Friday, January 28, 2011

Donnie Brasco!

So this is nothing to do with the person or the movie but everything to do with a 19lb ham we had in the freezer! 

Aromatic Shoulder of Pork 'Donnie Brasco"  by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall from The River Cottage Meat Book, cooked by Michael!

1 Shoulder of pork on the bone (we used a whole Berkshire ham)
5 Large cloves of garlic
5cm piece of fresh ginger
2 teaspoons of dried chili
2 teaspoons of ground ginger
1 tablespoon of brown sugar
1/2 teaspoon of flaky salt (we used sea salt)
1 tablespoon of sunflower oil
1 tablespoon of soy sauce

2 star anise
2 teaspoons of fennel seed
1/2 cinnamon stock
4 cloves
1 teaspoon black peppercorns

Score the rind/fat of the pork with a Stanley knife in parallel lines about 1cm apart, to a depth of 1/1-1cm.
Grate the garlic and fresh ginger into a small bowl and mix to a paste with the chili flakes, ground ginger, brown sugar, salt, oil and soy sauce.  Pound the 5 spices in a pestle and mortar (or grind in a coffee grinder) and mix 1 tablespoonful into the paste (any left over will keep in an airtight jar; you could make larger quantities, if you like and store).
Place the pork, skin side up, on a rack above a large roasting tin.  With your fingertips, rub just over half the spice paste into the scored rind of the pork.  Place the joint in the centre of a very hot oven (450F) for 30 minutes.  The remove from the oven and, using oven gloves or a thick dry cloth, carefully turn the joint over to expose the underside.  Using a knife or wooden spoon this time (the meat will be very hot), smear the remainder of the paste over the underside of the meat (now facing uppermost).  Pour a glass of water into the roasting tin, turn down to 200F and replace the joint.  Leave for anything from 16-24 hours (we cooked ours for 24hours), turning it skin side up again, and basting with the fat and juices in the tin, about half way through.  About 45 minutes before you want to eat, whack up the heat to 450F again to crisp the crackling/fat.
To serve with simple starch, such as noodles, plain buttered macaroni, boiled rice or even mashed potatoes.

Have to say it was delicious, and the smell in the house for the 24hours it was cooking was amazing! 

Thursday, January 13, 2011

CSA Harvest 2010

July pick up day
I am in the middle of planning the 2011 CSA Vegetable box garden and have been looking over last years harvest and the amount of produce that Michael and I  picked for the members over the 18 week season. 

Our CSA members last year consumed the following amounts/weights of vegetables.  I have not put all vegetables on the list only a selection as we grow 47 different vegetable groups on the farm!

The amounts listed do not include what we harvested for the farmers market or farm gate sales!

 133 Heads of Lettuce
 72 Fennel heads
83 Heads of Cabbage
192lbs Tomatoes 
(we would have had more tomatoes if it had not been for the hail storm damage)
584 Beets 
157lbs Tomatillos 
401 Zucchini 
250lbs Potatoes 
76 Eggplant
125 Sweet Peppers

Our girls laid over 2532 eggs in 2010
Mid August pick up
September - pick up day

If you are interested in joining the 2011 season to receive fresh, local, chemical free vegetables for 18 weeks then please click on this link and contact the farm for your application form.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Heritage Berkshire Pigs.....

Even on a bright but chilly day the Berkshire's love to be outside.  They have free range of the barn filled with hay and straw to bury into at night  but we never lock them in.  The have a paddock to the south of the barn that they are free to roam around if they choose to and on a sunny winters day you will often find them all laying out against the back wall fast asleep in the sun.

Today we gave them an extra treat from our winter vegetable stores of squash and pie pumpkins.  Most days in winter we cook them up a veggie stew either for morning or evening feed!  Yes our pigs are spoilt!

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Happy New Year......

Happy New Year to all our family, friends and customers.

A huge Strattons Farm thank you to everyone who has supported our farm over the last 12 months. We feel very lucky to have met so many wonderful people over this last year who have provided support, help, encouragement, advice and laughter!
Looking forward to sharing more adventures with everyone through 2011.