Category: Featured


Watch Natalie Portman on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to Promote Our Farmer Frank Reese Starring in Eating Animals

Watch Natalie Portman on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert promoting the new documentary “Eating Animals” featuring our poultry farmer Frank Reese Jr. The movie unveils the horrifying truth behind factory farming and the food system that many are so disconnected from and focuses on sustainable and ethical meat choices.

But instead of stopping meat consumption totally, the movie features farmers who are raising animals the right way. Our poultry farmer, Frank Reese Jr. was the highlight of the film — portraying a farmer who chooses to work outside the commodity market and raises his animals on pasture with healthy genetics. Frank is really the champion of the film, showing how using traditional methods of farming respects both the animals and land.

It is refreshing to see a movie that is able to show the horrors of factory farming while endorsing the need to eat the correct kind of meat and support farmers who are doing it the right way.

As we have always said here at Heritage Foods, it is important to eat less meat, but eat higher quality, healthy meat with strong genetics! Support farmers whose farms you would want to visit and whose practices you support. There is the opportunity to “vote with your wallet three times a day”. We as a society need to start to know our farmers, know where our meat comes from and hold big AG accountable for their actions against animals and the environment.

It all starts with small steps like knowing what is on your dinner plate.

Support Frank Reese and other independent farmers by buying from Heritage Foods here.

Tastes Better and Better for You! Heritage Chickens Win in Taste and Health Over Any Commercial Chicken!

There is no argument: Heritage breed chickens taste better AND are better for you!

Let the facts speak for themselves: Master poultry farmer Frank Reese’s heritage breed birds are of pure genetics, unadulterated by industrially engineered genetics, antibiotics, or the cruelty of big agriculture. They are raised on pasture and they taste like what a chicken should taste like, flavorful and earthy, never bland or mealy. Eating a heritage chicken is like traveling back in time, to a place where antibiotics and the cruelty of commercial farms never existed, when meat was farmed and delivered without the disastrous hand of large scale commercial farming tainting their health and flavor.

The tale of the tape, as they say in prize fighting, tells the story: Heritage birds are less fattening, have less than half the cholesterol, and less than a tenth of the sodium, because they don’t need it: they taste great without being shot up with salt. They are more nutritious, safer to eat, humanely source, and did we mention taste great? See the facts below — this is not just our opinion, it is a scientific fact.

Featured image: Jim Turner

Chuleta de Puerco con Piperrada Picante (Pork Chops with Spicy Pepper Sauce)

Chef Jonah Miller of Huertas in NYC shares a delicious recipe excerpt from his new book The New Spanish: Bites, Feasts, and Drinks with us!

Chuleta de Puerco con Piperrada Picante

(Pork Chops with Spicy Pepper Sauce)
Serves 4

Piperrada, like romesco, is one of the Spanish sauces that has made it beyond Spanish restaurants and can be frequently found in all sorts of places. To complement pork chops, which at their best have a healthy layer of fat, in this variation of our piperrada, we added some extra heat and acid in the form of pickled cherry peppers and a splash of their brine. Fresh oregano replaces the thyme for its more assertive flavor.

A glass of dry cider would be just right here.

For the Piperrada Sauce:
2 red bell peppers
1 yellow bell pepper
1 green bell pepper (optional)
3 tablespoons olive oil
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 yellow onion, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, sliced
1 teaspoon chopped fresh oregano
1/2 cup dry white wine
1/4 cup chopped pickled cherry peppers
1/2 cup pickled cherry pepper brine

4 pork chops, about 1 inch thick
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 cloves garlic, lightly crushed
5 sprigs fresh thyme

To make the piperrada, preheat the oven to 450°F. On a large baking sheet, toss the bell peppers and the cubanelle pepper, if using, with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Spread the peppers apart on the pan and roast for 20 minutes, or until the skins are nicely charred on all sides, turning once or twice as needed. (You can char the skins more quickly under the broiler or by grilling them; however, I discourage this, as roasting for a longer time makes them sweeter and more tender.) Remove the peppers from the oven and transfer to a bowl. Cover the bowl tightly with plastic wrap and set aside to cool.

While the peppers are cooling, in a sauté pan over medium-high heat, combine the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, the onion, and the garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to brown and char slightly. Add the oregano and season with salt and pepper. Pour in the wine and deglaze the pan, scraping up any browned bits from the pan bottom. Stir briefly until the wine has evaporated. Remove from the heat and set aside.

Unwrap the bowl of peppers and peel them, working over the bowl to capture all of the juices trapped inside the peppers and from the condensation in the bowl. Discard the stems and seeds and slice the peppers. Add the roasted peppers and sliced cherry peppers to the onion mixture in the sauté pan and return to medium-high heat. Strain the pepper juices left in the bowl to remove any seeds and skins, and add the juice to the pan. Simmer until the liquid is reduced by half, then stir in the cherry pepper brine. Taste and adjust the seasoning. (At this point, you can store the piperrada, in an airtight container in the refrigerator, for up to 3 days.)

Season the pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides. Heat a cast-iron or other heavy-bottomed sauté pan over medium-high heat for 2 minutes. Add the olive oil to the hot pan and then the chops. Cook until deeply caramelized on the first side, 4 to 5 minutes. Flip the chops and add the butter, swirling the pan to help it melt. Add the garlic cloves and thyme sprigs, tucking them around the pan.

Raise the heat to high. When the butter foams, baste the pork by tilting the pan towards you so that the butter pools and rapidly, repeatedly spooning the foaming butter all over the chops. Cook for 4 to 5 minutes longer. The chops are done when an instant-read thermometer inserted into the thickest part of a chop registers 145° to 150°F, or use the thumb test (testing for a medium cook); they should be warm, but not hot, in the center. Transfer the chops to a plate, tent with aluminum foil, and let rest for 5 minutes.

To serve, slice the chops or dish them up whole. Pile the pipperada on top and serve immediately.

Using Seaweed to Feed Our Pigs!

Although it may seem strange at first, our pig farmers are having fantastic results by sustainably harvesting the ocean for high-nutrition feed for our otherwise traditionally farmed Heritage pork.

The farms we use are some of the first to use seaweed in the feed, and the results have been incredible.

David Newman of Newman Farms — one of our top partners and most noted pork experts in the world (he is also a professor of animal sciences at Arkansas State University, and is as dedicated to education as he is to sound, sustainable, and healthy farming) recently told Outside magazine that his 200 Berkshire sows are thriving on seaweed-based feed.

The benefits of seaweed are impressive, and could make a huge impact on commercial farming as well by reducing the need for antibiotics and selective growth promoters, promoting animal health, producing excellent quality meat, and even having a positive environmental impact, due to improved gut health and reduced animal waste.

We’re proud to be on the cutting edge of all-natural and sustainable solutions, and seaweed is part of this brave new world.

WHY IS HERITAGE PORK THE BEST PORK FOR GRILLING?? SCIENCE!!!!!

When it comes to the best pork for grilling heritage breeds win the flavor test every time.

We are speaking strictly in facts, science-based and proven from farm to table, from plate to mouth. No commercially bred pork, no supermarket special, can possibly complete. Heritage breeds are first in their class, true champions, the only pork you should even consider, especially during grilling season when the only ingredient besides the pork is fire.

The first thing you want to consider when choosing a pork chop is COLOR. We’ve heard it said that pork is the other white meat, but trust us when we say that what you want is a pork chop that hues closer to RED… a darker chop means the meat is holding more water. Pale meat means it has been denatured and dry. This goes for any cut, from shoulder to loin to ribs to chops. You want to see some color. This will ensure juiciness and tenderness.

BUT what it doesn’t guarantee is FLAVOR.

For flavor, what you want to see is FAT.

Fat drives flavor. This is true in pork, in beef, in lamb, in any meat. Of course some breeds are ridiculously fat and others lean, and in this wonderful world there is room for them all.

David Newman, world famous meat scientist and proprietor of Newman Farms, loves especially the Berkshire pork for being so well balanced. It has lots of fat, but a good, creamy, tasty fat. They aren’t obese so the fat doesn’t dominate their beautiful structure, rather it is the perfect blend of high quality meat and luscious fat.

And he is quick to point out, this is no opinion — this is SCIENCE!!! Of course the proof will always be on the plate, but make no mistake, when you want juiciness look for color, and for taste, look for fat. All Heritage breeds will deliver with subtle differences, you can’t lose. They are juicy and tasty and healthy. Remember: If you see a pale pork chop with no marbling…. Run in the other direction!!!

Hot Dog!

All of our animals are raised on-pasture, because we believe that is the way animals should be raised. Our animals are happy and healthy. Being outdoors, roosting and rooting, is how they were meant to be. We wouldn’t have it any other way.

New! for Memorial Day, our Hot Dog Sampler $52
Taste our favorite hot dog varieties from Original to Pepperoni, Gyro, and Buffalo Chicken — all from our friends at Brooklyn Hot Dog Company!

Burgers and Hot Dog Pack $59
Chops and Hot Dog Pack $72
Steaks and Hot Dog Pack $88
Bacon and Hot Dog Pack $69

 

Sausages:

We are excited to announce a BRAND NEW duck sausage from Smoking Goose Meatery in Indianapolis, IN. This Smoked Duck and Pear Sausage is a blend of duck and pork seasoned with pears, fennel pollen, and port, and smoked until fully cooked — try it now in our Sausage Lover’s Package! Smoking Goose partners with small, family farms in Indiana and neighboring states who raise animals humanely, on pasture and without antibiotics.

 

The Perfect Heritage Porterhouse

This from our friend and in-house scribe Mike Edison:

“Check out these pics of the perfect Heritage porterhouse chops. This was the biggest one I ever saw, probably about 17 ounces, and two inches thick. I used the method Zack from Carnevino told me about — you gotta cook it in two shots, and even though it is as thick as a phone book, I nailed it, perfect medium in the center, perfect salty crust without incinerating it. Had it with collard greens I wilted in the pork fat and my favorite Rioja which they sell at my local steak house for three times what I get it for at the bottle shop.”

A reminder to all of our friends who want to “nail” a pork chop, Zack Allen at Carnevino says, “We let it come to room temperature, then we cook it to 90 or 100 degrees, just mark it on both sides and sear the fat cap a bit, then we let it rest for as long as we can – it might go up another 10 – 12 degrees just resting. The key is not trying to cook it all at one time. The second time it goes on a higher section of the grill and we finish it off… we get it to our medium rare.”

Mike adds: “Zach’s idea of hitting it twice is brilliant. I cook in an iron skillet and it’s not easy to cook a steak or chop that thick…this is the perfect pork chop hack. I sear it and then finish it in the broiler. Not for nothing, this is the best tip I ever got.”

Casella’s Prosciutto Speciale!

We are so honored to be partners in the launch of Casella’s Prosciutto Speciale, a unique and delicious addition to the American food scene. Our heritage breed prosciutto is something special, or as The New York Times says “outstanding” — each one celebrates true American flavor.

Casella’s follows a time-honored Italian recipe — happy, healthy pigs, salt and time. Each leg of prosciutto is aged slowly, on the bone. At Casella’s there is no rush. Only a commitment to create a high quality, American-made prosciutto in line with the standards of the Italian prosciutto consortia. The results are consistently gorgeous — juicy, marbled meat with a delicate nutty flavor.

Cesare Casella grew up in a small town in the countryside of Tuscany, where his family ran a little trattoria. As a boy, he awaited the arrival of the norcini, the traveling butchers who came each year to make the salumi. Before he could barely see over the table, he was helping to prepare salumi and would care for it as it hung in the cellar. Since those early days in Lucca, Cesare has welcomed a successful career as a chef in New York City, opening several restaurants, becoming the Dean of Italian Cooking at the ICC, and of course, continuing to make salumi. With Casella’s Salumi Speciali, he hopes to transport you back to the flavors and experiences he knew when he was a boy.

Casella’s is made using only our pasture-raised, antibiotic-free, heritage breed pigs including Red Wattle, Berkshire, Tamworth, Gloucestershire Old Spot, Large Black and Duroc. Each breed of ham has a slightly different flavor.

Click on the links below to visit our storefront:
1. CASELLA’S PROSCIUTTO SPECIALE, Sliced Eight 4oz packs
2. CASELLA’S PROSCIUTTO SPECIALE, Sliced Four 4oz packs
3. CASELLA’S PROSCIUTTO SPECIALE, Whole One 9.5-10lb ham

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