If you haven’t been getting our weekly emails lately from our mailing list, I wanted to let you know we’ve been sending out a new deal each week. This Saturday will be our final deal week before our delivery to the Twin Cities on Sunday, March 24th. Let us know if you want more info. Click “Contact Information” for your preferred way to contact us.
Starting Saturday we’ll put up new deals. Here’s a quick peak at this week’s specials: Weekly deals email newsletter!
Italian Sausage (great for spaghetti or pizza toppings) – you’ll receive 12 packages for $60. (exp. 1/24) – 2 available
Breakfast special – 3 pounds bacon, 2 pounds cottage bacon, 4 packs of Italian sausage, and 5 pounds ground pork for $95. A $105.50 value – 1 available
For those wanting to get in on the delivery, we have lots of other meat in stock as well. Check out our order form for current availability: ORDER FORM.
Pizza. I once heard it is the perfect pregnancy food. All the food groups can be added and it’s hard to despise the taste. For us, it satisfies every child too. A favorite pastime for us is to ask ultimate questions like, “If you could only eat one food for the rest of your life, what would it be?” 99% of the time, we settle on pizza. The toppings are so versatile and now, with cauliflower crust, almond flour crust, coconut flour crust or even zucchini crust (yes, I’ve made this), the crust can be versatile too.
Hopefully, with the recipe I have for you today, you have some tomatoes you’ve preserved from last year’s harvest, because you’ll want to make tomato sauce and pick up some mozzarella. As for extra toppings, think Italian sausage or brats. My boys love these thin sliced and placed on top.
We currently have a sale on for some tasty, local meat too. Check out our recent email newsletter: Click here! Or browse what we currently have available: Click here!
Today I want to share our favorite crust. We’ve been using this for years. You can substitute some or all of the flour for freshly ground or whole wheat too and it still works great. Add some extra olive oil to a bar pan with raised sides and it makes great deep dish. Roll it thin and it also makes an excellent thin crust. I’ve even used this for calzones.
Best part? Mix it up and, after getting all the toppings ready, it’s ready to be put in the oven just twenty minutes later. If you don’t have a favorite pizza crust, give it a try. I think you’ll like this one!
Favorite Pizza Crust
- 2 1/2 cups flour, additional if needed
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon sugar
- 1 Tablespoon yeast
- 1 cup warm water
- 1 teaspoon or more olive oil, to seal finished dough
- In a bowl, combine the flour, salt, sugar and yeast.
- Add the water and knead for about ten-fifteen minutes or eight minutes in a mixer. Use the stretch test to see if the dough is ready to rest. Simply stretch the dough and if it can become thin without breaking, it has been kneaded enough.
- Pour a bit of olive oil over the dough, sealing it, cover and let rise for 20 minutes.
- Preheat oven to 450 Fahrenheit.
- After the dough has risen, knead it a bit and place it on a pizza pan. Roll it as thin or as thick as you like.
- Add all the seasonings, toppings, and cheese you prefer.
- Bake for 11 – 15 minutes at 450 Fahrenheit.
Egg season is coming up and the chickens will soon be laying overtime.
A dear friend of ours sent us this message awhile back and I wanted to share it with you all: “I’ve accidentally created a delicious quiche! Thought I’d share!” – Laura.
Thank you Laura, I look forward to enjoying this in the coming months.
Nix Pork Quiche
1 lb ground pork
1/2 TBSP butter
1/2 yellow onion
1 tsp sage
1 TBSP brown sugar
Salt and pepper to taste
Havarti cheese slices
1 cup milk
Salt and pepper
1. Sauté onions about 10 minutes in butter.
2. Add pork, sage, brown sugar, and salt and pepper.
3. Put pie crust in pie pan, and put the sausage onion mixture on the bottom.
4. Top with havarti cheese.
5. Mix together eggs, milk, and a dash of salt and pepper in a bowl and pour over the cheese and sausage.
6. Bake at 350 degrees for about 50 minutes or until golden brown on top.
As promised, I’m continuing on with the series on how to use a whole hog with emphasis on side pork today.
If you don’t get all your side pork made into bacon, then side pork has been one of the more challenging cuts to use up. Many people like to do this to cut out the extras that bacon adds (like nitrates or nitrates and excess salt).
Unless your family grew up using side pork, it takes a bit of experimenting to see how you prefer eating it. The excess fat on side pork is the main reason for this. Either you cut the fat off and render it into lard and lardons (a.k.a. cracklin’s) or you cook it up and enjoy the rich fat along with the juicy meat. The following are some of the tastiest ways we’ve experimented with side pork.
Side Pork ideas we love:
- Homemade Bacon! – There are numerous recipes out there. Most of them include way too much salt. If you find a recipe to use and it turns out too salty, just soak the finished product.
- We’ve tried about five different recipes and my favorite includes maple sugar. It’s from the book Beyond Bacon by Matthew McCarry and Stacy Toth. This book also includes excellent paleo apple fritters made with lard and almond flour and their “Perfect Pork Chop” is spot on. It’s a great book for those who would like to learn how to use all the cuts from a whole hog.
- I will not include ideas for using bacon. There are about a million and I think most people do not have trouble using it up.
- Roasted Side Pork – This was rich and filling, super easy, and fun to try.
- Side Pork Cabbage Soup – My belly loved this soup. It was warm and nourishing, filling and fuel.
Side Pork ideas we’d love to try:
My problem currently is not the lack of side pork, but the lack of time to try new recipes. Over the next few months, maybe once a month for sanity’s sake, I plan to try out a few new recipes from a cookbook I found last fall.
- From the cook book Pure Pork Awesomeness by Kevin Gillespie and David Joachim:
- “Ban Mi”
- “Sichuan-Style Twice-Cooked Pork Belly”
- “Braised Pork Belly” with apple cider vinegar
- “Black Vinegar-Glazed Pork Belly Buns”
- “White Cooked Pork with Garlic Sauce”
- “Oven Baked Pork Belly Strips” – this recipe has a large amount of 5 star reviews
- Olive Magazine has a lot of fun looking, but maybe too spicy for my kids, ideas. If you like pizzazz in your food, check out their recipe ideas for pork belly.
Though I only gave you three of my own proven options, I hope you found some inspiration for future cooking. Let me know your favorites and give us a call if your recipes don’t turn out, maybe we can help turn it for the better.
My first try with side pork was not anyone’s favorite, I cooked it like I would bacon without much seasoning. Instead of feeding it to the dog, I spiced it up a bit and added it to a chicken bacon ranch hot-dish that I like to make. It turned out great.
However, if you’re doing something crazy and new, I would recommend just using a small amount the first time. It’s easy to cut a slab of side pork in half or thirds. It’s also quite easy to trim the fat and render it to lard if you’re not a fan of eating so much in one bite. Lard is a healthy fat and great for frying or sauteing!
We hope you enjoy experimenting with this sought after ingredient!
Search me, O God, and know my heart!
Try me and know my thoughts!
And see if there be any grievous way in me,
and lead me in the way everlasting!
On this coldest of January days, it’s best to stay inside. So I wanted to send a quick update on our family and farm for those of you interested…
2017 proved to be a year of unknowns, instability, testing, trusting, and finally, hope.
2018 was a year of joy, striving, growth and peace.
Though we went through significant change, that change was used for our joy and to bring us closer to the God who formed us and whom we live with and for from day to day.
In Our Family
2018 has been about working together as a family and loving it. We have learned better how to love each other’s differences and get less uptight when things don’t get done. It has been encouraging to see our boys growing in wisdom and strength and look forward to what the future holds.
We are still homeschooling and love the flexibility and opportunities that this provides. Our boys also love that they can get done at their pace and learn about things that interest them. It has been a highlight to have Mat teach woodworking most Thursdays as well. We also love taking our annual camping trip. This year we went to Wisconsin.
Of course, the continued support of Mat’s parents keep us going. Having Mat’s dad here two or three times a month to help with projects around the farm is a delight for all of us. The boys love snagging him for a game of UNO too.
On the Farm
As for the land, the pasture and high tunnel ground has been flourishing under our intentional care for it. The bare spots in the pasture have become thick and long. The unproductive clay in the high tunnel has become rich and soft producing a much tastier fruit and higher yielding plants.
With the land production improving, our animals have been flourishing as well. Our herd has grown to a point that we have more beef and pork than what our customers are needing. For chicken and turkey, we have also gone to producing only what people order in the Spring. This helps our sanity in trying to sell chicken, but increases our need to find more customers for beef and pork. Since the majority of our sales are directly to the customer our main form of advertising has been through emails or by word of mouth from other satisfied buyers.
We will continue to grow within the means provided for us, not taking on debt or time consuming endeavors we can’t afford. With our land and animals maintaining a level of constant improvement, now we will focus on how to sell the abundance. If you have any tips for us in this area, we’d love to hear your knowledge.
Thank you for being part of our journey. We appreciate your words of encouragement, knowledge and support in buying the produce of the land. We hope this coming year is one of great joy and growth for you all.
Katie, for the whole Nix family
Minnesota winters require a good soup. They not only warm, but they nourish our bodies too. What is your favorite soup? Do you even like soup? Me? I love soup, but I have to convince my boys. They’re not so easily won. As long as it’s a good cream soup, they’ll devour it though. I tried this one on them the other night and they really enjoyed the smell of the sesame oil. I’ve found that many good side pork recipes have sesame oil in them.
My love for cabbage soup started with The Joy of Cooking after receiving the book as a wedding present. Basic cookbooks like that and Betty Crocker’s Cookbook are a great place to start when learning to cook and bake. You’ll learn the basics, what you like and don’t like, and then be able to expand from there. I like to learn as I do things, but maybe you like all the knowledge before you jump in. If so, I’d recommend finding a chef you really enjoy and watching his/her videos on youtube.com or from the library. You can gain some excellent knowledge this way.
With recipes, I often get ideas online and then just make up my own way to do it according to the skills I’ve learned along the way. Most recipes don’t have you sear the meats and veggies or grill them before adding to soup or slow cooker recipes, but I’ve found this to enhance the texture and flavors so much I almost always do it unless I forgot to take it out the night before and it’s still frozen.
The nice thing about side pork is that it’s typically a smaller portioned package and so it will thaw within the day. That and soups don’t take a whole lot of time if you have all the ingredients available in your pantry or freezer. I love modern technology and don’t know where I’d be without a fridge and freezer. Also, buying in bulk (especially meats like half a hog, frozen whole chickens or a quarter beef) ensures I don’t have to go to the grocery store more than once a month except for milk or fruits, saving me a lot of time, energy and money from impulse buys.
Now this soup may not be for everyone. I’ve found many just don’t crave the rich fat that accompanies side pork. Many of us crave carbs. This is not a high-carb soup, in fact this would be considered more of a keto or paleo soup in modern diet language. Perfect for low-carbohydrate diets, pastured side pork gives high quality fats that our bodies need to thrive. From previous blog posts you may remember it’s a great source of natural vitamin D.
I hope you like soup because here’s my first side pork installment. I hope to have many more in the coming months, so tell me your favorite things to do with side pork and your favorite soups too. I’m also looking for excellent ideas for beef! We also have 3 and 3/4 beef available still this fall, so share! What are your favorite beef and pork recipes?
Enough from me. Now go enjoy some soup on these cold winter nights!
Side Pork Cabbage Soup
- 1.5 lb. side pork a.k.a. pork belly
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 1 teaspoon + Chinese five spice powder
- 1 teaspoon + garlic, chopped or 1/2 teaspoon + granulated
- 5 cups or more chicken stock/broth
- 1 small head of cabbage or 2-3 bok choy
- 1-2 Tablespoon roasted sesame oil
- optional excellent veggies: 1-2 leeks, chopped; 3-5 carrots, long sliced; 3-4 Tablespoons of tomato paste for a more minestrone-type taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Heat a large saucepan or cast iron skillet on medium heat. Pour 1 – 2 Tablespoons of olive oil or lard into heated pan and spread evenly. Place chopped onion and any other veggies (such as leeks and carrots) into pan to sauté for about 5-7 minutes until onions are “clear” rather than white all the way through. Place sautéd veggies into an unheated stockpot that you will finish the soup in.
In the saucepan, heat the pork belly until browned, about 7 minutes. Place pork belly into stockpot. Add five spice powder and garlic to stockpot.
Pour one – two cups of chicken stock into saucepan to get all the good veggie and pork juices into the liquid, about two minutes. Pour this liquid into the unheated stockpot with the remaining chicken stock and heat all to boiling.
Once boiling, turn heat to medium-low and add the cabbage. Cook until cabbage is soft. Add salt and pepper to taste. Turn off heat, let cool for five to ten minutes and then add sesame oil.
I know, I should be talking about how to use leftover turkey in a hotdish right now, being that the week after Thanksgiving every meal consists of turkey. However, we are sending the last of our fall butcher hogs to be processed on Tuesday (yes, we have 1/2 left if you get your order in soon!), so I still have pork on my mind.
We also have 3 and 3/4 Scottish Highland beef steers to send in this fall/winter if you’re looking for some grass-fed and grass-finished beef for your freezer. A full steer weighs about 400 pounds, so 1/4 would be about 100 pounds hanging weight and probably close to 75 pounds finished. So if you’re looking for some great roasts, hamburger, etc, that’s a great place to start.
Now onto the recipe. As a world famous travel writer, Mat’s aunt Stacey knows good food. I heard about the following recipe because she made this for Mat’s mom, Dena, and Dena raved about it. Of course, I had to ask for the recipe. And of course, I had to share it with you! It’s made for a beef chuck roast, but also works well with pork.
Here’s a super easy meal to help you recover from all the rushing about this holiday season. Enjoy!
Ambrosia a.k.a. Sweet Roast
3-4 pounds beef chuck roast or pork shoulder roast
1 onion, chopped
10 3/4 oz. cream of chicken
1/2 cup water or chicken stock
1/4 cup sugar
1/4 cup vinegar
2 tsp. salt
1 tsp. prepared mustard
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
1. Brown meat in oil on both sides in saucepan. Put in slow cooker.
2. Blend together remaining ingredients. Pour over meat.
3. Cover. Cook on Low 12-16 hours.