Market Musings Blog

Grass Run Farms – local farmers providing 100% grass-fed beef

The Grass Run Farms guarantee:
• 100% grass-fed – no grain, ever!
• Antibiotic- and hormone-free
• All-vegetarian feed (no animal by-products)
• Humane animal welfare (in raising and harvesting)
• Grazing and pasturing access whenever possible

You may have noticed a new bright green label in our meat case. The label and the high-quality beef behind it are from Grass Run Farms, a regional meat company founded and run by Ryan and Kristine Jepsen. Grass Run Farms is a collaboration of sustainable family farms in the bluff country of Northeast Iowa and across the Upper Midwest that produces 100% grass-fed beef.

Grass Run Farms

Ryan and Kristine started Grass Run Farms because they wanted to create a traceable and sustainable farm business with the grass-fed beef they raised. They knew people were looking for locally raised grass-fed beef and felt that they could meet this need. And indeed, they have. In the past six years, Grass Run Farms has grown from a small farmers-market operation to selling wholesale grass-fed beef to grocers in our region year-round.

During this time of growth, Grass Run Farms has stayed true to the tenants it was founded on – sustainability and accountability. The cows that graze on their pastures help perpetuate the natural balance of the earth by spreading organic fertilizer (manure), trampling organic matter into the topsoil, and encouraging regrowth of pasture forage and its root system and which preventing erosion. Being pasture-raised, the cows themselves are healthier, calmer and better nutritionally balanced than their unnaturally confined counterparts. They are never given antibiotics or added growth hormones and they are fed a vegetarian diet. To maintain accountability, Grass Run Farm uses affidavits to trace animals back to the pastures and farms they were raised on.

The Jepsens also feel an obligation to share what they’ve learned in their years of honing their farming practices. They hold educational outreach events and spearhead conversations to help support other meat producers.

By developing a space for farmers to discuss and problem-solve together,” explain Ryan and Kristine, “we have created a transparent way to ensure that grass-fed beef continues to grow and flourish as an industry.

By bringing Grass Run Farms, we are able to continue to offer good, quality 100% grass-fed beef at an affordable price. Ryan and Kristine’s commitment to their land, their animals, and their farmers gives us confidence that we are able to offer you the best grass-fed beef from our region.

Recipes for your turkey leftovers

All of these recipes make great use of your leftover Thanksgiving turkey…

Roast Turkey Hash
Ingredients
2 Tbsp. vegetable oil
1 ½ cups diced roast turkey
1 cup diced onion
1 cup diced red pepper
1 cup diced boiled or roasted potatoes
1 cup diced cooked butternut squash
1 tsp. dried sage
1 tsp. garlic powder
Pinch cayenne pepper
2 Tbsp water
Salt & pepper to taste

Preparation
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium-high heat. Sauté the onions and peppers for 6-8 minutes until they begin to soften. Add the spices and sauté for another minute. Add the potatoes, squash, and turkey. Adjust the heat under the skillet to very hot. Slightly mash the mixture in the skillet and let it brown for several minutes before stirring. Slightly mash the mixture again, and let sit for another few minutes to continue browning thoroughly. Add the water and scrape the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Cook another minute until the water is absorbed. Add salt and pepper to taste. Courtesy of strongertogether.coop

Turkey, Avocado, and Shiitake Sandwich
Everyone enjoys a nice sandwich, and this is a hearty winter one. Make this big handful with wonderful Rustica levain, miche, or other rustic bread, and you’ll need nothing else for a terrific meal except a fine dessert apple.
Makes 2 servings

Ingredients
Sturdy bread
2 tsp. mayonnaise
Freshly ground black pepper
3 slices of roasted turkey breast per sandwich
1 ripe avocado, sliced
Sea salt
1 tsp. apple cider vinegar
1 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil
½ c. fresh shiitake
1 tsp. soy sauce
Fresh lettuce
1 thinly sliced green onion or several thin rounds of sweet white onion

Preparation

  • For two sandwiches, cut four thick slices of bread and spread them with mayonnaise; grind black pepper over the mayonnaise.
  • Lay slices of turkey meat on half of each sandwich; follow with slices of avocado. Sprinkle these with apple cider vinegar and a smidge of sea salt.
  • Heat a small skillet on medium, then add olive oil. When it begins to shimmer, add thickly sliced shiitake caps, stir to coat, and when the cross sections of caps turn a pale gold, add soy sauce. Cook until caps soften; remove to a side dish and cool slightly.
  • Lay lettuce leaves on second slices of breads, then add sliced onions.
  • Spoon cooled shiitake onto avocado slices and join two halves of each sandwich.

What to do with a chicken tender?

Chicken Tender Tacos
Locally-raised, Kadejan chicken tenders are on sale through Nov. 18 for only $5.99/lb. But what are they and what can you do with them?

Knowing their identity, chickenwise, makes the difference between something succulent and something with the texture of sawdust. That’s because this cut is white, fatless meat from the underedge of chicken breasts. It’s thin, and if you don’t protect it during cooking, it will not tempt your appetite. If you enjoy furtive stops for fast food, you are certainly familiar with so-called chicken tenders: they’re those deep-fried, crusty little chicken nuggets or fingers that so many people fuel their gridiron football season with.

To get the most out of chicken tenders, protect their fatless selves by either breading and frying them or poaching them delicately. Here’s how, followed by a tasty taco to make with the meat.

Breaded and fried tenders
Ingredients:
½ pound chicken tenders
1 egg, beaten
¼ cup flour
¼ cup dry bread crumbs
coconut or refined peanut oil
large paper bag

Method
1. Cut the tenders into whatever size you want, but no smaller than 1 inch square. Dredge the nuggets/pieces in beaten egg, then in flour and bread crumbs. Set aside to semi-dry for about 15 minutes.

2. Pour about ½ inch of high-smoke-point oil into a heavy (preferably cast-iron) skillet or Dutch oven. When the top starts to look iridescent or the temperature reaches 360°F. on an immersible thermometer, lower a small handful of coated tenders into the oil. (A Chinese spider works perfectly for this; if you don’t have one, use a large, perforated spoon.) When the tenders have turned a lovely golden brown, lift them out with the spider or spoon, and place them on the paper bag to drain.

Poached Tenders
Ingredients:
small piece of fresh ginger
1 scallion, cut into three pieces
2 cups of cold water
½ pound chicken tenders

1. Cut a 2-inch piece of ginger from the main stem; you needn’t peel it. Slice it crosswise into several thinner coins. Add this to a large, heavy pot (cast iron, cast aluminum, enameled iron), along with the scallion and 2 cups of water, cover, and bring the water t a boil. Boil for 5 minutes.

2. Add the chicken tenders to the water, turn off the heat, re-cover the pot, and allow it to sit for 45 minutes. When you uncover the pot, the meat will be cooked through, very delicate in texture and flavor, and not the least big dried out.

Terrific Tacos
Makes 4 well-stuffed tacos

Ingredients:
olive oil
8 corn tortillas
½ pound breaded/fried or poached chicken tenders
1 lime, halved
¼ cup very finely sliced red or white onion or scallions, white and green parts, cut crosswise
1 ripe avocado, smashed, then salted
some salty feta or queso añejo
salsa or sriracha sauce
fresh cilantro leaves

Method
1. Heat a cast-iron griddle or skillet on MEDIUM, then add about 1 teaspoon of oil, and spread it across the surface. Lay two tortillas, one atop the other, in the pan, and heat until they start to bubble and heave. Turn them over, adding a bit of oil if the pan becomes dry.

2. Tuck ¼ of the meat, squeeze of fresh lime juice, onion or scallion, spoonful of avocado, cheese, squirt of sriracha, and cilantro leaves to each doubled tortilla, and serve immediately.

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Take a Gallon Freezer Bag…

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2014_Grilling Corn enews

In honor of the Eat Local America Challenge this month, I am bringing you an awesome local recipe to use at your late summer barbecues! I picked up all of my local ingredients from Mississippi Market of course; Read more …