Tag: Heritage Breeds


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

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!!!

Get 10% Off Pork Tenderloins this Memorial Day!

With Memorial Day around the corner nothing beats our sizzling pork tenderloin. Perfect for a group, the pork tenderloin is a low maintenance cut easy to cook on the grill. Simple to cook to a perfect medium, just slightly pink, and delicious whether marinated, wrapped in bacon, or prepared simply with salt, pepper and a little olive oil, our tenderloin is justly celebrated as true culinary jewel, perfect for fine dining, family dinner, or sliced into medallions as party favorites. And if there is any left over, a fried tenderloin sandwich cannot be beat. Serve with sides of pasta salad and watermelon surrounded by friends to really welcome in the warm weather in style.

Use coupon FBGrill at checkout and receive 10% off your purchase of our pork tenderloin featured below! Now thru the end of May 2018.

PORK TENDERLOIN
Six 10oz pieces, $69.00

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.

 

How to Master the Double Cut Tomahawk Chop : An Epic Tale of Pork Chop Wonder

The double cut tomahawk chop looks like something cut by God’s own butcher — it is as powerful a presentation as it is elegant, the kind of thing that makes meat lovers genuflect with love even as they wonder how to cook the darn thing. It’s over two inches thick and it takes some secret knowledge to nail it at a perfect medium while getting all the flavor, juice and texture out of the chop without incineration the outside, without having to go lower slower… the finished product must be seared to perfection, and when cut open, be as pretty and pink as any thing ever to grace your plate. The pay off is huge. You don’t want to screw it up. Don’t worry, we are here to help.

We owe our two-hit technique to Zach Allen, the chef at Carnevino, the Batali and Bastianich citadel of steak out in Las Vegas. These are the same chops they serve there, and at Babbo, and if you’ve ever had the pleasure, the only way to describe the experience is epic. You can plan an afternoon around one of these chops.

First thing: Brine. While not entirely necessary with luscious, healthy, Heritage pork, it definitely helps with these extra-thick cuts to make sure that you won’t dry them out when you put them in the broiler.

 

Brine is easy. We use just salt, and for a minimum of four hours, but you could add a little brown sugar and leave ‘em in the fridge over night.

An alternative to adding that extra bit of sweetness to the brine, is to try a balsamic and sugar glaze to add during the final minutes of cooking – just half a cup of balsamic and about six teaspoons of sugar reduced by about half until the remaining liquid will coat a spoon. Takes about 15 minutes, and you kitchen will smell like vinegar, but can be done way in advance. This will add just a little sweet tang to the chop – not enough to compete with the beautiful taste of the meat, just a note to add a little value to a very thick slice of pork.

For now just dry off the chops and hit them with Kosher salt and ground black pepper.

Now, fire up the iron skillet. Make it smokin’. Begin by searing and rendering the fat cap on these honeys – you can cook them side to side in their own goodness. No need for oil.

Flip them every two minutes or so – the quick flip method encourages more heat through the entire chop, and you’ll start to see a nice crust on the outside. Everything here is done by vibe, but when it looks nice and brown, maybe 8 – 10 mins total cooking, take them out of the pan, and let them rest, tented, for about 10 mins.

That’s the secret. The meat is still cooking, you’ll have a lot less to travel now to get them to medium. Meanwhile, put the pan in the broiler to keep it hot. 

After ten minutes, paint them with a bit of the glaze, return them to the pan, and put then under the broiler. You will be surprised at how fast they cook. Flip them in 4 or 5 minutes and give them another 4 or 5 on the other side before taking them out testing them for doneness with a thermometer. Just north of 120 degrees is where you want to be – don’t forget they’ll cook while they rest. The glaze will have caramelized and is just going to be a sweet kiss, not a big flavor. Set them aside, tent them, give them 8 or ten minutes, and serve with confidence.

After a few rounds with the knife and fork you can separate the two chops right between the bones for an extra round of gnawing. The beauty of these chops is they take much longer to eat than they do to cook and have the odd quality of building the ego of whomever is enjoying them. Serve with heroic, big wine.

The Voice of a Pork Chop

There is no denying the siren call of a Heritage pork chop, the sort of thing that would have made Homer crash his ship. Or, make a man sing about the Voice of a Pork Chop. Some folks might think it’s weird, but it makes perfect sense to us, and to Bob Dylan, who was a big fan of Jim Jackson, a blues and hokum songster who recorded this song in the late 1920s. Hokum, by the way, means comedy songs and shtick, and was big back in the days of medicine shows and vaudeville. This song was based on a popular gospel theme, bringing religion straight to the dinner table. The Voice of a Pork Chop?? Indeed!!!!!

Sam Edwards Update: STILL FIGHTING!

Sam Edwards is still fighting two years after a fire savaged his entire facility including his home, his smoke house, and literally thousands of hams. It was an incredible blow to everyone that is part of the chain — Heritage had thousands of hams on hand that Sam would normally smoke and cure, and an entire network of family farmers who depend on Sam’s business every year was left stranded.

But Sam was quick to make partnerships, and a new league of American curemasters stepped up and entered the high-end Heritage ham market with purebred, pasture-raised hams.

Sam is still trying to rebuild — hold ups from lawyers and insurance companies are keeping his hands tied, but plans for a new facility are already on the table, and Sam is working hard with partners across the South to produce the famous Edwards product.

“I spend a lot of time going to Alabama, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Carolina, checking on our different products with collaborators who are working with our original recipe. I’m thankful for what they are doing for us… It’s not a long-term solution but they are keeping us viable.”

The Edwards hams were more intense before our fire, like the difference between a mild cheese and a sharp cheese…

The one new product to look for is dry-cured Heritage Lamb, hopefully ready for late spring.

“Craig Rogers of Border Spring Farm in VA is providing the lamb… We were rolling it out pre fire, had already tested it and think we found the right recipe and were ready to start shipping when the fire hit, so we are anxious to get that online.”

But the big news is that July is when we’ll be getting to the first batches of new Edwards Surryano Hams that began curing in July of 2017 — the ham that started the revolution.

“After our fire, in 2016, we began sending our hams to a smokehouse in Kentucky to be ready in 2017,” Sam reminds us, “but they burned down in Feb 2017 and we lost 6000 pieces of ham…”

It’s been an incredible battle to get back up and keep on doing it — Sam is a true hero to us, one of our favorite partners, not to mention a damn nice guy. We can’t wait.

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.”

Help Us Protect the Healthiest, Most Ethical, and Tastiest Meat Available!

Dear Heritage Foods Supporter,

It has been a tremendous year for Heritage Foods, heritage breeds, and heritage farms.

With success comes challenges: Right now there is a movement in the commercial food industry to change the definition of the word “heritage,” and attempt to lay claim to the very thing that has defined us and sustained our farmers since we began selling heritage breeds in 2001.

It’s funny that “heritage,” a word that meant little to big business when we started, is suddenly so appealing.

The definition of “heritage” is simple, and tied to a proud history:

HERITAGE livestock and poultry are purebred genetic lines that can be traced back unchanged to an original herd or flock prior to the beginning of industrial farming.

There is no such thing as a new heritage breed. We understand trendy marketing, but “heritage” means something significant to us, to our farmers, to our customers, and to our industry.

As we look to 2018, we will continue to fight for genuine heritage farms and breeds.

It’s important to remember that when our partner farmers originally decided to raise heritage breeds, they were taking a huge risk. Traditionally, the only established, secure, and reliable sales outlet for farmers was the commodity market — venues like commercial supermarkets and the fast food industry — which pays pennies on the pound for product and demands the very worst of industrial farming protocols just to make a profit.

By committing to heritage breeds and slow, traditional farming practices, our farmers have become entirely dependent on those who understand the value of genuine heritage breeds. Call it community-supported-agriculture, or chef-supported-agriculture if you like, but at its heart Heritage Foods is a network of hardworking American family farmers who believe in your right to the healthiest, most ethical, ecological, and tastiest food imaginable.

By buying certified heritage you can be certain that not one penny goes to industrial farming. Your continued support ensures heritage breeds gain in strength, numbers, and importance in our national dialogue on food.

We are always on the lookout for new and exciting culinary adventures — especially in the charcuterie world and with our oven-ready creations — but our brand is based on time, tradition, history, and respect. That is the true meaning of heritage.

We hope to hear from you early and often in 2018!
Thank you for your support.

Sincerely,

Patrick Martins
Founder

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