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Posted 12/30/2012 5:38pm by Roberta Mulholland Browning.

In December we had our first AGH pork rib roasts cut. As our customers know, I always like to cook and try any new cuts or products we have made.   So (in a first for me) I cooked a roast pork for Christmas dinner.  Thanks to a reminder by a customer at the December 22nd Farmer's Market, I went to one of the cooks' bibles, Joy of Cooking, for the "how to" on roasting pork.  I've included the recipe at the end of this blog entry.

The roast pork was a success:  dense, moist, fork-tender, delicious.  Even the fat got rave reviews.  The AGH pork does not have that waxy, gummy fat that is found in much of today's pork - it has a clean taste and melts in your mouth.

As livestock farmers, we could not be more pleased with the American Guinea Hogs.  It took a few years to find registered breeding stock, and then we never know if what we read about a particular breed is going to play out in reality.  But the AGH hogs breed naturally, are wonderful mothers, grow healthy and slow on grass and, perhaps most importantly to the survival of the breed,  prove that their reputation for the best  bacon and pork that tastes like pork used to taste is well deserved.  

Yes, it does take longer to grow the old livestock breeds we raise, and they are smaller than many of the popular large, fast growing breeds.  But their natural health and hardiness, ability to reproduce without human intervention, ability to grow year round in fields and pastures on grass and forage that we can raise on our farm in Matunuck, gives these breeds a purpose and therefore a role in the 21st century.  

Roast of Pork  

 (from Joy of Cooking, by Irma S. Rombauer and Marion Rombauer Becker, Nov. 1973 Ed.)

 Preheat oven to 450°.  

 Use a rib end of loin for a fine, juicy roast.

 Pat roast dry and then rub well with a cut clove of garlic, fresh sage, dried rosemary, tarragon or thyme. (I used fresh garlic clove and dried rosemary.)

Dredge with seasoned flour  -  1 c. flour, 1 tsp salt, ¼ tsp pepper or ½ tsp paprika, 1/8 tsp nutmeg. (I used salt, pepper and nutmeg and put it in a bag to coat the roast evenly with the flour.)

 Place fat side up on a rack in a pan in the oven. (Not in a cooking bag or foil - and no cover.)

Reduce heat at once to 350º.  (I forgot and left it at 450º for almost 30 minutes before I remembered and turned it down. Did no harm and had a nice crust. But because I made that mistake, I did watch it carefully for hitting temperature early to prevent overcooking. It did not overcook.)

Cook uncovered 30 to 35 minutes to the pound. The internal temp should be 145º (my Joy of Cooking says 185º, but in 2011 the USDA recommendations were changed for all whole meats to a recommended internal temp of 145º, plus a 3 minute resting period prior to serving.  See http://www.fsis.usda.gov/news/NR_052411_01/index.asp .    I rest meat for at least 5 minutes to let juices settle).

You may roast alongside the meat for the last 35 minutes of cooking:  Peeled and parboiled sweet potatoes or parsnips. (I made the sweet potatoes, which had a slight and delicious pork flavor cooked this way.)

 Or on top of the roast:  prunes and apricots. ( I skipped this - not a fan of prunes and/or apricots.)

Or serve the roast with:  Applesauce, seasoned with 2 tbsp horseradish and a grating of nutmeg. (This was good! I added the horseradish a little at a time to taste, and probably used only 1 tbsp for about 1.5 cups of fresh cooked applesauce. )

 

Posted 12/8/2012 8:03pm by Socks.

Thank you to all of my Farmers’ Market, Facebook and other friends for asking about me.  I haven’t been sick or anything.  I  had a great summer and fall on the farm, grazing and sleeping in the shade during the day,  cuddling with whoever is on the couch in the evening, and sleeping on the couch all by myself at night.   I’m just fine, especially now that I got my truck back.  Which is why you haven’t seen me.   

I have been unable to attend the markets (or go ANYWHERE!) since July 5th.  That’s because my Mom took my truck to the truck vet for a simple procedure on July 5th and I didn’t get it back for almost 5 months!  That was a bummer for me, because I love going to the farmers’ markets and the pet store and the beach.  I love to visit other places and people, and especially try the grass in other places. How I missed that grass at East Farm, with all those grubs just beneath the surface.  We are sorely lacking in grubs in our yard.  They must have moved out when they realized that the yard belonged to me.

Back to my lack of wheels.   I tried to tell Mom I wasn’t too proud to ride in her new car, but she would not let me get in it.  Every morning I would stop by her passenger side door and wait for her.  I’d look up at her, look up at the door handle and say “let’s go,  let’s go!”.  And every day she would say “No Socks, you can only ride in your truck”.  I still don’t get that.  It’s not as if I would get the car dirty, you all know how clean I am.  Yes I leave snout prints on the window, but don’t all kids do that?

I couldn’t ride in Dad’s truck or the farm truck, they are much too high for me to  get down from.  I learned that the hard way.  I jumped up in Dad’s truck, with a little help, and went for a ride. When I got home I was frozen with fear at how high it was to jump from, and so I squealed as loud as I could.  Mom said that I must have hit the potbellied pig distress level of 115 decibels, which is more than a jet engine on take-off.  We all learned  – no more terrifying heights for me.   My truck has running boards to help me climb in and out, and they are about 8 inches high, the perfect height for my 8 or 9 inch legs.  Which I think is why it’s my truck.

The fantastic news is that I finally got my truck back and finally finally went for a ride today!  I was so excited, I was covered in pigbumps.  My seatbelt was buckled, the radio was on and I was so happy with my snout pressed against the cool window.  The only thing missing was the wind against my snout, but it was rainy so that was not an option, the window stayed up.  

We didn’t take pictures today, so here’s me in my 2012 Halloween costume – which no one got to see but the family because I couldn’t go anywhere.   I was a devil this year.  Which is super funny because everyone knows I’m an angel.  

Your friend,  Socks M. Browning

Socks as Devil Halloween 2012 

Posted 11/16/2012 6:25pm by Bill & Roberta Browning.

Bill picked up our Browning Homestead all beef Frankfurters yesterday, which ended up being perfect timing for us to taste-test them before offering them to you. I got home after 9 pm, which usually means it's too close to bedtime to think about cooking dinner, but Bill had thawed a package and they made up into a quick, delicious supper. The franks are in a natural lamb casing that has a nice snap to it. And just like our other sausages, these are no nitrate/no nitrite/no preservatives franks!

In a bun or au naturel (the hotdogs), we gave them  .
 
 

Also, our inventory of Browning Homestead Bacon is again replenished.


Bill will have some of our new Frankfurters with him at the South Kingstown Wintertime Farmers Market tomorrow morning, 10 am to 2 pm. If you want to pre-order Frankfurters or anything else, send us an email before 7 am Saturday morning and we'll get your order in the travelling freezer.

As always, thank you for supporting our farm - have a great weekend everyone!

Roberta 


PS: Ever wonder if there's a difference between hotdogs and frankfurters? Just typing “Frankfurter” so many times piqued my curiosity. Here's what wikiP has to say http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hotdog.









  

Posted 11/9/2012 6:46pm by Bill & Roberta Browning.

HURRICANE SANDY

We hope you all made it through Hurricane Sandy with no injuries and no damages. We have a large generator that is powered by the farm tractors (it runs off the PTO) which ensures that our freezers are never “down”.  Our generator ran the farm from the moment the electricity went off on Monday, October 29th, until power was restored on November 2nd.  One of the good things about the generator running off a tractor is that we have numerous farm tractors, so even if one were to quit running, there would be another to take its place. Ensuring quality and safety is always a paramount concern. Having just picked up 13 boxes of our meat from Westerly Packing and filled our freezers on the Friday before the hurricane, we were able to ride out the storm confident in our preparedness.  

 

INDOOR MARKET BEGINS TOMORROW

Given the ice on the pails and water troughs this week, we are happy to be moving the SK Farmers’ Market indoors starting tomorrow, November 10th.  For those not familiar with the Wintertime Indoor Market, it’s located in the Peace Dale Mill Complex at 1425 Kingstown Road, Peace Dale, RI (across from what used to be the Pump House restaurant).  The hours of the indoor market are 10:00 a.m. to 2:00 p.m. on Saturdays. If you can’t or don’t want to get to the market at 10 am but want to be sure we have what you like, send us an email pre-order and we’ll hold your meat.

We planned to have our new Browning Homestead All Beef Hotdogs for tomorrow, but Hurricane Sandy put a huge kibosh on delivery to Noacks on October 29th.  We hope to have them, and a replenishment of our bacon, next week (November 17th). 

Here's what we’ll have in the travelling freezer tomorrow morning:

TOMORROW’S PORK MENU

Bacon
Sausage - All sausages are fresh, not smoked, and contain NO nitrates or nitrites
                    Mild Italian
                    Hot Italian  
                    Kielbasa
                    Breakfast Sausage (loose not cased)

Country Style Ribs
Rib Chops
Loin Chops

TOMORROW’S BEEF MENU
Ground Beef
Beef Patties
All Beef Sausage (Mild Italian)
Stew beef
Shoulder Steak and/or London Broil
Sirloin Tips
Sirloin Steak
Rib Eye Steak
Porter House Steak
T-Bone Steak
Liver

As always, if you don't see something listed above that you'd like us to bring, send us an email and if we have it we'll put it in the freezer for you. I can usually access your emails and get your pre-orders in the freezer up until about 6:00 a.m. on the morning of the Market. 

Posted 6/15/2012 8:54pm by Bill & Roberta Browning.
Hi Everyone! 

Father's Day is Sunday, and we have lots of steaks for the grill (Rib-eye, Porterhouse, T-bone), cuts that are super for marinating and making kabobs (Shoulder and Round Steak, London Broil, Sirloin Tips), slow cooker favorites (Short Ribs, Shanks) and ground beef and beef patties for you to take home to cook Dad a nice dinner, or to give to him so that he can fire up his grill for something special! 

Inventory status:


Browning Homestead Beef:   Bill picked up one of our fresh beef last Friday, so  the freezers in the store are full of beef again. The traveling freezer will be full tomorrow as well!

 

Browning Homestead Bacon:  We have only five packages of bacon left. The rest have been sold or have been pre-ordered.  But there is more coming!  

 

Pork:  Bill took our first American Guinea Hogs on Wednesday, I faxed over our cut sheets to Westerly Packing today, and we should have pork on June 23rd.  I asked them to cut rib and loin chops, spare ribs and country ribs (which aren't really ribs) and make sausage, kielbasa and ground pork.   We are looking forward to tasting this gourmet pork!  We will also send the bacon out to Noack's to be smoked.  The smoking took about two weeks last time.

Lamb:  We do not have any lamb in inventory. 


Thank you all for your interest and support!  We hope you have a wonderful Father's Day!


Bill & Roberta

Posted 6/15/2012 7:05pm by Roberta .

Father's Day always makes me miss my Dad more than usual.  I know he would love the farm, he'd be here helping all the time, and he would absolutely LOVE Bill. 

I’ve always felt my father’s presence on the farm.   The first time Bill let me run the hay baler I looked up at a sky so blue, the sun shining warm and bright, and I knew my Dad was smiling down at me in that field driving that big tractor.  Maybe he was remembering when I  learned to drive his truck in a sunny field.  He taught me how to shift the manual gears into First and Reverse, then got out and told me to practice, as he walked away and left me to drive solo (what a dream come true for me!).   First, Reverse,  First,  Reverse  -  I practiced until I couldn’t practice anymore.  Not that I didn’t want to keep “driving”, it was just that the truck wouldn’t  go anymore.  When I told him the truck seemed to be broken,  my Dad just shook his head, mentioned something about the clutch, gears and grinding, and told me that my mother would have to teach me to drive. 

As I drove the big tractor and baled the hay that first time, I also knew Dad was watching out that I didn't maim or kill myself with it, and was probably wondering who in the world would allow me to operate such a dangerous piece of machinery.  Bill really couldn't be blamed.  I confidently offered to drive the tractor and run the baler, and Bill had no idea of my accident-prone history, or that someone had actually once warned a store owner not to sell me the power saw I wanted so badly because I was sure to cut my hand or leg off.   But the hay got baled and put away and no one got hurt.   Which is how I know my Dad was watching out for me. 

With this beautiful weather the fields are being planted and there are tons (literally) of hay to be baled.  Even so, we’ll be enjoying downtime for at least part of Father's Day, grilling our BH steaks and burgers with Bill’s father (who is the burger king).  And if you’re in Matunuck and see the fields being hayed, that might just be me on the big tractor with the baler.

Wishing you all a day of celebrating and remembering your fathers.

Posted 5/4/2012 5:57pm by Bill & Roberta Browning.

Happy Friday everyone! 


Tomorrow is the first day of the OUTDOOR SK Farmers’ Market, which is held at the URI East Farm on Kingstown Road (Route 108) from  8:30 a.m. to Noon.   As promised last week, we will be introducing our own Browning Homestead Bacon and Smoked Beef Kielbasa tomorrow! 


Bacon
:  Raised on our farm, it is pure bacon with no nitrites or nitrates, not too salty, nice smoky flavor and definitely meatier than commercial bacon.  We loved it and, given that there was no bacon left on the platter that I had brought my father-in-law, Mr. Browning  loved it too.  Best of all, we were  treated to stories of the huge pigs Mr. Browning's uncles raised on this farm in the early twentieth century and how much the uncles (and the young Mr. Browning) loved their bacon!


Smoked Beef Kielbasa:
  A hit for dinner last night.  I prepared it quick and simple: sliced in 1/2 inch rounds, browned in olive oil on both sides, then added chopped tomatoes with juice, a splash of balsamic vinegar and simmered, covered, for about 10 minutes, stirring to prevent catching. I used no additional spices - we wanted to taste Noack's spices and smoked flavor. Served with Texmati brown rice (grown in Texas) and those fresh hydroponic cucumbers we got last week at the Indoor market.  


Thank you to Noack's Meat Products in Meriden, CT for making these products for us.   Noack's is a USDA inspected producer of smoked and fresh meat products made using traditional German techniques.  It is a family owned business, now in its fifth generation. They generously gave us their time and assistance in our first foray into smoking our Browning Homestead meat, and we  look forward to a continued relationship with them.    (Check out their website to see what they can make.)

Posted 4/27/2012 4:47pm by Roberta Mulholland Browning.

Tomorrow (April 28th) is the last indoor market of Spring 2012, and what a busy indoor market it was this year.  Thanks to all of you, our freezers were emptied regularly.  We also have our pre-order system working pretty well, so that you don't get to the market and find we've sold out of what you came for - we hold your order until you arrive!  

We got a nice aged beef back in our freezers on Wednesday, so our freezers are full of beef again - ground beef, ground beef patties, Porterhouse and T-bone steaks and lots of other cuts are available. Email us to pre-order for the market or pick up at the farm!

Our pork and lamb inventory is very small right now, so if you would like something, email us and we'll let you know if we have it, and if we don't have it, when we expect to be putting some in the freezer.  

We are very excited about being able to offer our own Browning Homestead bacon and smoked beef kielbasa soon.  It's being smoked as I type this, at Noacks Meats in Meriden, CT.   It's the closest USDA inspected smoke house to us, and we're told by other local farmers that they do a great job.  Take a look at their products list and tell us what you'd like us to have made!  From what they tell us, we should have it by mid-May. 

The farm is as busy as can be: spring calves, spring piglets and soon, spring lambs!  Here's Harriet and our first Browning Homestead born purebred American Guinea Hog piglets!

 Harriet and her first Browning Homestead piglets



Posted 4/4/2012 8:15pm by Roberta Mulholland Browning.

We got our lamb back yesterday afternoon and it's in our farm store freezers. By now everyone who ordered lamb for Easter should have received a personal email.

If you want to pick up your Easter orders before Saturday (and we recommend it for legs and half legs so you'll have plenty of time to defrost in the refrigerator) you can do so on Thursday, April 5th, between 3 and 6 pm.   If you can't make that time, don't worry! Just let us know a good time for you and we'll make an appointment for you to come to the farm.  

We'll put a sheet of tips for cooking lamb, along with the USDA cooking temperatures and times, in each bag.  The USDA information is right off the USDA website,  the other tips are from my experience. 

Another good source of information for cooking lamb is the American Lamb website.

PS:  And I always look forward to your recipes and tips! 





Posted 3/29/2012 8:06pm by Bill & Roberta Browning.
Good Spring Evening! 

We're happy to tell you that we will have more of our 2011 Browning Homestead lamb in the freezer before Easter.   I was on the telephone this afternoon with Bruno at Westerly Packing, going over the cuts and packaging of the lambs that Bill took to Johnston on Tuesday. We had some special orders and I went over each of them individually with Bruno, as Cody, the man who does the actual cutting, advised.

If you have given us an order at the South Kingstown Wintertime Market or ordered through our website, we will be confirming with you directly and arranging delivery at the market on April 7th, or by appointment at the farm before that date if you prefer.  I'll be sending individual confirmations right after this email. I won't know the actual sizes of cuts by weight until we pick them up at Westerly Packing. 

If you want to order lamb and have not, please send us an email (browninghomestead@yahoo.com) because, as you lamb lovers know, our lamb goes very fast. 

Thank you for choosing Browning Homestead Farm for your Matunuck raised meats. Your support is greatly appreciated!

Roberta

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