Author: Patty Lee


In Celebration of the Feast!

From the “Carnivore’s Manifesto” by Heritage Foods USA founder Patrick Martins
In the words of Mae West, “Too much of a good thing can be wonderful!”
As in all things, of course, a little common sense could prevail.
But I’m sick of people telling me to eat only plants. Sure, health is wealth and all we want is for everyone to live a long life, but we also need to have times of wild abandon.
In the Middle Ages, feasts happened when food was abundant: the festivals of spring, summer, and fall. Feasting was a way of allowing yourself a temporary respite from your troubles, sometimes to a point bordering on revolution—during Carnival, kings behaved as paupers in a complete inversion of society, while the proles ruled the roost. The idea was, better to go all out tonight because you never know what tomorrow will bring.
I eat healthy, responsible food. Mostly. But as Oscar Wilde once said, “Where there is no extravagance there is no love, and where there is no love there is no understanding.”
So for dinner tonight I think I’ll order two hundred portions of grilled octopus shipped in from Spain, drizzled with olive oil from Sicily, and gilded with a few grains of sea salt from off the coast of Portugal.
Once my appetite is piqued, I’ll dig into a plate of carne cruda, a ball of raw meat no smaller than a watermelon. It’s better than steak tartare, prepared with olive oil and lemon instead of a cracked egg so it’s that much lighter. See? I am very sensible about these things.
For the next round, more meat, of course, but nothing too heavy, as I am still just prepping my incisors for the main event. Perhaps just thirty or forty appetizer-sized portions of Akaushi eye of round carpaccio, served with a deli- cate Parmigiano-Reggiano, aged for exactly two years, no more and no less, to give the whole thing some legs and help it dance on my palate.
Clearly, I’m going to need some wine to wash this down with — I think we’ll start with some Bandol Tempier. Two cases should be just fine, it is so easy to drink! And then something a little bigger, perhaps a Barbaresco. Along with sparkling water, I am thinking a few cases of Budweiser— it really does go with anything.
While waiting for the main course I always like to amuse myself, and I think, in this case, a half dozen or so of New York City’s greatest gastronomic gift to the world of noshing ought to do it: the everything bagel with lox. And of course, wild Alaskan salmon is the only salmon that can stand up to a bagel covered in seeds, red onions, capers, and cream cheese.
And now I am ready to rumble.
For the main course, a bit of Eastern flair would be a good turn: two dozen Pekin ducks from Good Shepherd Ranch in Lindsborg, Kansas, prepared Peking style with pancakes and plum sauce and scallions, which I’ll roll up like fat, duck-filled doobies and wash down with a dark beer from North Coast Brewing Company that is just bitter enough to groove with the sweet meat and not fight it.
Just to prove to everyone that I am not crazy, this will be the time for something green. Three Caesar salads will do, prepared tableside, and don’t be stingy with the ancho- vies, preferably from SeaLab Italia, in Bra. Now the way is clear for the cheese course, which I prefer in the form of a hot tub of fondue of raw-milk cheeses from my favorite East Coast dairies—Meadow Creek Dairy, Spring Brook Farm, and Landaff Creamery.
For dessert, a baker’s dozen of quindim pies — a custardy Brazilian delicacy that is so time intensive to make, what with its hundred-eggs-per-pie mandate, that hardly anyone besides my mom makes it anymore. She whipped one up for me last year for July Fourth — you would know it by the trail of comatose bodies it left in its wake.
But before I call it a night, I’ll take my time with three bottles of Fernet Branca. No matter how popular it gets with the trend chasers, it’s still the one thing I can count on to help calm the ol’ gullet after a snack like the one I just imagined. It’s kind of like Jägermeister for adults.

Why a Duck? Ask Dickens!

The best thing about the holidays is always the food, that is, if you are doing it right! As we say here, let nature lead the way — great food is seasonal and should be celebrated in its own time. Look no farther than the books of Charles Dickens and ask why they always seemed to be eating geese at Christmas? Because that is when naturally mating geese and ducks are ready for harvest. It is nature’s way of writing a menu.

Our Aylesbury ducks, by the way, are the most incredible birds ever to make it all the way from London to your table! And their story is one of the best you will hear at the table.

The Aylesbury duck reached its peak popularity in the late 1800s when thousands of ducklings were sent from the town of Aylesbury to London and served by the top restaurants of the day.

Since then, the Aylesbury was crossed with other breeds like the Pekin, which fared better in industrial settings. If it were not for a few dedicated farmers who kept it pure, it is likely the breed would have disappeared for good. The Aylesbury Duck is listed on the Most Endangered List with fewer than 500 breeding birds left in the U.S. We’re proud to be offering these ducks this season — and no matter what you have heard, they are simple to prepare, not much different than roasting a chicken, and they are sure to make you a superstar in the kitchen!

The Aylesbury boasts a bouncy texture and rich, creamy fat. Its robust flavor with nutty and herbaceous notes make this the most flavorful duck on the market today. These ducks are raised outdoors on ponds and pasture with no hormones or antibiotics.

Americans consume less than 1/3 lb. of duck per year but we hope to restore the bird’s presence on the farm and at your dinner table.

Still need convincing? Here’s our recipe for a simple whole roast duck. If you love duck, and want a truly spectacular bird beyond what is even available in restaurants, you can’t possibly go wrong!

Click here for a simple duck recipe.

Jive Talkin’ Turkey , Part II

We were having so much fun talking about “turkeys of the 1970s” – a time when real Heritage turkeys were having a tough time fighting against the influx of industrial farming and a trend towards growing everything cheaper and faster, no matter what the ultimate cost — that we thought we’d go back and look at some of favorite TELEVISION TURKEYS of the 1970s!

Our favorites are failed copycat shows, and no one had more losing imitations than the original SIX MILLION DOLLAR MAN! Two of our favorites are the shameless copy GEMINI MAN, and the completely unfunny HOLMES AND YOYO about a robot cop named YOYO!!! Don’t remember them?? They were true TURKEYS!!!

Speaking of copycats, who remembers DOG AND CAT, a completely failed cop show starring KIM BASSINGER??

Television shows come and go, but Heritage Turkeys have stood the test of time, simply because they cannot be beat.

The industry does a great job of confusing the market by co-opting buzz words. The word “natural” can mean almost anything. And all of these turkeys have salt water added — they call it flavor enhancers. These are what we call “jive turkeys.” They are simply not the real thing. If you want the true tast of turkey, Heritage is the way to go.

Heritage Turkeys are the genuine item. Not copycats, not cheap imitations, not bionic robots or clones or anything produced in a laboratory like so many commercially farmed birds.

Heritage Turkeys are raised using traditional farming methods from birds with tremendous genetics. There are never any chemicals, and the birds get to roam and roots naturally. All of this goes to make Heritage Turkeys are the very best birds in the world, the most flavorful and juiciest birds on the market today.

Don’t trust us: Alice Waters says “These birds are without a doubt the tastiest birds you can possibly serve,” and Mario Batali, proudly claims “I’ve served these birds for my Thanksgiving every year for the past 12 years and always will.”

Just try calling Alice or Mario “jive” and see what happens!

HERITAGE HOLIDAY PARTIES! (SPOILER ALERT!)

The Heritage warehouse in Brooklyn is always a beehive of activity, filling orders, taste-testing, talking to our customers, always on the look-out for new treats and rarities, but holiday time is like no other. Gearing up towards Christmas and New Year’s, everyone here is mad to throw dinner parties, cocktail soirees, and to never show up empty handed at the non-stop holiday fiestas that are part of life during the holidays!

Here, quickly, a survey of what Team Heritage is taking home with us, almost on a daily basis!

Mike: “The pork tenderloin is money in the bank for a sophisticated dinner party… the filet mignon of Heritage pork, complete to prepare with a few aromatics – rosemary, sage, thyme – makes the house smell great. Everyone is always impressed.”

Catherine: “The Porchetta! I love the combination of textures… it is so easy to cook and makes me look like a genius. Greatest centerpiece EVER!”

Patty: “I always take home bacon. But when I’m REALLY having a party, I love the Heritage strip roast. That’s dinner for eight. I roast it whole in the oven, it’s marbled and delicious and you just put it in the oven… you don’t really have to do anything.”

Elizabeth: “I always take home the ground beef… but if I’m going to a party, Casella’s prosciutto. So easy, so good.”

Patrick: “I like to bring a duck to a party. People will cry FOUL! But after I roast it for them I am their hero for life.”

Jive Turkeys, Part 1

Oh, those wacky 1970s, when it seemed that just everyone was wearing white bellbottoms and dancing to the Hustle. That may have worked if you were eighteen-years-old and could get around on platform shoes, but when it was your uncle Murray trying to act hip, pretending to be younger than he was (by a lot!), we had an expression for him: Jive turkey!

Being a turkey in the 1970s was NOT such a good thing, on the disco floor, or even on the thanksgiving table — By the early 1970s, factory farming had taken over the American poultry farming system, and turkeys were most commonly bred for traits that would deform them and destroy their flavor, namely how fast and how big they could grow. Turkeys were shot up with chemicals to keep them alive, and were so top heavy they could not walk had become the norm. In fact, they were growing so fast that turkeys became so inexpensive as to nearly bankrupt the industry.

Sadly, these kinds of “jive turkeys” – birds that really had no business representing American agriculture, became the norm, and it is still true. Like your desperate uncle trying to do the Hustle at the disco, commercially farmed turkeys cant be trusted.

The people behind this type of farming, growing everything as fast and as cheap as possible, think they can outsmart mother nature, but the there is always a price to pay: sick, inhumanely raised turkeys, and family farms that cant compete with this sort of mass production.

Thankfully, Heritage Turkeys are no jive.

(And after dinner, why not screen the classic comedy, JIVE TURKEY starring PAUL HARRIS?)

But when it comes to dinner, stick to Heritage. You don’t want anyone to call your turkey “jive” at the Thanksgiving table!

FRANK REESE, AMERICA HERO

A turkey is no better than the farmer behind it.

Long-time Heritage customers know that we got our start selling Frank’s turkeys, raised traditionally and responsibly on his Good Shepherd Farm and our relationship with him remains the cornerstone of our business.

Frank is a true hero of the Heritage food movement — he is the first and only sustainable commercial farmer to receive certification by the American Poultry Association for his birds as purebreds, standards that were set in 1873 — and he has been featured in publications ranging from the New York Times to National Geographic. His story is the Rosetta Stone of sustainable farming, and the reason why when it comes to meat, the word “heritage” is synonymous with “heirloom.” Good Shepherd turkeys are the oldest line of turkey in America, 100 percent antibiotic free, and pasture raised on the Kansas prairie.

“The biggest thing this year,” Frank says, “is that we’ve added two new farms to raise turkeys this year to meet a bigger demand. We never seem to have enough — hopefully this year if everything goes well to have twice as many turkeys as last year. But it’s still a drop in the bucket — our four farmers are going to raise what one big commercial plant will do in a week.

“But here are more and more people who want our birds — Some people who have had Heritage birds have tried to find something else, but they always come back.”

And it’s true, once you have experience the true taste of a Heritage bird, one that hasn’t been juiced with salt water and flavor enhancers, one that has been raised naturally and allowed to roost and roam and mate naturally, you will never look at another supermarket bird the same way.

Heritage turkeys are available now for Thanksgiving delivery. Isn’t it time you became part of this great tradition?

Restaurants Celebrate Goatober Too (by Emily Pearson)

 

Echoing Patrick’s sentiment in last week’s blog, I want to thank all of our supporters for helping to make October 2017 another exceptional #GOATOBER.

We couldn’t have done this project without our fearless home chefs. And we REALLY couldn’t have moved 150+ goats if it were not for our adventurous and tireless chefs. This year more than 40 restaurants participated in Goatober around the country and #NoGoatLeftBehind crossed the Atlantic Ocean again this year to the United Kingdom, The Netherlands and Ireland thanks to our friend James Whetlor at Cabrito Meat. And did we mention that next year we plan to have an international Goatober event here in New York featuring chefs from London and Amsterdam? While Goatober may be winding down for this year, Team Heritage is continuing to eat our way through New York City tasting as many ragus, curries, chorizo, birria, loin, confits and salads as we can. And thanks to a few especially dedicated chefs, Colonie in Brooklyn and The Fat Radish on the Lower East Side will continue to have goat on the menu for a few more weeks!

Check out some of the dishes we have tasted below. We put together a near complete roundup of Goatober Season 7 dishes – and photos!

B&B Ristorante, Las Vegas – rigatoni with goat ragu and pecorino fiore sardo
Babbo Ristorante – crispy goat confit
Barcino – house-made goat chorizo and goat cheese baked in a tomato Aleppo pepper sauce with a slow poached egg and mint-cilantro
The Breslin – curried goat
Calistoga Kitchen – spicy Heritage goat bolognese cavatelli with parsley, parmesean, calabrian chili, breadcrumb; roasted Heritage goat with sumac yogurt, roasted carrots, pears, almonds, arugula, chimichurri
Colonie – cavatelli with saffron, braised goat, breadcrumbs, chili threads
Egg – country captain breakfast with poached egg
The East Pole – heritage goat stew with roasted garlic crostini
El Vez – jerk goat burrito, spicy habanero and mango salsa, farro brown rice, black beans, & cotija cheese
The Fat Radish – Heritage goat loin, glazed root vegetable, kennebec potato puree, natural jus
Freeman’s – slow braised goat in coconut milk and 3 week fortified goat stock with curry braised Thai young coconut and forbidden rice poached in goat stock with lop Chong.
Gramercy Tavern – goat meatballs with cauliflower, pine nuts, pickled chiles
Gran Electrica – Cabra-chetta: goat loin, saddle and belly wrapped and stuffed with a goat chorizo and pepita seeds, under a bed of black bean and pasilla de Oaxaca puree with a side of guasontle, mint and cilantro; Birra: spicy goat meat stew; Tacos de Cabra: seared goat meat tacos with a flight of salsas (goat jus, goat liver mushroom salsa, salsa cruda) served with tortillas.
Hominy Grill – braised goat shoulder sandwich with shaved red onions, arugula, and a tomato basil jam on french bread; goat-chetta served with tomato pudding and collard greens; goat neck and hominy stew
Huertas – goat chorizo
Lupa — bibb lettuce salad with goat confit, buttermilk vinaigrette and crispy shallots
Maialino – pappardelle with braised goat, olives and grana
Marta – goat sausage and roasted fennel pizza
MWells Steakhouse – grilled heart skewer, stuffed saddle, braised shoulder, seared liver, chestnut pappardelle, matambre stuffed leg, crown roast
Otto – pappardelle with Heritage goat ragu
Park Avenue Autumn – goat cavatelli with ricotta
Quality Meats – goat cassoulet
Sorghum & Salt – goat ragu made with ricotta gnocchi, South Carolina tomatoes, collards, chili, and parmesan
Union Square Care — goat gyro + goat ragu pasta with Swiss chard, squash, and capra sarda
Untitled – braised and grilled goat with roasted eggplant, cherry tomatoes and a homemade pita

-Emily Pearson

THE OFFAL TRUTH

True carnivores don’t stop at the top-of-the-line, priciest cuts, they know that some of the greatest pleasures run deep.

Even casual gourmands can be found picking at some pig liver country pate at their local bistro, or even getting a bit recherché with the fois gras or some delicately prepared sweet breads. But for those uninhibited gastronomes for whom big flavors are the name of the game, liver, kidney, tongue, and heart are all as prized as any ingredient.

Offal may need a little more finesse in the skillet than say cooking a steak, but Heritage goat and lamb, especially, offer incredibly profound treats — we love lamb’s liver cooked in sherry and served with garlic mashed potatoes, hearts braised or grilled with chimichuri sauce, and of course, the classic kidney pie.

Europeans have known these secrets for years, but even the more timid Americans are catching on that eating off-cuts is the key to truly sustainable, nose-to-tail dining, and discovering a brave new world of bold flavors that pair with rustic Old World wines, and, especially in colder months, are a cherished as part of the feast. As with so much of the food world, what’s old is new again!

Paul Wetzel, Sous Chef and Visionary Charcutier of Gramercy Tavern

Paul Wetzel, visionary charcutier of Gramercy Tavern — Danny Meyer’s pioneering, Michelin-starred seasonal restaurant in Manhattan — is like a troubadour of cured meat, traveling from town to town to share the ancient art, listening and learning as he goes.

“I’ve gotten to the point at Gramercy that I have a strong team that supports me – so when I take time off, I plan trips to go to Italy to see salumi being made, or I visit butcher shops and processing plants… I grew up on a farm in North Ohio, and that was the foundation for what I’m doing now… it’s great not to just come from just the chef aspect, — a lot of chefs don’t understand what its like to be on the farm 365 days a year, getting up at 5 am, everyday, what it takes to raise an animal… , you can’t just say, Oh I want the fat this way, when you don’t really see how it happens.”

There is a charcuterie renaissance happening in America, and Paul is at its very foundation. Like his mentor, Swiss-born charcutier Francois Vecchio, Paul takes a “holistic approach” to his art — his respect for the animal goes back to the farm. “In just the past 6 or 7 years there’s been a shift in whole-animal butchers shops and artisanal charcuterie. There are more small producers doing fine product and it puts pressure on big scale producers who are basically cut off from the earth. This is where a lot of our problems have come from. They don’t understand that animals need to be grazing and healthy.

“And we try to buy nose to tail for a lot of reasons —we try to use as much of the animal as possible , from confit to sausages to curing meats, maximizing utilization. It’s less money than buying parts, of course, and it drives menu development — If you are just buying bellies and chops, you’re more likely to stay in a rut.”

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