Posts Tagged ‘meat’

Swiss Chard Roll

Holopchi are Ukrainian cabbage rolls. There are a variety of versions from different cultures, including different greens, different fillings, and different sauces. This recipe combines a few of those variations to make a CSA friendly version. Roll swiss chard leaves around a yummy filling and bake .

One variation, I’ll be using next time is called Lazy Holopchi – instead of carefully rolling the filling into the leaves, just chop up the leaves and mix it all together before baking. The rolls make a nice presentation, but the lazy version is much faster!


  • 3 cups cooked rice
  • 1 lb ground beef
  • 1/2 cup sliced leeks
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1 bunch of swiss chard
  • 1 cup broth
  • 1/2 cup tomato sauce

1.Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Meanwhile, sautee the ground beef and leeks until fully cooked. Stir the rice into the beef mixture.

Holopchi Filling

2. Spoon some of the rice mixture onto a swiss chard leaf. The amount of rice will vary depending on the size of the leaf, usually 1-3 TBSPs. Fold in the sides of the leaf, and then roll from one end to the other. Place the roll in a casserole dish. Repeat until all the rice mixture is gone, filling the casserole dish with layers of rolls.

Rolling Holopchi

3. Mix together the broth and tomato sauce and pour the mixture over the rolls.

Swiss Chard Rolls in Casserole Dish

4. Cover and bake at 350 for 1.5 hours, or until the liquid has evaporated. Serve hot!


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Sausage balls are always a favorite around our house, and the excellent flavor of this lamb sausage did not disappoint. We used the sausage balls for two meals: first, sausage balls served over a bed of greens with Greek yogurt dip, and the next night lamb meatballs over pasta with sauteed veggies. They also heat up nicely for breakfast! Enjoy!

Lamb Sausage Balls


  • 1 lb lamb sausage
  • 1/2 cup bread crumbs
  • 1 egg

Move the lamb sausage to the refrigerator to thaw the day before. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. In a bowl, beat the egg. Add bread crumbs. You can use store bought bread crumbs, or mash crackers to make the crumbs. Add sausage and mix all the ingredients with a spoon until evenly blended. Roll sausage mixture into 15 balls and put in a roasting pan or baking sheet. Roast balls for 20 – 25 minutes at 400 degrees.


Greek Yogurt Dip


  • 3/4 cup greek yogurt
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh cilantro (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 TBSP chopped fresh mint (or 1 tsp dried)
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp lemon juice

Blend ingredients and chill for 30 minutes to allow the flavors to blend.

Don’t forget to try the lamb meatballs over your favorite pasta, as well. With a side salad, of course!

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Kohlrabi with Bacon

Adapted from a recipe courtesy of Criss Roberts from the cookbook “Edible”

makes 4 servings

  • 2 Tbsp unsalted butter
  • 1 Tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 4 kohlrabi bulbs (about 2.5 lbs), outer rind removed, cut into 1/2 in. cubes
  • 2 cloves garlic, very finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 2 slices pork bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)
  • 1/4 cup sour cream
In a large saute pan, heat the butter and oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, for about 2 minutes. Stir in the kohlrabi and cook, stirring occasionally, until lightly browned, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 1minute. Add the chicken broth, salt, and pepper. Increase the heat to medium high and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kohlrabi is tender an the broth has been absorbed, 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in the bacon, if using. Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. Serve hot, with sour cream on the side.

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White Beans and Jowls

My family loves this savory rustic dish, and I love the healthy meats from the CSA. Throw in a slow cooker and you’ve got a very easy meal that takes full advantage of this flavorful meat. I’ve made a similar dish using canned beans just cooked in a pot on the stove until the meat is done. But this method, using dried beans in a crock pot means less preservatives, less expense, and dinner waiting for you at the end of the day.


  • 1 lb dried white beans (northern, navy, or cannellini)
  • 1 pound jowls (thawed)
  • 6 cups water/broth
  • 1 TBSP minced garlic
  • 2 TBSP maple syrup
  • 1 diced onion or leek
  • salt & pepper to taste

In the morning, rinse and sort the beans. Add all of the ingredients to the crock pot and stir. Set the crock pot to low for 6 hours. That’s it!  Serve with cornbread and a salad.

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I was a little intimidated by the whole chickens when I first joined the CSA. I usually only cook a whole bird on holidays. So I read a lot of recipes to try to find out what’s really important, but also how I could keep it simple. Now, I use this simplified version of Julia Child’s roast chicken from Mastering the Art of French Cooking. Most good recipes, including this recipe will have you wash and thoroughly dry the bird before seasoning, and will start the roasting with a high temperature and then lower it. This recipe isn’t difficult, but it does require you to stay close by to frequently rotate and baste the chicken. The results are worth it. We enjoy slicing and eating the chicken right out of the oven, but we also often pull the meat off the bones and save it in a pyrex dish so that it can be used for several meals during the week.

And since you’re already working hard, take it a step farther and make chicken stock from the bones. You’ll fill your freezer with tons of chicken stock that is rich and practically free (if you were just throwing the bones away before). This method is very simple, and you don’t have to have any special canning skills or equipment.

Roast Chicken

time: approximately 1 hour and 20-30 minutes


  • 3-4 lb chicken
  • 4 TBSP butter
  • salt
  • 1 TBSP olive oil

A 3-4 lb chicken will take about 24 hours to defrost, so plan ahead!

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.

Wash the bird. Rinse the inside of the cavity and the outside with water. Dry the bird thoroughly. I used to dry with paper towels, but a tea towel is more effective – just be sure to put it straight in the washing machine!

Smear 1 TBSP butter inside the cavity and then salt the inside. It helps to put the salt in a dish before you start, then you can scoop it up by hand and rub it in.

Next put the chicken in a roasting pan, breast side up. Julia would have you truss the chicken now, but I just tie the legs together with cotton yarn. This stabilizes the bird which is helpful when you’re turning it inside the oven.

Smear the remaining butter all over the skin.

Melt 2 TBSP butter and add 1 TBSP oil. You’ll use this for basting about 8-10 times while the chicken is roasting, so use a small amount each time. If you don’t have a basting brush, try putting the oil in a gravy boat and pouring it over the bird.

Put the chicken in the oven and brown for 20 minutes. You’ll be checking on the chicken at regular intervals, and I think it helps to set a timer for each time period so that you don’t forget. After 20 minutes, use tongs to turn the chicken to the left side. This can be tricky, and I usually end up leaning it against the side of the pan. Baste the chicken with some of the oil. Let brown for 5 minutes.

After 5 minutes, turn to the right side, baste with oil, let brown for 5 more minutes.

Then baste, and reduce the heat to 350 degrees. Leave the chicken on its side for 15 minutes, basting once half way through.

After 15 minutes, baste again and rotate to the left side. Leave the chicken on its left side for 15 minutes, basting once half way through.

After 15 minutes, baste and turn to breast side up. Continue basting every 8 minutes until done, about 30 more minutes.

The chicken is finished with the juices run clear yellow. The skin should be crisp and brown, and the legs will be loose in their sockets. Let it sit at room temperature for 10 minutes before carving.

Chicken Stock

You can do this in the evening after your roast chicken dinner, or save it for the next day. Making the stock is easy, but it will take several (passive) hours, so give yourself plenty of time. You’ll need a large pot, a strainer of some sort, and a bunch of ziplock bags.


  • chicken carcass
  • water

After you’ve removed all the meat from the bones, add the chicken carcass to a large pot. Fill the pot with water. You may want to add vegetables and other seasonings. Feel free! I keep it simple so that the stock will fit with a variety of recipes, and also its just faster and easier.

Bring the water to a boil, then cover the pot with a lid and simmer for 45 minutes. After 45 minutes, remove the pot from the heat and allow to cool. We’ll be storing the stock in sandwich bags so you want to be sure the soup is cool enough that it won’t melt the bag. It can take a few hours for the stock to cool.

Once the stock is room temperature, grab a handful of sandwich bags and start filling. I put the bag in a large mug or small bowl (the mug below is bigger than your usual coffee mug), put the strainer on top, holding the bag in place, and our about 1.5 cups of stock per bag. You can store 1 cup or 2 cups per bag, whatever you prefer, so it will be pre-measured when you thaw it for cooking later.

When you fill each bag, close it and try to remove as much of the air as you can. Then lay the bag flat inside a casserole dish. Repeat until you’ve used up all the stock.

Put the dish ful of bags of stock in the freezer. Once they are frozen, you can remove them from the casserole dish. Freezing them flat will make them easier to store in the freezer so they take up less room. When you’re ready to use the broth, either move it to the fridge to thaw, or just run it under warm water and cut the bag off the frozen broth. Do not microwave the bag!


I ended up with about 16 bags of 1.5-2 cups each. I’ll be using this stock for several months!

It’s a full day of cooking, but I’ve ended up with a fridge and freezer stocked with flavorful meat and broth!

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This Kale and White Bean Soup is extra yummy and versatile. During the summer we used zuchinni instead of  green pepper and bratswurst from the CSA instead of pork. Feel free to vary it to use what you have. I’ve included instructions for making it on the stove or in the crockpot.


  • 1 lb pork kabob meat (or bratwurst, or roast chicken)
  • 2TBSP oil
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1 leek
  • 2 cans of white beans or 3 cups prepared dried beans (I used cannellini)
  • 1 can of diced tomatoes, or 2 freshly diced tomatoes
  • large bunch of Kale
  • 1 green pepper (or zuchinni or carrots)
  • 2 cups broth
  • 2 cups water

Remember to move your meat from the freezer to the refrigerator the night before. Chop the thawed meat into small bite size pieces. Cook on the stove top and set aside.

Chop the white part of the leek, and sautee it with the garlic in the oil until tender. If you’re going to cook your soup on the stove, sautee right in your pot. For a crock pot, you can use any pan, then transfer the garlic and leeks to the crock pot set on low.

Remove the stems from the kale, and add the leaves to the pot.

Chop the leek tops and add to the pot.

Add beans, diced tomatoes, cooked meat, chopped green pepper, broth, and water to the soup.

If on the stove: Bring to a boil, then lower the heat and cover with a lid. Simmer for 20 minutes and serve hot.

Crock pot: Cook on low for 3-4 hours.

This soup was a hit at our house. Your results may vary. 🙂



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Today we processed about 150 chickens, and I am cooking chicken for dinner! So needless to say, I have been thinking a  LOT about chickens today :). I decided to share one of our favorite ways to cook our chicken.

With pastured poultry, you have to be a little more careful about overcooking and making it dry and tough. We do not pump it up with a bunch of water that helps make it tender when it is cooked. Ours is also more muscular because they have more room to walk around and enjoy the bugs and grass.


  • 1 whole chicken
  • 1 stick of butter – softened to room temp.
  • Herbs – anything you may have in your garden, or your favorites
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Garlic- if using fresh, chop very fine
  • Onion – if using fresh, chop very fine
Finely chop your herbs, garlic, and onion and put into butter, add salt and pepper. (I just toss a little bit of everything in there). Then you take your butter rub, and rub it between the skin and meat, be careful not to rip it as much as possible. Rub it in the inside of the carcass. Place chicken in a pan and bake at 250* for about 4-5 hours (depending on size of bird)I just recently discovered the instant read thermometer, and it has completely changed my chicken cooking life! When you are always cutting open the bird to check if done, all those yummy juices are escaping, making a much drier bird.

If you would rather grill the chicken instead of baking it. Just do the same as the above except spatchcock the chicken first. Here is a visual. Then after you spatchcock, you can put the butter rub on the chicken and put on your grill. You want to cook on one side, then flip over and let it cook until completely done on the other side because the more you flip, the more you will lose all those juices that come to the top of the bird. I like to save a little bit of the butter to rub over it after it is cooked. My grilling book says to cook 12-15 min on each side, but I have never had my chicken cook that quick, more like an hour or so. Once you take it off the grill, be sure to let it sit a bit to rest and let those juices sink back into the bird.

Also, if you would like to just be able to cut up the chicken into pieces for your favorite recipes, here is a good link by Daniel Salatin.

Hope you enjoy your chicken!!

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