Dozens of varieties of chickens, ducks, geese, pigs, and cows are on the endangered species list as a direct consequence of industrial farming and food conglomerates. Because these are livestock and poultry, we don’t see them in the same way as we do more exotic animals in nature.
Author: Patty Lee
One of our favorite products and a true crowd pleaser is the 3-4lb. bone-in pork loin, also known as the 5-rib rack. Delicious roasted whole or cooked as separate chops, this versatile cut can be enjoyed with varieties of vegetables, sauces, and chutneys! Here’s a simple guide on how to cook this no-fuss roast to flavor perfection…
This Holiday Season, Go Big with a Classic Heritage Centerpiece!
The biggest occasions deserve the best meats in America. Like all of our meats, our centerpieces are raised humanely, on pasture without antibiotics or hormones, and produce the best natural flavor and texture you have ever experienced. These are not your grandma’s pot roast — our beef ribeye, rack of lamb, tenderloin, porchetta, and cured hams are the best of their kind, easy to cook, and sensational to serve for family dinner or the most elegant holidays. And did we mention the leftovers?
Know Your Roasts!
Some meats just seem more festive than others, but you can always count on pleasing the crowd with a Heritage roast or centerpiece. We find beef tenderloin, aka filet mignon, to be perfect for elegant dinner parties. Pork tenderloin, too, is an exquisite focal point for any occasion. Our custom made, hand-rolled porchetta, is a rare treat — crispy and rich and an impressive showstopper for even the meat connoisseur. Leg of lamb, and the celebrated rack of lamb, are perhaps the most festive centerpieces of them all, fit for a royal banquet! Of course cured hams and whole chickens never fail to please, whether it’s a holiday, Sunday dinner, or just a weeknight treat. The best part is that they are all easy to prepare — and spectacular to present!
Prepare Simply for Spectacular Results
A ten pound leg of lamb may seem like a challenge next to a 14 oz. pork chop, but we are here to tell you, don’t worry! Here is the best advice from the Heritage Team and our network of chefs:
There is no wrong way to cook great meat, but we recommend keeping it simple. Just use salt and pepper and your favorite herbs as primary seasoning. We love beef with just salt and pepper, but lamb also loves rosemary and thyme. Pork, too, loves a creative touch, but remember: this is the very best heritage meat in the world, and the flavor is already there, a product of the best breeds, farmed traditionally. There is nothing to hide, the taste says it all.
This is an EPIC story about the oldest domesticated livestock breed in the United States, a story that spans 500 years, and hopefully ends on on your plate.
Antonio Manzanares is one of the last remaining Churro shepherds in the Southwest, and he herds these animals in the traditional style, with little concession to modern farming.
This year, for the first time, Heritage Foods USA is proud to announce that it is making Navajo-Churro lamb a featured product for its retail and restaurant customers, a giant step in saving this rare and exquisite breed. Navajo-Churro lambs are prized for their incredible depth of flavor, as well as their long wool, which commands top prices in woven Navajo rugs.
The Navajo Sheep Association, dedicated to the preservation of these sheep, says that “No other sheep population in the history of the world has survived such selective pressure with such dignity and spirit.”
From Noble Roots
The Churro were brought to America from Spain by Francisco Coronado in 1540. The sheep were bred largely for food for the explorers and the missionaries who followed them throughout the region that is now Mexico and the southwestern United States. By 1807 a single flock of Spanish sheep could number 20,000.
At that time Native Americans had no livestock agriculture of their own — there were no domesticated animals in North America yet. Native Americans were still largely hunters and gatherers, but they quickly learned how to raise sheep both for the meat and the Churro’s thick, double-sided fleece and long haired wool.
In the 1860s, the Navajo-Churro sheep population was nearly destroyed as part of the United States government’s efforts to punish the Navajo people who resisted the new wave of Western settlers moving onto their land. The government ordered military action, led by American “heroes” Kit Carson and John Carlton, with instructions to destroy Navajo orchards and flocks. The results were a bloody swath of death and pain.
The Return of the Navajo-Churro
This year, Heritage Foods, in cooperation with John Sharpe, a pioneer in the preservation of rare breeds and the chef at the Turquoise Room at La Posada hotel — a gorgeously restored train station and historic site in Winslow, Arizona — is working to bring this breed back to the American market.
The Churro is smaller than many other sheep and is noteworthy for its especially herbaceous and savory flavor, with a lower lanolin content than many lambs, which can give the meat a gamy flavor. The Churro is also remarkably tender – even cuts like the shoulder and legs that sometimes call for braising can be roasted and served medium rare like the loin chops or the rib rack.
Shepherding: The second oldest profession
These animals are a reflection of the ground upon which they were raised. Heritage Foods’ Churro lamb is truly free range, raised in Navajo country and in the mountains of New Mexico, and herded in the traditional style. There is very little hay feeding in the winter, as they are grazed at lower elevations.
Antonio Manzanares is one of the few shepherds left breeding Navajo-Churro: “We trail through the mountains in the summer and back in winter. They can get a little wild, but they herd well. The Churro is a smaller animal, leaner than other sheep – I have many customers, such as John Sharpe, who swear that the Churro is a very different tasting lamb.”
It’s no secret that the back story helps sell the lamb — from its arrival to the New World, the drive to save the breed from extinction, and traditional shepherding practices.
Heritage Foods works closely with John Sharpe on our Navajo-Churro project. John is a pioneer in the preservation of rare breeds, and the chef at the Turquoise Room at La Posada hotel — a gorgeously restored train station and historic site in Winslow, Arizona.
“My other shepherds are both women, and both weavers,” says John, who serves Churro, nose-to-tail, in tacos, posole, and grilled. “Irene Bennally is actually a famous shepherd and weaver, she was featured in the New York Times – you can pay her and she’ll take you with her shepherding and camping.”
You can read the New York Times article here
And please contact Heritage Foods to get a taste of this incredible lamb, as delicious as it is part of a great American legacy.
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!
We love this Italian take on traditional stuffing from the team at Omnivore Salt!
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.
Ryan’s recipe sounds delicious! We love the simplicity of Roasted Leg of Lamb. Try this recipe for a citrus twist on an old classic. The key is marinating the meat overnight and cooking the roast low and slow. This recipe is great in the oven, and also does wonderful on the grill.
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.
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.