Bubbyswhollycow’s Weblog

Steer Update
November 28, 2008, 8:57 pm
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I have been a lazy cow as far as keeping up with blogging.  It is my intention to pick it back up, but with a book due in a couple weeks (Bubby’s Brunch Book) and a baby due in January, I admit that my mind has been elsewhere.  Be that as it may, the actual process of procuring and cooking whole steer has taken on a momentum and life of its own.  We are currently going through nearly a steer a week.  Most of those steer are prime animals, but once a month or so we need to get a dedicated burger steer.  The burger steer tend to be a little older, and they might not be steer at all.  Cows that fail to calve are great for burgers. They tend to be a little older.  Because they are strictly burger, they can be tougher because they are 100% ground.

We also have now met up with a farmer who raises hogs, chickens, and turkeys.  His name is Mark Jaffe, but is not related to Ken Jaffe, our steer man. Mark raises his hogs, chickens, and turkeys without fences by coaxing them around the woods on his property with handfuls of grain.  Our family turkey for Thanksgiving yesterday was from Mark.  It was amazing.  It was 20 pounds.  After brining the bird for 12 hours, and putting a nice crust of sea salt and pepper and thyme on it, it roasted for about 6 hours.  It was the juiciest best turkey ever, and everyone at dinner commented on the distinct flavor of the bird.  I also bought a whole hog from Mark, and used some of the baon for a butternut squash and bacon soup with local apples (granny smiths) which was really good. If I hadn’t made it myself I would call it sublime, but I can’t call it that for fear of being struck down by lightning. It was good though.  Here is a recipe for a gallon of soup:

2 butternut squash (medium size)

3 yellow onions, diced

4 cloves of garlic

1 pound slab bacon

4 good tart apples peeled and diced into 1/8th inch (I used local grannys which are very different from commercial grannys)

4 TBL chopped rosemary

2 tsp chopped thyme

1/2 cup chopped parsley

4 cups chicken stock

3 cups buttermilk

1 cup heavy cream

salt and black pepper

Split the squashes and coat with a little melted butter, salt and pepper.  Roast at 375 for 45 minutes, until soft and a little brown. Let them cool a little then scoop out the squash and puree.

Meanwhile, dice the bacon into 1/8 inch dice.  Saute the bacon until crisp.  Remove the bacon and set aside.  In the same pot, use 6 TBL of the bacon fat to saute the onions and the garlic until tranlucent.  Add the apples and saute until they are a little soft.

Add the squash, the rosemary and thyme, and the chicken stock.  Let that come to a simmer. Add the bacon and let it cook for 10-15 minutes.  Add the buttermilk and cream and let that come to a simmer. If the soup is too thick, add a little water.  Simmer for 10 more minutes. Add the parsley.  Add salt and pepper to taste.

The bacon from Jaffe’s pig WAS sublime.  It was smokey, but had no preservatives.  It wasn’t overly smokey, but it was just smokey enough for the soup.