Thursday, June 9, 2011

Um, Hmmm

So, I really hope I haven't just made someone think I'm a little too into my food.  Let me backtrack.  There is a local farm whose livestock is pasture raised without antibiotics or hormones, and whose pigs are fed grain, but also milk from the cows.  The pigs are not pastured (it's very hard to pasture pigs because they are very good at breaking down fences), but are able to roam in a large pen, rooting around and whatnot.  They came as a recommendation from our organic CSA farm, and we've heard good things about them. I particularly like that their animals are raised and butchered on a natural cycle, rather than being available year round.  We're planning to order 1/2 a pig in September, with the beauty being that we tell the butcher what cuts we want (so I'm praying for British bacon), and 1/4 cow and 1/2 a lamb in the winter.  I'm a little excited at the idea of a lamb's leg for our next Easter meal!  (and lamb stew this winter!)

Where I come in at the beginning is because I e-mailed them to say that I had spoken to my husband and that we were totally excited and would love to put our name on the reservation list.  And then I asked a few questions.  One, fairly normal about lard, which if I had checked the site more closely I would see that yes, it's included (along with pigs feet and neck bones if I wish).  I'm still interested to see if I can request the leaf lard, but at least I'm relieved I don't sound like a nut on that.

But then I mentioned organ meat, including the brain and liver of the cow, as well as marrow bones for stock.  I'm really hoping that people ordering meat from them are like me so I don't seem freakish.  But come on...beef tongue tacos just sound too good to pass up, so if no one else wants it (4 of us to a cow) then I am so in!  Same with the lamb's liver. 

***Just got an e-mail back from them.  "You are adventurous eaters for sure."  Hmm, yes we are. 

He's never heard of leaf lard (so apparently I'll be schooling a farmer), and says that the lard comes already rendered in half gallon tubs.  I'll have to speak to the butcher because if it's like lard you buy in the store, I'm not gonna want it, I'd rather just have the fat to render myself...the kind that isn't shelf stable but makes for excellent pie crusts. 

It's apparently illegal to get the brain (I am sure we'll bond over that rant), but I can get tongue, heart, liver, oxtail, bones and sweetbreads.  Rock on!  I'm a bit excited for some cooking experimentation this summer! 

And yes, I realize I'm weird.  I've never actually had sweetbreads, but after googling images, I'm whoa excited!


  1. My parents' generation ate the whole cow, and pig, and elk, etc. I couldn't eat the offal, but I respect the fact that you can and will! Have you researched the recipes from Two Fat Ladies (I think that's their name...). They have an old British cooking show that you can see on The Cooking Channel, and they regularly saute innards with port and butter. They are, truly, a hoot.

  2. I'm going to have to look into them. You'd think growing up that I ate all this, but I didn't. I just happen to like a variety of foods and am willing to try anything once or twice.

  3. if memory serves cow brain is prime for contracting Mad Cow Disease