Every so often, life presents you with an opportunity to step out of your comfort zone, a chance to do something extraordinary. This spring, life did just that when I was invited to travel to P. Allen Smith’s Moss Mountain Farm in Arkansas to participate in the Garden2Grow2016 conference. It seemed surreal that I would be invited to attend.
The grand scale of the trip was a bit intimidating. I’m happiest at home surrounded by my family, our animals, and the comforts of the farmhouse. Leaving that behind along with all the daily tasks on the farm as we readied for the summer growing season was daunting. I talked myself out of going dozens of times, convinced that the timing wasn’t quite right, that there were too many reasons that I couldn’t go to ignore.
Yet I wanted desperately to see Moss Mountain, to take in the views of a landscape so beautiful that the memory of it would stay with me for a lifetime. After talking over the logistics with my family, I decided to plan my trip. I simply couldn’t allow this chance to pass me by.
The trip was magical. I met an amazing group of people and was overwhelmed by the generosity of our host. The grounds of the farm were indeed beautiful and the time flew by. Before I knew it, the trip was over and it was time to return home.
I was thrilled to be back at the farmhouse, to share the details and photos from my wonderful trip. I did feel a bit wistful about leaving the sights of Moss Mountain Farm behind. I’ll forever remember standing beneath the Big Sister Oak and feeling a renewed sense of passion about following the dream I had about spending my days sharing my journey at1840 Farm with you.
It seems only fair that I also share the photos from my wonderful trip with you. Without you, Dear Reader, I would have never been offered such an amazing opportunity to travel to such a glorious place. Thank you for following along and for making this trip part of the journey.
I couldn't be any more excited about my invitation to #Garden2Grow2016! Moss Mountain Farm, here I come!
I arrived at The Capital Hotel in a thunderstorm which turned into a tornado warning, but it was warm and inviting inside!
The Capital Hotel in Little Rock was a beautiful place to call home for a few days!
P. Allen Smith greeted us at Lost Forty Brewing and welcomed us to his fair city.
Starting my trip with this delicious breakfast at Lost Forty Brewing definitely got things off on a good note. The cast iron skillet cinnamon roll was amazing and the good coffee and beermosa didn't hurt matters any!
We started our morning with a delicious breakfast at Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock. The tour of the canning line was really fascinating.
More photos from our tour of Lost Forth Brewing.
Fresh cans straight off the line at Lost Forty Brewing in Little Rock. Cold and delicious!
After breakfast, we stopped for a morning field trip at Heifer International. I have been captivated by this organization and their mission for years. I feel so fortunate to have the opportunity to see their facility in person.
Before lunch, we had a fascinating tour of the new gardens on the Heifer International Campus.
I couldn't help but ogle the design of this hoophouse at Heifer International during our tour of their gardens. I plan on using this open side design on my next one. It's pure genius!
The gardens at Heifer International are relatively new. They've reclaimed previously unused land and are bringing it back to lush, green life.
The gardens at Heifer International in Little Rock are coming to life and creating a beautiful green backdrop for their campus.
Strawberry season was in full swing in Arkansas during my trip. With at least 45 days to wait until New England berries would be ripe, I enjoyed every single bite!
If you're ever in Little Rock, make time for a stop at Heifer International for a tour. It was so inspiring to learn about their work and to see it firsthand in the garden.
After listening to the important work that Heifer International does around the globe, this collection of photos and matching sentiment really spoke to me.
Locally raised, beautiful, and delicious. You just can't do any better than that for lunch!
Lunch at Heifer International was delicious and all locally grown and raised.
Our host P. Allen Smith welcomes us to his home. What a warm welcome it was!
The farmhouse is beautiful from every possible angle.
The farmhouse at Moss Mountain Farm is simply glorious. The two story sleeping porch overlooking the river is such a beautiful spot. I'd love to spend days on end there!
The Big Sister Oak is more than 300 years old. She's a grand tree that provides the axis to everything at Moss Mountain Farm. Oh, the stories she could tell from her centuries of watching activity on this beautiful property!
Miss Big Fig in all her glory.
Miss Big Fig is busy setting baby figs for this year's harvest.
Another shot of Miss Big Fig and those glorious baby figs of hers!
I love the colorful blooms lining this path and the curve of the arbor and gate up ahead. Everything about it is so inviting, just begging me to explore what is right beyond that gate and hedge.
A closer view of that beautiful gate. I just love the curve of the top of the gate. It's so beautiful.
P. Allen Smith introduced us to each garden "room" at Moss Mountain Farm. He told wonderfully warm stories and explained the inspiration for every single detail. It was so fascinating.
The walk to the rose garden.
The path leading to the rose garden.
The outer rim of the rose garden is a beautiful sight.
Beautiful details in the rose garden.
The rose garden seemed like a magical, secret garden.
A perfect rose in the rose garden.
Every detail in its place...
The swan pond with a beautiful reflection of the majestic trees and farmhouse.
Home entrances don't get any more inviting than this. The porch, the salmon colored wooden chairs, that grand front door. Every single detail seemed to beckon me up on to the porch.
After a great day, our shadows grew long on the porch of the farmhouse. These salmon colored chairs were even more beautiful in person!
I loved everything about the farmhouse, but the two story sleeping porch was just amazing.
Every room of the farmhouse was inviting, beautiful, and full of gorgeous details. It felt like a place that you could spend a lifetime and never want to leave.
For me, there are few recipes more rustic and comforting than gravy. It adds flavor and velvety texture to roasted meats, mashed potatoes, and anything else it happens to touch on a dinner plate. With very little effort, simple ingredients can be coaxed into a thick, delicious gravy perfect for a holiday table or family dinner. It’s a true farmhouse staple in our home just like it was in my great grandparent’s farmhouse a century ago.
Cooking gravy certainly isn’t a modern technique. It is believed that gravy dates back to ancient Egypt and the time period around 3000 B.C. When you think about it, that makes perfect sense. Spit roasting meat produced fatty, delicious liquid that simply couldn’t be allowed to go to waste. A dripping pan resting underneath the cooking meat would collect the juices as they ran out of the meat when pierced with a fork or blade. That liquid could be served as a thin dipping sauce or “jus” for chunks of meat eaten by hand or it could be reduced, salted, and poured over meat eaten with a fork.
Fast forward to the 1960s when gravy became something made using a premade mix. Simply add water, whisk, and heat to create a gravy with very little effort. Add in canned gravies, and gravy making became something that few people practiced. Perhaps homemade gravy would be made for Thanksgiving dinner, but even then it was just as likely to come from a can or pouch. That trend continued. In 2008, Food Technology magazine reported that 40 percent of American households served gravy made from a mix when adding it to their dinner plates.
Ironically, gravy making is incredibly easy. It requires no special equipment, no fancy ingredients. The process is simple and can be mastered easily. From a flavor perspective, you just can’t beat gravy made from scratch, flavored to your liking.
Unlike our ancient ancestors, I prefer to roast our meat in the oven. The pan collects the rich liquid which can be cooled slightly while the roast meat rests before skimming the fat from the top. I use homemade bone broth added to the pan drippings and the resulting gravy is rich and delicious. You can use a combination of broth, stock, and pan drippings to make gravy, adjusting seasoning to yield a delicious batch of gravy.
I hope that you’ll give gravy making a try. I also hope that you’ll make our Velvety Mashed Potatoes to serve with it! One taste and I’m willing to bet that you’ll be making a homemade version for years to come.
You can use any combination of pan drippings, bone broth, broth, or stock to make delicious gravy. I keep bone broth on hand and add it to the pan drippings as needed to have enough liquid needed for this gravy. I like a very peppery gravy, so I season it liberally with black pepper and often add minced fresh thyme, rosemary, and tarragon from the garden which is often left over from seasoning the roast meat.
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) warm pan drippings, bone broth, broth, or stock (or a combination)
freshly ground pepper
finely minced fresh herbs (I use thyme, rosemary, and tarragon from the garden)
Make the roux to thicken the gravy by adding the lard or butter to a small saucepan set over medium heat. Melt the fat before adding the flour. Whisk to combine and reduce the heat to low. Continue to whisk until the roux is smooth and takes on a bit of color, approximately 2 minutes. If you are using herbs, add them to the roux and cook for 1 minute.
Add the 2 cups of warm drippings, bone broth, stock (or combination of liquids) to the roux. Whisk to incorporate and increase the heat to medium. Bring the mixture to a simmer, stirring often to prevent scorching. Simmer gently for 3-5 minutes to thicken the gravy to your desired consistency. Reduce the heat to low. Season with salt and black pepper. Taste for seasoning and adjust as needed.
Gravy can be kept warm over low heat, stirring often before serving.
By Jennifer from 1840 Farm
This post is included in our 1840 Farmhouse Thanksgiving Gallery.
You’ll find our favorite Thanksgiving recipes all gathered in one place so that you can easily include them in your family’s celebration. I’ll be adding new recipes right up until the big day, so check back to see even more delicious and fabulous Thanksgiving posts.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/10/farmhouse-gravy/
Memorial Day is the official kickoff to Summer and we feel like celebrating! We’ll be enjoying a few of our favorite warm weather recipes with family and friends this weekend. The temperatures are predicted to hit 90 degrees tomorrow, so we’ll be ready for a cold refreshing Franklin Cooler made with our homemade Raspberry and Rhubarb Syrup by midday!
Each year, we choose to commemorate Memorial Day by making a donation from our 1840 Farm Community to a veteran’s charity for every handmade basket sold in our Etsy Shop. It’s our small way of showing our deep appreciation for the sacrifices made by those who serve in our military and the families that support them.
This year, I want to give you the opportunity to help select the charity that will receive that donation. If you have a favorite charity that focuses on those who serve our nation, please visit our Facebook page and join in our discussion. Together, we’ll choose the charity that receives our donation. Then we’ll repeat the nomination process for Independence Day, Labor Day, and Veteran’s Day.
For all of you who have served in the military or are on active duty, please accept my heartfelt thanks for your service to our country. To the families and friends who support those who serve, thank you for the sacrifices you make to support the bravest Americans among us. As the flag flaps on our farmer’s porch, I am forever reminded that we owe a debt of gratitude to all who serve that can never be repaid.
I hope that you have a holiday weekend spent with friends and family filled to the brim with laughter, delicious food and drink, and memories in the making.
You can access any of the recipes by clicking on the photos below.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/05/memorialdayfavorites/
Memorial Day is the official kickoff to Summer and we feel like celebrating!
As a special way of saying thank you to our customers, we’re adding a FREE handmade 4” fabric trivet to every order we receive in The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy from now until next Wednesday (6/1/16). We’ll choose a beautiful handmade trivet just for you when packing up your order to begin its journey to you. Our trivets have been so popular that they are usually sold out and out of stock, so this is the first opportunity we’ve had to share them with you in many months.
We’re also thanking our nation’s veterans by making a donation to a veteran’s charity for every basket sold. We hope that you will visit our Facebook page to share your favorite veteran’s charity with us. Simply click on the graphic and join in our discussion on our Facebook page.
We have our fingers crossed that we’ll sell a lot of our handmade baskets this holiday weekend so that we can make our largest donation yet!
Just in time for Mother’s Day, I have gathered together a collection of our favorite recipes to make for breakfast and brunch. These recipes have been made time and time again in our Farmhouse Kitchen here at 1840 Farm. Now you can make them for your friends and family. They’re sure to love them as much as mine do!
Click on any of the photos to view the recipe for each dish.
Our newly designed Jumbo Market Tote Basket was designed to meet the requests from our customers for a larger version of our existing Market Tote Basket with handles long enough to be carried by hand, over the wrist, elbow, or shoulder. This is by far the biggest basket I have ever attempted to make. It took several weeks to produce the basket you were all asking for, but I think that the finished basket was worth the wait. I hope that you agree!
Like all of the baskets in our collection, these totes feature fabrics in a range of colors and prints accented by the zigzag stitching used to create the basket. Our fabric baskets are flexible and can easily be turned inside out to display our signature fiddlehead spiral on the inside or outside and give the tote a completely different look.
The Jumbo Market Tote Basket is perfect for carrying fresh produce home from your farmer’s market or transporting your favorite book, towel, snack, and water bottle to the beach or pool. We packed it with an oversized beach towel, sunglasses, wallet, keys, a great book, water bottle, thermos for iced coffee, a bottle of seltzer, a few allergy safe snacks, and a pack of gum. As you can see, there was still plenty of room to spare.
Our Jumbo Market Tote Basket measures 10 inches high. The top opening of the tote measures approximately 17 inches by 10 inches. The base is an oval measuring roughly 7 x 12 inches. The base is reinforced with zigzag decorative stitching in a pinwheel pattern.
The finished handles each measure approximately 26 inches long and are made with five widths of the handwrapped coil used to create the basket. The handles measure just over an inch wide and are double stitched for added strength and durability. When the handles are extended, the height of the basket and its handles is 20 inches tall. The fiddlehead swirl that finishes the basket measures 2.5 inches in diameter.
Our Jumbo Market Tote Baskets are priced at $124.00 for in stock baskets and $134.00 for custom orders plus applicable shipping fees. Our custom order design service allows you to select both the fabric and thread used to create a truly one of a kind basket. We have over 175 unique fabrics in stock in our studio and also source specific fabrics and patterns by request.
You can view all of our in stock baskets by visiting The 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop on Etsy. If you don’t see what you’re dreaming of, simply send us a message and we can work together to turn your basket dreams into a beautiful reality!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/04/jumbo-market-tote-basket/
I have long believed that any day can be made better with a homemade cookie. If the cookie happens to a perfectly made chocolate chip cookie still warm from the oven, all the better. While I make many different types of cookies in our farmhouse kitchen, this chocolate chip cookie recipe is hands down our favorite.
This recipe was inspired by a cookbook I was sent to review for our readers. I was ready to love this book immediately based on the delicious cookies shown on the cover. Any book titled “Cookie Love” has my attention from the first page.
Cookie Love by Mindy Segal and Kate Leahy is filled with 60 intriguing cookie recipes from drop cookies to shortbread, sandwich, rugelach, and bars. These aren’t the same recipes you’ve seen over and over again. When I turned to page 23 and discovered a recipe for Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies, I stopped in my tracks.
When I accept a cookbook to review, I like to select a recipe to test before sharing the cookbook with you. To me, it seems like the best way for me to review a cookbook. If the recipe doesn’t have clear instructions or produces something that doesn’t pass my family’s taste test, I don’t feel like I can encourage you to add it to your cookbook collection.
So, as I read through Cookie Love, I gave thought to which recipe I should choose for my review. Smoky Bacon Candy Bar Cookies were definitely on the list, but I didn’t have all of the ingredients on hand. A recipe for homemade Milanos definitely caught my eye. Due to food allergies, my family can’t safely purchase the store bought version, so making a homemade take on these classics was very appealing. There were so many beautiful photos of scrumptious looking cookies that it was a very difficult task to choose the first recipe to attempt.
In the end, I went with the Classic Chocolate Chip Cookie. I was drawn to the story behind this recipe and the fact that my family would be sure to enjoy taste testing a batch of chocolate chip cookies. I was right. They loved these cookies and happily tasted one after another before giving them a collective thumbs up.
Since then, I have adjusted the recipe slightly, adding more of our homemade vanilla extract to deepen the vanilla flavor and reducing the salt called for in the original recipe. I also like to reduce the baking temperature and slightly increase the baking time. Doing so encourages the butter in the dough to melt a bit, spreading out to create a cookie that is thin and crisp around the edge and soft and chewy in the middle.
These cookies are so popular with my family, that I keep our freezer stocked with balls of cookie dough that can be baked at a moment’s notice. I allow the frozen dough to warm up as the oven preheats and then pop them in the oven. With a few extra minutes added to the baking time, the cookies are perfectly baked and we can enjoy warm, gooey chocolate chip cookies in less than 20 minutes.
Cookie Love also includes helpful tips for choosing ingredients, mixing, shaping, and baking cookies. I can’t wait to try a few more recipes here in the farmhouse kitchen. Now I just have to decide which recipe to try next!
I like to use bittersweet chocolate chips in this recipe, but you can substitute your favorite chocolate chips or chunks. I often replace ½ - 1 cup of the All-purpose flour with an equal amount of our home milled whole wheat flour. The freshly milled flour adds a lovely bit of texture and earthly flavor to the finished cookies.
Place the cubed butter in the bowl of your mixer fitted with a paddle or dough beaters. Mix on medium speed for 30 seconds, until the butter begins to smooth out a bit. Add the sugar and brown sugar before beating on medium speed until the mixture is completely smooth, approximately 2-4 minutes.
Add the eggs and vanilla extract to the bowl and beat on low for a 10-20 seconds, just until combined. The batter may break up a bit, but don’t worry. It will come together when the dry ingredients are worked into the mix. Scrape down the bowl and beaters if necessary to gather the batter together before continuing.
In a small bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking powder, baking soda, and chocolate chips. Stir to mix the dry ingredients.
Add the dry ingredients in one addition to the mixer bowl. Mix on low speed until the dry ingredients have completely integrated into the dough. This should only take 30-60 seconds depending on the strength of your mixer. Take great care not to overmix the dough. Mixing develops the gluten in the flour and overmixing will encourage the dough to become tough.
Transfer the dough to a covered container for storage in the refrigerator. Allow the dough to chill for a few hours or overnight. I often make a batch of dough and keep it in the refrigerator, baking a single evening’s cookies each night. Portioned balls of dough can also be frozen on a small tray and then transferred to a freezer bag for long term storage. Frozen dough can be baked by simply adding a few minutes to the baking time.
When you are ready to bake some or all of the cookies, preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit and position the oven racks to the top and bottom third of your oven. Line two baking sheets with parchment or a Silpat style liner.
Create balls of dough using heaping 1 ½ Tablespoons (approximately 1 ounce or so). Place six balls on each baking sheet, spacing evenly to prevent the cookies from touching as they bake. Bake for 14-16 minutes, until the cookies have flattened and browned. Rotating the baking sheets halfway through the baking time will help to ensure that the cookies are evenly baked.
Remove the cookies from the oven, allowing them to cool for a few minutes. As with any cookie, these are even more delicious when eaten while still warm with a cup of coffee or cold glass of milk.
Baked cookies can be stored in an airtight container at room temperature for several days. Dough can be refrigerated for one week and frozen for several months.
Adapted from Cookie Love by Mindy Segal with Kate Leahy
The book reviewed in this post was sent to me free of charge by the Blogging for Books Program in order to allow me to evaluate its use here at 1840 Farm. The book that I reviewed was sent to me at no expense in order to allow me to evaluate it. The framework of our review process does not guarantee a positive review in exchange for the product provided. Our product reviews contain both facts about the product and my personal opinion of its performance while it was used at 1840 Farm.
Product reviews include my honest opinions about the product(s) reviewed. Products that do not meet our standards of daily use on our farm will not be reviewed. It is our goal to provide you with our personal experience using a product in a positive and informative manner so that you can determine its usefulness in your life. It is not our goal to negatively review a product that while not an ideal fit for our farm, might perform very well on yours.
Easter weekend is upon us and spring is beginning to show itself here on the farm. We’ve seen glimpses of the season already this year, with a few glorious days marked by sunshine and temperatures in the 70s. We’re grateful for the gift of beautiful weather from Mother Nature, but know full well that this is New England and there’s still plenty of time to wait for warmer weather to permanently arrive.
As Easter approaches, my mind drifts to spring planting, seed starting, and thinking about finally building that duck house we’ve been discussing for a few years. While it’s impossible to know what this spring and summer have in store for our farm, I can guarantee that we’ll be enjoying our favorite seasonal recipes while we take in the very best of each season.
I hope that you’ll enjoy those seasonal recipes right along with us. The recipes in this issue are perfect for adding to your Easter weekend plans or for welcoming spring to your family table. You can begin by learning how we color beautiful jewel toned Easter eggs every year and move on to the recipe for French Toast Bread Pudding to serve for Easter breakfast or brunch.
On the sweeter side, you can’t go wrong with my Great Grandma’s Daffodil Cake. This cake combines the best of airy angel food cake and rich pound cake. It’s the perfect way to celebrate your flock producing more eggs as the days grow longer each week. For a quick and lovely bite, my Lemon Drop Cookies with Lemon Buttercream are tough to beat. They’re delicious with a cup of tea or served after dinner when the bright taste of lemon will be a welcome treat.
Whatever you cook, bake, and enjoy this weekend, I hope that you have a lovely weekend through and through. Happy Easter from all of us here at 1840 Farm!
Here’s a peek at a few of the recipes that we love to include in our Easter celebration.
You can click on any of the photos to visit the original post so that you can print our recipes and add them to your celebration.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/03/easter-favorites/
I have been using wool dryer balls for years here at 1840 Farm. With allergies and sensitive skin playing a role in our family life, I try to limit the amount of perfumes, dyes, and additives in our home from our cleaning products to the laundry room. I find that using these 100% wool dryer balls allows me to naturally achieve the results of traditional fabric softener and dryer sheets without any chemicals. Our skin is happier and so am I.
I love these beautiful and effective wool dryer balls so much that I wanted to share them with you through our 1840 Farm Mercantile Shop. They’re available in a range of colors both as a set of three dryer balls. Now you can join me in using these natural dryer balls in your laundry room and say goodbye to buying dryer sheets and fabric softener forever!
Each of these dryer balls is handmade right here at 1840 Farm. We work with 100% pure wool fiber, creating a ball by hand from the inside out. Once we have created a wool ball, we triple felt the fiber until it is firm. We use no chemicals to do this, choosing to use organic peppermint castile soap instead. The soap helps to improve the fiber’s ability to felt and join tightly together. It also lends a natural, fresh, light scent to the wool.
Wool dryer balls are safe for use with any type of laundry. They completely replace traditional dryer sheets and fabric softener. They can be scented with natural essential oils if you like or used as is at any temperature setting in your dryer. Simply add the wool dryer balls to your dryer with your damp laundry and dry as usual.
These handmade dryer balls can be used for years, serving you well for thousands of laundry loads. Because they are made of 100% wool, they will not degrade with use. Instead, the natural fibers will continue to felt and the balls will become more dense and compact over time. They’ll keep right on working to help separate your damp laundry for many years to come.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/1840-farmhouse-home-handmade-100-wool-dryer-balls/
Here at 1840 Farm, we’re counting down the days until Valentine’s Day. We’ve been making dozens of our heart shaped baskets and sending them on their way to customers from coast to coast. We’ve also been dreaming of getting into the farmhouse kitchen to make up a few of our favorite Valentine’s Day treats. Now I just have to decide which recipe to make first!
We have highlighted our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes in the photo gallery below. These are the recipes we love to share with friends and family to celebrate the holiday that is all about taking time to tell those people near and dear to you just how important they are. From dark chocolate butter cookies and brownies to delicious buttercream frosting flavored with a bit of a great stout beer, you’re sure to find something to put a smile on your Valentine’s face.
You can access any of the posts by clicking on the photos below. Happy Valentine’s Day!
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/02/valentinesday/
If you follow us on Facebook and Instagram, you may have noticed that I’ve been sharing photos with #1840farmhousetable365 each day. I decided that I will share at least one photo of something that we’re enjoying at our farmhouse table each day in 2016. Some days, there may be more than one post, but I promise to share at least one each and every day.
I’m hoping that sharing these posts will give you a bird’s eye view of what we’re eating at our farmhouse table. It’s far too easy to only share the most spectacular meals, giving the impression that we never eat takeout pizza, never decide to happily have a simple egg sandwich for dinner. Believe me, we do. In the interest of being more transparent, I’ll be sharing the simple and sublime along with everything in between.
I believe that food is important and that being connected to your food is even more important. I also believe that sharing food with someone near and dear to you can elevate the simplest food to the most memorable meal. The food that we eat matters, but the manner in which we eat is even more critical. Taking time to sit down, eat together, and share the news of our day is my favorite time of day. I hope that you’ll enjoy sharing a bit of that with me by following along all year.
Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2016/01/1840farmhousetable365/
In my book, there’s nothing more comforting on a cold winter’s night than meatloaf and mashed potatoes. If that meatloaf can be prepared in a cast iron skillet, all the better. Comfort food from a cast iron skillet is just the sort of farmhouse style comfort food my family clamors for on a wintry New England day.
A cast iron skillet is perfectly suited for making meatloaf. It holds the heat well, ensuring that the meatloaf bakes evenly. The same skillet can be used to sauté the vegetables and herbs that will be incorporated into the meatloaf before being used to bake the meatloaf in the oven. Reducing the number of dishes I need to use and clean while prepping dinner is always a welcome development in my kitchen.
Once you’ve made this cast iron skillet meatloaf, you’ll be left wondering why you ever baked meatloaf in a loaf pan. My loaf pan may be feeling a bit lonely, because I’ve never made meatloaf in that pan since discovering that I could bake it so perfectly in my cast iron skillet!
Farmhouse Style Cast Iron Skillet Meatloaf
I like to incorporate Italian sausage into the ground beef or buffalo that I use in this recipe. The combination results in a wonderfully seasoned, delicious meatloaf. If you like more spice, you could certainly use spicy Italian sausage with equally delicious results.
I often double this recipe and use my large 12 inch cast iron skillet to bake a larger meatloaf. Then I am able to look forward to serving leftovers the next night. Like most savory dishes, this meatloaf is even more delicious the second night!
Warm an 8-9 inch cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add the lard, swirling the pan to coat the bottom surface of the skillet. Add the onions and cook until translucent. Add the garlic, thyme, and rosemary, stirring for one minute to prevent the garlic from burning. Remove the pan from the heat.
In a large bowl, combine the ground beef or buffalo with the Italian sausage that has been removed from its casing. Add the tomato paste, sautéed onion mixture, oats, and eggs. Mix to fully combine the ingredients.
Transfer about half of the mixture to the cast iron skillet, pressing to evenly cover the bottom of the skillet. Sprinkle the shredded mozzarella cheese over the top before covering with the remaining ground meat mixture. Press the meat mixture to the edges of the skillet. The mixture should reach the edges of the skillet and be an even thickness to ensure that it will bake evenly.
In a small bowl, combine the ketchup, soy sauce, and brown sugar. Spread this mixture over the top of the ground meat. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven and bake for 50 to 60 minutes. When the meatloaf is finished, it will begin to pull away from the edges of the pan and register at 160 degrees on a meat thermometer.
Remove the meatloaf from the oven and allow to cool for five minutes before slicing into wedges and serving. We love to enjoy this meatloaf with Colcannon Style Mashed Potatoes. The combination of meatloaf, potatoes, and cabbage is a favorite at our farmhouse table.
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