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Posts tagged ‘berkshire pork’

Summer Freezer Sale: Save 25%

Use this rare opportunity to save 25% off customer favorites including organic chicken, Wagyu beef, Rocky Mountain lamb and more. Those in the know shop early and shop hard, because quantities are limited and the deals are hot!

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We would like to highlight a few products that you might want to try while they are on sale.

A staff favorite, the Berkshire porterhouse pork chops weigh in at a whopping 16 ounces each (on average). Beautiful and juicy, they are pork at its best.

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Our pasture-raised beef brisket is ready for the smoker or a braise in the oven. Whatever method you choose, this hardworking chunk of flavorful beef will serve you well at dinners and outdoor parties.

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Guinea hen legs? Absolutely! Not eating guinea hen? You’re missing out on some dark, flavorful  meat.  They can be grilled or battered and fried like chicken legs.

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Our annual August Freezer Sale ends Sunday, August 17th, 2014 and quantities are limited so get shopping!

 

Saucy Series Part V: Sauce Robert

Welcome to guest blogger Deana Sidney of Lost Past Remembered, a blog dedicated to discovering, replicating and adapting historic recipes. In this saucy series she demystifies one of the cornerstones of classic French cuisine: the mother sauces.

Sauce Robert

Sauce Robert is one of the ancient sauces. Mentioned in literature and dating from at least the 15th century, it remained popular right through to the 19th century (although you can still buy bottled Sauce Robert, it is nothing like the original).

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La Varenne

The sauce is used brilliantly in the 17th century by the legendary cook La Varenne in a dish made with pork (you can read more about the history HERE.) This is no surprise since the sweet and sour oniony mustard sauce is a perfect accompaniment to pork.

Although the original was made with the whole loin, I decided that I would use D’Artagnan’s tenderloin for this recipe since I love the texture. Also, D’Artagnan’s Berkshire Pork has such a full flavor, unlike any supermarket tenderloin you are used to. It’s great pork, and the careful way it was raised can be tasted. Since it cooks quickly, a meal fit for a king can be ready in no time. Cooking the onions slowly is the longest step.

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Pork Tenderloin with Sauce Robert, serves 4

2 pork tenderloins
1 T lard or butter
1 large onion chopped
2 T butter
½ t salt and ½ t pepper*
pinch ground cloves
¾ c verjuice ** + ¼ c white wine vinegar OR ½ c white wine and ½ c white wine vinegar
2 small bunches sage leaves
½ c demi-glace
2 T grainy mustard

1. Heat the butter in a skillet and add the onions and one of the sage bunches. Cook at low heat for about ½ an hour till soft and sweet, stirring regularly.

2. Preheat oven to 425º.

3. Put the lard or butter in the heated pan, salt and pepper the tenderloins, put in the skillet and brown the meat over high heat for a minute or two on each side. Put them in the oven for 10 -15 minutes or until the internal temperature is 145º. Remove from the oven and tent while you finish the sauce.

4. Remove the sage, add the verjuice and vinegar and begin reducing over medium-low heat. Add the demi-glace and stir till you have a thick sauce. Pour any juices from the pan (after removing excess fat) and pour any accumulated juices from the plate into the sauce. Add the salt and pepper and cloves.

5. Taste for seasoning and then add the mustard. Serve with the sliced tenderloin garnished with the rest of the sage.

*originally long peppers and grains of paradise would be used…they are great so use them if you can get them.

** verjuice is vinegar-like but milder and absolutely delicious –– refrigerate after opening

Braising Essentials

Because we are offering 15% off our favorite cuts for braising this week, we thought it was the perfect time to share some tips for this technique.

Braising is comfort cooking at its finest, and it’s surprisingly easy. And while you may be inclined to keep the dishes all to yourself, braising is a great option for entertaining. With most of the hands-on work completed before the dish even goes into the oven there is ample time to spend with guests, and as the braise cooks it warms your home with an enticing, rich perfume. A larger batch is no more work, yet leaves enough for leftovers, no sharing required. Here are some of our braising basics.

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Equipment
There is really only one piece of special equipment needed for braising – the vessel. You should always use a high-quality, non-reactive, heavy pot with a tight-fitting lid. Your pot should be deep enough to hold all of your ingredients while allowing about two inches of space at the top for evaporation and condensation, or self-basting, as we like to call it. If in doubt, always go up a size. Some specialty pots have features that enhance this moisture up/moisture down process, like a cocotte which has small spikes on the underside of the lid allowing for continuous self-basting, or a doufeu, a pot with a recessed lid to which you add ice to speed up condensation. These features are nice but often come with a hefty price tag. For basic braising, we recommend a simple Dutch oven made from enameled cast iron as it conducts and holds heat evenly and can be used to both brown the meat stovetop, then finish braising in the oven for true one-pot cooking.

The long & short of it
There are two basic types of braising: short and long. Short braising, or cuisson à l’étuvée in French, is great for vegetables, small birds and lean, tender poultry such as chicken or rabbit. It’s a fast process by which you quickly brown the ingredients in fat then add a flavorful liquid and barely simmer until just cooked through. The entire process is finished in less than an hour. Long braising or, braisage, uses similar techniques but achieves something different entirely. Tough cuts of meat such as short ribs, shoulders, shanks and briskets are browned in fat, then liquid and aromatics are added and the dish is cooked at very low temperature, staying below a simmer, for a long period of time. Cooking meat slow and low breaks down the sinewy connective tissue, first into collagen, then melting into gelatin. The cooking liquid reduces to become the accompanying rich and complex sauce.

Browning Basics
When browning meat for braising, there are a few things to keep in mind. First, never skip this step as browning the meat is an essential part of the braising process and your dish will lack flavor without it. Lean or tender cuts should be patted dry for a more intense browning effect. Fatty cuts should be dusted with flour pre-searing to develop a nice crust that will help to hold juices in. Heat your oil (duck fat works beautifully!) over high flame until quite hot then add your meat. Get the meat evenly brown and crusty on all sides. Be mindful not to crowd the pan, working in batches if necessary.

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Get Saucy!
The fork-tender meat may get top billing in braised dishes but the rich, luscious sauce is just as important. This long gentle method of cooking does most of the sauce work for you. There are some subtle tweaks you can make at the end of cooking to adjust the final product and really make your dish shine. If your sauce is thinner than you’d like, simply move some of the liquid to a small saucepan and reduce over medium-high heat. When thickened, add back into the pot. If your sauce is too thick, add some hot broth or wine and simmer. If you were over-generous with your seasoning, add a peeled potato or two during cooking. The starch will absorb a bit of the salt. Discard them before serving. Not enough flavor? Add freshly chopped herbs, citrus zest or spices at the very end of cooking and offer a bit at the table for garnish. Not enough body? At the end of cooking, shave in a small amount of bitter chocolate! It’s a professional kitchen secret that few chefs will reveal. A light hand will yield spectacular results. If your dish is too fatty, simply chill the whole pot in the refrigerator overnight. The fat will rise to the top and solidify, making it easy to discard. The extra time allows the flavors to marry and concentrate too. If you’re short on time, you can also let it rest for a half hour then skim the top with a shallow spoon.

Quick Tips

When reheating, remove the meat from the thickened sauce and bring it to a low boil then toss the meat back in just to heat through.

Braised dishes freeze beautifully – make a big pot, freeze individual portions in airtight containers and enjoy on a cold, rainy day.

Braised meats also make fantastic leftovers. Try adding to tacos or burritos, shepherd’s pie, pasta, sandwiches or salads.

Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops

Ray Lampe may be better known to the world as Dr. BBQ, and with good reason. He turned his outdoor cooking hobby into career, authored five books on the subject, and has been on TV many times to share his techniques. Check out his other recipes on our website, and heat up the grill.

This is a simple recipe that works on the grill or in a pan stove top, though it will lose some of the magical smoky quality. It starts with a spice rub, the foundation for all good things.  Bitter ground coffee, paprika and salt help create a charred crust for meaty, bone-in Berkshire pork chops. If you haven’t rubbed coffee on meat before, you will be amazed at the added depth of flavor. It will work on ribs, steaks, chops, you name it.

Recipe by Ray Lampe, Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops

Recipe by Ray Lampe, Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops

Ingredients

1 tablespoon salt

1 teaspoon coffee, finely ground

1 teaspoon granulated garlic

½ teaspoon lemon pepper

6 Berkshire Pork Milanese Chops 

Preparation 

1. To make the rub, combine the salt, coffee, paprika, granulated garlic and lemon pepper in a small bowl. Mix well.

2. Season the pork chops evenly on both sides with the rub.

3. Prepare the grill for cooking over direct medium-high heat.

4. Place the chops directly on the cooking grate. Cook for 5 minutes. Flip and cook another 5 minutes for slightly pink and juicy, or to your desired degree of doneness.

5. Remove to a platter and let rest for 4 minutes.

Duckspotting @ Ouest, New York City

Duckspotting is snapping & sending in pics of dishes from your favorite restaurants, made with D’Artagnan ingredients! We supply restaurants all over the country & love to see what creative chefs are doing with our products. Keep sending them in!

D’Artagnan Berkshire Pork Chop wrapped in Jambon de Bayonne

Where: Ouest

What: Chef de Cuisine Lev Gerwirtzman’s beautiful Berkshire Pork Chop Saltimbocca with Caramelized Onion Farro, Grilled Radicchio and Mushroom-Balsamic Demi Glace

How: Ouest Retaurant is @ 2315 Broadway, New York, NY 10024  |   for reservations click here or call (212)580-8700

Dining out & spot some fabulous dishes made with D’Artagnan ingredients? Snap a pic & email with the details to alishah@dartagnan.com We’ll give you & the restaurant a shout out!

All About the Berkshire Pig

The Berkshire is one of the oldest identifiable breeds of pig, which dates back some 300 years to the shire of Berks in England. Legend has it that Oliver Cromwell’s army discovered the breed while in winter quarters, and a welcome find that must have been! This black-coated hog with white areas on the face, legs and tail, is known for its juicy, tender, and flavorful meat which is heavily marbled with fat.

The Berkshire breed became well-known and wide-spread in England, and was even raised by the Royal Family at Windsor Castle in the 1800s. As a gift from the Royal Family, Berkshire hogs were introduced to Japan, where they have been in high esteem ever since. The Berkshire pig is sometimes known as kurobuta, which is Japanese for black pork.

Berkshire Pork Chops with Apples & Onions by Chef Barbara Lynch

First introduced to the United States in the early 1800s, the Berkshire breed offered improvement to the general hog population when crossed with that stock. The fear that the breed would be completely diluted led breeders to start the American Berkshire Association in 1875, the first swine group and registry in the world. The founding of the ABA was met with enthusiasm by the breeders in the U.S. and in England, and it was agreed that only hogs from English herds, or hogs that could be traced back to them would be registered. The first boar to be recorded in the registry was Ace of Spades, bred by Queen Victoria herself. Today, many of our Berkshire breed pigs are descended from these original registered animals.

In 1876, the first US Berkshire Breed Publication read: “The Berkshire meat is better marbled than that of any other breed of swine. That is it has a greater proportion of lean freely intermixed with small, fine streaks of fat making the hams, loins, and shoulders sweet, tender, and juicy. This renders the whole carcass not only the more palatable to persons in general, but are unquestionably the most healthy food. Considering theses facts, the Berkshire, above all others, should be the favorite swine among United States. We ought to take all possible pains in breeding Berkshires in such a manner as to enhance this superior quality.”

Lard and Lean 

Lard used to be in every kitchen, used as cooking oil, in pasty, to bind meat pies, and even had industrial applications. But after World War II, in a new era of convenience and better living through science, cheaper vegetable oils were introduced and replaced lard for the most part. The lard type pigs that farmers raised to keep up with the demand were now considered useless, and instead pigs were selected and bred for lean meat. Berkshire hogs began to fall out of fashion. By the 1980s, industrial farming had become the norm, and Berkshire pigs were of no interest to such farmers, with their slower growing time and abundant fat. But the ABA never wavered, and just kept on breeding and registering the heritage hogs in small numbers. The Japanese also maintained the purity of the breed, and valued the tasty, succulent meat, placing a huge premium on kurobuta pork.

That's a lot of tasty parts!

Thanks to an increased interest in heritage breeds and traditional foods among the culinary cognoscenti, there are more farmers raising them for the market, even crossing the hardy stock with other heritage breeds. As industrial farms crowd out the small farmers, many of them are turning to heritage breeds like the Berkshire pig, and raising them in the old ways, in small scale operations.Chefs across the country will gladly pay more for quality Berkshire pork, raised naturally, on pasture, and farmers are meeting the demand.

Chef Alexander Bernard's Balsamic Glazed Berkshire Tenderloin

Farming Cooperatives 

D’Artagnan sources all heritage and Berkshire pork from a cooperative in Missouri, at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. A group of about a dozen family farmers raise Berkshire and cross breeds (referred to as simply “heritage”) on pasture, with access to individual houses, water and supplemental grain feed. Families of pigs are left together, to forage and frolic outdoors in pastureland. The cooperative is strict about banning the use of antibiotics and hormones on each farm, and about limiting the number of hogs the farms raise. They seek to add another farmer to the cooperative before they add more pigs to any one farm. They are paid a premium for their humanely-raised pork, making the small farm a profitable business, and proving that there might be a future in the old breeds after all.

RECIPE SUGGESTIONS:
Pork Chops Milanese
Coffee Rubbed Pork Chops
Braised Berkshire Pork Butt and Beluga Lentils
Bone-in Pork Butt with Green Apple and Crushed Hot Red Pepper

Back of the House/Episode 7: Berkshire Pork with Amanda Freitag!

In the latest episode of Back of the House, Ariane & Chef Amanda Freitag are laughing it up in The Brooklyn Kitchen while they prepare two of their favorite recipes for Berkshire pork.

Berkshire pork is known for its juicy, flavorful meat which is heavily marbled. Sometimes known as kurobuta, (which is Japanese for “black pork”) Berkshire is highly sought-after by chefs and home gourmands alike for its sweet, nutty flavor and fork-tender texture.

We source our Berkshire pork from a cooperative in Missouri, at the foot of the Ozark Mountains. About a dozen family farmers raise Berkshire and cross breeds (referred to as simply “heritage”) on pasture, with access to individual houses, water and supplemental grain feed. Families of pigs are left together, to forage and frolic outdoors in pasture. The cooperative is strict about banning the use of antibiotics and hormones on each farm, and about limiting the number of hogs the farms raise. They seek to add another farmer to the cooperative before they add more pigs to any one farm. They are paid a premium for their humanely-raised pork, making the small farm a profitable business, and proving that there might be a future in the old breeds after all.

In this video, Ariane is preparing a flavorful Stuffed Berkshire Pork Loin with Prunes and Porcini, while Amanda is making one of her fantastic go-to pork recipes, Pork Chops with Crisp Ventrèche and White Bean Ragu. Bon appétit!