Farm Store

Notes From The Vat

Greetings one and all!
 
Hope everyone weathered our sole winter storm well. I am certainly ready for real spring and looking forward to changes, like that really big, key change, cows on grass again.
 
Speaking of, next week two momentous things are happening; A) we are going out of production for about a week while we redo our flooring to improve food safety and reduce water use, and B) you’ll start hearing a new voice in cheese, as we’ve hired an awesome Affinage and Wholesale Sales sensation… Di Bruno Bros alumni… drumroll… Malachy Egan!
 
This will allow me more time with the cheese (whoopee!), which will be critical as we grow, and more engagement with you, our amazing patrons, from Malachy. But more on that next week. 
 
Here’s our lineup for this week:
 
I know a lot of you are wondering when standard Buttercup Brie will be back in action. I was looking for this week but I’m afraid we will have to wait one more week as the wrapped batch matures. 
 
Mooncakes Buttercup: As some of you know (and hence the reason Buttercup Brie has been unavailable) we had some errant blue mold in our white mold brie aging room two weeks ago. What we lost in our Buttercup Brie pipeline we gained in this one-off variation! As pictured below, these wheels are speckled or coated on one side with a wild blue that, mixed with the white mold, may also appear green/gray. Under this mixed mold rind you have the classic Buttercup texture, flakey touch at the center with a gooey outer buttery layer.  The flavor is a bright spotlight unto spring, a compound butter of orange essence with a hint of rhubarb. Pasteurized.
 
mooncakes brie
Raw Rodeo Brie: Some of these ripened with a pretty layer cake effect with a more acidic, bright lemony, flakey core surrounded by ripening exterior. Because this is a raw milk, bloomy rind, aged over 70 days, you are going to see a variety of yeasts and mold on the rind, not just the pure white of our standard Buttercup Brie.We have one more small batch of these for you all.

Trilby: A delicious beef n’ buttermilk washed rind profile, pretty sunset rinds. Denser texture than the prior batch, a stick to your ribs lingering creaminess (think Crottin or Sulles Sur Cher, curd nerds). Pasteurized.

 
Herdsman: Surprisingly high moisture, barnyardy baskets from last September. 
Firmer, sharper full wheels from October.
 
Toma: Pretty sunset orange hued colors, this is an ideal batch! Grab it while you can.
 
Havilah: Ole faithful, and for good reason! A spectrum that ranges from beef stew with caramelized onions, to roasted squash to caramel and toffee. Batches from Summer 2015. Perfect for this colder weather.
 
Abruzze Jawn: Back in action for a limited time! Get your fill of our cheese as cured meat curiosity while it lasts. 6 months old.
 
We still have some of our experimental blue cheese, the precocious Bette Davis Eyes in the farm store!
 
That’s all folks. Looking forward to your business as always. 
 
Paul

Expanding Our Local Commitment!

Have you seen our new “wing?” It’s small, but every square foot we can devote to our local food community counts.

In January, a survey went out through our newsletter and FB page asking for feedback from customers about our farm store and what other foods we might offer. We’ve had our own ideas brewing, but customer feedback cemented a plan to knock down a wall and create a little more space.

Blink, And It’s Done.

But construction is disruptive, right? And we have a business to run. How do you knock down and rebuild walls, and open up an old barn ceiling without disrupting customers? With a lot of planning, and a good construction partner.

So, the first Monday in February, we started preparing for change.

Graeme prepping the store.

Graeme prepping the store.

Tuesday, while the store was closed, we started demolition, knocking an interior wall down, ripping down the drop ceiling, disconnecting old plumbing, salvaging wood panels for reuse, and putting up a plastic sheet wall so the store could reopen on Wednesday.  

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Looking into the store through the old framing, soon to go.

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Beams match the store! No sanding required.

Wednesday, the new space was framed out (with a small private office for Paul), beams were scraped and cleaned, wood paneling was re-cut and re-used, and electric was re-mapped. Now, we had more light from the 3 windows added to our floor plan. Now, we could see the newly exposed old beams…

Thursday was to be the big finish and clean up, but we had a snow day. To stay on plan, Oliver Hamill, our fearless leader, came in and painted the new space inside the store so we’d be ready to show off the new wing as planned.

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Fresh paint and a recycled wooden panel wall.

Friday our regular customers found us placing shelving, re-organizing, re-merchandising, and spreading out into our new wing. It will take us some time to fully “move in” and use the space to its full potential, but for now, we are enjoying the light and the elbow room.

In time, we plan to add two additional freezer cases to better display our whey-fed pork, grass-fed lamb, beef, and seasonal rose veal. The extra space will also allow us to bring in pasture-raised roasting chickens and more prepared foods, like locally-raised heritage duck, locally-made pastas, pasta sauces, soups, and …. (you tell us!).

We hope you’ve enjoyed the pictures of the expansion. Come on into the store to see the finished space!

Roasting a Pasture-raised Turkey

Pasture Raised Turkey Roast Recipe

To Roast a Pasture-raised Turkey

As a pasture-based farm, everything we do revolves around the grass and moving our animals from field to field. This system of farming is as old as the fields themselves, and when done well, give our animals and our land the space to thrive.

The last two seasons we have raised a small number of heritage breed Bourbon Red and Royal Palm turkeys. You may have seen them around our garden or the farm cottage, pecking at the fall berries and bugs they find as they roam.

Nothing says Thanksgiving more than that signature golden brown roasted turkey, but if you have chosen to roast a pasture-raised bird there are some things you need to know to get the most from your roast.

Pasture-raised turkeys roam around outside and eat primarily grass and insects, so their food and activity level — both of which affect flavor — differ from those of their grain-fed cousins raised in confinement. Heritage breeds are old-timey birds, developed before factory-farming, that thrive in a free environment. They are built to roam, unlike their confined cousins, the factory farm birds who so heavy of breast and short of leg that they can’t thrive out in the open.

But back to roasting! Our birds are fresh at pick up, and so must be refrigerated once you get home. Some folks choose to bring their bird, but we wanted to share an old fashioned no brine, slow roast method that allows you to taste the natural flavor and juiciness of the bird. This is an old-time recipe for an old-timey, heritage breed turkey.

A room temperature turkey will roast more evenly, so early in the morning remove the turkey from the refrigerator, rinse thoroughly, and pat dry (about an hour before putting it in the oven).

Before putting in the oven, place a good handful of fresh herbs, like rosemary, thyme, and sage, in the body cavity. Rub softened butter, salt, and pepper to the outside skin. (Another alternative is use good olive oil in place of the butter.)

Placed the bird breast down in a roasting pan on a bed of onions, celery and carrots in about a 1/2 to 1/4 inch of chicken broth. The veggies will help keep the bird moist and contribute to a great tasting gravy.

The basic reason most turkeys are dried out and tough is because they are overcooked. The USDA used to recommend cooking a turkey to 180 degrees, to assure all bacteria was killed. That also cooked out the flavor and moisture.

The USDA now says it’s safe to cook a turkey to 165 degrees. Remembering that meat keeps cooking when you take it out of the oven, cook your bird to 160, remove from the oven, and cover tightly with foil to rest. Your internal temp will keep cooking and top about around 165. Use that rest time to make gravy or reheat your sides.

Cooking times are a guide, it is the cooking temperatures that matter, so get a good digital thermometer. You want to roast a pastured bird (this goes for chickens as well) at a lower temperature, so start at 325 and after an hour lower the temperature of the oven to 300. About 30 minutes before the turkey is expected to be done, check the bird’s internal temperature. Pastured-birds can cook more quickly than expected.

10-13 lb. – 1 ½ to 2 ¼ hr.
14-23 lb. – 2 to 3 hr.
24-27 lb. – 3 to 3 ¾ hr.

Baste your turkey twice, when you lower your oven temperature to 300, and again at about the 30 minute mark when you check the internal temperature. Resist the urge to poke the turkey with a fork to check juices. That wastes precious juices that need to stay in the breast meat.

Last year we had great reviews from our customers who roasted their first pastured heritage turkeys. For-armed with a little old time cooking knowledge its not hard to roast the perfect thanksgiving turkey!

Tag us on your turkey “beauty” shot if you are roasting a pastured Cherry Grove Farm bird this year! #cgfpasturedgoodness @cherrygrovefarm

September Flash Sale

With late lambing and calving, we will have a later surge in lamb and beef coming into the  store in autumn. Coupled with an already abundant and consistent supply of pork, we need to make some room in the freezer.

We are running a flash sale through September for certain cuts of our whey-fed Berkshire pork. Whey-fed heritage pork is a delicacy, so stock up now while the sale lasts!

Look for Pork Loin Chops, Boneless Pork Chops, Ham Steaks, Whole Hams, Pork Belly, Smoked Guanciale (pork cheek), and Smoked Andouille Sausage to be 15% off normal per pound prices.

We’ll post a recipe for each of the cuts on sale over the next week. Boneless Pork Chops are the leanest chop, so require a sure hand on the pan. Brining helps the meat retain moisture during cooking, a nice tip for the more nervous cook. Check our facebook page for more recipes and information about cooking pastured pork.

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Boneless Pork Chops with Apples
  • 1/4 cup kosher salt
  • 1 quart water
  • 4 (8 ounce) thick-cut boneless pork chops
  • 1 pinch coarse-ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup butter
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • 3 sprigs fresh rosemary
  • 2 apples, cored and quartered

Stir honey and salt into water in a large bowl until honey and salt are dissolved into the brine. Place pork chops in the brine and let sit in the refrigerator for 2 hours.

Remove pork chops from brine, rinse, and pat dry. Place chops on a plate and refrigerate until dry, about 10 minutes. Discard brine.

Preheat oven to 350 degrees F (175 degrees C). Sprinkle pepper over the pork chops.

Melt butter and olive oil in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat; cook pork chops until browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Flip pork chops and season with rosemary; add apples. Cover skillet.

Bake in the preheated oven until pork chops are cooked through, about 10 minutes. 

The chops should be firm when pressed with a spatula. Please note that pastured pork will have a firmer texture because of the pigs’ free range lives.  If you aren’t confident in monitoring the doneness with touch, you should use a thermometer to make sure the internal temperature is between 145 and 150 degrees F. (Pastured meat can go from perfection to tragedy in a minute.) Remove pork chops from skillet and allow to rest five minutes before serving.

 

Modified from AllRecipes.com

 

 

 


1902 - Family purchased farm

1910 - Leased land to dairy farmer

1987 - Hamill Brothers inherit farm

2002 - Started as a family business

2003 - Started a beef herd, laying hens, and pigs

2004 - Added sheep and attained organic certification of pasture land

2005 - Added dairy herd and began making fresh cheeses like mozzarella

2006 - Built aging caves and began making aged cheeses

2012 - Grid Magazine’s Cheese of the Month (Nov – Full Nettle Jack); Finalist at the Good Food Awards (Toma)

2013 - Won 2 blue ribbons from the American Cheese Society(for Buttercup Brie and Lawrenceville Jack Reserve); Added second cheesemaker

2014 - Broke ground on additional aging space and began process of getting AWA certification for our chickens
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