Author: Alexes McLaughlin

Grilled Lamb Chops with Chimichurri

Chef Kipp Ramsey, Farm-to-Table Manager of Farmstead at Long Meadow Ranch, loves his lamb chops prepared simply. No frenching, no fuss—just a quick char on the grill then served with homemade chimichurri sauce.

We have to agree with Kipp. Not only is frenching tedious and time-consuming but when you remove all of that delicious rib meat you end up missing out on the best part! We’re talking about those golden-brown delicious bits, charred to perfection and begging to be eaten straight off the bone.

Roast Turkey with Omnivore Gravy

A simple and delicious recipe from our friends at Omnivore. They recommend dry-brining your turkey, which is made effortless when you use their perfectly balanced Limone salt!


-1 10-12 Lb Heritage Turkey
-2 tbsp Omnivore Limone
-¼ cup chopped sage
-1 stick unsalted butter
-6 cups low sodium chicken stock
-4 tbsp unsalted butter
-¼ cup flour
Omnivore Salt

Most people these days choose to brine their turkeys to ensure a tender juicy breast. It also gives you a little wiggle room in case you forget about your turkey and it ends up in the oven a little too long. Your two choices are either a wet or dry brine. With a wet brine, a salt and sugar solution is mixed with water and placed in a large bucket. The turkey is then submerged in the solution for several days. We prefer the dry brine method for it’s obvious ease in storing the bird. You just salt it and place it in the refrigerator for several days before you plan on cooking it (one day is fine, but we prefer 2-3 days). As a general rule, we use about ¾ of a tsp of Omnivore Limone per pound of turkey.

Loosen the skin under the turkey breast with your fingers. Rub Limone under the breast and all over the turkey. Place on a rack over a sheet tray and store in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Let the bird come to room temperature and loosely stuff with freshly made stuffing. Combine the sage and butter and rub all over the skin and under the breast as well.

Pre-heat your oven to 500°F, place the turkey in the oven and reduce the heat to 300°F.

Roast your turkey until an instant-read thermometer registers 150°F in the breast and 165°F in the thigh, about 3-4 hours. Then, let  the turkey rest  for 30 minutes before carving.

While the turkey is resting, simmer the turkey neck in the stock until you have 4 cups. Discard the neck.

For the gravy: make a roux by melting butter over low heat in a small pan, add the flour, and cook for 3 minutes and cool.

While the turkey is resting, remove it from the pan to make the gravy. Pour off any drippings and try to remove as much fat as possible, then place the roasting pan over medium heat. Add the dripping back to the pan along with the stock and bring to a simmer. With a whisk try to scrape up any bits stuck to the bottom of the pan, add the roux whisking constantly. Simmer the gravy until it has thickened to your desired consistency. Season with Omnivore Salt to taste.

Sausage Stuffing with Fennel, Apple and Omnivore Salt

We love this Italian take on traditional stuffing from the team at Omnivore Salt!

2 loaves country white bread
2 sticks butter
½ cup chopped sage
3 Lbs sausage
2 cups chopped onion
2 cups chopped celery
2 cup chopped carrots
2 cup chopped fennel
2 bay leaf
2 apples grated
2 cups stock
3 eggs
1 bunch parsley roughly chopped

To prepare the croutons (plan to make them the day before!): Cut the bread into ¾ inch cubes and melt a stick of butter along with some sage. Toss the bread with the herbed butter and season with a few generous pinches of Omnivore Salt. Lie on sheet trays and roast in a 325°F oven until golden in color.

To prepare the stuffing: Melt the other stick of butter in a large pan. Add the onion, carrot, celery and fennel. Cover and cook over low heat for about 20 minutes, until nice and soft. In a large pan, cook the sausage over medium heat until nice and browned. Combine vegetables and sausage, then cook together over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Season to taste with Omnivore Salt.

Grate the apples and combine them in a large bowl with the sausage mixture and the sage croutons. Season to taste with Omnivore Salt. Add the eggs, the stock and some parsley.

Loosely stuff into your turkey and cook as instructed.

Place any extra stuffing into a baking dish and cover with foil. Bake at 350°F for 1 hour. After 30 minutes remove the foil and bake uncovered for other 20-30 minutes, until nicely golden brown on top.

Goat Stew with Denver Ribs

Denver ribs — also referred to as the breast or belly — consists of the spare ribs and additional meat from the brisket and flavorful belly. Whether from lamb or goat, this cut boast abundant fat and connective tissue, make it a supreme choice for braising and other low and slow cooking techniques. The Denver ribs are a favorite among chefs for their unmatched ability to be cooked for long periods of time without drying out. Give this stew recipe a try for an outstanding savory meal.

Serves 4

2 pounds goat Denver ribs, cut in half
3 big carrots
2 celery stalks
6-8 fingerling potatoes
2 chili peppers, kept whole (depending on your preference for spice you can add more or leave out completely)
1 large onion
4 garlic cloves, smashed
2 Tbsp olive oil

Chop all veg to same relative size, large dice

Braising Liquid
Chicken stock
Apple cider, get the good stuff, unfiltered (half stock- half cider up to ¾ the way up the pot)
2 tbs apple cider vinegar
2 tbs mirin
Anchovy paste (1-1.5 tsp)
Tomato paste (1 tbs)

Braising Spices (to taste)
Bigger amounts:
Sweet or smoked paprika
2 Bay leaf

Smaller amounts:
Onion powder
Garlic Powder

1. Preheat the oven to 325°F.
2. Take out the goat Denver ribs, pat dry and rub with salt and pepper. Rest, allowing the goat ribs to come to room temp.
3. Chop all vegetables to a large dice.
4. Sear the goat ribs at med-high temp in a Dutch oven with a little canola oil until browned. About 3 min each side. Take out and set aside.
5. Add 2 tablespoons of olive oil and reduce heat to medium. Add onion, carrot, celery and sauté until softened and slightly translucent, then add garlic, and cook another minute more.
6. Add chili peppers, anchovy paste, and tomato paste to the vegetables and mix well. Add mirin and stir to cook down.
7. Take the vegetable base out and set aside, add the goat back (so it’s closest to the bottom). Then arrange veg back around the goat. Put all back on the stove on medium heat.
8. Add all spices, then the stock, cider, and cider vinegar until the liquid covers ¾ the way up the vegetables and meat. Bring to a simmer.
9. As soon as it’s simmering, cover and put in the oven. Cook for 40 minutes, add potatoes, cook for 45 more minutes.
10. When done, take the goat and veg out and set aside to rest.
11. Cook liquid on stove down a little more to thicken.
12. Option to pull the goat off the bone before putting back in liquid or leave it in big pieces on the bone.


Goat Dan Dan Noodles with Broccoli

Happy Goatober! To celebrate the versatility of goat, we whipped up a bowl of Dan Dan Noodles, a Sichuan dish more commonly served with ground pork. The result was a leaner, more flavorful dish with a bit of a kick from the Chinese five spice powder. Go ahead and add your favorite vegetables to create this tasty and easy dish.

Adapted from Marley Spoon
Serves 2slack-for-ios-upload-5

1 oz. fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped
4 cloves garlic, peeled and finely chopped
4 oz. chopped veggies, such as pepper, broccoli or greens
12 oz. ground goat
¼ tsp Chinese five spice powder
3 tbsp tamari
3 tbsp mirin
2 tbsp tahini
10 oz. fresh ramen noodles
vegetable, safflower, or canola oil

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Combine goat, five spice powder, and ½ tsp salt in a medium bowl and mix well. Combine tamari and mirin in a small bowl.

Heat 1 tbsp oil in a medium skillet over high. Add veggies, season with salt, and sauté until starting to brown, 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

Add 3 tbsp oil to the same skillet over high heat. Add seasoned goat in one layer and cook, breaking up pieces with a wooden spoon until crispy and brown, 4-6 minutes.

Add ginger and garlic to the skillet and cook until fragrant, stirring about 1 minute. Reduce heat to medium-high and stir in tamari and mirin, scraping up the browned bits from the bottom of the skillet. Stir in tahini and ¾ cup water. Cook until reduced and just a little sauce remains — about 2 minutes. Remove from heat.

Add ramen noodles to boiling water and cook until tender but still chewy, 2/3 minutes. Drain. Divide between bowls. Top ramen noodles with the sautéed vegetables and goat sauce. Mix well to combine and coat the noodles.


Pork Shanks with Anchovy Sauce

This recipe comes from Danny, a long time customer, adventurous cook and charcutier. If you like this recipe check out his Three Day Cured Sweet Pork.

We love hearing about the different recipes and technique you use. Share them with us and we’ll post them here on our Blog!


Pork Shanks with Anchovy Sauce
Pork Shanks with Anchovy Sauce

3 skin-on heritage pork shanks, 6 to 8 lbs total
3 oz Sapori d’a Mare anchovy fillets
4 cloves garlic, smashed
1 large onion, chopped
2 medium tomatoes, chopped
1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes
2 Tablespoons vegetable oil
2 cups hot water
Optional garnish: 1 chopped green onion and 2 Thai chili peppers


1. Heat the oil in a large heavy-bottomed Dutch oven over medium heat.
2. Saute the garlic for 1 minute.
3. Add the onions and cook until soft, about 6 minutes.
4. Stir in the red pepper flakes, then add the tomatoes. Cover and cook for 3 minutes.
5. Stir the onions/tomatoes mixture and distribute evenly at the bottom of the pot.
Arrange the pork shanks on top and add 2 cups of hot water.
Bring to a boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer for 2 1/2 to 3 hours until the bones
start to loosen from the meat (turn over and re-arrange the shanks every 30 minutes).
6. Using tongs and a dull knife, make a single cut thru the skin and muscle (lengthwise)
on each side to expose the bones.
7. Scatter the anchovies on top of the shanks. Cover and cook 30 to 45 minutes more.
8. Pull out the bones and discard. Increase the heat to thicken the sauce; stir frequently
and scrape the bottom of the pot to prevent forming a crust, about 20 minutes.
9. Turn off the heat. When cool enough, transfer the meat and skin to a large platter.
Strain the sauce; discard the solids.
10. Chop the bigger pieces of meat/skin into 2-inch pieces. Return to the pot, add the
strained sauce and stir over medium heat for 2 to 3 minutes.
11. Transfer to a serving dish, add the garnish if using.
12. Serve with white rice or warm tortillas or ice-cold Beer.

Spicy Chicharrones Guisados

Our good friend Mary O’Grady has been an invaluable resource for cooking tips and recipes since we first met in the early days of Slow Food USA. Most recently Mary shared a recipe she developed for Chicharrones Guisados (stewed pork skin) using the extra bits of skin and fat trimmed from a holiday porchetta.

The perfect recipe for anyone who likes a little spicy kick!

For the sauce:img_6042

2 Tablespoons lard or olive oil
1 medium onion, peeled and chopped
4-6 medium cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped finely
2 Teaspoons dried oregano
10 small tomatillos, husks removed and quartered
½ a can of peeled, chopped tomatoes, preferably unsalted
2-5 canned chipotle peppers in adobo sauce (These are very spicy!)
4 cups water or stock
For the chicharrones:

Visible fat and skin saved from half a lovely porchetta roast

Any leftover pork meat cut into one-half inch dice

(This recipe can also be made with a 5-ounce bag of fried pork skins.)


To make the chicharrones:

Put the pork skin and fat into a heavy frying pan with a lid. Heat over a low flame, stirring occasionally, for about 3 hours. The proteins in the pork skin will eventually release the fat.

Drain the fat through a sieve or colander into a non-reactive heatproof vessel. The fat may be saved and used in other recipes.

Allow the chicharrones in the sieve or colander to cool, then cut them into pieces of approximately 1-inch square. They may be stored in a closed container, refrigerated, for some days if you do not want to make the sauce right away.


To make the sauce:

Heat the lard or olive oil over low heat in a medium saucepan with a lid.

Add the onions and garlic and cover the pan. Cook for about 10 minutes.

Add the quartered tomatillos, the canned tomatoes, and the oregano, and stir. Cook on low heat for 15-20 minutes, until the tomatillos have turned a light olive color.

Add the canned chipotles, stir, and cook, covered, for about 5 minutes.

Add the water or stock, bring to a boil, and reduce heat to simmer. Simmer for 30 minutes.

Cool the sauce to room temperature and puree in a food processor or blender until it is the consistency of thin cooked oatmeal.

(This sauce may be used with other meats, such as roast pork or beef. It keeps well, refrigerated, and also freezes well)

To assemble the dish, add the pieces of chicharrones and heat through.

Serves 4-6. Warm corn tortillas and/or pinto beans are good as accompaniments.


Heritage Turkeys : From Farm to Ark to Table

In every family, there is a pride of history and lineage. This is no different for poultry or livestock. Heritage turkeys are the progeny of poultry that was bred for flavor.

Norman Kardosh, Frank Reese’s mentor, spent his life teaching Frank how to raise heritage turkeys responsibly. He knew he was leaving his legacy to Frank, and he stressed the importance of pure genetics. Norman said, “If you mess them up it will take fifteen years to straighten out… if it’s even possible.”

The Standard Bronze is the perfect heritage turkey — flavorful, healthy, and robust — and represents not just a line of genetics, but the farmer’s love and care in breeding the best heritage turkeys in the world.

By the early 1970s, factory farming would take over, and turkeys were most commonly bred for traits that would genetically deform them and destroy their flavor, namely how fast and how big they could grow. Within twenty years, turkeys shot up with chemicals to keep them alive and so top heavy they could not walk were the norm. In fact, they were growing so fast that turkeys became so inexpensive as to nearly bankrupt the industry.

The American Poultry Association is America’s oldest agricultural association and the keeper of the standards for poultry breed identification. Frank is the first farmer to receive accreditation by the APA certifying his heritage turkeys as purebred to the standards set in 1873.

Patrick Martins, Founder of Heritage Foods USA explains, “In 2001, when I was running Slow Food USA, I put the Standard Bronze turkey on the Slow Food “Ark of Taste” — a metaphoric vessel designed to highlight agriculture on the verge of extinction — and suddenly I found myself in the turkey business, launching Heritage Foods USA to help Frank expand and successfully deliver his flock of heritage turkeys, now numbering around 10,000 birds per year.

Frank’s birds are not only a model of responsible farming but also delicious. They bring a character of flavor and juiciness that could never be found in anything produced by Big Agriculture. They do cost more, but the price reflects the true cost of raising a free-range bird that has not been genetically redesigned to flatter the bottom line rather than the taste buds.

Modern, industrially raised adult turkey’s breasts are so unnaturally large that they cannot reproduce without assistance, and need to be artificially inseminated, which is why cheap turkey meat is available in the supermarket all year long. Frank’s turkeys mate naturally and are only ready to be harvested for Thanksgiving.

Frank Reese’s heritage turkeys are now available for pre-order for Thanksgiving directly from Heritage Foods USA, including the Standard Bronze as well as Bourbon Red, White Holland, Black Narragansett, Royal Palm, Jersey Buff, and Slate breeds.

2016 Heritage Turkeys
Delivered fresh November 22nd with neck and giblets
8-10lb turkey … $99
10-12lb turkey … $119
12-14lb turkey … $139
14-16lb turkey … $159
16-18lb turkey … $179
18-20lb turkey … $199

A Trip to Nashville

Nashville, TN

Where to go in Nashville for dinner? City House, Rolf and Daughters, Prince’s Hot Chicken, Robert’s Western World, Arnold’s, Little Octopus, Pinewood Social, Bolton’s, Dino’s, Martins BBQ?

I was in town for two nights on a Cure Tour and chose Tandy Wilson’s City House both nights and Arnold’s for lunch! I dined at City House on scrapple and beets, octopus in BBQ sauce, peach pizza, and brisket cavatelli. The food was world class legitimate. And the team at City House was charming and professional.

Tandy opened his restaurant 9 years ago, about the same time Heritage Foods USA started selling pork wholesale across the country. He purchased off cuts from us every week including heart, liver, kidney and skin. We had to use FedEx to get the food down there since we didn’t have a truck going that way—Tandy was our only account in Nashville.

city house
City House

Tandy was one of our very first accounts and helped get Heritage off the ground. It was so exciting to finally meet so many years later. I sat at the bar the first night, looking into the open kitchen, and at a table the next night, surrounded by Nashville’s nicest people.

The reason for the Cure Tour was to visit Broadbent and Harpers, makers of some of this country’s finest cured and smoked ham, bacon and sausage. On the trip were two generations of Sam Edwards—the III and the IV. They were visiting some of their fellow Country Ham Association partners to collaborate and discuss the terrible fire at the Edwards facility this past January.

Our first stop was Kuttawa where we visited Ronny and Beth Drennan who own Broadbent hams. The tradition of making products of the highest quality has been the same here for over 100-years. A hickory smoke and dry-curing process is what gives Broadbent hams its distinct Kentucky flavor. In August Broadbent was named Grand Champion for the 16th time at the Kentucky State Fair. This Grand Champion ham went on to sell for a record-breaking two million dollars at a charity auction! Ronny and Beth have a fantastic team working with them. The most enjoyable moment for me was when together we read their very first mail order catalog produced in the 1950s, before FedEx was even on the national scene.

Two hours away we drove up to Harper’s, a mighty meat plant built in 1951 that produces smoked meats to so many Americans. Their Country Hams are still hand rubbed with sugar and salt, country cured, hickory smoked, and aged with as much love as the first ham the Harper family cured back when it opened. Their bacon and sausage boast an incredible hickory smoked flavor that will amuse your taste buds. We met with the youngest Harper: Brian Harper. Also Philip Connelly, who is helping Harpers modernize their marketing and Sean Goetz, who runs all the many spacious rooms of the plant, the top dog on the floor who knows at what state and stage so many intricate steps are at in a complicated process of naturally curing and smoking so many varieties of ham, bacon and sausage. Brian is the only son of Dolores Harper who still comes into work every day. Her husband Gary Harper passed away recently. He was the chaplain of the American Country Ham Association events. The founder, grandfather Curtis Harper, opened the doors in 1951.

Tennessee is a great state and Nashville is a great city. Its Broadway is fun and offers so many musical options, sometimes as many as 4 or 5 bands per venue. Even the Holiday Inn and airport have live music. The food is fantastic, especially at the cafeteria line restaurant Arnolds whose daily-changing menu is traditional, sweet and delicious. Nashville is definitely worth the trip!!!


Long-Aged “Prosciutto-Style” Ham
When we first started buying whole heritage pigs for our restaurant accounts and home chefs we didn’t know that hams make up 30% of the body weight of the pig. When we looked at our profit and loss statement, we realized that unless we found a great outlet for hams, we would fail as a nose-to-tail business, especially considering that we pay our farmers at least four times the commodity rate for pork, a price determined by a group of old men in Chicago that we think is too low.

In a nose-to-tail operation, the ham is a cut that almost always needs value added to not lose money overall. Curing hams and turning ham into sausage are ways of moving hams for a fair price. Unfortunately, our business relationships did not include the supermarkets or delis where so many of the nation’s hams are sold! The solution? Find buyers who had their own outlets to sell hams!

Over the past decade, our greatest buyer of hams by far has been Sam Edwards of S. Wallace Edwards and Sons, a company that started in 1926. Edwards purchases 250 pieces of ham totaling over 6250lbs every week, operating 40 weeks of the year under the name Surry-ano. We are so fortunate to have a relationship with the Edwards family, not only because it’s nice to walk to the bank with a big check, but also because Sam is producing one of the greatest American long-aged hams ever made on these shores. Sam uses the traditional American method of curing hams, which involves the added step of smoking. As a dedicated proponent of heritage breeds, pasture-raised systems, and slow curing methods, Sam has moved American gastronomy forward through his curehouse.

We are also fortunate to work with chef and curemaster Cesare Casella who cures hams in the traditional Italian style (which does not involve smoking) under the company name Casella’s Salumi Speciali, in New York. Cesare, who holds a Michelin Star for his Italian trattoria in Tuscany, started his long-aged ham line (he already had a very successful salumi line) after the recent fire at the S. Wallace Edwards plant. The fire temporarily put Edwards out of the curing business and forced Heritage Foods to find an emergency outlet for all those hams! Surprisingly, the fire has led to the creation of the best Italian prosciutto outside Italy.

Heritage Foods USA is also proud to partner with other great American curemasters with businesses and traditions that can be traced back decades and centuries. These ham producers are household names in the South and produce products that are inextricably linked with our collective Southern food tradition. These producers are Ronnie Broadbent (Kuttawa, KY), Al Benton (Madisonville, TN) and Nancy Newsome (Princeton, KY). These artisans now offer pasture-raised lines of Berkshire and Red Wattle long-aged hams that are among the most delicious you will ever try.

The Heritage Foods USA line of prosciutto-style hams is always growing and evolving. For now, enjoy our sliced and whole Surry-ano line. In the fall and winter we will add our first pastured rare breed hams from Broadbent Hams, Colonel Newsom’s Aged Kentucky Country Ham and Benton’s Smokey Mountain Country Hams. And next Spring Casella’s Salumi Speciali will debut for the first time in the U.S.

We hope more Americans will consider leaving some of our long-aged hams on their kitchen counters year round! Long-aged hams do not need to be refrigerated as all the moisture is removed during the curing process. They can also be used in any recipe that calls for ham. Even a little sliver will bring extreme pleasure and satisfy any hunger craving!

giorgio-salumi-trio-2839Sadly, in the United States, USDA regulations have slowed the development of America’s curing industry to a crawl, leaving little room for a great salumi tradition to even begin on these shores. Luckily, there are exceptions. On the West Coast, Fra Mani makes very good salumi as does Salumeria Bieliese on the East Coast. The Pacific Northwest boasts the excellent Olympia Provisions amongst others. Despite the restrictions facing the industry, American curing is progressing.

Heritage Foods USA does not cure meat; we simply sell raw ingredients to artisan curemasters, so it was very hard for us to break into the salumi market with a good product that we could call our own. That is until we partnered with our old friend Cesare Casella! Chef Casella won a Michelin star for his family trattoria in Tuscany, Vipore, and came to America to open two legendary restaurants in New York City, Beppe and Marema.

Today, Cesare has dedicated himself to the pursuit of curing meat in the Italian, more specifically Tuscan, tradition and style. The charcuterie he produces has quickly become known as some of the greatest that America has to offer. Cesare uses pasture-raised heritage breeds like Red Wattle, Berkshire, and Gloucestershire Old Spot, all sourced from Heritage Foods USA, in the production of his cured meats.

Cesare learned the art of curing from Tuscan butchers who traveled the countryside before winter to help families prepare for the long food-scarce period before spring. His salumi never overdo it on flavor and they are exactly like the salumi you can find in Tuscany. Cesare has perfected two of Tuscany’s most classic salami for us: Finocchiella and Salametto Piccante. Each of Cesare’s salame is perfectly balanced in flavor and texture.

The original everyman’s food, salami are great to have on hand for delicious snacks, last minute entertaining, or thoughtful wine pairings.

DSC_1882It’s amazing that paté is not consumed more in America! After all, it’s delicious and Americans love spreading any kind of food. A paste of meat is a new format to many, but perhaps nothing in the meat world is more satisfying. It’s really a good option when you decide not to have meat as a centerpiece for the main course!

In French cookery, paté is a paste or spread made of puréed or finely chopped liver, meat, fish, game, etc., served as an hors d’oeuvre. Paté, in French, literally means paste and comes from the Old French word for paste.

We have our two favorite patés featured on our site year round.

Heritage Paté – This rustic paté is made with bacon and onion, creating a delicious full flavor profile. Patés are perfect for spreading on toast or fresh bread of any sort and also function as an excellent appetizer when served with pickles or cured meats.

Our signature paté is made by Nello of Nello’s Specialty Meats, one of Pennsylvania’s great curemasters. Nello’s is a community fixture and processes and cures for dozens of farms local to him, mostly in the German tradition.

The Berkshire pork Nello uses is elegant, luscious, and smooth. The meat boasts a round and buttery flavor that melts on the tongue. Berkshire pigs are pasture-raised and antibiotic-free.

American Braunschweiger is a type of liverwurst. The USDA requires that the product contains a minimum of 30% liver to be called Braunschweiger. Added seasonings often include salt, white pepper, and onion powder or chopped onion.

Our version, produced by Paradise Locker Meats in Trimble, Missouri has liver, bacon, maple sugar, onion powder, mustard, and garlic. It is flavorful and irresistible! Everyone will love this sweet and savory pate.

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