Saturday, January 27, 2018

It's not all about food and eating. It's about nurturing the land for our food.

It's about the land.  No matter what a farmer grows their success depends on the land and how it is cared for.    The Creekside Meadows Farmers look at our land differently than just about every other farmer in our area.   The land is where the food we eat comes from no matter if it's the potatoes, lettuce, peas or grass to feed our cows.   If that land is not cared for the nutrients in the food is compromised.

We have always been a diversifed nurturing land healing grass based farm.    
Diversified:  Because we have never and will never produce only 1 thing.   Our land is diversified and as such areas of the farm produce different things.  The wooded areas produce timber for us to make lumber to build items or buildings, the flatter grounds are mostly pasture for the grazing cows, the smaller flat areas are utilized for vegetable production, the border areas of brush and uneven ground is perfect for pigs as is some of our wooded areas and so on.  
Nurturing:  We aren't here to just harvest, take away and force the land into submission to our what we want it to do.  We look at it to see what it can be utilized for or if it needs to be left alone, how long does it need for rest periods before we utilize it again.  
Land healing:   Some areas of the farm were worked hard previous to us so we have been careful nurture it, heal it and regenerate it.  Some areas were dumping grounds that we have cleaned up.  Some areas were severely eroded due to poor crop and land management.  Creeks and ditches were diverted to move water fast away from the fields.  We have worked to correct that and let the water slow down, soak in and effective halt the erosion.  Grass is key to this.
Grass based.   Grass holds dirt in place and then dirt/soil isn't eroding away and going into a creek moving north and forever gone from the farm.  We rely on grass and other soil coverage techniques to hold our soil here and regenerate the land.

We aren't importing fertilizers for our pastures and meadows.  We have used our livestock carefully to bring back nutrients naturally to the land and using rest periods to let mother nature, the microbes, the worms, the bacteria, the fungi all that and more to bring back balance in our soils.
Have you gone by a farm that has fence and under the wire the grass is brown/burned?  That's an herbicide at use.  You will never see that here on this farm ever.    We more our fences but usually our cows graze so well they keep it clear as they should.
An educated farmer who thinks outside of conventional agriculture, a farmer who can study their land, study their plants, spend time in the outdoors understanding their animals is the one that relies not on chemicals to change things.  That farmer takes what they learned and applies it to the root of the problem.  If in an invasive weed is a problem on the land, a good farmer will take the time to understand why that plant is there, where it came from, how it grows and is it really such a bad thing?  
I know farms inundated with a particular nasty thistle plant and they chop it at it with hoes, plow it up spray the heck out of it and still it comes back.  They have never figured out why it's there or how to "attack" that plant so it doesn't want to grow there anymore.  

These are things I look for in successful farmers that I look up to.  There are very few of them.

We do our best here to be examples of smart caring farmers and this often means we aren't seen much nor recognized in the community as much.    It's because we are on our land and nurturing it.  We don't always have time to socialize and nurture some relationships that probably we should but we just can't always manage it.

This is why we have our farmstore open all winter this year so YOU can come see us at our place and soak up some of our farm's positive energy and we can take you out to see the land through our eyes.   Come on out and let us show you a little bit of our process and you can take home the bounty from the farm to nurture and feed your family.

It really matters to connect to your food and connect with your farmers on their turf-  Us farmers need it just as much as you do!

Thursday, January 25, 2018

Instant Pot Korean Short Ribs

50 minutes to easy supremely tender and delicious Korean style short ribs.  Of course use only 100% grassfed Beef.
 Seriously, I am amazed how wonderful these were.  Fall off the bone tender and scrumptious.

Short ribs are often a lower priced cut and one we only carry for part of the winter.  These have always needed a low slow heat so the meat has time to become tender.  It is really worth the wait.
Some people complain  they are too fatty and on some animals they are even though all of ours are completely grass fed.

I was pretty eager to try these in my Instantpot and did this afternoon.  

35 minutes pressurized and 15 minutes natural release.   Prep time was minimal and no extra time to brown the meat.  Let me say I was concerned the recipes I was reading said no browning when all my other grassfed cookbooks and meat cookbooks said to brown for the slow roast, browning is often a key thing to bring out more flavor.  No worries they were PERFECT.

This is a hearty simple versatile weekday dinner using the instant pot when you get home or slow cooker while you are at work.    
Recipe can be doubled as long as there is room in your Instant pot.
Serves 2-3 people.

Korean Style Grass Fed Beef Short Ribs
3 pounds Creekside Meadows Grassfed Short Ribs- give or take a little.
1/2 cup hearty homemade beef broth
1/4 cup tamari  
    *If using store bought not so flavorful broth/stock use more tamari and less broth but still total 1 cup of liquid. Or use all tamari Soy sauce can be used too I just prefer Tamari
5-6 large cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons fresh chopped ginger (can use more if you like)
1/2 cup brown sugar (or honey or turbado)
3 tablespoons sesame oil
3 tablespoons rice vinegar

Place ribs in the pot.  Mix remaining ingredients then pour over the ribs.  
Use the Manual setting on your instant pot, set to 35 minutes.   Once it is done let it naturally release at least 15 minutes. Mine went longer as I was doing errands.  The keep warm feature keeps it ready for you.

Remove ribs carefully as the bones will fall off!

Pour off the liquid and use to make a light gravy or just au jus.   There will be fat that you can pour off using a fat separator or chill briefly then skim off.  
Serve over some garlic mashed potatoes!

Short ribs are known for being a little fatty and putting some people off but I found the fat MELTED making the meat even more tender and juicy.  
The "korean" style seasonings make for a very rich broth and extremely flavorful beef. 

One very simple recipe and hearty for cold frigid winters.  
Easy to do any weeknight dinner.

If not using the instant pot, I do recommend browning the ribs before adding all ingredients to your slow cooker.   Cook on low for 7-8 hours.  

Good Fat from Good Grassfed Only Beef is 
Healthy and your body needs it in the winter.  
Lots of Vitamin K2! 

Friday, January 19, 2018

Real & Simple Home Cooked Meals Challenge

Real & Simple Home Cooked Meals Challenge.   It's time to get REAL!
We at Creekside Meadows are Challenging YOU to step into your kitchen every day for one week and prepare every dinner from scratch.   Plus find out how to have leftovers and use them for lunches.

You are going to be responsible for your food preparation and using your kitchen often.  It's time to drop the fad "diets" and sourcing "cheap" foods that can't give your body the nutrients it needs.

No prepared foods
No eating out
Emphasis on local foods found in CNY this time of year.   Yup it's winter and it's possible.

We are going to detox from relying on others to prepare food for you.
You are going to get those people who are eating with you at home to have a hand it preparation.   No whining they are busy with sports or studying.  I know they are but change the behavior patterns now to having a part in preparing food so they can make better choices in the future.

We are going to:

1.   Make  a menu plan for a week so you can be prepared.  We will be posting our menu soon and will have corresponding meat packs for sale at the farm to make it easy for you to be ready for good meats for the week.  If you aren't local to us find your local farmers- they are there and many need you this time of year. Find them.

2.  Use local seasonal items.   This may mean no baby lettuce/greens that have no taste and come  in those clear plastic boxes at a store.  Step away from the empty mouthfuls of tasteless green weeds that grew far away.  Put things nutritious in your body that are substantial, not blah.

3. No going out to eat and no prepared or partially prepared meals.   
You are going to eat what is prepared in your kitchen and take responsibility for your meals and what goes into your body.   No more having someone cut up your veggies or preseason your meats or soaking your meat in saline solutions.

4.  Cut back on processed foods.  I am not saying make your own sour cream or yogurt or bread or pasta!
No boxes of mac & cheese, no cans of baked beans or soups kind of things.

5.  Meet your farmers here:
These meals will be based on locally sourced well raised meats and will feature our own because it's our blog and our challenge.   It will be truly eating like a farmer.

6.   Awakening your taste buds to simple pleasures and honest taste of food.

Are you ready?    You can do this.

Find out more about the food you buy.

Find out the stories behind our food choices here at the farm.

Find out how make small important changes in what you eat.

Find out how those changes do impact your community.

Find out what it matters to rely on personal relationships with people growing your food.

Find out why you need to look beyond a label and look at the farms here in your community.

 Come along.   I dare you!

Farmstore is open Saturday and Sunday 12-2pm.   Come on out!

Thursday, January 18, 2018

Spare Ribs- Instant Pot Amazing!

Spare Ribs in 25 minutes with Instant Pot. Yes call me amazed and happy!

Many are like me and you love Spare Ribs but tending the grill for a long time or even just planning on a slow cook in the oven can be too much sometimes.   I already posted my oven roasting recipe that I use.

I have found a great way to enjoy Creekside Meadows Spare Ribs anytime of year and they are ready in less than an hour.

I have now cooked these tasty morsels twice in my Instant Pot.

My first experiment went too far with fall of the bone tenderness as in I couldn't get them out the pot easily because the bones were falling out.  They were good but maybe too tender?

So this afternoon I tried again and found a winner!

Thaw out your ribs.    If it's not done already peel off the thin membrane that's on one side of the ribs.  This requires a small sharp knife to peel the end up and then grasp it with some paper towels to slowly peel it off using the knife to loosen as needed.   Some people don't do it and were fine.  I found it's better with it off but sometimes it's already removed.  

Preseason them with a dry rub of your choice.

This last time I did ground pepper then some Syracuse Salt Company Garlic Salt and some Espresso Salt.     Maybe 1 teaspoon of each.  
Sprinkled on both sides of ribs and rubbed in.  Use more if you want, I went light.

You can use any seasoning you want, I have a bbq one that I get locally or make up your own.  You can't go wrong with just salt and pepper either.

Put a trivet in the bottom of your pot to keep the meat off the pan and out of the liquid.
Pour in 1/4 cup apple cider vinegar and 1/2 cup apple cider or apple juice and 1/2 cup water.
Why the vinegar?   I'm told it helps the tenderness but then some recipes say they didn't use it it and all was perfect they just increased the other liquid.   I'll make more and share soon.

You can also add a few drops of liquid smoke to the liquid for some smokiness.

The 1 cup or more of liquid is necessary to achieve pressure so don't skip it or it will BURN!

Place the ribs in layers on the trivet.  Our ribs are cut into 2 pieces but if you purchase ribs elsewhere they maybe 1 long piece.  If so you can curl the ribs in a circle and put on the trivet on their end so it's like a standing up roll of paper towels.  
If 2 pieces you can roll them up and tie with cooking twine or I just laid mine down flat- all was well.
25 minutes pressurized.   I used the manual setting.  Then let it do a natural release for 10 minutes.  The natural release is needed for additional cooking and aids in the tenderness.
After 10 minutes of natural release manually release the pressure and open up the yumminess.
Remove ribs, to a cooking sheet & slather on your favorite sauce.
Broil them in the oven until nice and bubbly.   Top off with a little more brushed on sauce and enjoy.  
They should be fall off the bone tender or darn close to it.    

So there you are.   Tender and flavorful Spare Ribs in less than an hour.  

Every purchase over $20 this weekend at the farm gets a free package of Spare Ribs.  
Saturday Jan 20th and Sunday Jan 21st

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Slow Roasted Eye Round Roast

Wow time has flown and I didn't get some goodies posted yet!

I cooked an eye round roast the other night and talk about easy.

Eye round is a very very lean cut and often some farms will have these cut into small round steaks and call them "tenderloins"- which they are NOT or call them mock tenders because they do resemble a tenderloin to some people.
It's packed with flavor but requires a very careful hand cooking because if it's overcooked its' ruined.

This cut is one we don't often carry but are this year because I have a goal to teach more people how to slow roast all our roasts to perfection and use leftovers!  Stop going to the deli for that stuff- cook it at home easily!

Creekside Eye Round,   about 2 1/2 pounds.   OR  Rump Roast or London Broil- which we have in stock now!
thaw and cover liberally with an herb or spice mix or just salt, pepper and crushed garlic.
I used a new product made a town over from us.
Clean Slate farms Matson hill Rub which can be found at the 20/East store in Cazenovia and other places.

I also added in some oregano because it felt right.  Plus some Baby Bella Mushrooms which needed to be used up and really beef goes so well with mushrooms.

So the roast is all covered with this  (1 tablespoons is good enough)
Let it come to room temperature.
Preheat oven to 250 or lower if you oven will do it.
Place roast in a small shallow roasting pan.
Roast on this low heat until medium (120-130 but no higher than 140) for internal temperature.  It's best medium with that nice pink center so be careful not to overcook this cut as it will go tough and flavor is lost.
It takes about 30-40 minutes per pound if you oven works well at that low temp.  Mine is not workign well at that low temp so it took 1 1/2 hours to be done.   I removed it, tented it.    Did up some pan gravy with drippings and added some beef stock because I wanted more gravy.
I slice this roast very very thin with my electric knife or a nice sharp carving knife.   Key thing is this roast is best cut really thin.   So get those knives sharpened!!!

I served with mashed potatoes, sauteed yellow beans (frozen in the fall from our garden) and some fresh warm applesauce.

Really it took 1 1/2 hours to roast and to me that is very doable for say a Sunday night dinner.  Then save the remaining meat for Monday lunches as yummy roast beef sandwiches.  Add a dolop of horseradish or some saurkraut!   Or later in the week for leftovers.  Serve over some noodles or open faced sandwiches or in stir fry on on salads, or wraps.

 This method and recipe works perfectly with a Rump Roast or London Broil as they are both lean cuts that do best roasted at low heat, only to medium and thinly sliced.

Stop buying lunch meat at the deli counter that is packed full of additives,preservatives not to mention all that salt.  One roast makes 2 meals with only a few hours cooking one time.

Many of our customers tell us that they find eating our beef is so filling that they eat less at a meal than they would normally.  It's satisfying to their tummy.   We agree.
Plus using leftovers is not just delicious but so much better for your body and your budget.
It looks like this roast is well done but there is some pink there that doesn't show in the evening picture in my kitchen.  I thought I actually overcooked it a tad but they guys here gobbled it up even with the mushrooms (they hate mushrooms but I love them!)  
 Enough leftovers for 3 sandwiches the next day from a 2 1/2 pound roast.    
See the pile of yummy roasted mushrooms?  yummmmmmy.

All the recipes are ones I have made in my kitchen and they are the actual pictures!


All our beef is completely 100% Grass Fed Only.
Our herd never ever gets grain, corn or fermented feeds.   They graze the pastures and then we feed hay from our farm in the winter. 

We've been grazing beef for 20 years!!!!  This year is our 20th anniversary since we obtained our first 2 beef cows.  So you have all our experience and dedication to raising meat the right way going into every bit of our meat you eat!

Thanks for the support and see you at the farm soon. Open Saturdays and Sundays all winter 12 -2

Or opt for delivery and online ordering with FREE local delivery!

Monday, January 8, 2018

How to make Beef stock the fast and the low slow way!

Start with good bones from Grassfed Only cows, like ours here at Creekside Meadows.  Yes good bones do matter!

I started with 4 pounds of our Meaty Soup Shanks- or 2 packages.  These have a nice sized bone and quite a bit of meat which I like.

Thaw, liberally salt and pepper them and roast at 350 for about 30-45 minutes until a nice dark brown.    Remove to some paper towels to blot off any liquified fat.
Don't they look yummy?   All that browning will really bring out flavor in the stock.

You can also use already cooked bones leftover from meals and those don't need roasting.

Add bones to your pot.   I added 3 quarts of water to my instant pot. to cover the bones but not overfilling it (see the level mark on your pot)  Add more or less if you need to.

3 large carrots, sliced.
1 large onion, cut into wedges.  You can use more onions but I was low on supply.   If homegrown/local onions you can leave the skins as they add more flavor and have not been treated for longer storage.
1 bay leaf
3 big cloves of garlic peeled, smashed and chopped.
2 stalks of celery (optional, I didn't use for this recipe as I was out).

in this picture you can only see some of the bones, the rest are under water.  I'm using an 8 qt Instant Pot so for smaller pots you may use lesser amount of bones and water.  Some people make stock with no veggies but I like the more complex flavor and extra nutrients that comes from a mixed stock.

You can also add herbs if you want, like oregano, parsley, thyme, rosemary ect.....   I didn't with this batch (forgot to!)

Instant Pot.   Use the soup setting for 90 minutes and let it do a natural release.
Slow Cooker- use low for 10-12 hours, longer is better..
Stove top.  Bring to a boil and lower to simmer, cover simmer 8-12 hours or longer.

I do all 3 but lately the instantpot has saved me time, energy and seems to me to be a bit more flavorful.   This doesn't mean go out and get one, really just wait.  The price will come down and many will be found at garage sales this summer really cheap.

Strain the solids out.   If any meat I remove it and freeze for soup later on and the dogs get some for treats.  Discard the rest.

Let the liquid cool and refrigerate.   The next day I skim off the solidified fat if any and freeze in whatever serving size portions I want.  Often it's 1 cup or 2 cups.

There are lots of versions of making stock or broth and we can debate the words to use to describe it.  My recipe changes often by what I have on hand.    I like making a mixed meat stock with beef, pork and chicken bones in it.   It makes for a complex delicious stock for all sorts of uses.

I will be using this in some beef dishes this week.  Beef Stroganoff and shephard's pie!

I also reduce this down to half or more for a very concentrated product. This gets frozen in ice cube trays.  I will pull these out when I make a soup or stew or gravy that seems weak flavored and needs some extra flavor oomph instead of using bullion or similar things.

Friday, January 5, 2018

Shaved Steak Quesadillas

Shaved Steak is something I rarely see at any meat counter and I know many don't know how to use it other than Steak Sandwiches.  We have these really thin slices of steak- also called Minute Steaks- cut from either the London Broil or the Sirloin Tip.  The cook in less than a minute and work well with any seasoning or quick marinade.  I usually just keep it simple.

Here's one way that makes great little appetizers or a quick simple meal.
It's extremely versatile so add more to it since you know what your family likes.

Quesadillas with Creekside Meaodws Shaved Steak

1 pound Creekside Shaved Steak
1 package of flour tortillas  Any size you like to use.  I had some 6" for this.

8 ounces colby jack cheese- for mild   or cheddar  or a smoked type or a spicy jalapeno one.
Shred it.

Salt, Pepper, olive oil

Heat a cast iron griddle or non stick pan over medium-high heat.   Add a little olive oil.

Lay out the shaved steak on a tray, blot dry with paper towel, dust with some salt and pepper.

When pan is hot add the steaks a few at a time.  Lay them flat out.  You will brown each side.  This can take 15-30 seconds a side.  They cook quickly since they are so thin so no need to over due!

Remove to a cookie tray.   keep this warm as you work, so place in a slightly warmed oven.   Cook the next batch of steaks until all are done.

Wipe out your pan and lay 1 flour tortilla in the pan.  Use medium heat.   work quickly sprinkle a thin layer cheese over 1/2 of the tortilla, then add a layer of shaved steak and a thin layer of cheese.
 Fold the tortilla over the top.   As the cheese melts flip it over so the other side melts.   Remove to plate and cut into 3-5 wedges.

Repeat with the remaining steak and cheese.    Now you can go thicker with your layers if you wish.   Add  in any extras you like.   Arugula would be good, spinach, tomato slice, thin apple slices, avacado, cooked peppers and onion.    Change up the type of cheese to what you like or have on hand.

Serve with salsa and sour cream or ranch dressing (farmer Cam!) or whatever you like.

Again these make really nice little bites for gatherings, kids lunches, snacks.    Let me know what you do!

FARMSTORE IS OPEN   Sunday January 7th  Noon-2pm.
  We decided to close for saturday but are available by appointment.  It's the cold and we don't know if we'll be plowed out much on Saturday.


We have NEW meat packs for January, some revised ones from previous and all our meats by the individual cut.

Send me your favorite recipe for me to try and maybe I can post it here.   I try to keep things simple and as seasonal as I can but ready for anything (except liver, can't stand it!)

Remember your body needs to be nourished so put good things in it.  Simple things and less boxes or processed foods.  
Make your food from your home with love and not rely on someone else to do it for you is one big step towards a healthier life.  

Cooking doesn't have to be difficult, it should be simple and it can be very easy.

I know many places offer ready made meals.  We don't and I never plan to.    We want more people to take charge of what goes into their bodies by preparing it themselves.
 It's love that should go into it, positive energy and simple ingredients found locally.  
It can be done and it's why this blog is here to show you how we do it.  You can do it.

Let us help you eat better this year.