Savoring the Seasons: Where's the (local) beef? (or local lamb or pork?)
By MARY MCCLINTOCK
Happy just-past-the-fall-equinox to everyone in the northern hemisphere and just-past-the-spring-equinox to those in the southern hemisphere, including my twin sister, Martha, who lives in Melbourne, Australia. As I’m busily stocking up on fall storage vegetables (winter squash, potatoes, onions, sweet potatoes and beets), Martha is figuring out when to plant tomatoes and other summer crops.
Sharing recipes for local, seasonal food with Martha can be a bit complicated. Actually, not so much complicated as “delayed.” In the midst of Martha’s winter and our summer, she sent me a recipe for a tasty way to prepare a lamb shoulder roast and roasted vegetables. It sounded great, and NOT something I wanted to cook during our summer heat. See Martha’s “chatty” version of a recipe below.
What are your favorite ways to prepare meat? Please send me recipes and I’ll share them in my column and with Martha.
I remembered Martha’s recipe recently when I got an email message from John and Carolyn Wheeler at Wheelview Farm in Shelburne. They said, “We have lots of beef on hand. Now is a good time for everyone to stock up. We also have some cuts of pork, including bacon, ham and pork sausage. See our website for details (www.wheelviewfarm.com). To pick up beef at the farm, please call ahead so we’ll be here, 413-625-2900.”
I’m on the email lists of a number of local farms along with Wheelview, including Kristin Nicholas’ Leyden Glen Lamb email list (www.leydenglenlamb.com) that includes great lamb recipes. I’ve been focused on stocking my freezer with fruits and vegetables, and now it’s time to plan what meat I want on hand this winter. Grass-fed lamb and beef are on the list, as well as the turkey I’ll order from Diemand Farm later in the fall.
We’re incredibly fortunate to have many local farms that produce grass-fed meat. Bostrom Farm in Greenfield (www.bostromfarm.com) produces grass-fed beef and pork. Check out Hager’s Farm Market on Route 2 in Shelburne (http://hagersfarmmarket.net) and Upinngil Farm Store in Gill (www.upinngil.com). Steady Lane Farm in Ashfield (www.steadylanefarm.com) and Foxbard Farm in Shelburne (www.foxbardfarm.com) also produce grass-fed beef. Check out CISA’s website, www.buylocalfood.org, to find more local meat producers.
This week we’re eating ...
Lamb Shoulder Roast with Vegetables
By Martha McClintock, Seddon VIC Australia
I am not fond of garlic these days, so I was trying to figure out a way to do a shoulder roast without garlic. It turned out very well, if I do say so myself. Basically, you saute a bunch of onions (I used leeks), slice a bunch of potatoes. While the lamb is roasting at high temp for 15 minutes, you put a layer of onions/leeks and a layer of potatoes in the bottom of the roasting dish, pour a quart of boiling stock over the potatoes/onions, put the high-temp-roasted lamb on top of it and then roast at 350 for 3 hours.
It turned out wonderfully, so now I am going to try it next time with celery/carrots/sweet potatoes. It was a 21∕2-pound boned shoulder roast, so a thin little thing unrolled. I put it unrolled on the mattress of potatoes/leeks-onion. I used chicken stock reduced cubes I made and froze, and reconstituted with water and brought to a boil. It ended up being about 21∕2 hours at 350, and the “lamb fat soaked” potatoes were stunningly tasty but not calorically advisable.
So, next time I decided I would do the same thing, but in two different pans: potatoes/sweet potatoes/leeks/carrots/celery/chicken stock in one baking dish, lamb on my flat roasting pan with little cut open top pan, with water in the bottom roasting pan, so lamb fat can drip away and get discarded rather than infusing potato mixture. I will do a bigger amount next time and freeze half.