I LOVE fried round steak and have my whole life! It is one of those simple, old-fashioned, hardy, delicious country comfort foods that makes me feel good all over! Ever hear of country fried steak or chicken fried steak? This is their Kwik-n-EZ Kiss'n cousin. Guess what? I have been bringing this culinary gem to the markets and not making alot of noise about it.
The key is to use Old Time 100% Grass-fed round steak that has been mechanically tenderized (aka cube steak), coat it with flour and fry it in Old Time 100% Grass-fed tallow, butter or your favorite cooking oil until browned. Make some pan gravy to put over baked, fried, boiled or mashed potatoes, rice or quinoa with some beans or corn on the side and dinner is served!
Cut the Old Time 100% Grass-fed tenderized round steak into portion size pieces (about the size of an I-phone 7 in our house). Put 1/4 to 1/2 cup of flour in a baggie or bowl and add the round steak one piece at a time and coat with the flour. I added about 1/4 tsp salt and 1/4 tsp garlic powder to the flour (you can add your seasoning of choice). Get your pan nice and hot and add the tallow, butter or oil and then the pieces of steak. When you see the liquid start to pool on the top of the meat and the sides of the meat start to look lighter in color, it is time to flip it. Cook until browned or to the desired temperature on a meat thermometer.
To make a pan gravy from the drippings, add 2 tablespoons of butter or tallow to the pan over medium heat. When the fat is melted, add 2 tablespoons of the left over seasoned flour and cook flour until slightly browned (a few minutes or so). Get ready with a whisk and slowly add about 1 1/2 cups of beef broth, water or milk while whisking. The more you whisk and are consistent in adding your liquid, the least amount of lumps you are likely to get. If the gravy is too thick, you can add a little more liquid, if too thin, let it reduce down by simmering a little bit.
It does not get much better than this for me.
Delicious meals do not need elaborate prep or exotic ingredients. The K.I.S.S. (Keep it simple, stupid) principle applied to high quality, seasonal ingredients, like Old Time 100% Grass-fed beef, pasture-raised heritage chicken & turkey, yields simple, delicious, nutritious results. No fancy seasonings, no need to buy a special ingredient you are unlikely to use for anything else ... just simply KISS!
KISS meal ideas:
Sliced Sirloin with Mushrooms Steak Sandwiches
2 Tbsp Old Time beef tallow or butter
Sliced Mushrooms (I used 1/2 box Crawford County Fungi oyster mushrooms)
1 package Old Time sliced sirloin
Salt, pepper and garlic powder to taste (can use minced or sliced garlic as well)
Bread and condiments of choice.
Melt butter or tallow in skillet and sauté mushrooms until slightly browned. Remove mushrooms from skillet. Make sure skillet is really hot but not smoking (water sizzles when sprinkled on it) & add sirloin to skillet. Cook Sirloin until moisture starts to accumulate on the top then flip to finish cooking. If you want melted cheese on the top, place the mushrooms on the top of the sirloin right after flipping, add cheese turn off the heat & cover until cheese is melted.
I used swiss cheese, Mediterra bread & Harmony Grove Lollo lettuce.
Variations: Marinate the sirloin in Italian salad dressing vs using salt & pepper. Slice the sirloin in strips so it is easy to sauté and leftovers will be ready for salads, fried rice or other meals. Make a salad intend or the sandwich.
This Kwik-n-EZ one-pot recipe is inspired a Greek-Style Stuffed Pepper recipe shared by my sister-in-law (and master cooker extraordinaire), Andrea, I do not have time to mess with the stuffing, baking & waiting an hour for it to be done as we need to get the meal on the table to move onto the next project on the farm - I am sure your busy family is the same.
Greek Unstuffed Pepper
1 lb Old Time 100% Grass-fed Ground Beef
2 tbsp Old Time 100% Grass-fed Beef Tallow or oil of choice (more if needed when sautéing veggies)
1 small onion chopped
3 bell peppers sliced or rough chopped
1 gallon baggie of spinach - rough chopped (or use chopped kale or swiss chard. I used foraged lambs quarters)
1 medium zucchini - shredded or rough chopped
2 large tomatoes rough chopped or 1 pint of cherry tomatoes cut in half
1 - 14 oz (approx) can stewed or canned tomatoes (I used a jar of Who Cooks for You Farm "tomato soup". You could also use 2 more fresh tomatoes but may need to add some water,)
2 cups of cooked rice (**optional)
1/2 tsp dried oregano (1 1/2 tsp fresh)
1/2 tsp kosher or sea salt or to taste
a sprinkle of black pepper to taste
Feta cheese (I used Goat Rodeo Chickabiddy)
Brown & crumble the ground beef in the tallow (or oil). Add the onion and pepper chunks and cook until almost soft. Add spinach & zucchini cook slightly (if using Kale, cook to soften a bit before adding other ingredients). Add rice (optional) tomatoes, canned tomatoes, oregano, salt & pepper. Bring to a simmer and cover. Simmer for about 15 mins to allow the flavors to meld together.
Serve "as is" and top with a sprinkle of feta cheese or serve over baked or mashed potato or quinoa.
Meals on the farm need to be "in-season", nutritious, hearty, quick & easy without a long list of exotic ingredients. Well raised meats and well grown, in-season, local foods do not need the "help" of exotic ingredients to taste good nor do they need elaborate prep to be nutritious "good eats"!
We generally do not eat dinner until well after dark and, by then, the last thing I want to do is to cook a multi-step meal with alot of prep and pans. We are too far out in the boondocks to get pizza delivered (good thing!) and so old-fashioned country cooking and simple one pot meals, like the "Unstuffed Cabbage Roll", are the standbys I fall back on. I have a few more to share as well.
Right now, we have multiple freezers recently stocked with beef and will need to make room for more beeves that need to be harvested as well as chickens and pork - so beef has been our go-to protein.
I made the version above with Who Cooks For You canned heirloom tomatoes, onion and cabbage. I love their tomato sauce in it as well!
Unstuffed Cabbage Roll
1 pound of Old Time ground beef
1 medium onion, chopped
1/2 head of cabbage, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 (14.5 oz) can diced tomatoes or 1 lb of tomatoes chopped
1 (8 oz) tomato sauce
salt & pepper to taste (about 1 tsp of salt & 1/2 tsp of pepper)
1 cup rice (optional)
Heat large skillet (best if it has a lid) & cook ground beef & onion until beef is brown & crumbly. Add garlic, cabbage, tomatoes, tomato sauce, salt & pepper and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until cabbage is tender (about 20-30 mins).
You can serve over rice or potatoes or alone. I make another version where I add rice.
Let me know if you have a stuffed cabbage roll recipe or favorite quick & easy one pot recipe using Old Time meats. I have another recipe for cabbage rolls that includes cream in the sauce.
This is an excellent recipe from my sister-in-law, Andrea. She is the most incredible cook! Ray's family gathers on Christmas Eve to celebrate the holidays and this was one of the delicious soups she made one year. The flavor of the mushrooms shine through.
Use the bones from your Old Time heritage chicken to create the broth click here for broth recipe. I would use the Oyster mushrooms from Crawford County Fungi instead of the mix to keep it local.
Andrea's Mushroom Soup
2 lg. shallots – sauté in butter (could use onions)
1.5 lb. mixed mushrooms (bella, oyster, shitake) added to onion and cook down
3 T. flour to make rue - cook until slightly browned (Andrea uses cornstarch in ½ c. cold milk instead and adds it at the end)
4 C. low sodium chicken broth mixed in and bring to a gentle boil
3/4 c. heavy cream added and gently simmer (add cornstarch/milk here).
I would simmer for about 15-20 minutes so the flavors can meld together.
Salt to taste.
Bummer on the lack of pictures again - the strata I had at market on Saturday was a real beauty!
Strata is one of those recipes that I use to clean out the refrigerator and use old bread. It is also a go-to recipe when eggs are plentiful in the spring. I make so many variations of it and pretty much tweak it to what I have on hand and what kinda "goes together". I used our Old Time Heritage Turkey Eggs which are about 1-1/2 eggs per each chicken egg called for in a recipe.
The strata I had at market on Saturday was made with Who Cooks For You Farm's amazing pork sausage, a bag of Sturges Orchard's baby kale, garlic scapes from Normand Homestead (at the Grove City market), and rustic Italian bread from Mediterra Bakehouse. I used a little Parmesan cheese on the top grated by our local market, but Goat Rodeo's stampede would have taken this strata from amazing to incredible!
Remember to use good quality ingredients and the results will reward you!
Sausage, Kale & Garlic Scape Strata
Add the kale & garlic scapes and a little sprinkle of salt. I added a little avocado oil because the sausage was lean but you could add olive or other cooking oil if needed to sauté the kale. I also add a little water, cover the skillet & turned the heat down to a simmer to soften the kale.
While kale is cooking, grease a 13x9 pan, cut the bread into 1 inch cubes and put the cubes in the baking dish - it should come up about 1/2 way in the baking dish and cover the bottom.
Add the kale, scapes and sausage mix to the bread and try to distribute it evenly.
Whisk the eggs and milk together with a sprinkle of salt and pour over the bread, sausage, scapes & kale (if the egg milk mixture does not coat the bread, you can mix 1 egg to 1/2 cup milk to add more moisture). Let stand for about 10 minutes for the egg mixture to soak into the bread.
Sprinkle with cheese and bake in a 350 degree pre-heated oven for about 30 minutes or until browned and a knife inserted into the center comes out "clean".
For a meatless mix, you can change out the sausage for mushrooms.
You can exchange the kale for nettles, spinach or chard (I have even used broccoli). You can change out the meats to bacon, smoked meats, smoked sausage, ground beef, ground turkey, hot dogs, what ever you have and would go together in a meal with the bread and veggie.
Let me know if you have any questions and enjoy!
I am so sorry to say that I have no picture of the Lazy Dazy Cake I had at market Saturday! Those of you who tasted or purchased it probably have the lingering after effects of the overwhelming gastronomical goodness seared into your soul, but that does not help those who were less fortunate (like my husband!). I do have to remember to get a picture before we eat or sell out of something I want to blog about - even if my photography and plating skills are seriously lacking!!! I found a really nice, well displayed picture of my favorite cake of all time here, so those of you who did not see or taste it can get an idea of how amazing this cake looks and then know that it is even MORE amazing in your mouth!
Lazy Dazy (Daisy) Cake was one of my Great-Grandma's "go-to" recipes and was one I made sure I added to the recipe journal she gave me. It is a simple classic "milk" cake with warmed milk as an ingredient in the cake. I find it similar to a coffee cake or a mix between a sponge and pound cake - you cannot find this flavor or texture in a cake out of a box!! This It is excellent alone or with berries (strawberries, YUM!) and it is exquisite with the broiled coconut topping added to the top! It is a simple and quick cake to make and I do not find it any harder to make than a box cake and I know exactly what went into it!
The history I could find on the Lazy Dazy Cake is fairly limited online. I found references to the early 1900's without the topping then the topping being added in the 1930's or 1940's. Most of the recipes are similar with a little more or less butter, vanilla, salt or milk used with the exception of one on an advertisement for Birds Baking Powder from the 1950's being completely different.
Cakes used to all be made from scratch with ingredients sourced locally from farms, mills, and merchants - boxed cake mixes did not become popular until after WWII. I remember my Grandma telling me of a friend whose husband refused to let her make a box cake - after tasting this Lazy Dazy you will know why!
I like to source good quality, grass-fed butter and whole (full fat) cream-line milk like that from Hartzler Family Dairy - I buy mine at the Meadville Market House but the East End Co-op, Frankferd Farms or Whole Foods are options. Old Time eggs are from free-range, pasture-raised hens that are supplemented with a custom, nutrient dense, non-GMO feed. I do not use bleached flour and try to source good quality, local flour like is milled at Frankferd Farms or Weatherbury Farm. I only use pure cane sugar (minimally processed is better, IMHO) and I use only pure vanilla extract, not imitation. Nutrient density (nutritional quality) is possible in sweets by using good quality, wholesome ingredients!! (say that 3 times!) I do not mean quantity of energy or calories by "nutrient density" but the richness of vitamins, minerals and other essential nutrients included in a food. Sweets, like most foods, should be consumed in moderation but it makes one feel less guilty to know that there are actual whole foods, with names I can pronounce, or "good things" that my body needs in the deliciousness tantalizing my tastebuds!
Grandma Ruth's Lazy Dazy Cake
2 cups sugar
1/4 teaspoon salt
2 cups flour
2 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon vanilla
Bring to a boil then mix with the mixture from above:
1 cup milk
2 teaspoons butter
Place in a greased 13x9 baking dish and bake in a 350 degree (pre-heated) oven for 30 minutes or until a toothpick inserted in the center comes out "clean".
1 stick or 8 tablespoons of butter
1 cup brown sugar
4 tablespoons milk or cream
1 cup coconut
(Optional to add 1/2 cup nuts)
Bring first 3 ingredients to a boil and add coconut when all the sugar is melted and the mix is hot. Spread over hot cake and place cake under broiler in the oven for about 4 minutes or until the coconut is starting to brown and the topping is beginning to caramelize.
Let me know if you have any questions! Enjoy!!
Spring equals eggs are "in season" from our old fashioned poultry. Our hens follow their instincts to reproduce in nature's rhythm! Old Time Farm does not use lights to force our hens to lay eggs out of their natural cycle, so, as the days become longer, the Chanty and Turkey Girlz kick into production without regard to market availability or that consumers are accustomed to 365 access to what was a seasonal "protein" in yesteryear. Add to that our Chantecler and Standard Bronze tendency to go "broody", or want to sit on eggs to hatch vs lay eggs when the weather warms, means even more seasonality to the production.
This seasonal aspect is one of the biggest challenges we face with bringing products from our heritage breeds to market. How do I explain to people that we will not have eggs 365 days a year like farms using chickens selected for maximum production in minimum time on minimum input, and what in the world do I do with all the eggs produced during the peak egg season (February through April) when the Farmers' Markets are not open? We hatch chicks for future generations and ship "hatching eggs" to farmers/homesteaders on certain days of the week and obtained licensure of our kitchen from the state so we can use the extra eggs from other days in finished product at our markets! Eggs can also be shelled, beaten and frozen for use out of season. Before refrigeration, there were many ways used to store eggs for off-season use from storing in sawdust or sand to coating with a fat and storing in a cool location. Thankfully, we have refrigeration today.
I digressed to "talking turkey" so back to Bread Pudding! This week, I brought one of our most beloved recipes to market and I promised to share the recipe and how to make it ... Bread pudding with Rhubarb. When the eggs are plentiful, we make many egg recipes including bread pudding (sweet) and strata (savory) as well as rice pudding. My Great Grandma made bread pudding to use up stale bread and it was always a treat! Adding the rhubarb was a twist I added while experimenting - the sweet and sour play perfectly off each other. I encourage you to look at this as a "base recipe" and experiment with the sweet and savory aspect, using different breads and a variety of fruits, nuts and seasonings.
Bread Pudding with Rhubarb
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a 13x9" baking dish (if 13x9 is too much for you, cut the recipe in 1/2 and make a smaller amount or share with a friend or neighbor)
Cut the bread into cubes (no need to be precise) and spread out into baking dish.
Cut the rhubarb and sprinkle evenly in baking dish with bread.
Whisk the eggs, add the sugar, milk and vanilla & whisk some more to mix together.
Pour the egg, milk, sugar, vanilla mix over the bread/rhubarb mix and gently submerge any floating bread to make sure it is completely coated with the egg mixture.
Let stand for about 10 minutes so the bread can absorb the egg mixture then bake at 350 for about 40 minutes or until a knife or pick comes out "clean" when inserted into the center of the pan.
Eat warm with cream, whipped cream or ice cream or cold.
Do not be afraid to experiment with adding fruits like cranberries, blueberries, strawberries, raisins, craisins or changing the exact to almond, orange or anything else that suits your fancy. You can add nutmeg or cinnamon for a different flavor as well. Try making a baked French toast with whole slices of bread or removing the sugar and adding meat and a veggie for a savory option like our Nettle and Turkey Egg Strata.
Let me know what variations you come up with! Our ancestors had many variations of bread pudding and custards as all food in the house was precious and this was a wonderful way to use up the seasonal abundance of eggs and stale bread!
I will try to add a picture soon - I forgot to take a picture and we sold out of the bread pudding at market! Picture posted!!
Homemade taco seasoning is the perfect base for your Cinco de Mayo celebration! You know exactly what the ingredients are and no running to the store to buy a single use package of seasoning! Old Time ground beef or a chuck roast combined with the taco seasoning below - Qué Delicioso!
1 tablespoon chili powder (see below for recipes)
1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
1/4 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1/4 teaspoon dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon sea salt (or kosher salt)
1 teaspoon black pepper (optional - adds heat)
Mix all ingredients and use with one pound of Old Time ground beef, chicken or turkey (or store in an airtight container for later use). I add to the ground beef when browning it or to the chicken & turkey when being sautéed or with shredded leftovers before reheating.
Learning your ingredients allows you to tweak the flavors for your taste as well as substituting ingredients in your pantry for those that you may not have on hand when you wish to make a dish. Often, you can replace the garlic and onion powders with fresh onion and garlic. Cumin applies a smokey, earthy flavor to many dishes and is a staple in my pantry,
Chili Powder (Joy of Cooking)
3 tablespoons paprika
1 tablespoon tumeric
1/2 teaspoon cayenne
Mix together and use lots of crushed garlic in recipe or add 2 tsp of garlic powder. Store in an airtight container.
If you like a more potent chili powder, try this one:
Potent Chili Powder
1 teaspoon paprika
2 teaspoons cumin
1 teaspoon cayenne
1 teaspoon oregano
2 teaspoons garlic powder
Do you have a recipe you use? Have a happy Cinco de Mayo!!
Seasonal eating while cleaning the pantry at its best! Nutritious pasture-raised Old Time Farm heritage turkey eggs are in season now! Combine the eggs with foraged nettles, ham loaf mix from Blackberry Meadows Farm pastured pigs (to clean out the freezer) and some stale Mediterra slider buns (to clean out the fridge)! Sprinkle a little Real Salt with Garlic and parmesan cheese grated at County Market and bake at 375 degrees for 30 mins = delicious dinner is served!! I could have foraged for some garlic mustard and used that in place of the garlic salt or used scallion sprouts from Harmony Grove Farm. Fellow farmers I seek out for pasture-raised pork are Auburn Meadow Farm and Who Cooks for You Farm would be a source for the pasture-raised pork as well as greens.
Nettles are a foraged green (AKA "weed") that tastes like spinach but is MUCH more nutrient dense than spinach found in any store! I originally discovered nettles when searching for new calves hidden by their mamas. I found the calves hidden in these 5-6 foot high stands of "weeds" with prickers on them. After touching the plant it STUNG for a LONG TIME, became numb and left a welt! I generally do not get poison ivy so I HAD to find out what this dastardly plant was about! I learned it was "stinging nettle" or "Urtica dioica" and an excellent source of iron, magnesium, potassium, calcium, vitamin A, protein, and dietary fiber as well as having a long history of being used for food, fiber and medicine going back to neolithic times! This incredibly tasty nutrient dense food is growing naturally right on our farm without me even planting it, BONANZA! Then we ate it and it was YUMMY and a peculiar thing happened ... our stuffed noses from seasonal pollen allergies cleared right up! You can discover why nettles may be "the most nutritious plant on earth" as well as how to identify it, harvest it, medicinal properties, how the nettle stings, how to avoid or mitigate the sting and more in this video by my favorite local food foraging instructor, Adam Haritan from Learn Your Land.
Strata is fairly simple to make and, if you leave the bread out, it is a "frittata" and if you put that in a pie shell it is a "quiche", if you make it flat in a skillet, it is an omelet and if you scramble the omelet it is fancy scrambled eggs! The main ingredient is the eggs with a little milk and seasoning along whatever needs to "go" from the fridge and freezer and seems like it would go together well.
Back to the recipe/mix I made this time:
1 lb of sausage or ham loaf mix
5 turkey eggs
4 stale slider buns
1 gallon bag of nettle tips (can also use spinach, kale, broccoli or other green)
splash of milk
garlic salt (or salt along with garlic or garlic mustard greens)
parmesan or grated cheese of some sort (approx 1/2 cup)
large pie plate
Prepare nettles by washing and removing leaves and tips from stems (use gloves - another link I found says to let it wilt to remove stinging but I have not tried that yet!!)
Brown the sausage in a skillet and crumble. Remove sausage and set aside.
Add a little bacon grease, lard or butter if there is not enough fat in the skillet to sauté your nettles or greens. Sauté the greens until wilted - cover a steam a little if necessary to soften (more necessary when using kale)
Crumble the bread and sprinkle about 1/4 cup parmesan cheese on it in a large bowl. Whisk the eggs and a splash of milk along with a couple sprinkles of the garlic salt and pour over the bread (it should be gooey, not dry but not all eggs either). Add the sausage & greens, lightly toss and dump into the pie pan or baking dish. Sprinkle with more cheese and put in a 350 or 375 oven to bake until brown and the center is set (you can poke it with a knife in the center to make sure the center is done - if the knife comes out clean vs with soft egg on it, it is "done". I generally set the timer for about 20 minutes then watch it.
Another option for a "hand food" would be to bake the mix in muffin tins for breakfast or dinner "on the go"!! Just make sure you adjust the baking time accordingly!
Have fun turning seasonal farm foods and "weeds" into delicious, nutritious foods for your belly and soul!
Let me know if you have any questions or what you decided to add to your strata, frittata, omelet or scrambled eggs!
Old Time Farm