My apologies for the tardiness of this post; August is one of the busiest months here on the farm and I neglected to post about the meat share this month. As you now know, the meat share this month is heavy on the pork. In addition to your regular chicken (most of them are about 5 pounds this month) and roughly 2 pounds of ground beef, this month’s share includes a pound of our bacon (this is the last of our bacon unfortunately, but we made sure to set some aside for our CSA members!), and 2.5 to 3 pounds of country style pork ribs. As always we have lots of additional ground beef and frozen chickens available.
Ground Beef: We’re certainly still in the midst of grilling season so you may want to just throw some burgers on the grill but if you’re looking to switch things up a little bit or maybe use some of those tomatoes, basil, garlic, onions, etc. to make some fresh tomato sauce, here’s a recipe that Maggie’s (another apprentice here on the farm) grandmother passed along. Maggie made it a couple weeks ago and I think we probably ate about half the meatballs before she had a chance to add them to the sauce.
1 pound ground beef
4 slices bread, soaked in milk, squeezed dry
1 egg, beaten
1/2 cup grated Parmesan or Romano cheese
salt and pepper, to taste
dried herbs (basil, thyme, oregano), to taste
medium onion, grated (optional)
Mix all the ingredients together. Form into balls. Cook over medium high heat with a little bit of olive oil until browned and almost cooked through. Add to sauce and let simmer for 30 minutes.
Country-Style Ribs: Country-style pork ribs are not actually ribs; they are cut from the shoulder and really are more shoulder chops than ribs (you probably noticed that they look a little more like chops than what you think of as ribs). As such, they are very versatile cuts of meat. You can simply cook them as you would pork chops, sauteing them in a pan (I really like to sprinkle them with some salt and paprika, brown them, and then simmer them with some apple juice, chopped tomatoes and chopped peppers) or grilling them. Here’s a recipe for a Chinese rib marinade that can be used for any sort of pork ribs or chops:
Chinese Rib Marinade
1 cup soy sauce
1/2 cup water
1/4 cup dry sherry or white wine
heaping tablespoon brown sugar
pinch Five Spice Powder
5 large cloves garlic, pressed
6 or 7 stars of star anise (boiled and steeped in 1 cup water)
Mix all the ingredients together in a large bowl. Marinate the meat for 2 to 4 hours. Bake at 325 or grill over indirect charcoal for about an hour until browned well, fat is rendering and meat comes cleanly off the bone. (Ribs can be turned halfway through cooking and brushed with the marinade and toasted sesame oil if you like). And instead of simply pouring the marinade down the drain when the meat is done marinating, I put it in a pot and boil it for a few minutes to pasteurize it and then it is a great sauce to serve over the meat itself and on rice.