It’s not a secret that locally grown, sustainably and humanely raised meat costs more than conventional meat. (Though there is the argument that eating “well raised” meat is cheaper in the long run once you figure in the costs of health care and environmental degradation that follow in the wake of conventional meat consumption and production). As farmers, whose main product is meat, we field the question “how am I supposed to buy local meat when it costs more?” We recommend eating smaller portions of high quality meat less frequently, or cooking with less expensive cuts of high quality meat. I don’t like to proselytize about our meat, but urge consumers to look deeply into what they’re eating when it looks like they’re getting a good “deal.” If you are looking for an inexpensive, delicious, quick, prepare-ahead dish to serve for the holidays using local pork try my mother, Martha Montgomery’s, Coarse County Roast Pork Pate.
COARSE COUNTRY ROAST PORK PATE
or “RILLETTES DE PORC”
If you like roast pork flaking off the bone, you might enjoy this hearty appetizer. It can also be used in a sandwich or on picnics.
Active prep time about 15 minutes.
Recipe may be multiplied and preserved frozen.
• ¾ pound unsalted pork fat (optional) or high quality fatty bacon (optional)
• 2 pounds boned blade steak of pork (or other inexpensive cut)
• 1 clove garlic
• ½ cup water
• ½ teaspoon dried sage or a large sprig of fresh sage, minced
• salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 275ºF or set up crock pot on low.
Cut the pork fat or bacon in strips.
Cut up the pork shoulder - fine dicing makes less work later but isn’t necessary.
Peal and crush garlic.
Cut up sage if using fresh, discarding stems.
Put all ingredients in a heavy crock with tight lid, or crock pot and bake until the pork is tender – about 4-5 hours.
Strain the meat mixture in a fine sieve over a bowl to reserve the liquid.
Allow the fat to separate from juice in the bowl. Chill to remove.
Pound the meat with a mallet or shred with two forks till the consistency of course pate.
Press tightly into one large or several small ramekins.
Return the non-fatty juice to the pork if desired.
Melt the reserved fat and pour over the pate to serve as a preservative, if desired, or cover tightly with plastic wrap.
Keep for up to one week in the refrigerator or freeze till serving time.
Serve at room temperature with warm, crusty baguette.
Formerly,Bar None Ranch, of Berlin, NY, we are now Climbing Tree Farm, of New Lebanon. We raise PASTURED POULTRY, LAMB, GRASS-FED BEEF, and WOODLAND/PASTURE-RAISED, MILK-FED PORK. We keep our animals true to their instincts- letting our pigs dig, our chickens range, our sheep graze. We feed rotationally graze on pasture and silvo-pasture (in the woods). We work with a local dairy to feed our pigs Jersey milk. We are conscientious stewards of the land, and our animals.
Please visit our website climbingtreefarm.com
or contact us with questions or to place orders.