Tuesday, March 5, 2019

Cooking your way thru a 1/2 HOG 

 
Pork cut choices for your half hog or whole hog

Start with the best tasting pork Raised the way you want it
So that would mean Berkshire Pork raised organically and ethically with no added hormones or antibiotics

The Best Ways To Cook 7 Common Cuts Of Pork

A handy guide to help you cook your way thru the biggest part of a half hog.

adapted by works by 
                                                                  
 Pork has “amazing weeknight staple” written all over it — it’s leaner than steak, cheaper than chicken, and many cuts cook extraordinarily quickly.
So why does pork get less love than other types of meat? One too many run-ins with dry factory raised pork chops or tough barny smelling tenderloin can be all it takes.
To maximize pork’s potential, it’s important to get it from a local farmer who raises Berkshire pork organically and ethically in an outdoor pasture setting and  understand how to cook it. Different cuts of pork call for different cooking methods, and when you put the right ones together, you’ll end up with mealtime magic every time.
Here’s a comprehensive guide to ask for when visiting your local farmer...Maybe me!!!

Pork Chops

Also labelled as: rib chops, end cut pork chops

Rib chops are sold bone-in and are cut from the shoulder end of the loin. Their high fat content makes them tender, flavourful and less prone to drying out during cooking than tougher blade and centre-cut chops. (They’re the ribeye of the pork world.) Give them attention they deserve by pan-searing them, and basting in a bath of foamy butter to finish. Ta-da! A date-night worthy dinner in under 30 minutes.
Best used for: A steak substitute, dinner for two.

I'm not gonna Lie. The best way to cook a pork chop is to start with a heritage breed pork.
We sell Berkshires and I tell all my customers, "Just put in a baking pan, with a little salt and pepper "..that's it. They have their own fat so the flavour will amaze you. Everyone of our customers says what about the sauce. And they soon find out what we already know... Berkshire does not need a sauce.!

Centre-Cut Pork Chops

Also labelled as: boneless pork chops, boneless rib chops

Centre-cut chops are very affordable and ultra-versatile.
Because this cut is boneless with very little connective tissue or fat, it can be prone to drying out. Thicker chops will be more forgiving to cook than their thinner counterparts, so try to select chops that are at least 1-inch thick,  they’re perfect for feeding a crowd or keeping the hungry dinner hoards at bay.
Best used for: Everyday cooking, sheet pan dinners, stir fries.

Pork Tenderloin

Also labelled as: pork loin, tenderloin roast

This cut, from the muscle that runs down the backbone, is the leanest you can buy. Tenderloin cooks very quickly, which is great for on-the-fly meals, but also means it can be easily overdone. Its mild flavour makes it an excellent vehicle for tasty rubs and marinades, which will also help to tenderize the meat. Use an instant read thermometer to check the internal temperature to guarantee a perfectly cooked tenderloin.
Best used for: Quick and easy dinners.
 Tenderloin can be wrapped in bacon and sliced into medallions. YUM YUM.
 or sliced into medallions and rolled in a coating mix..homemade or bought. Fried in pork lard or roasted in the oven .

Pork Shoulder

Also labelled as: Boston butt, pork butt, pork roast

Despite its name, pork butt actually comes from the shoulder, and it’s a rich, flavourful cut. Relatively inexpensive, pork butt is also tough and fatty, so it needs to be slow roasted, stewed, or braised in an oven or slow cooker to coax out the tenderness. (Totally worth it.)
Bonus: Pork butt is often sold in smaller, boneless pieces (around 2 pounds) so it doesn’t have to be reserved just for large dinner parties.
Best used for: Hands-off cooking, pulled-pork sandwiches and carnitas
 My personal favorite is slow roasted in the oven and then crisped up under the broiler for a few minutes. .

City Ham

Also labelled as: fully-cooked ham, smoked ham, spiral-sliced ham

A note on cured hams: There are several types of cured hams. The two most common varieties are city hams and country hams. City hams are wet-cured in brine, while country hams are dry-cured in salt then aged, resulting in a flavour similar to prosciutto. Wet-cured hams are easily found in most supermarkets and are what you want to serve for a special dinner.
Cured hams are generally fully-cooked, so the main goals for cooking are to heat it through and develop a crisp crust on the outside. Supermarket hams are basically a good percentageof water.: They are brined extensively, making for an unappealing, spongy texture. Hams purchased from a farmer will be more flavourful and contain less water weight. Look for bone-in they will be tastier. Cured ham’s salty, smoky flavour pairs well with a sweet glaze (such as apricot, pineapple and orange). For an impressive holiday table centrepiece, score the fat, roast and glaze until burnished and shiny.
Best used for: A holiday crowd-pleaser.
Roast in oven with a few pineapple rings and cherry in the centre. ..Just like on TV.

Pork Ribs

Also labelled as: baby back ribs, loin back ribs

Pork back ribs are smaller than spare ribs, but contain more meat and less connective tissue than fattier spare ribs do. Back ribs come from the same part of the rib as pork chops and centre-cut roasts, so they can be on the pricier side, but are oh-so-delicious when glazed with a tasty barbecue sauce. As a bonus, brushing with barbecue sauce will keep lean back ribs from drying out while they cook.
Best used for: Barbecuing and grilling.
My favorite is greek ribs... in the oven with some pork lard and a sprinkle of oregano, lemon pepper, garlic powder, and some salt and pepper. Slow cook till done then brown under the broiler for 4 minutes each side.

Pork Belly


Also labelled as: pork baby roast

Pork belly comes from the underside of the belly and is essentially uncured, unsmoked and unsliced bacon. But the rich flavour of pork belly is good for more than just breakfast. This cut’s high fat content makes it melt-in-your mouth tender when roasted, and the flavour is deliciously complex. For best results, seek out a pork belly roast from your local farmer.
Best used for: Slow-roasting, porchetta

So When looking for the perfect piece of pork call a local farmer..like me, and order a half hog. You will never regret it.
😎
Betty


                                                                           






Sunday, November 4, 2018

Why local products cost more ! or Do they really?



Why does local cost more
OR
does it really?






Everyone has asked this question at some point in time. Whether it be local farm fresh veggies or eggs or farm grown meat, home made bread, home milled flour, home made soaps or even local cheese.

After doing some research and considering our own situation The basics of that question is Some people cut corners..and that can affect your health.

 I know you've heard that grass-fed is better for you and the animal.

 And of course you already know that supporting local farmers is good for the economy of the community and your belly!

Maybe you want to know the difference between barn raised pork and pastured pork or feedlot raised beef and pastured beef ..( CAFO)concentrated animal feeding operation vs free ranged pastured animals.
And I bet you want to know the best and most economic way to buy premium beef, pork, lamb and chicken and duck...mmmm... - by the piece or bulk

Well I'm gonna let you in on the secrets..which aren't very secretive at all.

My next few posts will get into the details of most of your questions.

Maybe you have some query of your own.  Feel free to comment below. I'll research if I don't have the answers readily available for you

Today's post will center around terminology. Like grass-fed vs grass-finished_very confusing subject.
Natural vs Organic..not confusing at all.

Grass-fed or grass-finished means different things to different people .
 Well grassfed is animals being fed either fresh grass or dried grass...HAY and small amounts of grain to coax them and move them around is ok.. But grassfed  vs grain finished is where it gets confusing, you can have an animal grassfed but them for 2-4 weeks force feed grain to fatten them up . This is where the poor animals liver becomes diseased and listeria can develop.

 In our operation all our animals are fed grass every day of their life so they are grassfed.
 and grassfinished  (Even the chickens get hay). And they are not fed large amounts of grain to finish them or fatten them. It takes a little longer to get a grass-finished animal to the correct amount of "finish "on them , which will always be less than the feedlot gorged animals.  But the flavour and tenderness is sooo worth it. Did you know  breeds differ in flavour and some breeds are better for CAFO rearing and others better for grass fed/finished
Grain finished animals can end up with very unhealthy livers and internal disorders because of the huge amounts of grain they ingest to get the "bloom" the feedlot operators are feeding for and the commercial buyers are paying for. But the composition of the meat is generally less fat in grassfinished but still good marbling.
  • Monounsaturated fat: Grass-fed beef contains much less monounsaturated fat than grain-fed beef (1).
  • Omega-6 polyunsaturated fats: Grass-fed and grain-fed beef contain very similar amounts of omega-6 fatty acids.
  • Omega-3s: This is where grass-fed really makes a major difference, containing up to five times as much omega-3 (2).
  • Conjugated linoleic acid (CLA): Grass-fed beef contains about twice as much CLA as grain-fed beef. This fatty acid is associated with a few health benefits (34).
In short, there are some significant differences in the fat amount and composition of grass-fed beef, compared to grain-fed. You can investigate on your own and go further in depth. But I choose not to bore you here.

So to make a long story short, it takes longer to get a grass finished beef market ready than force feeding grain to fatten them up. And the grassfed animal has fewer health issues. So really you are paying more for grassfed but you are paying for meat not fat and grissol that the cats and dogs get. If your cheaper meats are tough and chewy and you have to spit it out , is it really less expensive or just cheap meat?

 Now Natural versus Organic

Natural can mean whatever anybody wants to call it. There are no guidelines , no rules, no must do's. So really it means nothing...end of story!

 Organic on the other hand has rules, regulations and many many hoops to jump through, And organic farmers must prove they are following these rules. Paperwork has to accompany these products and  Every year they must be inspected by a third party inspector, to ensure these rules are being followed. Then when their product is sold it is subject to random testing. No one want s to pay to have that load of wheat shipped back from the west coast at their expense and lose their organic status. So believe me , the small organic farmers are not about to cheat.

In our situation we feed  our own certified organic feeds to make sure that your family and mine  isn't ingesting the chemicals and GMO's found in other feeds nor the  hormones and antibiotics found in most  if not all feedlot and CAFO meat.  Organic hay costs 1.5 to 2 times more than conventional hay. Plus with organic ranches and farms the labour cost is significant because the work is  more manual than mechanical. It really does cost more to produce organic than conventional crops. But again the benefits to your family are significant.

Now here is the kicker. Of course  there are farmers who are selling cheap meat. You can buy100 's of pounds of ground beef for $4/lb or ground pork for $3/lb  or a steak for $7 lb ,but  I will bet dimes to dollars that meat is either from a "DOWNER" animal or possibly a sick animal.( I know this because we used to eat those animals when we first started out dirt poor we thought we had no choice) and we paid the cost of that "SAVINGS". That could be an old bull who has a broken leg, an old cow that has prolapsed, a stinky old boar ,or a young boar that cant be used for breeding. If the later is the case you will smell it as soon as you open the oven door.  It could be any animal that would not pass inspection at an inspected facility. The old adage "YOU GET WHAT YOU PAY FOR" is very relevant when it comes to food.

Now speaking of inspected facilities.
 We could cut corners and just do" farm kills ",( where basically anything is allowed). but we are so confident in our animal health that we use a federally inspected facility for all our customers meat. It is required to sell to restaurants -which we do supply . You get the same assurance that you animal  was inspected live and the carcas was inspected once slaughtered.

If your retailer cant tell you what the animal ate or who raised it he obviously doesnt care who raised your food.

If your farmer doesn't want you to come to their farm, there might be a reason, then you should consider another farmer for your food.

 Not all farms are as they appear  Your farmer should have an open door policy within reason ( some let you believe they raised it themselves...when in actual fact they don't have an animal on the place)

So just do your research and ask question of your retailer and farmer and see who has the answers you are happy with.

 Be aware of what you are putting in your belly and Be concerned where you're $$$ should go.
😎
Betty




.

Monday, August 27, 2018

       WHAT WOULD  YOU DO TO GET YOUR HANDS ON                    YOUR FIRST GUERNSEY MILK COW                                          



Well in my case it was more like what wouldn't I do?. 
It had been a dream of mine to get a Guernsey milk cow for years.
 That beautiful sun-kissed  milk. 
That thick gorgeous golden cream. 
That amazing auspicious yellow butter.
Who wouldn't leap over obstacles to get that?. But alas. It seemed it was a pipe dream. There was not a Guernsey to be had in Western Canada. 
Then out of the blue, one Saturday evening my daughter Tamara..aka, my partner in crime, sent me a text stating there was a kijiji ad about a Guernsey cow in Stony Plain Alta.
What ?Really?
 I am all over that. I found the ad on kijiji..Not an easy task if you've ever tried to find something you saw online. I emailed the seller immediately.
An hour later no response. So I called the number immediately. Damn! an answering machine. OK I leave a polite message stating the obvious.. I am calling about the Guernsey cow listed on Kijiji
 Another hour later I haven't heard a thing from this poster. I call again . Because maybe I didn't leave my number.  Did I ? maybe, maybe not I wasn't thinking straight . I was too excited. The Adrenalin must be fogging up  my brain. This time the message was an ongoing rambling of excited gibberish about always wanting a Guernsey , and my Dad milked a Guernsey cross cow and he told us back then how much healthier milk was for us from the Guernsey than the Holstein. But who pays any attention to their parents at that age, But here I am and those words are echoing in my brain over and over. .blah blah blah . Well I was getting antsier by the minute . It was getting late.. normally I would be in bed by 9, but who could sleep. I cant sleep . What if someone else gets a hold of him before me.

Then i thought hey! That was a cell Number.. ill text that person ..Just in case the sound is off on their phone.
Well turns out the sound was off and HE was in a meeting. He didnt sound annoyed in the text....lol. Sometimes you can tell..

Ok no problem, just settle down . He'll call me. When he gets home. That's what he said.

At 10;30 I still hadn't heard from him.  What do I do. ??/
 "OH MY GOD!" my husband yelled from the living room. . "You are stalking this poor man."
Yes come to think of it thats exactly what i was dong. What is wrong with me?
But what if someone else calls him and talks to him before he gets my messages. What if its already sold..
I resigned myself to the fact that I was never going to own a Guernsey milk cow.
 Well the story continued for another half hour... me pacing the floor till the phone rang.  Well it almost rang .. I guess you could say it Ra...
 I grabbed the phone in mid ring and there was dead silence on the other end.
"hello?  Hello?" what the hell why aren't you saying hello.
then..
"Hello? Betty? Betty at 555-555-5555? Betty at cell number at 777-777-7777? then he began to laugh. I understand you want a Guernsey milk cow.  Really desperately I would say"
"yes Yes i do. And you have one." Normally I would be embarrassed at the fact that my emotions were all over the texts and the phone calls.
" Well No i dont."
My heart went from being in the back of my throat to plunging to the pit of my stomach in half a  second flat.
 I knew it. I didn't try hard enough.
Impossible no one tries harder than me ...ever...Like ...never.
 Turns out he had cows, they just weren't trained to milk..they were just cows at this point. Who cares i'm gonna get a Guernsey!
 Well as luck would have it, he was impressed with my tenacity and persistence. He had 33 calls( during his meeting) to field and mine was first. WOO HOO
 Im going to get my cow.
Then he tells me he has 2 of them and would give precedence to the buyer who would  take them   together,
The story continued as this.  He bought them from the USA sight unseen just for his dad to look at in his last years he had left. His dad was gone now. The cows had never been milked but I didnt care.
 They were both bred when he got themin 2011. One ended up having a heifer the other had a bull calf. One cow died but not before she raised her bull calf. And then....he bred the other 2 ..the cow and her heifer calf . Next year each had a heifer...  are you lost yet. I was .Alas I said I would take both. Yes you heard right.
 So in actual fact, if  I wanted a cow I had to take both cows  mother and daughter re-bred and their  suckling calves. For twice the money. I begged my hubby to the point where he was defenseless to my whining..
We were on the road by 8 am the next morning. It was a very quiet ride there and an even quieter ride home...except for the odd squeal under my breath.

Arriving  in Calgary about noon-ish but weren't to meet him till later because  he would be in church till noon then a church lunch and home by 2. No worries.  I can wait .. But i couldnt. This guy must be a sadist. He was torturing me, making me wait,  What kind of Christian would make me wait even 1 more minute.
I whined to my hubby to get on the road out to the guys farm.We drove out to the acreage where the cows were.. They were gorgeous. I could see them from the road. "Give me those binoculars." I said to Les. I need a closeup look at them .  I was peering into this guys yard with the binoculars from the road, hanging out my window so as not raise suspicions, ( ya right, that scene isn't peculiar at all!)
 Finally a jeep drives up and i'm hoping its him .."Garth? is that you?"
"Yes" he said looking  guarded at the binoculars in my hand. "Betty? I presume"
"Yes! Yes its me."we followed him up his driveway and I jumped out of the truck and ran to the cows. Wow there was a lot of cows in that pen. "Hurry Honey lets get them loaded.
I ran back to the truck to get my cheque book. No way was  I letting this not happen. I could hear him talking to my husband, I walked over quickly to where he and my husband stood. He had his back turned to me but I could see the grin on my husbands face what ? what was so funny. Garth turned around to face me and I exclaimed out loud.

"OH MY GOD I "VE BEEN STALKING A  VICAR "
We all had a good laugh and a quick visit. and then we were on the road again

 I bought the whole herd. 2 cows with calves, bred back and the herd sire. Whoa. Les, my husband, never spoke to me the whole way home. But I wasnt too worried, I knew he would come around.
 Buying those cows turns out to be one of  the best thing we've ever done.
 Betty

Saturday, August 18, 2018

my first Blog





NOW WHAT?




                                                                        So this is Us.

   Just to put a face to the names this is Me , Betty and my hardworking stressed out husband Leslie.

The name Jersey Chores was his literary input, ( which doesn't happen often). And I thought it was

 brilliant. He chose this because at the time we were milking Jerseys,  and well, you now about the

 reality tv show. So I paid for the name immediately ( that was 2.5 years ago.) 😌😔😔 and now I

 have to post something to get this train rolling  .So here is my first blog post.

                                                                  Entitled ..

                                       NOW WHAT?


                           Who doesn't think about  being a writer? > really? you've never? 

Well my grade school dream was to be a writer. My teenage dream was to be a Veterinarian. My

 young adult dream was to be a mother, wife , master gardener, and  farmer.  Well now with this blog

 post  I realize I've  accomplished all these dreams. How lucky am I?

       The only problem is , what to write about. Well you will get my day to day dilemmas and my

 stressors and my highs and lows of farming and especially cow milking chores  .  My mishaps,

 which there are many,  My favorite 

recipes and gardening tips. ( did I forget to mention I ran a 1500 sq foot greenhouse retail business for

 12 years: everything started from seed.. yes even the perennials and all doable in zone 2b) . Oh yes

 and a vegetable CSA. till I blew out both my shoulders 😖😖😖,.

And you will notice often that my technical skills with computers is much lacking...but my friend

 "Jo" ( who you will hear about often)  helps the best she can...I"m not an easy student to mentor...

- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -

         Well we have been farming organically since before it was cool. 1997 to be exact. Wheat, oats,

      flax, barley, lentils..and livestock. And Guernsey cows...oh how I love my Guernsey cows.

  Now our grass-fed/ grass-finished, free-ranged ,milk-fed organic Premium meat lineup- unparalleled

                                     in Saskatchewan....is being offered to the public.

                        We offer BEEF.. PORK ..CHICKEN... LAMB ..AND.. PEKING DUCK.


I hope you will check back often to read our happenings from time to time and I welcome feedback

 of what you would like to see on these pages. SOMETIMES I HAVE NO FILTER ..(sorry in

advance for that I will try not to be too much of  a redneck) I will keep it reasonably short because no

 one knows how precious time is more than me . So wish me luck and enjoy my musings. Feel free to

 checkout our facebook  page   Catherwood organics

😎
  
Betty