Brisket Take 2

A family member ran the Boston Marathon, and we prepared a feast for him the next day. We had smoked brisket, potatoes au gratin, kale salad, and pickled beets. We encourage our toddler to help in the kitchen as often as possible, and here she is patting down the spice rub.

brisket rub
Toddler uses hands to pat down a dry rub of paprika, granulated onion & garlic, brown sugar onto a brisket

Grass-fed Road Food

On assignment last month, I visited a diner in Hudson, NY that is worth a stop on any road trip through the area. Grazin’ is Animal Welfare Approved and sources all of its meat, dairy, and as much fruit and veg as possible, from local & AWA-certified farms – usually no more than 12 miles away. The hamburgers are juicy and fresh, and the milkshakes are out of this world. See Peter Barrett’s story in the December Chronogram for more.

Grazin Diner Hudson NY photographed by Jennifer May

Post-Thanksgiving

We did a very simple Thanksgiving: A beautiful heritage turkey from Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats, wrapped in a butter-and-stock-drenched cheesecloth, from a recipe by Michael Symon, served to guests who traveled from afar. We rented a table to fit everyone and to cover that table I bought a 10′ length of burlap. Today I will reuse that burlap in the garden to wrap a honeysuckle bush a buck has been using as a scratching post for his antlers.

Burlap covered dining table - thematic, pretty, inexpensive, and will be re-purposed in the winter garden.

As for the turkey – I can’t imagine ever going back to basting or brining. Chef Symon’s recipe made for the most luscious flesh & crispy skinned bird we have ever cooked. For my own reference next year, his recipe is below.

Our heritage bird was 16 pounds, and we cooked it at 350 for almost 3 hours, which brought the internal temp to 190, which should have been a disaster. But, it was perfect.

Chef Michael Symon’s Roast Turkey

  • 1-12# fresh organic turkey
  • 1 bunch thyme
  • 1 halved lemon
  • 1 halved red onion
  • 4 cloves peeled garlic
  • 1 bulb quartered fennel
  • 1 large piece of cheesecloth
  • 1 # butter
  • 4 cups chicken stock
  • 2 tbl salt

Remove innards from turkey and rinse inside and out. Place all veg, herbs, stock and butter in large pot and bring to simmer. Place cheesecloth in pot and simmer for 20 minutes. Strain liquid and reserve vegetables and herbs and let them cool.  Stuff cooled vegetable mix in cavity of bird and place on roasting rack in pan breast side up.  Cover bird with soaked cheesecloth and place liquid in bottom of pan and place in 350 degree oven for 2 hours.  Open oven and remove cheesecloth and baste with liquid.  Raise temperature to 400 and continue to cook for 20 minutes or until golden brown. Remove turkey from oven and make sure leg and thigh are at 160 internal temperature.  Let rest for 30 minutes and serve.

More Thanksgiving recipes from Chef Symon here.

 

The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat

I am excited to announce the publication of The Butcher’s Guide to Well-Raised Meat (Clarkson Potter). Written by Alexandra Zissu and Josh & Jessica Applestone of Fleisher’s Grass-fed & Organic Meats in Kingston, NY – and featuring 125 color and black & white photographs by me – the book is part guide, memoir, manifesto, reference and cookbook. The official publication date is June 6, 2011, but here are some previews from my advance copy:

The cover.

A selection of fats.

Joshua Applestone, Fleisher's Grassfed Meat, Cookbook, butcher, photos by Jennifer May

Dry rub on a chicken

Pastured steer on a farm in the Hudson Valley.

Joshua Applestone, Fleisher's Grassfed Meat, Cookbook, butcher, photos by Jennifer May

A pastured pig on a small farm in the Hudson Valley.

Joshua Applestone, Fleisher's Grassfed Meat, Cookbook, butcher, photos by Jennifer May

Josh in the Fleisher’s meat locker.

Joshua Applestone, Fleisher's Grassfed Meat, Cookbook, butcher, photos by Jennifer May

Detail of a two page graph showing the best ways to cook offal.

 

Fleisher’s Cookbook

Been spending time in the meat locker and crawling around the cutting room floor at Fleisher’s, working on pictures for their upcoming book, to be published by Clarkson Potter.

Fleisher's grass-fed and organic meats cookbook
Sausage grinding plates

Butchers with Style

Two of my favorite people, Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura, have finished their internship programs at Fleisher’s and are moving to Los Angeles to open their own sustainable butcher shop. In the next few weeks they are signing the lease on their building, getting married legally in Connecticut, driving across the country, having a wedding ceremony on the west coast, and opening their new shop, Lindy & Grundy’s Meats. I will miss them, but it is California’s gain.

Check out Amy Scattergood’s post on the LA Weekly blog (with more photos of Erika & Amelia).

Amelia Posada and Erika Nakamura of Lindy & Grundy's photo by Jennifer May

Elephant Wine & Tapas Bar

The Elephant Wine & Tapas Bar, in Kingston, NY, is located directly across the street from Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats. This is convenient as that is where chef Rich Reeve sources much of the meat on his menu. He buys the inexpensive cuts and turns them into adventurous tapas dishes. The menu changes regularly, but one night’s offering included beef heart tacos, lamb sliders, “porchetta” roulade, Basque style bbq lamb ribs, and crispy blood sausage. I spent an evening speaking to and photographing chef Reeve and will make a complete post later, but for now, one of my favorite dishes of the evening, bone marrow:

bone marrow as cooked at the Elephant Wine and Tapas Bar in Kingston NY

North Winds Farm

Obviously, I don’t shy away from meat. But like so many others, I was a strict vegetarian for almost a decade. Luckily, there are now sources to buy meat that comes from well cared for animals that lived decent lives. On a recent shoot with farmer Richard Biezynski at North Winds Farm near Tivoli, NY, he told me if he hadn’t become a farmer, he would have been a vet. On season, you will often find me visiting his booth at the Woodstock Farmers’ Market.

Farmer Richard Biezynski and his son, Russell, at Northwind Farms, where they raise pigs
Food stories in New York's Hudson Valley and beyond from photographer Jennifer May