Lemon Grass Marinated Pork

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This recipe involves a couple steps and takes a couple days, but it doesn’t take up too much time. For two people, you can make it in two batches saving the marinade from the first batch to make the second.

It is so delicious and gorgeous and a great way to celebrate Lemon Grass* and well-grown pork**!

Serve with Scallion Oil on the side or poured over the meat. You can also serve with a fried egg, pickles, or a light semi-bitter salad.

 

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Make this Scallion Oil to go with it – you’ll LOVE it! 

IngredientsIMG_2920
1 bundle of scallions – cleaned and sliced or finely chopped
about 2 cups of light olive oil or sesame oil (unroasted)

Combine in a glass jar or pyrex container and keep in fridge – it’s pretty good in a day – but it is amazing on everything in a week!!!

You’ll have extra to add to salads, pour over other meat dishes, and combine into eggs!

 

Lemon Grass Marinated Pork

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You can use bone-in pork chops or ham steaks for this recipe. We use pork from Churutabis Farm in Branchville, NJ – the farm is run by our friend Hannelie with wonderfully-treated pigs and pure, organic methods. The flavor of her pork products is divine!

Ingredients

1-2 Ham Steaks** or 2-4 Pork Chops

About 5 – 10 Lemon Grass* stalks depending on size and freshness of the stalks and your taste.
4 shallots or 1 large onion
1 Ancho pepper
about 1/3 cup fish sauce
about 2 tbsp XO sauce or you can substitute Oyster sauce
1 tbsp chili flakes or 1 small hot chili like a tabasco (or to taste for heat)
4 Tbsp sugar
2 tsp sea salt
Plenty of freshly ground black pepper
Light olive oil or Sesame oil

Start by making the scallion oil or make it a couple days ahead of time.

 

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Then make the marinade – begin with bruising (I place the stalks between two kitchen towels and hit firmly with a heavy sauce pan bottom or a wooden kitchen mallet) lemon  grass. Then chop the lemon grass along with the onions and peppers.

 

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Then combine the lemon grass, onion or shallots, ancho, chili pepper, fish sauce, XO sauce, sugar, salt, and black pepper in a food processor. Process until well chopped and smooth, adding oil to keep it moving nicely.

 

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I usually use a baking dish for marinating. I put a big spoonful of the sauce into the dish…

 

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Then I press the meat over it, making sure it has full contact with the marinade.

 

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**If you are using Ham Steaks, which is my favorite way to do this recipe, be sure to cut into the edge of fat around the steaks. See pic. This keeps the steak from curling up as it cooks.

IMG_2914Ham Steaks are a wonderful way to eat and prepare Ham. For two people or a small family, a Ham can be a gigantic amount of meat and can take a long time to prepare. I feel it is beat to save for for big gatherings and holidays. But a Ham Steak is so much more useable. Ham Steaks are basically slices of ham. They have a center bone and sections of meat like a pie. Marinating is a great way to use this cut of pork well. It also is best cooked quickly and hotly. Always remember to cut the fat layer. I use scissors and cut it as I rinse the meat.

Then I scoop more marinade over the meat, fully submerging and coating it.

 

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Marinate at least 8 hours. Overnight or two nights is fine.

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You can cook this on a grill, which is a traditional Vietnamese way, but I usually just want to pop them under the broiler. I use a baking rack (Stainless Steel) in a baking sheet. Put a piece of heavy duty aluminum foil in the baking sheet. You will often rip it at some during cooking, but if you don’t rip it, it makes clean-up much easier!

I heat up the broiler on high and raise the oven racks to the highest point closest to the broiler element. Place the meat on the rack, leaving marinade on it.

 

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Pop the meat into the oven. Cook for 5-7 minutes on one side. You want the meat to have its edges dark, crispy brown.

 

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Then take it out and flip onto the other side. You can spoon more marinade over it if you want.

 

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Cook another 5-7 minutes. Watching until edges are nice and dark. There will be some smoke…

 

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Take the meat out and let it rest a minute or two. Then, gently wipe the majority of the marinade off (the lemon grass can be a bit stringy and chewy). Distribute onto plates with other items like a fried egg, scallion oil, greens, pickles…

 

 

 

 

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IMG_2883*Consider growing your own Lemongrass Plants

We always have them for sale at our Plant Sale – both “West Indies” and “East Indies” Styles. They are easy to grow. Plant the young plants in a big pot and keep in a warm and sunny location.

Toward the end of summer, you can freely harvest the stalks from around the outside of the grass-clump. Wear gloves – the blades can be sharp! Simply grasp a stalk around the base and pull out. Rinse and slice and use!
To continue growing Lemongrass through the winter – it will need to be brought into the house as a houseplant or into a greenhouse. It works well as a houseplant – but feel free to give the grassy blades a trim as it can take up a lot of space!

Visit our website for more recipes for cooking super-healthy foods! 

And check out our Courses and Workshops for successfully growing your own organic food! 

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Lamb Ragu Pasta Sauce

IMG_8519This recipe has quite a few steps and takes some time. Plan it for a cold and rainy day. It smells absolutely wonderful as it cooks. The flavor that is created by the initial searing and then the slow cooking is totally worth the efforts!

It is also a great recipe for letting fresh herbs shine. Add plenty – I put 1/4 cup in the ingredients list, but I usually add a lot more.

And save herbs for garnishing the bowls while serving – the bright freshness of the herbs contrasts beautifully with the warm developed flavor of the sauce. I really like bright herbs like parsley or basil here. Basil Micro Greens are particularly great for those times of year when you may not have fresh plants growing in the garden. Check out our Micro-Green Growing Video!

As always, it is very important to purchase meat from trustworthy and organic sources. You want meat from farms who treat their animals respectfully and feed them what is appropriate for their species not what is cheapest for their bottom line. Lamb are quite easy to keep almost 100% on grass, it is fine if the farm occasionally feeds grain especially for pregnant and lactating ewes, who need a bit more nutrition. For our Farm Dinner, we purchased our lamb from Jamison Farm.

Ingredients

2-4 tbsp of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
2-3 pounds of lamb – I use the shoulder cuts which are quite inexpensive
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a sprinkle of onion powder (optional)

3-5 carrots, finely chopped
3-4 stalks of celery, finely chopped
1 onion, finely chopped mushrooms (optional)
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
at least a 1/4 cup of fresh chopped herbs – rosemary, sage, oregano, and/or thyme
1 tsp of chili flakes, or a pinch of cayenne powder, or a bit of chopped hot chili
1/2 cup of dry wine – can be red or white
2 large cans (28 ounce) of diced tomatoes or the equivalent in fresh tomatoes

Fresh herbs to garnish (optional) Parsley, Basil, or Micro-Basil are lovely
Start by rinsing and blotting dry the lamb. Season liberally with salt, pepper, and onion powder.

Heat up a large heavy pot or dutch oven. Add the oil to the pot and heat until shimmering.

A note here – you can easily double or triple this recipe – you would just do the lamb in stages. Even with 2-3 pounds of lamb shoulder, you may not be able to fit it all in one layer – so just sear the lamb in several stages.

Using tongs, place the meat in a single layer in the oil and sear well – about 3-4 minutes – until well-browned. Then flip over and sear the other side the same way. Then sear the edges for 30 seconds or so for each area in contact with the pot. Keep heat high – you want to hear the meat sizzle each time you start searing a new section. It will get smokey.

Once seared all over, place the meat in a covered bowl and continue until all your lamb is seared.

Turn your heat down now to medium low. Add the chopped carrot, celery, mushrooms, onion, garlic, and herbs. Use a flat sided spoon. As the juices are expelled from the vegetables, use the flat edge of your spoon to deglaze the fond, or browned goodness left from searing the lamb from the bottom of the pot. Cook until the vegetables are softened, about 8-10 minutes. Stir often.

Return the lamb back into the pot now along with all the juice left in the bowl. Turn up the heat again, and once everything is sizzling strongly, pour the wine in. It should make a lot of noise. Stir and scrape the bottom. Cook for about 2 minutes or so and then add the tomatoes. Bring it toa boil, and then turn down the heat to low, cover partially, and cook, lightly simmering, for about 3 hours.

IMG_1107Turn off the heat. The lamb should be falling off the bone. Carefully move it, using tongs, into a clean bowl and let cool a bit.

Once the meat is cool enough to handle, pull it apart and shred it. You want it be like a pulled pork size rather than chunks so it spreads consistently throughout the sauce. I usually use my hands for this – plus with shoulder cuts you can get loose (and sharp!) bone pieces which you want to be sure are all removed. I usually stir though the sauce carefully checking for bones as well.

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Toss the bones and add the meat back into the sauce. Taste and adjust for seasoning. Serve over a pasta that allows the thick sauce to cling to it – I love radiatori or fusilli with this although it is classic to serve with a pappardelle. And it is stunning with mafalde!

You can add grated cheese if you want as well!

 

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Midsummer Farm Duck or Chicken Liver Terrine

At Our Midsummer’s Eve Table in the Field Dinner in 2018, we served this recipe as a purely Duck Liver Terrine (from our own home-grown ducks, butchered a couple days before) with a variety of grainy crackers and hearty breads and a Light Frisée Salad dressed with a mild vinaigrette.

IMG_2868You can make it with chicken livers and it comes out lovely as well. The Duck Livers may it a bit more buttery and richer. You can also combine the two types of poultry livers.

Organic is Super-Important here – Make sure you use organic chicken livers – they should be a nice purple-brown color. Non-organic livers are a tan color and as detoxifying organs, they are concentrates of chemicals and other nasty things.

I love terrine and paté and believe that liver is a very important and healthy super food. Having high quality and clean livers on hand is a big reason why we raise our own chickens and ducks.

Ingredients
2 quarts water
4-5 stalks of celery (can have leaves on them)
big bunch of fresh parsley
about 4 tbsp ground black pepper
2 pounds or so of organic poultry livers

2-1/2 tsp of salt
1/2 tsp of tabasco sauce
4 tbsp of butter, softened
about 1/3 cup of extra virgin olive oil
1/2 tsp of ground nutmeg
4 tsp of powdered yellow mustard
a small onion
about 2 cloves of garlic

Start by bringing the water to a boil in a large pot. Separate the parsley into two smaller bunches and chop one bunch coarsely.

Once the water is boiling, add the celery, non-chopped parsley, and 3 tbsp of the black pepper. Let simmer for about 5/6 minutes.

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A note on parsley: I always feel like I’m cheating when I talk about adding fresh parsley to a recipe. We grow an amazingly flavored parsley that seems to make every recipe shine. It was originally from Italian Heirloom Seeds and we’ve been growing and developing it and saving the seeds for over ten years. We always have plants available at our Plant Sales and this year we will also have seed for sale!

 

 

Then add the livers to the water. Note: you don’t need to go crazy with prepping the livers. I simply give them a rinse with water. In many recipes, you are asked to cut sinews and stringy things off the livers, but because we’re processing this up very well, it is simply not necessary.

As they simmer, you will notice some foam gathering on the water. I usually scoop this out and toss it.

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After livers have boiled for 10 minutes, drain them. Let them cool a tiny bit just so you can handle them. You do need them quite warm for processing. At this point, I put some of the celery and parsley from the boiling water into the food processor along with 2 tbsp of the butter.

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I add about half the livers.

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Process and grind these a bit, then add some oil and more livers. Process again until they are moving decently in processor.

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Then add the rest of the livers, the other 2 tbsp of butter, and the onion. Add oil as necessary don’t pay a lot of attention to the amount, go with what seems right. Again, process well.

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Take the time to open the machine and scrape down the sides and pulse the processor. The difference between a delightful terrine or pate and a weird one is getting the livers very smooth and velvety.

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Once your livers are moving well in the processor, add the salt, tabasco, nutmeg, mustard, chopped parsley, and garlic. Don’t be shy about some of these more dramatic spices like nutmeg and tabasco – the liver flavor is very strong and you need these to round out the flavor. Process again – super well – again scraping down the sides and pulsing. You’ll start to found that the mixture is smelling awesome…

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Once you’re sure it is smooth and velvety, scoop into a bowl. I’ve tried pouring this into a mold, but have never been thrilled with how it looks… You’ll know you processed it enough if it has a little spring to it as you scoop.

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Put in the fridge at least overnight, two days is even better. It just tastes better and better as the flavors get to develop over time.

Great served with course and grainy crackers or a hearty bread. I love it with a bitter greens salad – like frisée and dandelion. Dress the salad with light vinaigrette of Olive oil, vinegar, lemon juice, salt and pepper. It is truly a delightful meal for any season.

 

Check out our website!

For our full menu and more Table-in-the=Field recipes, click here! 

For info on our Plant Nursery, specializing in herbs and heirloom vegetables, click here! 

More info on our Poultry Raising can be found here! 

And lots more recipes….