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The WonderMix Kitchen Mixer GIVEAWAY and My Multigrain Brioche Bread Recipe

WonderMix Kitchen MixerWhen I was offered the opportunity to try out the new WonderMix Kitchen Mixer in our farmhouse kitchen, I was thrilled. I have been using the company’s WonderMill Electric Grain Mill for several years now.  No matter how many times I use it, I am always astounded at how simple it is to use and how quickly it transforms the organic wheat berries I purchase through my local food co-op into beautiful, freshly milled flour. I couldn’t wait to see their new WonderMix stand mixer and put it through its paces in our farmhouse kitchen.

When the WonderMix arrived, I was taken with its unique design. I loved its square base and covered mixing bowl, knowing that dry ingredients would remain inside the bowl when mixing rather than ending up on the countertop.   After carefully measuring my ingredients with my food scale for a recipe, it can be so frustrating to watch as dry ingredients are flung from a mixer’s bowl and deposited all over the countertop.

The mixing bowl is large, with a capacity of 5.5 quarts or 22 cups. I don’t have a single recipe in my arsenal that requires that much capacity, but I’m glad to know that I can easily mix a double batch of bread dough with room to spare. Not only does this mixer have a high-capacity mixing bowl, it has the motor strength to handle heavy doughs and mixtures. The WonderMix has an impressive 900 watt motor. To put that in perspective, my current stand mixer has a 325 watt motor. The WonderMix has the capacity and the power to handle even the most grueling tasks in my kitchen and yours. With its innovative dough hook and dough divider attachment combination, I knew right away that this was a bread baker’s dream machine.

The WonderMix offers two different sets of whisk type attachments available for the WonderMix. A whisk is often the ideal tool for a recipe, but whisking egg whites into a fluffy meringue is quite a different task than mixing a batch of buttercream or cookie dough. I often find with my other stand mixer that the dough paddle doesn’t adequately beat a batch of buttercream or cookie dough into the smooth, silky texture I desire while the whisk isn’t strong enough to handle the thicker mixture. Having two different pairs of whisk attachments means that I’ll always have one that is well suited for the task at hand.

The WonderMix boasts a wide assortment of other attachments and accessories. They offer a full function blender, slicer/shredder, and meat grinder attachments. If you are interested in working with grain, both a grain flaker and grain mill attachment are also available. This sturdy, powerful unit can do the work of a multitude of appliances. Its rectangular footprint also makes it much easier for me to easily store it in our kitchen.

The helpful owner’s manual that accompanied my WonderMix was filled with helpful instructions for using the machine along with more than 40 recipes. I turned immediately to the section of bread recipes and learned that this mixer promised to fully develop the gluten in a batch of bread dough in five minutes. I couldn’t wait to put that promise to the test.

I make several types of bread for our family. My favorite bread to bake and to eat is brioche. I enjoy brioche’s texture and rich flavor. IMultigrain Brioche loaves at 1840 Farm love to toast a slice of homemade brioche, knowing that the enriched dough will yield the lovely browned surface that I enjoy so much. My family enjoys it just as much as I do, so I make a batch of two loaves every week or so.

The prospect of making a traditional brioche can be daunting for the baker and taxing for the baker’s mixer. Traditional brioche is baked from dough enriched by fresh eggs and butter. Each addition must be perfectly timed before advancing to the next step. If these steps are rushed, the dough will break apart, forming several small clumps that will resist coming back together into one congruous ball of dough. Yet care must be taken not to over mix the dough as too much mixing can ruin the airy texture that makes brioche so wonderful.

Once the eggs have been successfully integrated into the dough, butter must be added in much the same way. It is added a bit at a time, allowing the butter to fully blend with the dough. This process can take thirty minutes or more. All of this kneading puts a heavy toll on a mixer. As the dough is kneaded, the mixer must be monitored to ensure that it does not overheat or, worse yet, burn out completely. Kneading this dough for such a long time is a herculean task for a typical residential kitchen mixer.

Over the years, I have worked to develop my own brioche recipe. It delivers the same delicious flavor and airy texture without requiring so much precision from the bread baker.

In the past few months, I attempted to adapt my recipe to incorporate some of our freshly milled whole wheat flour into the recipe. I didn’t have much luck. The loaves lacked the airy texture I love. No matter how I adjusted the recipe, the resulting loaves were too dense. It seemed that no matter how long I worked the dough using my mixer, I fell short of creating that lovely smooth characteristic that my Farmhouse Brioche always delivers.

I did finally determine that I could use my stand mixer to work the dough for several minutes and then knead the dough by hand for between 5 to 10 minutes in order to create a dough that was smooth and elastic enough to pass the windowpane test.

I had almost given up any hope of creating a multigrain brioche recipe that could be worked entirely by a mixer. Then the WonderMix arrived and I returned to the farmhouse kitchen, hopeful that this powerful machine would have the muscle I needed to fully develop the gluten and create a loaf that was exactly what I was looking for.

As the dough came together, I set my kitchen timer for five minutes. The WonderMix worked the dough without straining. When the timer sounded, I turned off the mixer and removed the dough. It was smooth and elastic, easily passing the windowpane test. The WonderMix had delivered on its promise to fully develop the gluten in five minutes.

I have made several batches of bread since then. Each batch has been just as beautiful and delicious. From now on, I will be using the WonderMix to make this multigrain brioche and all of our other homemade breads.

Now you can use this recipe to make your own loaves of multigrain brioche. You can also enter to win your very own WonderMix! One winner will be randomly selected on April 21, 2015. All subscribers to The 1840 Farm Community Newsletter and In Season Magazine will be automatically entered to win. You can earn additional entries through the widget below and increase your odds of winning this amazing mixer. Good luck to all who enter!

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1840 Farm Multigrain Brioche
Makes two loaves

12 ounces (1 ¾ cup) warm water
21 grams (1 Tablespoon) honey
4 teaspoons active dry yeast
1 Tablespoon salt
1 Tablespoon Dough Enhancer (optional)
600 grams (5 cups) All-purpose flour
240 grams (2 cups) whole wheat flour
3 large eggs, room temperature
4 ounces (1 stick) butter, grated

If you are using a dough proofer, preheat the proofer following the manufacturer’s instructions as you prepare the dough.   Whisk the warm water and honey in the bowl of a large stand mixer. Sprinkle the yeast over the top of the liquid. Allow the yeast to rest as you prepare the remaining ingredients.

In a medium bowl, combine the salt, dough enhancer (if using), and flour. Grate the butter and set aside. In a small bowl, whisk the eggs until smooth.

Add the eggs to the bowl with the warm water and honey. Whisk until combined. Mount the bowl on the mixer’s base and attach the dough hook and dough divider. Add the dry ingredients all in one addition before turning the mixer’s motor on low speed.

Mix for a few minutes, until the dough begins to take shape. The dough will appear to be slightly dry. With the motor running, begin adding the grated butter a bit at a time, allowing the butter to be incorporated into the dough before adding more. Continue this process until all of the butter has been added.

Stop the mixer and asses the dough. It should be shiny and moist, but not excessively sticky. The ball of dough should be smooth and elastic. If it is too sticky, simply start the mixer and gradually add up to ½ cup of All-purpose flour to the dough. Take care not to add too much flour as it will yield a finished loaf that is too dry. Increase the speed of the mixer slightly and work the dough until it passes the windowpane test, approximately five to ten minutes.

If you are unfamiliar with the windowpane test, the technique is quite simple but incredibly helpful when making a loaf of bread.  This windowpane test will help you to determine if your dough has been kneaded sufficiently to yield a wonderful finished loaf.  By using this technique, you will be certain that your homemade bread dough will produce a beautiful loaf of bread.

Conducting the windowpane test is simple.  After you have kneaded the dough to the point when you think that it has been worked sufficiently, take a small ball of dough and stretch it between your fingers until it is thin and translucent, allowing light to pass through it (much like a window).  If the dough stretches without breaking, it has been kneaded long enough to develop the gluten and is ready to prepare for its rise.  If the dough breaks, continue kneading until it passes the test.

Once your dough passes the windowpane test, transfer the dough to a large buttered bowl to rise in a dough proofer or a warm, draft free location.  Allow the dough to rise until it has nearly doubled in size. Using my dough proofer set at 82 degrees, this takes approximately 45 to 60 minutes.

Once the dough has nearly doubled in size, divide it into two equal sections. Form each section into a loaf and place in a buttered or oiled loaf pan. Be sure to oil the top rim of the loaf pan as this dough has a tendency to rise well above the top of the pan. Oiling the top rim of the pan will make releasing the baked loaf from the pan much easier.

Transfer the two loaves back to the proofing chamber or warm, draft free location for rising. Allow the loaves to rise until they have reached a height of more than one inch above the top edge of the loaf pans.  Using my dough proofer, this takes about one 60 – 90 minutes.

As the dough nears the end of its rise, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.  If you have a pizza stone, this is a great time to put it to use.  I like to use stones when baking bread in order to deliver even heat to the bottom of the loaf as it bakes.  I find that my loaves bake more evenly when I have the stones in the oven during preheating and baking.

Once the loaves have risen sufficiently and the oven has reached the proper temperature, transfer the loaves to the oven.  Bake for 30 to 35 minutes, turning near the halfway mark to ensure even browning.  When the loaves are fully baked, they will be golden brown and sound hollow when tapped on the bottom.  Remove the baked loaves from their pans to a wire rack. Allow them to cool completely before slicing or storing.

 Don’t miss my post about the best way to store fresh bread to learn how you should be storing your fresh loaf of bread.  You can also learn more about My Favorite Bread Baking Tools and Ingredients and share your own with me.

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Strawberry Puff Pancake Recipe

I have many fond memories of this dish from my childhood.  My mother made this recipe for countless holiday morning breakfasts.  It was always topped with fresh strawberries, sour cream, and a sprinkling of brown sugar.  It was always called Strawberry Puff Pancake.

The name made sense given that the dish was topped with strawberries and the batter puffed dramatically while it baked in the oven.  It seemed magical to me that you could pour a thin batter into the pie plate, slide it in the oven and watch as it transformed into an airy, delicate concoction.

For a chicken keeper, this is a delicious celebration of the fresh eggs that we collect from our heritage breed hens.  The resulting pancake is full of the fresh, rich flavor of fresh eggs.  The flavor is paired with the beautiful golden color of the yolks provided by hens that enjoy sunshine, fresh air, and plenty of fresh green grass and treats.

I know now that this dish bears a remarkable resemblance to the German Dutch Baby or Dutch Pancake.  No matter its name, the recipe is similar to a popover and yields a light, eggy, custard-like pancake that is delicious when topped with fresh fruit. While the combination of sour cream and brown sugar with the fresh strawberries may seem curious at first, I promise that it won’t disappoint.  We have tried topping this pancake with whipped cream and syrup, but this is our favorite trio of toppings.

This is a family favorite here at 1840 Farm and sure to become one around your family table.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it just as much as we do!

Strawberry Puff Pancake (German Dutch Baby)
serves 4-6 as a main course topped with fresh fruit

3 Tablespoons (1 ½ ounces) butter
3 large eggs
1 ½ cups (12 ounces) whole milk
6 Tablespoons (72 grams) granulated sugar
¾ cup (90 grams) All-purpose flour
¼ teaspoon salt

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit.  Place the butter in a glass pie pan, 9 inch cast iron skillet, or similarly sized casserole dish and transfer to the warm oven as you prepare the batter.  I like to place the baking dish or skillet on top of a cookie sheet to catch any excess batter that might overflow the pan as it bakes.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs using a whisk until they are light and frothy.  Add the milk and whisk until well combined.  Add the sugar, flour, and salt and whisk until the mixture is completely smooth.

Remove the warm baking dish from the oven.  Pour the batter into the pan and return it to the oven.  Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the edges are puffed and lightly brown.  When the pancake is fully baked, a sharp knife inserted into the middle of the pan will come out clean.

Remove the pancake from the oven and serve topped with a sprinkling of brown sugar, fresh sliced strawberries, and a dollop of sour cream.  Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2014/04/strawberry-puff-pancake-recipe/

Our Favorite Holiday Cookie Recipes

Every year, cookies grace our family table on Christmas Eve.  The tradition started out simply enough.  My children would ask to help me make the cookies that would be left for Santa when they went to bed that evening.  Now that they are older and a little wiser, the fun of making the cookies has become an integral part of the holiday festivities.

We spend time in our farmhouse kitchen making my Grandmother’s Chocolate Crinkles, our Candy Cane Meringues, and the other delicious favorites that have come to be tied to our holiday celebration.  With each bite, we’re reminded of the memory of holidays past.  With each moment spent together in the kitchen, we’re making new memories that I hope will last a lifetime.

In case you are looking for a few good cookie recipes to add to your holiday baking collection, you’ll find links to the recipes for our favorites below.  It warms my heart to think that you might use one of our favorite recipes to make a memory with your friends and family this year.  Enjoy!

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2013/12/our-favorite-holiday-cookie-recipes/

Book Review – Clean Slate: A Cookbook and Guide

Clean SlateWhen Clean Slate:  A Cookbook and Guide from the editors of Martha Stewart Living arrived in my mailbox, I couldn’t wait to give it a read.  Once I had, I couldn’t wait to get in the farmhouse kitchen to create a few of the delicious recipes it includes.

This book goes far beyond the reach of a standard cookbook.  Instead, it is a comprehensive primer on integrating fresh, whole foods into your diet.  The first section of the book contains nearly 70 pages of information about specific ingredients, suggestions for healthy flavor boosters, and detailed menu plans.

Once I progressed past that extensive information, I found myself at part two which was filled with more than 160 recipes.  The recipes were well written, easy to follow, and accompanied by gorgeous photos.  They were also clearly labeled with regard to four key categories:  vegan, dairy-free, not-free, and gluten-free.  As a person who cooks around food allergies every day, I appreciated these designations.  Each recipe looked more delicious than the last.  My biggest struggle was trying to decide which one I should try first.

I can’t wait to try the recipe for Poached Eggs with Roasted Tomatoes this summer when we have fresh heirloom tomatoes in our garden.  Until then, I decided to begin with the recipe for Swiss Chard Salad with Poached Egg.  Armed with a beautiful bunch of swiss chard from our local market and eggs fresh from our hens, I headed to the farmhouse kitchen to make myself a delicious and healthy lunch.Swiss Chard with Poached Egg

The recipe was easy to follow and included instructions for poaching the egg.  In less than 30 minutes, I had a beautiful plate of swiss chard ribbons topped with a light vinaigrette and a beautifully poached fresh egg.  It looked so amazing that I couldn’t wait to take the first bite, digging in without remembering to take a picture.  The salad was bright and fresh, perfectly paired with the richness of the fresh egg.  This is a dish that I will turn to often when our swiss chard is ready to harvest in this year’s garden.

I can’t wait to try another handful of recipes in this book.  Cauliflower “Rice” is intriguing and sounds delicious.  Roasted Mushroom Tartines with Avocado will be lovely when served with alongside our Sliced Radish Tartines this spring.  As soon as local strawberries are in season, I will definitely be making a batch of the No Bake Oat Bars with Strawberries.

You’ll find Clean Slate:  A Cookbook and Guide listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.


The product 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.

For more information, please view our Disclosure Statement and Privacy Policy.

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/book-review-clean-slate-a-cookbook-and-guide/

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato HashWhen we sit down at our farmhouse table to enjoy a meal featuring Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork, I can count on someone to ask if there will be enough pork to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash for dinner the following evening. I have come to expect that question, so I always buy a cut of pork that is large enough to ensure that there will be plenty of pork to make this hash.

Leftovers often get a bad rap, but this preparation can change that with the first bite. This hash is a star main dish in its own right. It is delicious, comforting, and full of flavor. Leftovers never had it so good.

This is one of those recipes that welcomes interpretation and substitution. You can add other vegetables to the mix or substitute another cut of meat you have on hand. No matter the ingredients, the results are always delicious.

Hash

 

 

 

 

Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash

This recipe makes use of one of my favorite pans: a cast iron skillet. I like to use my Lodge 12 inch cast iron skillet when preparing this hash. If your skillet is smaller, you can reduce the proportions to fit your pan. I love to use the reserved cooking liquid from the Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast, but an equal amount of bone broth or a good quality stock can be used.

1 Tablespoon butter
1 large onion, diced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ pounds potatoes, washed and cut into ½ inch cubes
¼ teaspoon dried thyme
12 ounces reserved cooking liquid from Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork or bone broth
8 ounces shredded pork
2 ounces heavy cream
salt and pepper to taste
2 ounces smoked cheddar, grated

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the middle of the oven.

Heat a large cast iron skillet over medium high heat. Add the butter to the hot pan and swirl to coat the bottom surface. Add the onion and cook until almost translucent, about five minutes. Add the garlic and cook one minute before adding the potatoes to the pan, stirring to combine.

Add the thyme and reserved cooking liquid or bone broth to the pan. Bring the liquid to a simmer. Cover the pan and reduce the heat to low. Cook for 10 minutes undisturbed.

Remove the cover and stir the mixture. The potatoes should have begun to soften and absorbed some of the liquid. Add the heavy cream to the pan and stir to combine. Taste for seasoning, adding salt and pepper to taste. Press the mixture firmly into the pan and top with the grated cheddar. Transfer the skillet to the warm oven.

Cook the hash for ten minutes. Check the potatoes for doneness before turning on the broiler. Broil for two minutes to brown the top surface of the hash. Remove from the oven and serve hot.  We like to serve this hash with a side of Classic Sauerkraut.

 

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/cast-iron-skillet-pork-and-potato-hash/

Classic Sauerkraut

Classic Sauerkraut at 1840 FarmI enjoy the tangy flavor of sauerkraut paired with many dishes and also served on its own. For years, we have been purchasing a local kraut. Each time we served it at our family table, I wondered if we could make a homemade version.

The process of fermentation seemed a bit daunting. The recipes all made the technique seem so simple that I doubted it would be so easy. A few weeks ago, I finally decided to take the plunge and try it for myself.

As I searched for a foolproof recipe and advice to ensure success, I discovered Kraut Source’s blog and innovative lid system. They were kind enough to lead me through the process of making our first batch of kraut step by step. They shared their recipe for classic sauerkraut which I adapted further to include only three ingredients: green cabbage, sea salt, and filtered water.

After a week’s time on the kitchen counter, the humble shredded cabbage my daughter and I had packed so tightly into the Mason jar had been transformed into a delicious, tangy sauerkraut. I was equally amazed at how simple it had been to make and how amazingly flavorful it was. It was so delicious that weKrautSource made a second batch, doubling the recipe to ensure that we never run out of this delicious, homemade classic sauerkraut.

With gardening season fast approaching, we’ll be planting a few heirloom cabbage varieties so that we can make our own kraut using cabbage fresh from our organic garden. We hope that you’ll join in and try your hand at fermenting a batch of sauerkraut using the classic recipe adapted from Kraut Source below.

Visit Kraut Source’s blog, Facebook page, and Instagram feed to learn more about the art of creating cultured and fermented foods in your kitchen. They fill my newsfeed with a steady stream of delicious recipes and helpful tips. I know that you’ll enjoy following them as much as I do!

Classic Sauerkraut
adapted from Kraut Source’s Classic Sauerkraut Recipe

Shredded Cabbage for Sauerkraut

Lacto-fermentation takes advantage of the beneficial bacteria (including Lactobacillus) that are naturally present on the surface of fruits and vegetables including the cabbage called for in this recipe. When held at room temperature and submerged in brine, these healthy bacteria convert the natural sugars in the cabbage into lactic acid. The lactic acid will naturally preserve the kraut and inhibit the growth of harmful bacteria.

Much like canning, fermentation requires clean tools and surfaces to safeguard against potentially unsafe bacteria. Simply washing all the tools and equipment and your hands with soap and hot water before beginning the recipe is sufficient. This will ensure that you have begun the process with the clean environment necessary for successful and safe fermentation.

1 1/2 pounds (675 g) green cabbage
1 Tablespoon (15 ml) sea salt
brine as needed (1 teaspoon sea salt dissolved in 1 cup cold, filtered water)

Quart-size Mason jar
Kraut Source Unit or Mason Jar Lid

Rinse the head of cabbage in cold water. Quarter the cabbage, removing the core before finely shredding each quarter. Place shredded cabbage in a large bowl. Add the sea salt, tossing to evenly distribute. Allow the cabbage and salt to rest for 10 minutes.

Massage the sea salt vigorously into the cabbage for about 5 to 10 minutes. Working the sea salt with the shredded cabbage will help to draw liquid out of the cabbage and begin the process of breaking down the fibrous nature of the cabbage.

Packing SauerkrautIf you have time, allow the massaged cabbage to rest in the bowl as the salt will draw out liquid. If you do not have time to wait, simply pack the cabbage into a quart-size, wide mouth Mason jar. Use a pounder or wooden spoon to really press down and pack the cabbage in . The top of the cabbage should be even to the shoulder of the jar. If there isn’t enough liquid to cover the cabbage by one inch, add enough brine to cover.

Secure your Kraut Source unit or lid on the jar. Take care not to tighten the lid too tightly. As the cabbage ferments, carbon dioxide will be released. If the carbon dioxide is not allowed to safely escape the jar, it can cause the jar to break or the lid to be forced off of the jar.

The innovative Kraut Source unit contains a spring and a press to hold the cabbage underneath the surface of the liquid while allowing the carbon dioxide to escape. If you are using a standard lid, a piece of the cabbage’s core or a small weight can be used to keep the sliced cabbage below the liquid .

The lid can be removed every few days and replaced to adequately vent the excess carbon dioxide. During fermentation, the cabbage must be completely submerged in the liquid to prevent spoilage. Additional brine can be added as needed to completely cover the submerged cabbage.

Allow the kraut to ferment at room temperature for 5-7 days or several weeks to develop the desired flavor. After 5 days, begin tasting the kraut every few days to determine if the flavor is to your liking. When the taste is agreeable, transfer the kraut to the refrigerator. Any weight or cabbage core used to keep the kraut submerged can be removed at this point.

We find ourselves enjoying this homemade sauerkraut on top of nearly every sandwich or alongside most main courses.  We love to enjoy a side of it with our Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast and Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.

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Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/classic-sauerkraut/

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork RoastIf you happened to stop by our farmhouse on a Sunday afternoon, you might find that a Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast was in the oven. This recipe is a staple for our family. It is simple to prepare, delicious to eat, and provides our family with enough shredded pork to be featured in multiple meals throughout the week, making the work of menu planning that much easier.

As the pork is cooking in the oven, it infuses the entire farmhouse with the delightful aroma of caramelized brown sugar. By the time we are ready to sit down to dinner late Sunday afternoon, we’re all clamoring for a bite. It’s rather like Thanksgiving Day when the aroma of roasting turkey has tempted you all day long with the promise of the meal ahead. While this pork is easier to prepare than our Thanksgiving turkey, it is no less satisfying to serve at our family table.

This year, we’ll be enjoying this roast as the centerpiece of our Easter feast, served with homemade sauerkraut, herbed new potatoes, and berry pie for dessert. It will be a delicious meal and sure to be followed later in the week by a dinner of Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash. Now you can enjoy these three recipes with your friends and family. They’re sure to love them as much as we do!

 

Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast

I like to use local pasture raised pork in this recipe which is readily available in Beer and Brown Sugar Braised Pork Roast Ingredientsour community. We have prepared this recipe using several cuts of pork. Each of them turned out beautifully.

Because the pork is braised at a low temperature with liquid in a covered pot, the resulting pork is tender and moist no matter the cut. Unlike most preparations, this pork is nearly impossible to overcook. The low temperature and ample liquid both play in its favor.

Pork shoulder (also referred to as pork butt or Boston butt), pork roast, pork loin, and pork belly are all good choices. A pork shoulder or pork roast are my favorite. I find that they have the ideal ratio of meat to fat and yield delicious results.

4 to 5 pound boneless pork shoulder or roast
¼ cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 Tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon olive oil
12 ounces beer

Preheat the oven to 325 degrees Fahrenheit. Position an oven rack in the lower third of the oven. In a small bowl, mix the brown sugar, cinnamon, salt, and pepper. Rub this mixture on all sides of the pork.

Heat a large Dutch oven with a tight-fitting lid over medium high heat. When the pan is hot, add the butter and olive oil, swirling to coat the bottom of the pan

Add the pork to the pan and sear each side for approximately two minutes. The sugar will caramelize and add a beautiful brown color to the pork.

Reduce the heat to medium and add the beer to the pan, deglazing and scraping up any browned bits of sugar from the bottom of the pan. Bring the beer to a simmer before covering the pan and placing it in the warm oven.

Allow the pork to cook for two hours undisturbed. The overall cooking time will vary depending upon the size and type of the cut, but I find that 2 ½ hours is the average time needed to deliver perfectly cooked pork to our table.

After the two hours have elapsed, I begin checking the roast every half hour for doneness. The pork is finished when it will easily pull apart and reaches an internal temperature of around 160 degrees. At that point, I remove the pan from the oven and allow the pork to rest in the covered pan for at least an hour.

After the hour has elapsed, I shred the meat. I strain the cooking liquid, reserving it. I return the shredded pork to the pan and moisten it with a bit of the cooking liquid, holding it in the covered pan. It can be rewarmed over low heat if necessary before serving.

I use the reserved cooking liquid to make Cast Iron Skillet Pork and Potato Hash.   The braising liquid has a wonderful depth of flavor and can also be thickened into a pan gravy and served along with the pork or over mashed potatoes.  We like to serve this dish with a side of our homemade Classic Sauerkraut.

 

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/04/beer-and-brown-sugar-braised-pork-roast/

Pi Day 3.1415

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When asked to declare my favorite food to prepare and enjoy with my family, I don’t have to ponder long.  The answer is simple:  pie.  I love to make pie almost as much as I love to eat a delicious, flaky pie crust filled to the brim with the best of what the season (or our panty and freezer) have to offer.

A homemade berry pie has the power to transport me to my paternal grandmother’s humble kitchen.  My grandmother was a wonderful cook and baker, but pie was her specialty.  Her schwatzenberry pie was my favorite.  It would not be overstating its power to say that those berry pies forever changed my life.

My grandmother’s homemade berry pie taught me that food had the ability to feed my soul. I now know that it also holds the incredible power of transcending time and space, bringing back memories of a grandmother long gone, but known fondly by my children who never had the opportunity to meet her in person.

Instead, they met her memory with the first bite of berry pie savored at our family table while listening to me share my fondest memories about her. Every summer, we carefully pick the schwatzenberries from our garden and look forward to the day when we have gathered enough to make the season’s first pie.

Throughout the year, we enjoy pies of every sort.  Our annual Kentucky Derby Day celebration would seem incomplete without a homemade Bourbon Peach Pie.  Summer would be much less sweet if raspberry season didn’t include the promise of a Double Crusted Raspberry Pie.  When fall’s apple season arrives at our local farmer’s market, I find myself dreaming of a slice of Brandied Apple Pie topped with a generous scoop of vanilla ice cream.

Each year, we celebrate Pi Day on March 14th by making and enjoying a homemade pie together here at 1840 Farm.  The day is publicized in the hope of inviting us to all learn more about the mathematical significance of Pi and the importance of math in our daily lives.  I’m happy to extol the virtues of math, especially if I can do so by spending time in the farmhouse kitchen making my favorite dish for our family table.

This year, we’re gearing up to celebrate a Pi Day of epic proportions.  In 2015, Pi Day falls on 3/14/15.  Given that Pi begins with “3.1415”, it seems like this year’s celebration should be extra special.  We’re still debating which of our favorite pie recipes should be called into service for our celebration tomorrow.

I hope that you will join in the celebration and add one of these pie recipes to your weekend plans.  I’ve included a few pie crust making tips for good measure.  I receive so many messages from readers who are intimidated by the thought of making a homemade pie crust.  Using these tips, you will make a deliciously flaky pie crust that will delight your friends and family, I promise!

You can view our special Pi Day Newsletter and add your name to our thousands of subscribers.  Our newsletter is the best way to make sure that you don’t miss our favorite seasonal recipes, giveaways, and posts.  You can subscribe in a few seconds and know that we will never share your Email address with anyone.

We have our biggest giveaway EVER coming to you in the next few weeks and our subscribers will be the first to know about it.  Believe me, you’re not going to want to miss out on this one.  Well, at least not if you’d be happy to win a fantastic piece of kitchen equipment that was tested right here in the farmhouse kitchen and has a value of more than $350!

Happy Pi Day!

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How to Make A Heart-Shaped Cake

A Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 FarmThis time of year, everything seems to be heart-shaped.  From candies to baked goods and every sort of decorative item.  ‘Tis the season, I suppose.  Unfortunately, so many of these heart-shaped and Valentine’s Day themed projects, crafts, and recipes involve detailed steps and specialty supplies that I don’t have any use for until February 14th arrives again next year.

I prefer to celebrate Valentine’s Day in a much simpler, rustic manner.  That rustic sensibility makes this method for creating a heart-shaped cake one of my favorite ways to make something delicious for my Valentines.  With standard baking pans and a knife, you’ll have a beautifully shaped heart cake in moments.

The technique is amazingly simple and based much more on simple geometry than any special baking skills.  By dividing a round cake in half and joining it with a square-shaped cake turned on the diagonal, a heart is created.  It’s simple and extraordinary all in the same motion.  You’ll feel like a baking genius when the finished cake is presented in its perfect heart shape without anyone but you knowing the secret of its construction.

I like to use my cake recipe from our Chocolate Malt Cupcakes as the base for this cake.  It has a moist, dense crumb and a delicious flavor.  The malt flavor is subtle and pairs wonderfully with the chocolate.  It will be delicious frosted with our malted buttercream frosting, strawberry buttercream, or your favorite traditional buttercream.  I hope that you’ll enjoy it as much as we do year after year!

1. Using your favorite cake recipe, bake one square cake and one round cake. They should be similar in size, but can be trimmed before frosting if necessary.Making a heart shaped cake at 1840 Farm
2. Once the cakes are completely cool, use a sharp knife to divide the round cake in half. I like to use a serrated knife to make a clean cut without creating too many crumbs.Making a Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm
3. Turn the square cake on the diagonal to represent a diamond. Place one half of the round cake on each of the top two sides of the diamond. Trim the cake if necessary to create the heart shape.

Frost and decorate the heart-shaped cake as you wish and marvel at your creation!
Making at Heart Shaped Cake at 1840 Farm

Permanent link to this article: http://1840farm.com/2015/02/a-heart-shaped-cake/

Welcome to 1840 Farm

You’re always welcome at 1840 Farm and we’re thrilled that you stopped by for a visit!  During the last few weeks, we have been busy organizing our favorite recipes and posts to make it easier for you to find exactly what you’re looking for.   You can access our newly organized collections of posts by clicking on the photos below.  From pie baking tips to our basket collection and a photo tour of our gardens, you’re sure to find something that you’ll enjoy.

 

We hope that you’ll enjoy our most recent posts:

 

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Valentine’s Day Favorites at 1840 Farm

Valentine’s Day usually comes and goes in a flash.  This year, it falls on a Saturday during a three-day weekend here at 1840 Farm.  That seems like the perfect excuse to dust off all of our favorite Valentine’s Day recipes and enjoy each and every one of them before the holiday has passed us by.  For my Valentine, only chocolate will do.  Now I just have to decide which of our favorite recipes to bake!

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Book Review: The Kitchen Ecosystem

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia BoneWe have been inundated with winter weather here at 1840 Farm this week. Winter Storm Juno dropped over 30 inches of fresh snow on our farm. The blizzard force winds blew it around enough for us to clean up the same snowflake at least a dozen times. While we waited for the storm to finally come to an end, I had the pleasure of discovering a lovely new cookbook. I find that paging through a cookbook is a wonderful way to pass the time when the weather outside is frightful!

The Kitchen Ecosystem by Eugenia Bone was a fabulous read. The philosophy behind this book is simple: use the best seasonal ingredients, prepare for the seasons by preserving food when it is in season, and use every bit of the leftovers to make broths, sauces, and other delicious components for the next great dish. With over 400 beautifully illustrated recipes, this book is an amazing and inspiring resource for anyone who is trying to expand their seasonal, whole food based recipe collection.

I loved the style of this book. Rather than organizing the recipes by course or season, they are assembled by key ingredient. When I find myself deep in the heart of heirloom tomato season, I can simply turn to page 326 and find the entire collection of tomato based recipes that offer ways to enjoy them fresh, preserve them for later use, use the preserves to prepare meals, use the scraps, and a few other great ideas for using every last bit.  To liven up the collection, several cocktails are featured.Photo Jan 29, 11 21 29 AM

In all, there are 15 different suggestions for using tomatoes. As a gardener who looks forward to heirloom tomato season all year long, I can’t wait to try then all. There’s no need for me to wait at all as I can use our canned tomatoes from last year’s garden to make four great recipes in this cookbook. With our homegrown produce ready and waiting in the pantry, we can prepare any number of delicious, comforting dishes no matter the season. Using The Kitchen Ecosystem’s method of approaching seasonal eating, great food will never be out of season.

While I count the days until gardening season finally arrives, I’ll focus on what is in season and readily available at our local farmer’s markets and grocery stores. With ten recipes featuring oranges and 22 mushroom preparations, I will have plenty of delicious dishes to tide me over until spring!

You’ll find The Kitchen Ecosystem listed in our Amazon Affiliate shop along with a full collection of my favorite cookbooks. You can also learn more about the book and its author by visiting the publisher’s site.  If you’re on the hunt for a new great cookbook, you can read more of my cookbook reviews and recipes inspired by my favorite cookbooks.


The product 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.

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