River Cottage Farm

Update

 

 

We Made It!

“The ultimate goal of farming is not the growing of crops, but the cultivation and perfection of human beings.”

Masanobu Fukuoka

This week, I thought I’d give everyone a general update on the farm and how things are looking since COVID19 hit the world.

In the middle of March, when we first realized this was a worldwide situation, we were completely naive about the coming events. At that time, we certainly didn’t realize the long term and far-reaching effects this would cause.  We didn’t realize that almost half of all Americans would shelter in place or that our way of living could be threatened from so many different directions.  I don’t think we ever really had the luxury to be worried back then, everything happened so quickly and we just had to keep moving.

Within a month we would receive a note from our long-time butcher informing us of a complete shutdown with no reopening date set.  That was a blow!   Our pigs were getting bigger by the day and our cows continued to grow as we waited to hear if things would ever change.  That was a scary time for us.  We feed people.  At the same time we realized there were no butchering options, the demand for local food skyrocketed.  Thankfully, we had a couple of walk-in coolers filled with frozen meat and had already started a batch of 300 chickens in the brooder.  We figured that would get us over the hump for the next month or so until this COVID19 went away.  Well, it didn’t go away and we jumped into high gear, increasing all of our chick orders just in case we didn’t ever get beef, lamb, and pork back in stock.  We knew that the milk would not be affected since it goes from the cow to the jugs and Brayden and I can butcher 25 chickens in a hour, so that would be fine too but beef, lamb, and pork would be off the menu.

When our butcher finally opened back up it was preceded by an email stating that they would never work at full capacity again.  Only those with a good track record over the past few years (that means being nice to the butcher and the staff ) would be served!  I have no idea what the farmers who didn’t get the letter are doing but I feel very sorry for them.

The fact that we were starting to ramp up our butchering requirements is the only reason we have food for you now.  We had corresponded with our butcher just weeks before COVID hit letting her know that we needed to increase our appointments for butchering.  When Allison found that correspondence she changed our allowance, almost doubling our allotted appointments.

Well, together, we made it through. What kept us farming this year is not only what you purchase from us now but what you purchased from us in the past.  If all of our customers only found us during the pandemic, we would not have an option for butchering.  We are so thankful for our new customers who found us in the past few months, but our indebtedness to our longtime supporters cannot be greater.

For all of our customers, new and old, your willingness to purchase what we had available and our willingness to forgo self-quarantine to bring your food to you made it all work out.  While we’re not out of woods as a nation, we are very confident in our ability to feed you, no matter what happens to the world.  That feels amazing!

100% Grass fed (and finished)

Recipe of the week

One Skillet Beef Bratwurst with Onions.

 

 

This is the quickest and most foolproof brat recipe I know and it’s one that Brayden makes over and over again, especially when company drops by and you’ve got to feed them.

There are so many ways to cook Bratwurst sausage. You can boil, roast, grill or steam them. The best method is to brown them in a skillet, then add some liquid and cover to steam.

If there is water left in the skillet after the brats are finished cooking, you don’t need to worry about reducing it down. You just want the onions to be cooked and soft.

If you’d like your onions caramelized and you have the time, I’ve got the scoop on perfect caramelized onions below the recipe.

 

Ingredients

  • 4 Bratwurst Sausages (with or without pepper jack cheese)
  • 1 Red Onion, sliced
  •  Olive oil
  • 1/2 cup Water or Stock

Instructions

  • Heat a large cast iron skillet with a drizzle of canola oil over medium-high heat until it just starts to smoke.
  • With a fork, poke a few holes on each side of the bratwurst sausage to keep them from bursting while they cook.
  • Place the brats in the hot skillet, then place the onions around them.
  • Stir the onions to spread them around and to coat with oil. 
  • Cook the brats for about 4 minutes per side, or until they are nicely browned. 
  • Carefully pour 1/2 cup water in the skillet, then immediately cover and reduce the heat to medium-low.
  • Cook covered for about 10 more minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees.
  • Remove the lid and the brats from the skillet.
  • Increase the heat and season the onions with salt and continue to cook the onions for a few more minutes to reduce the liquid. 
  • Serve the sausages topped with the onions and your favorite mustard.

Caramelized Onions

2 large yellow onions
2 tbs unsalted butter
kosher salt
low sodium chicken broth or water for pan, optional

Halve both onions through root end. Using the tip of your knife, cut a V-shaped notch around root to remove it (this will ensure that all slices separate when you cut the onion).  Thinly slice onion lengthwise, starting at one side and working all the way to the other (You’re going for slices that are ¼”–⅛” thick.

Heat 2 Tbsp. butter in a large saucepan over medium until melted and sizzling. Using a pan that also has a wide base gives water room to evaporate, allowing the onions to caramelize rather than steam.

Reduce heat to medium-low and continue to cook onions, stirring every few minutes to prevent them from sticking and coloring too much in any one place, until blonde-colored, 15–20 minutes. This is the point of doneness for French onion soup! If you feel like onions are getting too brown around the edges or they’re sticking, reduce your heat a bit.

If you’re going for onions that are both softer and more caramelized (say for a patty melt or onion dip), keep cooking, stirring on the regular, until onions are unmistakably golden brown, another 15–20 minutes. . If you find you have some burning in bare spots, stir in a splash of broth or water. The liquid will dissolve the cooked-on bits, which the onions will re-absorb.

For extra-dark onions, the kind that make a great burger topping, cook until they start to almost blacken around the edges and go slightly crisp, another 10–15 minutes. This requires constant attention so they don’t burn. No one said caramelized onions were quick!

Let onions cool in the saucepan, then use or transfer to an airtight container and chill. They will keep up to 1 week.

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Grass Fed- Grass Finished

Click on the badges to head straight to that page in the store.

Beef

Filets are the latest item to sell out but…we’re picking up more beef from the butcher on Monday.  If you absolutely have to have your ribeyes or filets this week, drop us a line and you could meat us on Wednesday at the drop off in Nashville.  Everything else looks pretty good. 

Don’t forget about our beef brats, we have them with or without the added Pepper Jack inside!

Dairy

The girls are going great and I plan on adding kefir back in to the mix of products, so keep an eye out on the dairy page!

Pork

We are already starting to see a void in products here and there with the pork but we still have plenty in the freezers and shouldn’t be completely sold out before we get our next porkers butchered.  

Chicken

We’ve got chicken in every possible stage of growth right now.  Things look good on all cuts.  Even our beloved Airline Breasts are back in stock!!!

Lamb

There’s been a run on ground lamb but we’ll have more in a couple of weeks.  We’ll pick up more lamb from the butcher on Monday.  

We Raise Food For You

Find Us

Wednesday Delivery

Friends’ Meeting House

11:30 – Noon

530 26th Avenue North

Nashville, TN 37209

Visit Us in Franklin
Visit us at  the Franklin Farmer’s Market every Saturday 9 – Noon
230 Franklin Rd
Franklin, TN 37064

Visit Us in Bowling Green
Visit us at Community Farmer’s Market every Saturday 8 – 1
5199 Nashville Rd,
Bowling Green, KY 4210

Pick up in Hermitage TN
We’re setting up a new delivery site in Hermitage.  Shoot me an email at hello@rivercottagefarm.net and I’ll give you all the details.