Monday, December 13, 2010

Meadow Haven Farm: a full meatwagon

I'm almost at the end of my winter share CSA, and realizing that Slow Cooker season is right at my heels.  And what do I need?  Meat.  Lots and lots and lots of meat
The other day, Time Out ran an incredible story about Restauranteur Daniel Rosenthal.  He saw Food, Inc two years ago and now, because of how heavily it impacted him, he's leading a charge to have all of Chicago's burgers come from grass fed beef.  His Loop joint Poag Mahone's, ranked by GQ in "top 20 burgers you must eat before you die" is serving only grass fed beef.  “Watching that documentary made me realize that I not only was participating in, but--through my restaurants-- helping to perpetuate a system that was not only not sustainable but destructive to the health of my clients and my community.  And it was really a wake-up call to me to try to figure out how I, in the restaurant business, could make an impact."
How perfectly stated?! I'm not a restaurant but I'll own up to my own impact as well.  So here I am, the slow cooker is ready, I'm veggied out from the fall and long over due for a car-full of meat.  Good meat.  Why a car-full?  Because farmers can sell quarters, halves or full hogs and cows to individual buyers.  Rather than trek to the farmers market ever week and buy one piece of meat at a time, I can purchase the whole hog, get an unbelievably discounted price for organic, free range meat, and shake hands with the guy who raised the hogs, cows, turkeys, you name it.  Talk about a positive impact.

Mid-September, I called up JeremyAgain.  This time I wanted one of his birds. And pig. And cow.  I ordered a turkey, half of a hog and a quarter of a cow.  The turkey, I picked up on Wednesday for Thanksgiving, hauled all 26 pounds of fresh bird up to Minneapolis and feasted on it with 12 friends and family for the next 5 days.  It was Benny expensive but decidedly the freshest, cleanest, most delicious turkey I've ever had.  It's only once a year and I think it was worth every dollar.
Wilbur went to the "processor" (a gentile way to say butcher) two weeks ago and has been chopped up every which way for me to eat.  The Wil part is going to my boss, Paul.  He bought a deep freeze freezer and has been researching meat options for a couple months.  We decided that between the two of us, we could take down that much meat.  Bur is coming home with me.  I asked Jeremy for all the weird bits too: tongue, heart, liver to experiment with (see picture above).  I solemnly swear to report back how pig heart is best cooked. 
Bessie, our quarter cow, is arriving sometime in January.  Again, Paul will get Bess and I'll get Essie. Honestly, all "positive impacts" aside, meat from Meadow Haven is good.  Really really really good. If you want to be in on the next round, let me know.  There are plenty more cows in the pasture, pigs in the pen, fish in the sea.
Bur's Italian Sausage made it to the "number 1 thing I must try immediately upon arrival."  I opened a can of some homemade tomato sauce that D and I canned over the summer, added a few extra tomatoes, a little wine from a forlorn, half-drunk bottle, and a pound of Italian sausage. Delicious.

1 comment:

  1. I'm fairly certain one of those pig parts said "Spork Shoulder."