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News From The Vat

Hello folks!
 
It’s been a week of thrills at Cherry Grove Farm. We passed an exhaustive 3rd party audit with flying colors (whew), received some cider lees to wash cheese with from our friends at Three Springs Fruit Farm, and visited a new brewery with a lot of ambitions less than ten minutes from the farm. 
 
 referendvisit  The Referend Bier Blendery in Pennington, N.J. was quite the sensory experience. Lots of great smells and tastes in rooms full of wooden barrels aging beer. Sean and I sampled quite a few, one with a particularly complex aroma, that reminded me of our own honey, with notes of jasmine and honeysuckle, had been aged in a whisky barrel. James Priest runs the place, and his goal is all spontaneously fermented beers. We look forward to collaborating on a project soon and in the meantime encourage you to try out his tasting room!
 
Speaking of encouragement, you can taste that lees-washed funky number, if you come out to High Street on the 28th for a Ploughman Cider dinner. Check out the menu : http://highstreetonmarket.com/menu/#test
 
Anyway, back to the old cheesers, Cheeses of the Week:

 
Buttercup Brie: Young but tasty, very buttery 1/16 batch living up to the Buttercup name. Thicker, jumbo 2#+ wheels available upon request for those who like that layer cake ripening effect. Mini Camembert rounds available too. Average wheel 1.50# right now. LIMITED as we begin to feel the effects of the winter milk supply. 
 
Havilah:  May 2015 batches  Bright citrus aromas, brothy herbal notes, and sweet, burnt caramel abound. A great friend to drinks that accompany the dark days of winter: heady trappist ales or Brit style old ales, spiced winter ales, those highly tannic Piedmontese reds, or anything with the brown spirits like an Old Fashioned.

Herdsman: Very flavorful, piquant early October and September batchs. A versatile pairing partner for wines, beers and an array of cured meats. 
Toma: 1st batch of Toma to be matured in our newly refurbished aging room. A very nice looking, pleasing cheese. Buttermilk notes with a piquant edge.

Wild at Heart: We still have a limited # of wheels from this experimental bloomy batch.
Custardy, eggy, brothy notes. Brie size (1.50#) rounds, Little rounds (.20-.30) w/a smatttering of ash and smoked paprika on the rind.
 
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Happy eating and enjoy your weekends, friends in cheese!
 
Paul Lawler
Head Cheeseman

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

 

 

 

A River of Milk!

Its another gangbusters week for the milk flow as we swing into making non-stop Buttercup Brie, Herdsman, and other soft experiments for the holidays.
 
Speaking of soft experiments, our Trilby is back in the farm store this week.
 
Our cheesemakers spent some time picking fig, grape, and maple leaves, then blanching and boozing them to create an ample supply to wrap our Dad’s Hat-washed Trilby. Love the fresh figgy smells of fig leaves blanched!
 
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Cheese Availability:
 
Buttercup Brie: Very LIMITED but we have it.
 
Lawrenceville Jack: Our Jack is never “just Jack” and we were reminded of that this week when nibbling a batch that had a range of fall fruit flavors with a caramelized sweetness towards the rind. Creamy as ever. Raw milk.
 
Havilah: Speaking of fruit, the fall 2014 flavors boast notes of guava, pineapple, and boozy apple. Toast and caramel finish. Raw Milk.
 
Trilby: Washed in Dad’s Hat local rye whiskey, then dressed in leaves from our property soused in NJ apple brandy. Notes of beef stew, buttermilk, and good ole washed-rind funk.
 
That’s all for this week, back to the Brie vat!
 
–Paul Lawler, head cheesemaker

Notes from the Vat

Greeting Cheese Fans,

With our milk at full summer volume we decided to make a large batch of Toma today! 
 
Below you can see the wheels after they have been taken out of the cheese press and flipped for the last time before they go into the brine. Our aging rooms are started to fill up again with a lot of tommes and jacks.
 
We are retrofitting our old alpine space into a brie and bloomies room. That should make a big difference in brie availability closer to the holidays. For now, Buttercup Nrie is in short supply!
 
 
Herdsman: Basket wheels are firm, around 6+ months old and full of flavor. Raw Milk.
 
Havilah: Autumn 2014 batches. Grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut and fudge, with a really great texture. Raw Milk.
 
Lawrenceville Jack: November wheels. Grassy, mild and creamy. Raw Milk.

This Week In Cheese!

It was another week of Buttercup Brie and tomme-style cheese making this week. Speaking of tomme, the basket-style Herdsman is tasting really great right now. They date from last November and December, so age helps. A dense and fudgy texture – toothsome, it really sticks around to remind you of all it’s good raw milk, farmhouse flavors. Sweet notes, toasted walnut, rye and lemon come to mind. (I endorse this cheese 🙂
 
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Cheese:
Buttercup Brie: Some nice early May wheels. That typical butter and buttermilk soft deliciousness. We have a few super-mini market wheels headed to farm markets this week for $4 each.Keep an eye out!
 
Herdsman: Regular wheels from Mid January, Basket wheels a little older. Great flavors abound. January wheels are creamy, flaky, with a sour cream finish. Raw Milk.
 
Havilah:  Wonderful August and Sept 2014 batches. Grass, pineapple, hints of hazelnut and fudge, with a really great texture. Raw Milk.
 
Lawrenceville Jack: November wheels. Grassy, mild and creamy. Raw Milk 
Full Nettle Jack: Spicy oregano and lemon notes shining through from the nettles. Spring and summer wheels.  Raw Milk 
 
Enjoy your weekends. Looking forward to seeing you!
 
Paul

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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