Category Archives: Meat

Wild Mountain Farm

MEAT-UP with Wild Mountain Meats!

Originally published in The Grapevine: July 24th to August 7th, 2014

It sometimes happens that certain people, in certain circumstances, get a pass. The judgements we would usually make, the assumptions we would usually form, are temporarily suspended. And then there are those times in which an audience will not only give a pass or suspend judgement, but will in fact give their object of assessment points for just trying. Such is the case, in my dear husband Michael’s opinion, when a man makes dinner for his family. Chefs, of course, are a different category altogether, but for an ordinary Joe to come home from work and whip up a meal for his hungry family elevates him to some sort of god-like creature and any food he creates is, by its very existence, divine.

I should note, at this point, that far from revelling in this automatic glory, Mike chafes at the idea that he should be congratulated for simply providing nourishment. In fact, he is annoyed when he is assured his food will be delicious before anyone has tasted it (often uttered whilst casting an envying glance in my direction).

This is all to say, dear reader, that Mike is nigh-on allergic to the thought of making any concessions to critiques of food offerings based solely upon the creator thereof. Therefore, when I asked our son Max to prepare the recipe I had provided him for the slow-cooking of a pork loin roast I had chosen from Wild Mountain Meat Market, I knew Mike would hold nothing back in his assessment of the resulting meal.

I should also note that Mike is not a connoisseur of porcine products (bacon notwithstanding). In fact, one might go so far as to say Mike has something of an aversion to pork.

So today, friends, I am here to tell you that for this man, to whom “it’s okay” is usually tantamount to high praise, to declare the pork loin roast awesome….that is nothing short of, well, awesome. Max was, as he should be, mightily pleased with himself.

wild
Sorry, I’ve disabled the eat-o-vision feature on this blog.

The pork loin roast was even awesome the next day in a rice-noodle and other-stuff-thrown-in-together stir fry Mike whipped up (NOT awesome because of his gender, mind).

Wild Mountain piggies are allowed to enjoy a wide variety of foods in their diet in order “to create the opportunity for them to find their ‘inner pig’” according to the informative and entertaining Wild Mountain website. The resulting roast seemed to prompt my family to also find their inner pigs as everyone had a second helping.

Never one to shy away from a new opportunity in pursuit of an experience to share with the world, I had also chosen beef jerky to sample from Wild Mountain’s array of meaty goodness. In fact, the only thing I refused to sample was the array of home-made dog food (which, I’m assured, has legions of fans).

I don't always eat jerky, but when I do eat jerky it's WILD (thanks Owen!)
I don’t always eat jerky, but when I do eat jerky it’s WILD (thanks Owen!)

Beef jerky seems like an odd thing to eat – I mean, normally I’m all about keeping the juiciness IN the meat, not sucking it all out. However, I decided to set aside some of my own judgements and assumptions to give it a try. It was delicious. This is not the corner-store dried up hunk of otherwise cruddy leftover meat – this is a carefully spiced and delightfully balanced blend of yummy chewiness. Or as Clara put it, “it’s MEAT!!!!” (ergo: delicious). No biases, just deliciousness.

She even WRAPS it for you!
She even WRAPS it for you!

Wild Mountain Meat-Up Market can be found at Wolfville Farmer’s Market, online at their aforementioned website (www.wild-mountain-farm.myshopify.com) and, of course, on Facebook.

Jordan's Natural Acres

Meet Your Meat

Lest you think I only have one child, this week I lured the other two to join us on our trip to the market. I was, for some strange reason, labouring under the misapprehension that Jordan’s Meat Market had prepared meat available. Therefore, I enticed the boys to join us with promises of “meat! Meeeeaaattt!!!” I’m not entirely sure why this approach worked on Max, our budding vegetarian, but apparently I sounded just crazy enough to convince him to come along.

These little piggies went to the market
These little piggies went to the market

Once there, my discombobulation continued as I asked my vegan friend if he knew where Jordan’s were located. Sorry again, Jon!

Jordan’s booth is like their meat: straight to the point and uncluttered by additives. I asked for what we’d come to get: beef sausages. I asked why beef, and Betty pragmatically informed me that she wanted to make sausages, but there were already two other vendors providing pork ones. My Jewish-unless-it’s-bacon husband was pretty pleased with the idea.

Clara was delighted to meet meat maker Betty
Clara was delighted to meet meat maker Betty

Jordan’s is a fourth generation farm with a fifth generation waiting in the wings. They grow their meat and eggs the natural way – on grass and hay. Betty explained that her husband’s father had followed the prevailing wisdom of his day and finished off the beef in the barn, fattening them up with grain. But then, she explained, they’d just get shipped to the butcher who trimmed off the fat. Betty thought they should skip the unnecessary expense and silliness. Grass-fed beef is leaner and more delicious anyway.

I asked Betty what their most popular item was, but she told me it really depends. She used to have an Acadia athlete who would buy 5lbs of beef liver from her every week. When I accidentally let slip that liver is not my favourite thing in the whole world she quickly explained that she has a “great” recipe for liver…covered in bacon. She also offered that most people cook overcook liver and a quick searing was where all the magic was.

This woman was filling her own cloth bag, presumably not with 5 pounds of liver... but one never knows
This woman was filling her own cloth bag, presumably not with 5 pounds of liver… but one never knows

Betty told me how the farm used to only sell meat in ‘bulk,’ and it was their son who came up with the idea to start selling at the Wolfville Farmers’ Market. If you’ve ever gone to a grocery store the night before a snowstorm, you’ll agree that Betty is right: most people don’t plan ahead these days, so ready-for-a-meal size is a popular way to sell meat now. That said, the farm is still happy to sell you your very own “in case of snowmageddon” stash from the market or straight from the farm.

And this is how simple it can be to make your own delicious dinner, folks. I brought the sausage home, tossed it on the counter, and by supper time it was thawed completely and all set for Mike to make into a delicious meal.

Mike was so enamoured of the sausage he filled the SD card with various-states-of-cooking shots. When I expressed my disappointment that there was no room left for photos of the children enjoying the sausage, Mike saved the day with a quick-thinking removal of Christmas photos. Thanks, Mike!

Worth deleting Christmas photos for.  Yummy!
Worth deleting Christmas photos for. Yummy!

We encountered a wee problem in that the package contained 4 sausages, and we are 5. No problem, Mike and I each got a full one, and the kids each got portions. Our budding vegetarian pronounced them “great.” He then says “it kind of tastes like honey” to which Solomon replied, with withering side-eye, “well YEAH, she SAID they’re honey garlic!” And they were. Oh yes indeed.

As the children bolted down their portions, they eyed ours greedily. Being the noble, generous person I am, I cut off 3 bites for my children. Each saved the bite so they could “save the best for last.”

Look!  It's the hitherto elusive writer in the flesh, er, in person.
Look! It’s the hitherto elusive writer in the flesh, er, in person.

As Mike cleared his plate away he casually remarked that there was half a sausage left. What a guy.

My only recommendation is not to buy these sausages in bulk unless you, yourself, are interested in becoming bulky. They are irresistible.

 

Jordan’s Meat Market can be located at the Wolfville Farmer’s Market, online at http://jordansnaturalacres.webs.com/, and now on Facebook, too.