Friday, November 11, 2011

Cooking with Goat Meat

One of the many benefits to raising your own animals is getting to enjoy a variety of recipes you would not normally adventure out and try!

I love to cook, especially meals that are challenging to me :)  Lily and I have mastered making potstickers out of freshly ground pork chops, chopped onion, carrots, and celery - and seasoned with chili oil, fresh ginger, soy sauce, and oyster sauce.  This is one of our families favorite meals.

Lately I have been cooking with goat meat.  This tender, flavorful meat was intimidating at first but after consulting some cooking science books and chatting with one of my friends that cooks with lamb and goat often I cooked two meals that everyone really enjoyed.  I made goat curry and goat chili.

For the goat curry I followed and added to a recipe my friend gave me.  She recommended two seasonings -Trader Joe's Curry Powder and Penzeys Forward! spices. 

Goat Curry
In my slow cooker:
2-3 lb of goat meat (I used steak cuts but it would have been better to use a roast)
2 T of Penzeys Spices*
1 T of Trader Joe's Curry Powder*
1/2 c browned onion
1 or 2 cans of tomato sauce depending on how much meat you have
Cook this for several hours (4-5 atleast) until the meat easily pulls apart
Then saute celery and mushrooms - I like my celery crisp for added texture to balance the soft meat
Add salt and pepper to taste

We put this over white rice but it would be great on mashed potatoes or brown rice too.  I topped it off with sour cream and my homemade salsa. 

*These seasonings have several spices such as turmeric and cinnamon that contain antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties.  Turmeric is known to slow the growth of many types of cancer cells and there is many research studies regarding the use of turmeric in cancer treatment.  So try to get as much turmeric in you diet as possible!

Goat Chili
Again in my slow cooker I soaked
1 c kidney beans
2 c red beans
overnight in about 6 cups of water.  I drained the water and rinsed the beans then added enough water to cover the beans plus about 2 inches above.
I cooked the beans for about 4-5 hours until they were tender and added
1 lb cooked ground goat with
1 T Penzeys Forward! spice 
2 T garlic powder and
1/4 c of chili powder cooked together to infuse the seasonings into the meat
then add
1/2 sauted onion in chili oil
1 can of tomato paste
to the beans and let it simmer for about an hour

We topped it with cheddar cheese and sour cream along side our cornbread!

Let me know if you try any of these recipes


Wednesday, November 2, 2011

How to Render Our Pork Fat

Rendering lard is the process of heating pork fat slowly to separate the fat from any pork pieces. 

What you need:

1.       1 or 2 pounds of pork lard.  Leaf lard is best for pie crusts and back fat is excellent for frying.

2.       A large pot or commercial slower cooker

3.       Wooden Spoon and ladle

4.       Water

5.       Colander and cheesecloth

6.       Storage containers such as mason  jars

What to do:

1.       Defrost lard and cut into small pieces.  Remove kidney if still attached.

2.       Add ¼ c of water per pound of fat and then add the pork fat to the pot or cooker and let it heat for about an hour on medium high.

3.       You may want to turn on a vent or open a window.

4.       After about an hour stir the fat and make sure it doesn’t start to burn.  As the fat melts it will begin to crackle and separate from the pork bits.  Be careful not to get burned from the popping fat.

5.       Now stir every ten minutes until all the bits have crackled and separated from the fat and sink to the bottom of the pot.  

6.       Be sure not to leave your lard too long or it will burn and have a pork flavor.

7.       Let the lard cool slightly and pour through a colander lined with cheesecloth.  Pork bits are still soft and can be fried for use as salad toppings, etc.

8.       The melted pork fat can then be ladled into your storage containers and will remain slightly yellow until it solidifies as it cools.  Store in refrigerator or freezer.

I hope you enjoy farm fresh lard for all your baking and frying needs!  Let me know if you have any questions regarding this process.

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Spring is finally here!

The nice weather is here!  All our animals are happy to finally be out to pasture enjoying the fresh new grass and clover we planted last year in our pasture.  The momma goats begin eating the tallest grass they can find and their kids nibble on the clover.  We are keeping three kids and already have four with deposits on them.  We have six does left which we will raise up for meat until someone is ready to purchse them. 
Our free range roosters are growing fast with the extra nutrients in the ground.  They have been protected by our Livestock Guardian Dogs from hawks and other preditors and will be ready to sell here shortly. 
We bought five more piglets that grew fast in all this nice weather.  We expect to have them processed by the end of the summer and the older three will be processed in July. 

Our new regular open hours are now from 3:30pm-7pm but you are welcome to stop by any time or call for an appointment.  Now is a great time to stop by and get a tour - there is a good chance you can even pet a goat!

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

Our First Farmer's Market

What a perfect way to start the season!  The weather wasn't the best but that didn't stop tons of shoppers from stopping by.  We met so many interesting people and everyone seemed really excited to try our pork.  Once the customers showed up at 9am the time just flew by without a drop of rain!  People were surprised to see that we brought the meat with us but the cooler kept everything frozen rock solid.  The main question we were asked was how is the meat packaged because most farm fresh pork comes in either half or whole hog.  So we showed them our individually packaged chops/steaks and our sausage, sliced ham, and sausage all in one pound packages.  That made their shopping easy and most everyone that stopped by bought a package or two.  We sold out of our chops and tenderloins that we brought so we will be bringing more next time.  I hope we get a lot of return customers and many new ones next weekend.  We are putting together a new display for our chicks, ducks, and goats so everyone can see all the animals we raise. 

Hope to see you there! 

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Creamy Sausage and Broccoli Soup

Our pork inspires me to create new recipes! So I will share the ones that turn out well.

This dish is super easy and quick, I made this in less than 30 minutes.

1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced celery
1 cup diced carrots
1 pound WL&H sausage
1 package of frozen chopped spinach
1 can cream of mushroom soup
2-3 c water
salt and pepper to taste
top with grated parmesan

Add onion, celery, carrots and WL&H sausage to pan and saute till meat is cooked.  You do not need to add oil since the meat will have just enough moisture.

Meanwhile add spinach, soup and water to a large pot and bring to slow boil.  Once cooked add meat mixture to soup base and add salt and pepper.

Dish and top with parmesan if desired.

This recipe is simple and most of the flavor comes from the delicious sausage!


Tuesday, April 12, 2011

New Hens are finally laying eggs!

The first egg is from our old hens, the middle is our new hen, the cream egg is our silkie hens
Yesterday we got our first "baby" egg from our up and coming young hens!  The first few eggs a hen lays are smaller than what she will lay when she is in full egg laying production.  I was excited to see a young hen in the laying box a few days ago since it would only be a matter of days before she would get the urge to lay her eggs.  These eggs will help boost chick production and allow for eggs to also be sold at the Albany Farmer's Market.  This Spring our chick sales have been extremely high which is great to see.  People seem to really care about where their food is coming from and if they have the opportunity to raise a few hens in their backyard they are doing it!  Fresh eggs are delicious and nutritious.

Saturday, April 9, 2011

New chicks are here!

Once a week we have a new batch of chicks hatch.  We have invested in a new incubator, hatcher, and two brooders.  One brooder has heat for the chicks that are between 0 - 3 weeks old.  The other brooder holds the 4 - 6 week old chicks since they should not have heat on them so they can feather correctly.  Both brooders have 5 tiers and are sanitized between each batch of chicks.  This new system has increased our hatch rate to 91% and keeps our chicks in good health.  Once they reach 6 weeks they transition outside to our holding pen for a week so they are protected from the weather and learn where they should stay.  After that week they then are put to pasture to be and raised in a natural environment where they forage and enjoy the outdoors with a shelter provided.  We keep most predators away with our electric netting fence.  The chicks join our Muscovy Ducks in our pasture and seem to get along with them great.  We raise heritage breed chickens which include Rhode Island Reds, New Hampshires, Brahma, Plymoth Barred Rocks, Speckled Sussex, and Buff Orpingtons.  Our hens are about 2 years old and we have a new batch of hens that should start laying eggs later this month.  We also raise purebreed silkies which are so fun to watch.  They are treated with extra special care at our farm.
Our Muscovy Ducks are now sitting on a clutch of eggs and we are excited to see how they turn out in a natural environment.  We were hatching them with our incubator system but decided they would be best if hatched with a mom to care for them.  They are such an enjoyable duck to have around since they do not make a lot of noise and they seem to really love their home. 

Tuesday, April 5, 2011

Late Night Kidding

After having dinner at a friends house we came home to one of our does that was given to us by a friend of the family already giving birth.  The doe took care of one of the babies but she didn't take care of the other one at all so it did not make it:(  It was super small and may have been a still born.  The other baby has super long legs and trying to stand but for some reason not latching on to her mom so we ended up giving it a colostrum pill and some milk.  Then we waited another hour and gave her some more milk.  She seems to be doing well this morning but we are still feeding her since we never see her nursing.  She has very pretty black speckled ears just like her mom.  I wish the other one would have made it but we have had a very good birth rate this year.  Only a few more moms left to give birth, lets hope the rest go a little better!

Monday, April 4, 2011

and 10 &11.....

Our nubian cross had twins this morning starting at 8:40am.  When I went out to check on the rest of the babies her water broke so Terrill came and put her in a stall and we waited for what seemed like forever.  After about 20 minutes we decided we would need to pull them since we had to pull her babies last season also.  The first kid came out back legs first and then we waited another 20 - 30 minutes and since she was not even contracting we pulled the second and it came out positioned with its front legs out first.  Both kids were huge!! They both got up within the first 15 minutes and were nursing within the first hour.  One is girl and the other is a boy.  We intend on keeping this mom even though we have to pull her babies because she is such a good mom and her babies are alway so big! 

The other babies are out in the field running around.  I have already found my favorite :)  She loves being scratched and held.  I am trying my best not to get attached!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Well it has been an exciting day today.  Three of our does gave birth to five kids.  Two does had twins and one had just one baby but it is a big one!  The single kid was on her feet within minutes and is twice the size as the other ones.  All the moms seem to be doing great and really caring for their babies.  We had one doe already give birth a few days ago and her kids are running and jumping around.  So in all we have seven baby goats running around in their stalls!  Hopefully the other moms will wait a little while to have any more since we are running out of room quickly.

The word is getting out that we are raising chicks and every batch that we have is selling quickly.  We have learned how to sex them so that makes it real nice when our customers want only hens.  We also have 8 little ducklings that are looking for a new home so if you know anyone that wants a really great pet let them know about our ducklings.

Friday, March 25, 2011

Kidding season is finally here!

We bred our does in October and it is finally time for the kids to arrive.  We check our barn multiple times a day hoping to see our new arrivals but so far no sign of them!  The does look healthy and very pregnant and their milk sacks are very full.  Our new barn has helped with keeping everyone healthy this winter and it is now ready for the kids.  We have three stalls were the kids and their mom will stay for a few days till they all look ready to meet the rest of herd.  I will update everyone once they have arrived!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Chickens and Ducks

Our chick sale is going great, they are all selling fast! But our brooder is still filling up and we may need to invest in another one.  The young hens we have are going to start laying their first eggs sometime next month and then we will begin to sell eggs at the Corvallis-Albany Farmer's Market in April.  Terrill has been hard at work building our new chicken coop.  This will allow us to raise purebred chicks!

Unfortunately our Muscovy ducks keep wondering onto the neighbor's property so we have fenced them in - they still have a half acre to roam so hopefully that will keep them happy :)  We will expand that area to an acre next week during spring break.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Our New Animals

We have gotten lots of new additions to our farm.  We have five little piglets loving their new home in their fully furnished barn.  For now they are on heat lights since the weather has not been real good.  The first morning after we got them Terrill forgot to lock the gate behind them and all but one got out!  It was freezing that morning and we spent a good hour trying to catch them.  One tried to skate on ice but fell through of course.  Terrill was about to jump in after it but managed to shimmy on a fallen tree and save the pig.  I spent my time running up and down the road til I was able to corner the last pig in our neighbors yard.  Those little piggies were heavy!  They have double in size though and are looking great.

The chick incubator and hatcher are working overtime :)  A new batch is ready each week and they are selling quickly.  We also have hatched our first batch of ducks.  They are so sweet, its gonna be hard selling them!

Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Our Farm

We have recently expanded our hatchery and are looking towards breaking ground on our new building soon.  Terrill is currently putting the finishing touches on our pig barn.  He is such a great carpenter! It amazes me how he can just get an idea of how he wants something to look and build it without any plans besides scratch paper!

Baby goats should be coming soon I can't wait!  Birthing is always a stressful time but I just love playing with the babies!

We are looking forward to having a booth this year at the farmer's markets starting in April.  We will be selling some eggs and our farm fresh pork.  I also will be advertising my Mary Kay cosmetics.  So come check us out it would be nice to get the support!