Grass-fed meat from local farm is not only delicious but also very nutritious. This grilling season, why not giving it a try?
Richly flavored, grass-fed beef cooks a bit differently than corn-fed beef. It is lower in fat with a firmer texture. To get the most out of it be sure to grill it medium-rare and be careful not to overcook. Also give it a good olive oil brush before you grill. If you like your beef well-done, choose a different cooking method, one that involves slow cooking and a lot of liquid, such as braising. Pastured chicken and pork should be cooked all the way, just like conventional ones.
Check out some of our favorite places to buy local meat that was raised grazing grass.
Mallery Grazin’ Meats Butcher Shop: An old-world style butcher shop that cuts and grinds your meats to order. It features local grass-fed beef, chicken and pork products from the owners’ farm, Simply Grazin’ in Skillman. They also offer a nice selection of vegetables and other local foods.
Cherry Grove Farm: Sausages from the farm’s whey-fed berkshire pork are second to none. The farm also carries other pork cuts as well as grass-fed lamb and beef. While you’re at it grab some of their grass-fed award-nominated cheeses to pass around. Call ahead for availability.
Beech Tree Farm: Exceptional succulent beef from lush grass pastures, lovingly tended by Lucia and Charlie Huebner in Hopewell, NJ. They also also sell chicken, pork and eggs seasonally. If you call ahead they can bring your order to a farmers market they participate in. Contact the farm for more information.
Griggstown Quail Farm and Market: Full-flavored pastured chicken and quail are available at the farm’s store in Princeton. They also sell those fruit and pot pies Griggstown is famous for. Get some extra chicken and make this wonderfully seasonal dish, featured in Locavore Adventures!
Micro greens are available locally at Blue Moon Acres farm.
Galantine of Griggstown Farm Chicken with Spring Vegetables and Micro-Beet salad
1 whole chicken
1 bunch asparagus, tough ends cut off, blanched until barely cooked and chilled immediately in ice water
2 cups fresh spinach washed and rough chopped
¼ cup morel mushrooms, chopped
½ cup toasted and roughly chopped hazelnuts
¼ cup sundried tomatoes, roughly chopped
1 cup white wine
2 tsp. tarragon dry or fresh chopped
salt and white pepper to taste
For the salad
1 tbsp. whole grain mustard
2 tbsp. sherry vinegar
¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
Fresh ground pepper
6 oz. micro beet greens if available, or other baby greens
For the poaching liquid
3 cups chicken broth
1 leek, split
2 bay leaves
Carefully remove the skin from the chicken in one piece by first cutting along the backbone and then running your fingers between the skin and the meat. You will need to use a small knife to cut through the wing and leg areas.
Remove the breast meat in one piece and set aside. Remove the rest of the meat and save the bones for stock (you can make the stock for the poaching liquid from them). Slice the breast meat into thin scaloppine. Grind or pulse in the food processor the rest of the meat. Keep all the processed parts refrigerated until the rest of the ingredients are prepared.
Combine the wine, shallot and tarragon in a saucepan and reduce until almost completely evaporated.
Place all of the chicken meat (except the breast) in the bowl of a food processor and pulse until ground. Add the shallot and tarragon reduction and season with salt and pepper, pulse again until well mixed. Remove the contents to a large bowl.
Add the vegetables and nuts and mix well.
Lay out a large piece of cheesecloth and then lay out the chicken skin (feather side down) in one piece. Place the slices of chicken breast in one layer leaving about one inch around the edges. Using a rubber spatula, spread the chicken and vegetable mixture on chicken breast in an even layer about ½ inch thick.
Carefully roll the chicken up in the cheesecloth to form a large cylinder. Tie the roll on each end and in several places along the length, not too tightly. Refrigerate for at least an hour.
Place the stock and seasonings into a pot large enough to hold the roll and bring to a simmer. Add the chicken and poach over low heat for about 30 minutes. Remove and refrigerate for at least 4 hours or overnight. You can keep the stock for another use.
When well-chilled remove the string and the cheesecloth. Slice into ¼ round slices and arrange on a platter.
Whisk together all of the salad ingredients except the greens. When well-incorporated add the greens and serve atop the galantine.