Wednesday, February 17, 2010

Winter Market Update

We are in the throws of winter these days, but that doesn't mean that we don't have access to locally grown/produced food. There are more and more winter farmers markets popping up around the city. All we need is more folks to know that these opportunities are available to them. If you check out the Local Beet you can find a market almost every weekend and in neighborhoods all around the city! A few that we are participating in are:

Green City at the Peggy Notebaert Nature Center (Saturdays 8am to 1pm)
February 27th
March 13th
March 27th
April 10th
April 24th

Logan Square at the Congress Theater (Sundays 10am to 2pm)
February 21th
February 28th
March 7th
March 14th
March 21st
March 28th

The Empty Bottle
Saturday February 27th from 12pm to 5pm

We will be selling our pasture raised lamb, mutton, goat, beef and veal. In addition to all these great meat products we will be selling our chicken and duck eggs at the Green City market. We will also be selling our farmstead honey at the Green City and the Empty Bottle markets!

We hope to see you at one of these markets. Please help to spread the word to others- bring a friend! Chicago needs more support for its winter farmers markets. We want them to succeed and we need your help.

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

February Meat CSA

Love is in the air and this month's selection of meat is all about cuts that we love and can't live without!

Half Share:
1# Ground Lamb
2# Veal Shoulder Chops
1# Beef Skirt Steak
1# Mutton Loin Chops

Whole Share:
1# Ground Lamb
2# Veal or Lamb Shoulder Chops
1# Beef Flat Iron Steak
1# Mutton Loin Chops
2# Lamb or Veal Top Round Roast
1# Beef Kabob Meat
1# Lamb Bratwurst Links
1# Veal Sirloin Steak

This month we offered a new meat to our members, mutton. Mutton has been around for a long time, but it is not a popular meat in America and we rarely ever see it available at market. This is unfortunate because we love mutton and we hope to spread its wonders to Chicago!

As I was doing research for this month's newsletter, I discovered that the Prince of Wales started in 2004 the Mutton Renaissance in Britain. He started the campaign to support British sheep farmers in selling their older animals and to get delicious mutton back on his nation's plates.

Here in America, we are still in the dark about mutton even with the growing interest in lamb products. In the Oxford Encyclopedia of Food and Drink in America, I discovered that our country's interest in mutton and lamb has been tied to our war history and the wool market.

In this month's share, we gave each member a package of Mutton Loin Chops and a recipe for Honey and Dry Cider Marinaded Mutton Loin Chops. This recipe comes from a sheep farm in Britain, Elan Valley Mutton.


Serves 4

4 Mutton Loin Chops

3-4 tsp of locally raised Honey*

fresh Rosemary Sprigs

1 tsp ground Ginger

¼ pint of Dry “hard” Cider

Salt and Pepper

*Mint Creek Farm Honey is now available at the Green City Indoor farmers market.


Season the mutton loin chops with salt and pepper. Put chops in a shallow roasting pan and sprinkle the ground ginger on the chops. Drizzle the honey over them and lightly rub the honey and spices into the chops. Lay fresh rosemary sprigs on top of the chops, then pour the dry cider over the meat leaving it to marinade for a couple of hours or overnight if possible. Be sure to cover pan with a double layer of foil (honey is inclined to burn) and braise in a 325-350° oven for approximately 2 hours. Remove the meat from the pan and reduce the pan drippings on the stovetop until slightly thickened. Plate the loin chops, and drizzle the cider sauce over top. Garnish your meat platter with more fresh rosemary sprigs.

And since we mentioned the local honey, we are proud to announce that we have released our 2009 farmstead honey at the Green City Farmers Market! It will be available now at every market, until supplies last. We are retailing it at 1lb for $8, 2lbs for $15 and 5lbs for $35.