Side Pork Cabbage Soup

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. IMG_2710I 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

  • Servings: 8-10
  • Difficulty: medium
  • Print

Ingredients

  • 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.

Enjoy!

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Prepared

Now’s the time to start planning what seasonal goods you’ll need for the year. In MN that’s almost everything, including chicken.

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In this picture we have some zucchini brownies and some spaghetti ready to be quickly made. We have grown to love okra in our tomato sauce. I freeze it whole (super easy) and then blend it into cold sauce when making a recipe. It adds a touch of flavor and makes a thicker, less watery sauce. Our okra has started to produce already and we hope to have plenty to bring to market this year.

You’ll also see our Italian sausage links. Having meat in the freezer and available has put my mind at ease and helped me to avoid shopping, a task I do not enjoy. I always have something available for a quick meal. That’s especially helpful in the busy or overwhelming seasons of the year which for us coincides with planting, weeding and preparing for markets throughout the summer.

We hope you will be able to stop by one of our markets to say hi. We plan to be at the Aitkin Historical Society’s Depot Museum (right next to the Holiday gas station) on Fridays throughout the summer. This Friday we will be there from 9:30 am – 12:30 pm.  Hope to see you there.


Here’s one last reminder. This week is the week to order chicken and turkey for the year! Also, if you’re wanting pork, we have it available by the pound now or halves and whole in the fall. Give us a call this week and we’ll get you all set up for convenient meals all year long.

You can also still order beef and pork to be processed closer to November and December. Send us an email at righteousoaksfarm@gmail.com. We’d love to hear from you.

Printable order form: Click here!

DIY Stocking Stuffer

I don’t know about you, but I grew up opening a stocking of little goodies on Christmas day. It’s still one of my favorite traditions. I especially enjoy thinking of and finding things throughout the year that my family will enjoy. Don’t tell, but I will be including some of my favorite handmade lotion in the stockings that I’ve made for extended family. I know they love this stuff and it’s the perfect winter gift.

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I know most people don’t have tallow lying around, but if you’ve saved some from deer or beef cattle, I’ve got the recipe for you:


Do-It-Yourself Tallow Lotion      Time=1 hour       Difficulty=medium


1 cup tallow, beef, deer, sheep or goat (with the addition of lavender oil I did not notice the scent of the deer tallow)


2 Tablespoons olive oil or sweet almond oil


1/2 tsp essential oil (be sure you test a drop on your skin first so that you don’t have a batch of lotion that will irritate your skin – e.g. cinnamon oil often irritates skin)


Place tallow in double boiler or other pan and warm it on low heat until it is just melted. Once melted, remove from heat and add olive or almond oil. Let it cool to room temperature then add the essential oil(s).


Once the tallow, olive or almond oil, and essential oil(s) are combined, pour the mixture into a container if you are not going to whip it. Otherwise, place your pan into the fridge until it is just hardened. It takes about 30 minutes. Then remove it from the fridge and whip it with a hand mixer until it is the consistency you desire (Usually 3 minutes for me). Scrape it into your final container and enjoy!

 

If you don’t have tallow, you can buy it online or sometimes find it at a local meat processor. We also have some beef tallow for $3 per pound. And if you’re not up to making it yourself, our tallow lotion is $2 for a 4 ounce jar. Email or give us a call.

Also, one last reminder for orders before Christmas. We can make gift certificates or provide pork and chicken by the pound or in large quantities. Let me know by Saturday if you’d like me to make you up some lotion. Let us know before December 23, 2017 and we can even deliver to the Aitkin or Crosby areas and anywhere between here and the Twin Cities.

Don’t forget our $15 off promotions run until the end of December 2017. Read more by clicking here: $15 off!

We hope you are enjoying this advent season!

Fall Update and Great News

IMG_4390Wonderful news. We have been given a great gift and long-awaited happiness in our lives. On September 21, Asher George Nix was born to us. Asher is the first Hebrew word of the Psalms and one of Jacob’s sons in the Bible. The word means Blessed or Happy! George is Mathew’s amazing dad and the name also means farmer, rather appropriate huh? Please rejoice with us.

In farm news, we are still plodding along and continue to enjoy the fall harvest. Today was our first big frost with the temperature last night reaching 23 degrees F. With the high tunnel, we still have a bit of a growing season, but most of our produce is done. We’re also stocking up on hay for winter so the cows and pigs have plenty to enjoy.

Available products on the farm still include pork and chicken. We will also have tomatoes, spaghetti squash, peppers, watermelon, possibly purple potatoes, and tallow

lotion until they are all sold or the high tunnel gets too cold. Spaghetti squash is a wonderful keeper. The seeds we planted this year were from a squash I cut up in March that was still good from the 2016 harvest. Small are $1.50 and large are $3. Our tomatoes are down to $.75 per pound for seconds and $1.75 per pound for unblemished tomatoes. I highly recommend my favorite green zebra tomatoes. Our peppers are Marconi and $0.50. They are long and a lot like a green pepper, but without the belly ache that some people get from green peppers. Tallow lotion is great for winter skin and only $2 for a 4 ounce jar.

IMG_4249We ordered more chickens than were sold, so we still have some chicken in the freezer. On farm purchase of chicken is $4.00 per pound. Delivered to the Twin Cities is $4.25 per pound. USDA inspected chicken is $4.50 per pound.

Pork! We still have six hogs available for October and IMG_3488November butcher dates, mainly because our main marketing person recently had a baby… We sell in half or whole hogs. Some people have ordered with a friend and split up half a hog. Hogs are normally around 200 pounds. We charge $3 per pound hanging carcass weight plus the butcher fees which varies with your custom order of ham, bacon, pork belly, sausage, pork chops, roasts, etc. As with chicken, we also have USDA inspected pork in 1-4 pound packages for $6.50 per pound. There are still some tasty pork chops, roasts, ground pork and side pork. Small hams are available for $7 per pound and 1 lb. bacon packages are $8 per pound.

As always, our chickens and hogs are pastured and moved regularly. They are fed non-GMO feed and are soy free. We grind the grain ourselves and source much of it from within 30 miles. That also means the grain is fresh increasing the nutrient quality of the food given our animals.

Thanks for being part of our farm family. Without your supporting local, sustainable agriculture, we couldn’t strive to exercise careful dominion over the resources that have been entrusted to us.

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Bundt Pan Roast Chicken

It’s been a few months since you’ve heard from us on the blog, but a few months seems like no time at all during springtime on the farm. We’ve been busy enjoying the new baby animals: chicks, turkey poults, calves, and goat kids. The human kids and I (Katie) have also been working hard to get all our tomatoes, cucumbers, squash and melons planted in the high tunnel while Mathew has been fixing what breaks and making more chicken tractors. Things are going well lately and we continue to persevere and see mostly good days in our busy season.

Life gets moving and sometimes we forget things, so I wanted to send this reminder that we’ll need to know your order for broiler chickens by Tuesday, June 6th. Our plan is to butcher July 8th and 15th. If more than 100 additional chickens are ordered from all of you, we plan to butcher September 2nd and 9th as well. With your order, please include your preference for which butcher date you would prefer.

You can also order pork, goat meat and maple syrup. Currently we have rhubarb for $2 per pound as well.

Please give us a call or email. Otherwise you can get a hold of us through Facebook, Instagram, and by mail. All ordering information is listed on this page: https://righteousoaksfarm.com/ordering-information/ . Here is a link to the downloadable printable order form if you need it: Printable Order Form

Now on to what was promised in the post title: Bundt Pan Roast Chicken. I stole this without regret from delish.com. It seemed like too wonderful a recipe not to try with our broilers. I just love roast chicken, and this all-in-one meal is sure to please. I hope you look forward to making this as much as I do come July (though you might want to go straight to grilling and wait for cooler days for this one):

Opportunities

We’ve been busy. Farm babies are coming nearly every day now. Goat kids and calves keep appearing. Of course we still have our puppies and piglets to care for too. It’s been a fun but always busy time of year.

I wanted to let you know about a few changes and additions to our website. Under our new “Opportunities” tab at the top of our page we now have a link to:

  • Our 2017 Events on the farm this summer
  • Our 2017 Newsletter if you missed it
  • A Survey to help us get to know you, a chance for you to tell us what you’d like us to share or give to you via email and a request for information for those who don’t want to miss out on news from the farm.
  • An updated Volunteer Opportunities page if you’d like to get involved on the farm this year.

Check out the changes and let us know what you think! We really would love to hear from you.

Enjoy the Spring weather to come,

Katie

Delicious Pastured Pork

I can’t tell you how much I have appreciated having a freezer full of meat. It’s like having a convenience store right next door. It reduces stress about what to feed my family and it reduces the amount of trips I take to the grocery store. Time saving – yes!

Having a whole hog wrapped and ready has also increased the health factor in our meals. We have been able to choose how our meat is processed and what ingredients go into our food. It has also led to a few fun new recipes.

Yesterday we tried roasting a slab of side pork and boy was it delicious! side pork
Crispy, meaty, satisfying. Bacon, I’m never coming back. And now we have leftovers that I’m excited to try in an Asian stir fry tomorrow night. I’m not a big fan of cooking, but when I can produce results like this, it gets me excited!

The meat of pastured pigs is a different product than the conventional raised meat you would find in the grocery store. Here’s a little health information I found comparing wild boars (completely pasture raised) and conventionally raised animals (in a large barn with cement floors).

“Because pigs are monogastric animals (single stomach), they have the ability to convert vegetable and plant 18 carbon fatty acids (ALA) to the 20 and 22 carbon fatty acids (EPA and DHA) which reduce inflammation, reduce cardiovascular disease and promote good health for us all when we eat pork. Free ranging pork contains higher concentrations of these beneficial fatty acids than are found in their feed lot produced counterparts.”1

We continue to provide a non-GMO and soy free diet for our hogs as well as hay throughout the winter. They run and enjoy themselves by producing all sorts of havoc on our farm. Trust me, they’ve found lots of good forage as they’ve roamed past their boundaries this winter. Which leads me to make sure they don’t outgrow their welcome around here…

We still have a few half and whole hogs available for our spring butcher dates (March and April). $3 per pound hanging weight. Give us a call and we’ll tell you more: 218..927..1425.

You’ll definitely have to try this recipe with your next order!

Roasted Side Pork

  • Servings: 10-15
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

2-3 pound side pork
For Rub:
1 Tablespoon cracked peppercorns
1 Tablespoon salt (we use Real Salt brand)
1 Tablespoon granulated garlic
1 Tablespoon Chinese five spice powder, or spice of your choiceMix together rub ingredients. Rub generously and completely around the side pork slab. At this point, I recommend placing in the fridge for up to a day to let the seasoning do it’s work.
Once your slab has rested for a time (1 hour to 1 day), place the meat onto a “cooling rack” or other slotted roasting pan on top of a large baking sheet with the fattiest side up. Make sure there are raised sides on the baking sheet so the liquid fat does not drip into the oven. Roast at 325° F for 90 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145° F.  Cool slightly, slice and serve.

Cordain, Loren. http://thepaleodiet.com/bacon-anything-left-to-discuss/ June 16, 2014