To ensure you have quality fat in the kitchen from pastured animals, learn how to render beef tallow at home. I’ve rendered beef fat into quart jars of tallow two years in a row and consider myself seasoned in the art of avoiding too much of a mess in making it. The fat lends a flavor to dishes that is particularly desirable for Mexican foods, fried potatoes and savory pie crusts. This fat keeps for three months in a refrigerator.
A brief description of what happens after slaughter.
A few months back I heard a comment on an NPR radio program that really caught my attention. The program was about the local food movement and at one point the guest on the show said, “Now remember - just because it’s local doesn’t necessarily mean it has a smaller carbon footprint. That Argentinian apple that was shipped on a barge with thousands of tons of other apples may actually have required less fuel per apple than the apple than came from a few hundred miles away in the back on a farmer’s pickup.”
How to tell when meat or poultry is "off"
One locavore takes responsibility for raising and slaughtering her own chickens.
Vermont farmer Walter Jeffries details all the cuts of meat on a pig, as well as many other uses of the animal, from working the soil to providing delicious lard for baked goods.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence pledges to go 'Meatless in May' to raise awareness about the environmental effects of consuming meat.
Veggie meatloaf makes for a hearty, delicious entree or side dish perfect for vegetarians and vegans at Thanksgiving. Check out these three varieties: one features chickpeas, one lentils and one vegetarian meat substitute.
My top 10 links to delicious quick cured meats, fresh cheeses and pickles for your next summer picnic.
Taking into account production, processing, consumption and disposal, the Environmental Working Group found that if everyone in the U.S. gave up meat or cheese one day a week for a year, it would be equivalent to taking 7.6 million cars off the road.
As more people decide to pay a little extra for locally grown pastured turkey, demand may not meet supply. Make sure your bird is secure by buying farm-direct or shopping early.
Compiling a list of 100 ways to use eggs is easy. From scotch eggs and huevos rancheros to crème brûlée and hamburger patties, this integral ingredient consistently finds its way into our favorite dishes.
The US Department of Agriculture really, really doesn’t want us to read this report, which proves the connection between factory meat and MRSA, the antibiotic-resistant staph bacteria that now kills more people each year than AIDS.
When done right, you can reduce your feed costs by up to 75 percent - even after taking your fuel costs into account.
Lean, grass-fed beef is perfect for making jerky.
The network of proteins in egg whites lends itself to a miraculous transformation to egg white foam, which you can use to create delicious dishes with light texture and lots of volume.
Discover the difference between the labels "free range" and "pastured" when it comes to eggs and chicken meat.
Why locally-raised clean meat costs more than feed-lot meat; the role large USDA-inspected meat processing facilities play in the food chain. Plus a bad joke.
Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence explains the environmental effect of consuming too much meat and offers tips on how to incorporate more vegetarian meals into your diet.
Recipes and ideas for meals with less meat.
Cole describes some not-so-honest butcher practices involving meat loaf mix. Buyer Beware!
Delicious, nutritious quinoa gives nutty goodness to this summer dish that takes advantage of tomatoes, corn and eggplants--summer vegetables at their best.
Perfect for spring, this pasta dish can be made with the spring herbs that are popping up in your garden or market and a little leftover wine (either red or white will do).
When you celebrate Meatless Monday with hearty, savory Mushroom Bread Pudding, no one will miss the meat.
A new guide-to-meat book.
Cole discusses the challenges faced by organic meat raisers, as well as the health benefits of consuming organic meats.
Advice on how to get the most tender and flavorful meat from your chickens.
Rabbit is delicious and extremely good for you.
Tender slices of grass-fed flank steak have an out-of-this-world flavor, which is perfectly complimented by this flank steak marinade featuring mirin and maple syrup.
Just because the package says “local,” doesn't guarantee that it is.
Cornish cross and heritage chickens are two types of chickens often used for meat. There’s considerable debate about which tastes better, which is easier to raise and which is more “ethical.”
Instructions for building a cold smoker (and three other things you can do with steel oil drums).
The Gourmet Butcher explains the best ways to re-heat red meats.
It's a challenge to describe the place where I take my livestock when it's time for them to cease being my companions, and to become my product instead. I call Steve's Meats in DeSoto, Kansas, the "packer." And, indeed, when I stopped off there this morning they had about 800 pounds of beef frozen and packed, ready for me to take home. It filled the freezer to the rim.
Small-scale local meat producers are teaming up with mobile slaughterhouses to make local meat more sustainable, accessible and affordable
Ever wondered about the real meaning behind terms like cage free, free range, and pasture raised?
This oven-braised pastured pork belly recipe from Dan Barber pairs the lush and fatty cut with a several-day cure using a salt and spice mixture to bring out one-of-a-kind flavor.
Here are three easy observations you can make every day to see how your animals are performing. Use them to constantly adjust your grazing program, instead of “flying blind” until sale day or weighing. They can help you adjust paddock size or give supplemental nutrients.
Cowpies are a valuable source of clues about your herd's health and productivity. A quick look at manure consistency in the pasture can help you manage for peak profit.
Get started making your own charcuterie with this easy Garlic Sausage Recipe. By making your own sausage from scratch, you can use your own quality meat, customize the flavorings and leave out anything artificial.
Like many things related to food, the free-range label misleads customers, so we explore the differences between free-range and pasture-raised.
All the principles of sustainable grazing management can be summarized in one rather strange statement: your cattle should appear not to have legs! Their short legs should be hidden in tall grass. Both animal genetics and pasture management contribute to this philosophy. In this article, I’ll start with cattle selection and care protocols. In Part 2, I will cover forage considerations.
The Humane Society of the United States and the United Egg Producers agreed to work together to pass federal legislation for better treatment for the country’s egg-laying hens. While the slightly larger, furnished cages are an improvement for chickens in industrial egg production, you can support animal welfare and get more nutritious eggs by buying pastured eggs from local farmers or raising chickens yourself.
A comforting herb-baked macaroni makes for a simple meal on a short winter night.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
This Meatless Monday, whip up a batch of Julia Butterfly Hill's Top Anything Sauce, made with peanut or almond butter, and make a meal out of fresh veggies and quinoa.
Creamy, delicious Parsnip Flan with Roasted Beets takes advantage of the last of the stored winter vegetables. Pair it with fresh spring greens for a wonderful spring meal.
There is no “one size fits all” bunch of information that works every time in every location, every person, and for every goat.
Pigs can be a great source of healthy and humanely-raised meat in an urban setting thriving on the leftovers of humanity.
Butcher and meat expert Cole Ward gives a simple explanation of what "meat" actually is.
If you’ve always wondered how to make sausage at home, this primer will get you started in sausage making.
How do folks get from city dwellers to homesteaders? Annie Warmke interviews Carie Starr, owner of Cherokee Valley Bison Ranch in Central Ohio.
Composting doesn't need to be complicated. It's time to throw out the guide book and start letting nature take its course. Meat? No problem. Bread? Don't worry about it. Human waste? Why not? It's easy!
"The Rabbit-Raising Problem Solver" by Karen Patry will answer your questions about rabbit housing, feeding, behavior, health care, breeding and kindling.
Cole's tips for the best stew meat, and his favorite burger recipe. Plus a chance to win a free Gourmet Butcher DVD!
One of the secrets of healthy dogs is to feed them healthy food, and raw meat is their natural diet.
My journey and some of the challenges I experienced with the farm-to-table method. The struggles I faced while raising meat in order to eat more ethically and sustainably.
Cole remembers some of the not-so-great things he saw in supermarket meat departments.
Recipe for Southern-style shrimp and grits, made with superb Floriani Red Flint grain corn.
How we prepared and ate all the meat of the goat Caleb raised and butchered.
Organic Valley's new Pasture Butter is a standout among cultured butters and organic food products. This is one of the few products available today that respects Mother Nature by paying attention to the seasons, not to mention the needs of our food-producing animal friends.
This Thanksgiving consider opting for a pastured turkey instead of a commercially raised bird, and think about buying local Thanksgiving foods, too.
The results of our latest nutrition tests show that eggs from hens raised on pasture (true free-range eggs) exceed commercially raised eggs in vitamin D content.
Rich, creamy Parmesan and Brie Polenta is a Meatless Monday meal fit for a king.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian makes use of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--all in their prime right now.
This fresh spring soup is rich and creamy without the heaviness of cream.
If fiddlehead ferns are popping up in your local market or local woods, grab them while you can. Incorporate this fabulous, fleeting spring treat into a fresh, slightly tangy pasta dish for Meatless Monday.
Ann Harvey Yonkers, founder of Washington, D.C.'s FreshFarm Markets co-op, nests eggs in a bed of wilted fresh greens for a delicious meatless summertime brunch or dinner.
These recipes with filling, protein-packed whole grains such as quinoa and millet are great options for no-meat or low-meat diets.
Readers share their best ideas for saving money on meat and their recipes for almost meatless, flexitarian meals.
Whip up this delicious vegetable-based soup tonight. You'll never miss the chicken.
If spring is giving you peas, it's best to eat them right away before their sugars degrade. Here's how to whip them up into a wonderful spring soup.
Fired up our smoker for the first time and made yummy use of our summer's Kokanee Fish Catch to smoke fish.
Preserving meat at home by making pork confit.
Cole explains the term "dark cutter" as it applies to the effect of stress on meat animals, and eventually, its affect on consumers.
Cole takes you through the first steps in learning to cut your own meat - sourcing.
Meat, eggs and dairy from grass-fed animals provide superior nutrition. Join our nutrition testing program for proof you can use.
The further degradation of our societal food skills are examined here, with small town food craftsmen becoming an endangered species, in this case, my local butcher.
Skip the steaks if you're firing up the barbecue tonight. Marinated and grilled veggies and tofu, served up with wasabi mayo on grilled bread, is a hearty, delicious way to celebrate Meatless Monday.
Celebrate Meatless Monday with this sweet, tangy spring risotto.
Sauteed spring greens and mushrooms dress up polenta in this nutritious, satisfying main dish.
Keeping feeder pigs over the summer is a good way to use garden leftovers and produce great tasting home-grown pork!
Cole Ward - AKA The Gourmet Butcher - introduces himself
Hog butchering was a common farm chore done in the early winter. It provided much of the family's meat in the wintertime. It provides healthful food, exercise and a wonderful experience of community.
The tale of Carlotta's last day. A trip to the processor. Real happenings on a goat farm, it's not always lollipops and rainbows.
Getting ready for Goat School is always a daunting task, but once all of our new friends start arriving, we get excited! What a great time learning all about goats!
I don't get grossed out very easy - but this special cut of beef made me cringe!
Julia Butterfly Hill understands the need for extreme measures when it comes to environmental activism. In the late 1990s, she spent 738 days living in a redwood tree named Luna, to bring attention to the plight of the world’s ancient forests. Through her vigil, she negotiated to permanently protect the 1,000 year-old tree and a nearly three- acre buffer zone. She says that our forks are also powerful change agents.
“I love food!” Hill told Natural Home & Garden. “I love preparing meals that are both decadently delicious and happily healthy. I’m a joyous vegan, and I celebrate how fabulous this lifestyle is for my body, my world, my planet, and for the animals as well.”
Hill eats animal-free food that’s organic, local, in season, and free of added junk—food that she calls “a celebration of life.” Her recipe for delicious vegan lasagna takes about a half hour to prepare and provides plenty of opportunity for interpretation. If you don’t have fresh herbs on hand, substitute 1 teaspoon each of the dried herbs or 2 tablespoons Italian Seasoning.
Make homegrown tomatoes the star of tonight’s dinner by whipping up Marcella Hazan’s Tomato Sauce with Butter and Onion. Made with just three ingredients, this sweet, rich sauce is a classic.
Fusion Bread Salad makes use of the cherry tomatoes and basil that are prime right now--and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to make this hearty, nutritious main dish.
Wendy Albright remembers visiting her grandparent's farm where practicing organic living was the preferred way of life; they exercised natural crop cultivation, gathered fresh chicken eggs, canned both vegetables and meat and the term "eating like a thrasher" became a reality.
describing the upcoming fun photo contest with the theme being chickens and the fun they either have or give. Figs and more figs are at the heart of the obsession.
Tackling the old wives tale I heard recently down at the hardware store how a penny inserted into the flesh of a tomato plant stalk will help that plant fight off or maybe prevent a blight attack along with data on trying to trap a wild rabbit.
Summing up pasture data where it relates to chickens and customizing land to better suit poultry and their behavior and stomachs. Measuring oil viscosity levels and rescuing a trailer with a portable winch were some of our favorite things.
The New York Times reports our carbon emissions in 2011 were the highest on record. Reduce your family's carbon footprint by choosing vegetarian recipes such as Fennel and Leek Soup and Delicata Squash Stuffed with Wild Mushrooms and Herbs.
Black bears and rural living go hand in hand in many parts of North America. So how do you keep bear/human conflicts to a minimum?