brand new meat product-
Pastured Pork
We are excited to give this product a whirl and look forward to the next couple of weeks as we build our pork inventory for the upcoming summer market season.

Half Share:

1-1.25# Pork Chops

1-2# Veal Short Ribs (Spareribs)
.75-1# Lamb Loin Roast/Tenderloin
.75-1# Beef Ribeye Steak(s)
1# Ground Beef Patties
(dependent on weight of short ribs)

Whole Share:

1-1.25# Pork Chops
1-2# Veal Short Ribs (Spareribs)
.75-1# Lamb Loin Roast/Tenderloin
.75-1# Beef Ribeye Steak(s)
.75# Beef Filet Mignon (2 pkg.)
1# Pork Bacon
1# Goat Stew Meat
.75# Lamb Rack Chops
1.5# Veal Osso Bucco
1# Ground Beef Patties
(dependent on weight of short ribs)

In honor of our NEW pork:

Pork Chops with a Curried Apple-Onion Sauce

Courtesy of Epicurious


Serves 4

4 8-ounce pork chops (each 1 inch thick)

1 teaspoon dried thyme

1 teaspoon dried marjoram

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large apple, peeled, cored, chopped

1/2 onion, chopped

6 garlic cloves, minced

3/4 cup canned low-salt chicken broth

1/2 cup dry white wine

1/4 cup whipping cream

2 tablespoons honey mustard

1 teaspoon curry powder


Sprinkle pork with 1/2 teaspoon thyme, 1/2 teaspoon marjoram, salt and pepper. Heat oil in heavy large skillet over medium-high heat. Add pork and cook until no longer pink inside, about 5 minutes per side. Transfer pork to plate; tent with foil to keep warm. Reserve drippings in skillet. Add apple, onion and garlic to drippings in skillet and sauté over medium-high heat 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, wine, cream, mustard, curry powder and remaining 1/2 teaspoon thyme and 1/2 teaspoon marjoram. Boil until sauce thickens slightly, about 5 minutes. Divide pork among plates. Pour sauce over and serve.

And because you are probably wondering, now where do I get a farm fresh apple for this recipe? Look no further, because we have the answer! Local apples that were harvested this past fall are still available at the farmers markets. Both Green City and Logan Square host Hillside Orchards of Berrien Springs, MI. Hillside Orchards have been storing these apples in cold storage (temperature and atmosphere controlled) so that we can continue to have fresh fruit available through the winter. Apples are a traditional storage crop, being kept for several months in cool, humid root cellars. If you plan it just right, you can also store apples in a plastic bag (with a splash of water) in the crisper drawer of your refrigerator. I have had some apples last me from September through March! Some of my favorites are Jonathan, Northern Spy, Winesap and Golden Delicious. All of these varieties would be wonderful in this Curried Apple-Onion Sauce.

Spring Holidays

Passover and Easter are right around the corner. Passover starts at sundown on Monday March 29th and Easter Sunday is on April 4th. Both of these holidays are traditionally celebrated with a meal that has lamb as the main course. A beautiful leg of lamb symbolizes Spring and the "Christian Paschal Lamb" or Jesus Christ and is often the main dish for Easter dinner. Lamb shanks are always found on the Jewish table at Passover or Pesach, since a shank bone is an important part of the seder plate. The shank bone also known as the Zeroa or Z'roa, symbolizes the Korban Pesach or Paschal Lamb which was the sacrificial offering in the Temple of Jerusalem.

Both Leg of Lamb and Lamb Shanks will be available for pick up at the Farmers Market or for Fresh Home Delivery.* We will also have both Pork Hams and Lamb Hams available for Easter! And if you want something different to grace your holiday table, try a Smoked Turkey. We are offering our smoked turkeys, halved and weighing around 10 lbs. Both the smoked turkey halves and the lamb hams are NEW this season, so give one a try and make your holiday table extra special!

*Fresh Home Delivery for the Easter holiday will take place on Wednesday March 31st and Thursday April 1st. If Home Delivery is needed for Passover, special arrangements will be made. Please place your Fresh Home Delivery (an additional $10 delivery fee applies to all orders) orders with Harry by emailing him at

Bone-in Leg of Lamb $7/lb

Boneless Leg of Lamb $8.75/lb

Smoked and Cured Lamb Ham $10/lb

Lamb Shanks $5.75/lb

Smoked and Cured Pork Ham $4/lb

Smoked Turkey Halves $6/lb

And don't forget your Beitzah or Easter Eggs! We will have our free-range pastured Chicken Eggs at the Green City Farmers Market for $5/dz. No need to dye these eggs, they come already colored for you in shades of brown, white and even the occasional blue-green!*
* Most of our eggs being laid recently have been brown, there are the occasional white and blue-green eggs laid. We cannot take orders for the colored eggs. What you get in your carton is what we get when we pull the eggs from the nest! Enjoy mother nature at work. All eggs are beautiful.

Happy Spring Holidays!