Lamb Feast

One of the best aspects of selling meat like we do is getting feedback from customers. We hear all sorts of cool stories about where our meat has been cooked: bbq’s in the Sierras, taken all the way back to Indiana, one family even packed up their freezer full of our meat and moved it with them back to Virginia. However, I got to say that the following email is probably the best written feedback we have ever gotten. Feel free to top it if you want.

Nick came out to the ranch and bought a lamb for his graduation party and this is what he reported back to us (you won’t want to miss the photos):

Hey guys,

I wanted to thank you again for all the great meat and let you know how the party turned out. The party was a smash with around 70 people in attendance.  I was first worried that we wouldnt have enough food, then that we would have too much food, but as it turns out we were right where we needed to be.

The two chickens went into the smoker for around 2 ½ hours.  Turned out moist and flavorful. Apparently everyone liked them because there wasnt a scrap of skin left on the tray.

The lamb was butterflied and roasted over a bed of almond wood coals. Before setting the lamb over the coals it was given a liberal coating of olive oil (infused with fresh herbs and spices) and a good dose of sea salt.  The lamb (aptly named Lanolin) roasted for around three hours and perfumed my backyard with the unmistakable smell of a lamb that had lived a happy life.  Lanolin came off the fire to rest and then I got the chance to dive in with the carving.  The meat practically peeled off the bone as I worked through the animal! I boned out the rear legs and had some choice slices of meat as a result.  The backstraps were beautiful and tender. The loins packed in a ton of flavor while they melted in your mouth. It was incredible how much meat Lanolin produced.  Almost as incredible as how much meat everyone went through!

We had many Greek inspired accompaniments for the main meal from pastitisio to various salads.  We also prepared about 10 lbs of pork loin.  I wanted to harness as much as I could out of the lamb so I prepared a lamb liver pate. Lanolin was packing close to a 1.5 lb liver!  The pate came out pretty good if I do say so myself.  We also roasted the kidneys and heart.  Havent had time to get into the oysters just yetand saving the head for a special occasion!

All in all the party was a success and the food was delicious.  Thank you guys so much for adding to the amazing experience.  The excitement of getting to work the lambs added to the whole experience for me and gave me a great story to tell as we cooked, ate, and drank the weekend away.  Here are some photos of the event for your enjoyment (there was a Spartacus theme).

Thanks again and cant wait to make it back out to the ranch!

He wasn't joking about the Spartacus theme.

Hey Nick, you might be having too much fun in that outfit.

Ok, this shot makes me officially hungry. Anyone else?


Advertisements

The Turkeys are here

This blog has been rather silent over the past couple of weeks. It is a sad truth in ranching life, that tending to a blog ranks way below tending to living creatures. Over the past few weeks, much has happened. We have processed our first chickens of the year, I have created my new website (theforagers.com – an upcoming post in and of itself), and most pertinent to this post, turkeys.

I have raised a few turkeys over the years, but this is my first big push into turkey production. I had so many people call last year around Thanksgiving that I just couldn’t not raise some turkeys this year. Plus as a bonus for our CSA members, we will to offer these turkeys at a substantial discount. It pays to be a member – err, which ad did I steal that slogan from?

You will see the poults (baby turkeys) in the brooder in this video and they will stay there for the next 2-3 weeks depending on the weather. They are a little slower to hit the pasture than chickens, but once out there, they are going to be grass eating machines. Rather than run these guys in coops like I do the chickens, these turkeys will be contained only by a portable fence to keep them in and predators out. I will have a portable roost in the center of the pen and the whole combo will be moved often to a new area. It will be an adventure for sure.

If you want to pre-order a turkey, head over to The Foragers.

Introducing the Barbarosa Barbarians

A couple of weeks ago, I went to my favorite local goat dairy, North Valley Chevre, and picked up 20 young castrated males, aka wethers.

This is a great arrangement that we are testing out this year. It is great for the dairy because most dairies either euthanize their males at birth or sell them at a day or two of age. These sorts of practices don’t allow for a conscientious animal husbandry program and Deneane, the maestro of the dairy, wants the absolute best for her animals. So she cast around for someone who wanted to raise her wethers from weaning up to harvest.  It wasn’t hard to find me. I have been eating and enjoying their cheese for a couple of years now and when Deneane offered me some of her wethers, I said “yes!”

This is a great deal for me because I have acres and acres of feed that nothing but goats really enjoy, but I have very little desire to maintain a breeding goat herd. Nor do I want to just get any ol’ wethers from the auction yard. If I am going to raise goats, I want the very best genetics I can get from the very best breeder I know. And it just so happens that I found a breeder who fit all of my requirements.

So we worked out our deal, and I loaded up the goats in the stock trailer and brought them to their new home. They are still figuring out this new lifestyle I am offering them, but they are settling in fast and having fun. Check out this video of them doing what goats do best – brushing.