Buyers Club

We have decided that we would like to start a Buyers Club for the meats that we raise.  We will start out focusing on our pasture raised broiler chickens and turkeys this coming season.  If this arrangement works well for everyone we will expand to include our lamb and beef.

We think that this Buyers Club will benefit your family as well as our farm.  How is that?
We want to offer our pasture raised poultry at a discounted price to those who will pre-order their chicken and turkey before the start of the 2018 growing season and secure their order with a non-refundable deposit. The deposit will be applied to the final purchase price.  Whether you want only a few chickens and a turkey, or you want to stock up your freezer to feed the family throughout the year our Buyers Club benefits you by letting you plan ahead, work with your budget, and pay throughout the season. This is your opportunity to get high quality, clean, and nutritious meat at a lower price than if you waited to place your order when the birds are processed.

A Buyers Club helps us so that we can appropriately plan how many birds to raise in the coming year and to anticipate pasture rotation for the cattle, sheep, goats, and poultry throughout the year.  And as part of the Buyers Club you gain a special sense of participation in the restoration that is taking place here on our small family farm – you can feel confident that you are participating in the restoration of our local ecosystem, cleaning up our area ground water, sequestering carbon from the atmosphere, and providing clean and healthy meats to our local community.  We love raising healthy animals and we appreciate the idea that our animals have a job here on the farm with our holistic restoration agriculture practices, as well as a calling to nourish your family when they leave their home.

If you are interested in the details about our new Buyers Club, please contact us right away and we’ll get you the details.

 

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Why Is Good Food So Expensive? Part 2

In our last post we cited three suggestions as to why it feel like good food is a burden on our budgets:

~ The business model of industrial agriculture has placed the dollar as the ultimate bottom line.  While this is necessary for any business small family farmers have very different values.
~ Low quality foods (mass-produced processed foods) may have a greater volume on your plate but your body will need more of it to feel satiated.  I believe this is why our standard portion sizes have grown so much over the years.  There is even talk of our populations being malnourished because we aren’t getting the quality nutrition we require from our “Standard American Diet”.
~ Prepackaged and fast foods are convenient and have been on the market for so long that a great many people simply do not know how to cook anymore.  Many people are intimidated by their kitchens and simply don’t feel comfortable trying something new.

Our previous post talked about industrial factory farms looking for creative ways to reduce their production costs including using ingredients such as junk food and food waste when raising animals for consumption.  We determined that  “cheap inputs and a higher volume means a lower end price” and that industrial factory farms can bring in their materials at prices that are not available to small family farms.

Today though let’s focus on the second two suggestions in our original list:  Our need to eat more of the cheap food in order to feel full, and intimidation of food preparation. Continue reading

Nutrient Density and Animal Products

The phrase “nutrient dense food” is a hot one these days!  What does this phrase really mean?  Basically it speaks of the ratio of nutrients in food.  But what is this ratio in relation to?

When we look at our food labels and see how much of a nutrient is found in that food item, what we are seeing is the value of each listed nutrient based on how many calories are in one serving.  The ratio looks like this:  Total Fat per Calorie, Protein per Calorie, Iron per Calorie.  Foods that offer many vitamins and minerals without excessive calories are considered nutrient dense.  Leafy greens are considered by many to be the most nutrient dense foods. Remember, nutrient density is determined by how many calories are in the food.  You might remember from your high school chemistry class that a calorie is a unit of energy.  Our food labels today are based on a suggested diet of 2,000 calories per day (though many of us don’t need so much energy every day).  These food labels tell us the percentage of our daily minimum requirements of selected nutrients per calorie in a serving of that particular food.

While this sounds great is is also a bit confusing and inconvenient.  Most of us consume our meals based on satiety, not caloric intake – meaning that we eat our meals when we are hungry and we eat until we feel full. Continue reading

Simple and Elegant Lamb Chops

Simple and Elegant Lamb Chops

Lamb chops are delicious!  In most cases they are reserved for special occasions because they are a favorite and most tender cut of meat.  Lamb loin chops are often called “the porterhouse steak of the lamb” and are a favorite cut of meat for a great many people.

Simple and Elegant Lamb Chops
Makes 6 lamb chops

Ingredients:

  • 2 garlic cloves
  • 1 tablespoon rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon thyme
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • Sea salt
  • 6 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 6 lamb chops, about 3/4 inch thick

Directions:

1. Finely chop the rosemary, thyme, and garlic.

2. Using a mortar and pestle or small food processor, make into a paste with the salt, cayenne, and olive oil.

3. Spread mixture on to the lamb and marinate in the refrigerator for at least one hour.

4. Bring the lamb to room temperature outside of the refrigerator for 20 minutes.

5. Using the grill (indoor or outdoor) or a skillet, put on high heat and cook for 2 minutes on one side.

6. Flip over and grill/cook for 3 minutes on the second side.

Serve with your favorite side dishes.
Our favorite lamb chop side dishes are a Garlic and Olive Oil Couscous with Tabouleh (a salad made of tomatoes, finely chopped parsley, mint, bulgur, and onion,  seasoned with olive oil, lemon juice, and salt).

Moroccan Lamb Meatballs

It’s fun to try recipes from other parts of the world because we get to try new combinations and flavors, and we have the opportunity to learn where some of these places are on the map.  Moroccan Meatballs served over couscous is one delicious way to incorporate ground lamb into your family’s mealtime.

Ingredients:

  • 1 pound ground lamb
  • 1 onion
  • 1 small potato
  • 1/4 cup parsley
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 Tbsp turmeric
  • 1 tomato
  • 3 shallots
  • 1 cup assorted mushrooms
  • 1 Tbsp saffron

Prepare the Meatballs:

  1. Finely chop onion, potato and parsley in a food processor the. Add mixture to the chopped lamb and combine.

  2. Mix in egg, bread crumbs, salt, pepper and turmeric. Place in fridge for 10-15 minutes.

  3. Chop the tomato and the shallots.  Then in a large pot, heat up one tablespoon of vegetable oil and sauté the tomatoes and shallots. After about 10 minutes, add the mushrooms, salt, pepper, turmeric and saffron

  4. Form the meatballs and add them to the pot. Add half cup of water, cover and cook for 15 minutes.

Prep Time:  45 Minutes
Serves:  6

Recipe also found here

Sephardic Style Leg of Lamb

Sephardic-Style Leg of Lamb

INGREDIENTS

  • 4-5 pounds, leg of lamb
  • Juice of 2 lemons
  • 2 lemons, sliced
  • 1/3 cup olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped
  • 7 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons salt
  • Freshly ground pepper to taste
  • ½ cup (4 ounces) white wine

DIRECTIONS

Preheat oven to 425° F

1. Using a sharp knife, cover the meat with incisions. Rub the meat with the juice of 2 lemons.

2. Mix together the olive oil, rosemary, thyme, garlic, salt and pepper. Rub this mixture all over the lamb. Place slices of one lemon on top of meat, cover and let rest in refrigerator overnight or for a minimum of one hour.

3. Remove from refrigerator and, if necessary, remove excess marinade. Place the lamb on a rack in a roasting pan.  Cook at 425° F for 30 minutes.

4. Lower temperature to 325° F and cook uncovered for 20-25 minutes per pound. If the pan begins to dry out, add some white wine to keep it wet.

5. When the meat reaches an internal temperature of 145° F, remove it from the oven and let rest 10 minutes before slicing.

6. Garnish with remaining lemon slices and some rosemary sprigs.

Chicken Bone Broth

At Tikkun Homestead we provide wonderful pasture raised chicken.  Our chickens grow quickly with lots of exercise from hunting in the pasture, and an excellent non-GMO, corn & soy free feed.  This means that the flavor of our chickens is delightful and the nutritional value for your family is impeccable.

Once your family has dined on our pasture raised chicken, the carcass will make some delicious and nutritious bone broth!  Let’s talk about what to do with that chicken carcass once everyone’s appetite has been satisfied.

Bone broth is a staple our ancestors thrived on and a traditional way to consume vital  and health strengthening nutrients.  A rich chicken bone broth is full of  glucosamine, chondroitin, collagen, and trace minerals.  No wonder chicken soup has been a traditional comfort food when someone isn’t feeling well.

To make the best bone broth you need to have on hand more than just your chicken carcass. Continue reading

Bone Broth and Meat Stock

Bone broth and meat stock have been a staple in our ancestors kitchens for millennia.  Whether it was the soups and stews that mothers and grandmothers made for their families in the cold wet months, or the chicken soup you were served when you weren’t feeling well, a warm and nourishing broth has been a primary functional food for mankind all over the globe throughout time.

Lately there has been a wonderful revival of these healthy recipes and appreciation of the benefits they bring.  Both bone broth and meat stock are easy to make and excellent to have on hand in the pantry.  Quality ingredients is critical to the nourishing value of your broth or stock, only clean and pasture raised bones and meat are recommended.  Bone broth and meat stock are not actually the same thing, there is a difference between the two.

Bone Broth
Bone broth is made from just what you might think:  bones.   A variety of bones gently boiled for hours at a time makes for a wonderful rich broth.  Remember that our ancestors never wasted anything so some of the best ingredients in bone broth might seem a little weird at first.  The best bone broth is made with joints and feet, even heads.  I know.  It’s hard to imagine our great grandmothers boiling heads and feet in the kitchen and the family happily consuming the soup.  But, once we get past how strange that seems to us today and understand why these parts were chosen it won’t seem so odd.

Bone broth, when cooled, should be very gelatinous.  The gelatin and nutrients in a good bone broth comes from the cartilage, marrow, and other things found in these bones in particular.  The gelatin is the valuable part of a good bone broth because gelatin has been known to treat and aid in the recovery of a great many ailments, contain minerals and vitamins necessary for vital health, as well as being adding fantastic flavor to soups and stews.

Meat Stock
Meat stock is made with roasted bones and meat with a variety of vegetables and is also simmered for hours at a time.  Meat stock has a greater variety of minerals, vitamins, and other nutrients that our bodies need (some of which we pay a lot of money for in the form of supplements today) than bone broth.  Meat stock won’t be gelatinous like bone broth because the added ingredients change the composition of the soup. Though there will still be some gelatin in the meat sock, all of the other good stuff in the meat stock mutes the gelatinous texture of the cooled soup.

Both bone broth and meat stock are a rich nourishing traditions of our forefathers and excellent for making a multitude of comfort foods.  The best part of is that making a large pot of broth or stock is simple and can be canned and stored in the pantry, or you can freeze your broth or stock and keep it for several months, pulling out only what you need when you need it.

At Tikkun Homestead we are pleased to be a source for healthy bones and meat for your family.  Our animals always have access to a variety of minerals in addition to the plants they eat while grazing to ensure that they have a strong balance of necessary vitamins, minerals, and other critical nutrients.  What our chickens, lambs, and cows eat gets passed along to you when you eat meat from Tikkun Homestead.

For more information about our meat, see the tab at the top of all of our pages called Pasture Raised Meat & Eggs.

To learn more about bone broths and meat stocks, see our growing recipe collection including chicken bone broth and lamb and beef stock, and the links below:
Broth is Beautiful  – the benefits and some of the history of broths and stocks
Soup-stenance – introduction and a Broth 101 section, with recipes
Bone Broth, Broths, and Stock – introduction and benefits

And finally, a video:

Beef or Lamb Stock

BEEF STOCK
from The Weston A Price Foundation website

about 4 pounds of marrow and knuckle bones
1  foot, cut into pieces (optional)
3 pounds meaty rib or neck bones
4 or more quarts cold filtered water
1/2 cup vinegar
3 onions, coarsely chopped
3 carrots, coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
several sprigs of fresh thyme, tied together
1 teaspoon dried green peppercorns, crushed
l bunch parsley

Place the knuckle and marrow bones and optional calves foot in a very large pot with vinegar and cover with water. Let stand for one hour. Meanwhile, place the meaty bones in a roasting pan and brown at 350 degrees in the oven. When well browned, add to the pot along with the vegetables. Pour the fat out of the roasting pan, add cold water to the pan, set over a high flame and bring to a boil, stirring with a wooden spoon to loosen up coagulated juices. Add this liquid to the pot. Add additional water, if necessary, to cover the bones; but the liquid should come no higher than within one inch of the rim of the pot, as the volume expands slightly during cooking. Bring to a boil. A large amount of scum will come to the top, and it is important to remove this with a spoon. After you have skimmed, reduce heat and add the thyme and crushed peppercorns.

Simmer stock for at least 12 and as long as 72 hours. Just before finishing, add the parsley and simmer another 10 minutes. You will now have a pot of rather repulsive-looking brown liquid containing globs of gelatinous and fatty material. It doesn’t even smell particularly good. But don’t despair. After straining you will have a delicious and nourishing clear broth that forms the basis for many other recipes.

Remove bones with tongs or a slotted spoon. Strain the stock into a large bowl. Let cool in the refrigerator and remove the congealed fat that rises to the top. Transfer to smaller containers and to the freezer for long-term storage.

Persian Lamb Stew

Persian Lamb Stew
from ToriAvery.com

Serves 8

Ingredients:

  • 1 tbsp turmeric
  • 2 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tsp salt (if salt sensitive, you may want to use less and salt to taste at the end of cooking)
  • 1 tsp crushed red pepper flakes
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 medium onions, minced
  • 3 lbs lamb meat cut into chunks for stewing (leg meat works well, it cooks up very tender)
  • 3 tbsp tomato paste
  • 1/4 cup fresh parsley or cilantro, chopped
  • 4 cups steamed basmati rice for serving

Directions:
In a small dish, mix together turmeric, black pepper, salt, and crushed red pepper seasoning.
In a large pot, heat olive oil over medium high till hot (not smoking). Saute for 10 minutes until onion softens and starts to turn golden brown.
Add the lamb stew meat to the pot. You can use bone-in lamb meat, boneless meat, or a combination of the two. Brown the meat for a few minutes on each side. Drain the fat that collects at the bottom of the pot.
Sprinkle the seasonings evenly across the top of the browned meat.
Cover the meat with 4 cups of water. Bring mixture to a slow boil, then reduce heat to medium low. Simmer on medium low heat for two hours.
After 2 hours, add tomato paste to the pot and stir slowly until paste dissolves into the broth.
Simmer for another 20 minutes uncovered, stirring occasionally, until the meat is nice and tender and the sauce has thickened. Taste and adjust seasoning, adding more salt and.or spice, if desired.
Garnish the stew with fresh parsley or cilantro. Serve lamb and sauce over freshly steamed basmati rice.