Remember when several weeks ago i commented on how fortunate it was that i could begin the grazing program as taught by Jaime Elizondo which he terms #total grazing or #nonselective grazing. Well, the easy street is well over. I went on a couple week getaway and came back to 8-10 inches of snow and single digit daytime highs and below zero night time lows with wind chills well be low zero. Although other producers who are much more dedicated than i am are doing a stunning job of total grazing right through the snow and cold as evidenced by the beautiful photos they post on Instagram.
But i cannot do cold – never could – so if i can get my cows on a 10 acre to 20 acre paddock with tall grass and running water in the ditch and provide them with protein tubs, kelp, and salt – i say ‘sayonara’ see ya in a week. Maybe it’ll be up to 10F by then.
Add the butter and flour to a small sauce pot. Heat and whisk the butter and flour together until they become bubbly and foamy. Continue to cook and whisk the bubbly mixture for about 60 seconds.
Whisk the milk into the flour and butter mixture. Turn the heat up slightly and allow the milk to come to a simmer whilst whisking. When it reaches a simmer, the mixture will thicken. Once it’s thick enough to coat a spoon, turn off the heat.
Stir in the shredded cheddar, one handful at a time, until melted into the sauce. If needed, lace the pan over a low flame to help the cheese melt. Do not overheat the cheese sauce.
Once all the cheese is melted into the sauce, stir in the salt and chili powder. Taste and adjust the seasoning as needed. If the sauce becomes too thick, simply whisk in an additional splash of milk.
A recipe i learnt from my Grandma Falconer is Beef Salad. This mixture makes great take-to-the-field sandwiches, yet easily fits onto a bed of lettuce, use as a dip with crackers or chips, or eat by itself.
The starting point for the meat is about 1/2 lb of ground cooked roast, ground cooked chicken, or 1 6 oz can of tuna. I’ve tried this with lamb roast and turkey, and for whatever reason, it just doesn’t taste quite right. Personal taste – i love lamb.
6 hard cooked eggs
1 tablespoon mustard
1 tablespoon chopped pickles or pickle relish, optional
In a large bowl, whisk together all of the pancake mix ingredients. Store in an airtight container for up to several months.
TO MAKE PANCAKES:
Combine 1 1/3 cup of the pancake mix with the water, egg, butter or oil, and vanilla (if using).
Drop by 1/4 cup-full into a greased hot skillet set over medium heat. Cook until edges appear dry and bubbles appear on the surface, about 2 minute. Flip and cook another 1-2 minutes on the other side.
Serve immediately as desired, or keep warm in a 200 degree oven until ready to serve.
baking tip:PANCAKE MAKING TIPS
Starting with room temperature liquid and eggs will prevent the melted butter from solidifying into tiny droplets when you add it to the wet ingredients, OR you can stir in the melted butter at the very end after you’ve combined the wet and dry ingredients.
Whisk the wet and dry ingredients only until just combined, do not over mix the batter. It’s okay if it’s a little lumpy. This will produce a more tender pancake.
I prefer to use a cast iron skillet or griddle for pancakes, as it creates a great golden exterior.
To keep pancakes warm and crisp until you’re ready to serve, place them in a single layer on a sheet pan in a 200 degree oven.
Pancakes freeze really well! Place a sheet of parchment paper or wax paper in between each pancake inside a ziplock bag or plastic container. Store for up to 1 month. Reheat in the toaster.
INGREDIENTS 3 tablespoons olive oil 1 lb lamb or beef sausage ½ lb kale, tough stems and center ribs discarded and leaves coarsely chopped (or spinach, which is our family’s preference) ½ lb dried egg noodles 2/3 cup water ½ cup Parmesan cheese
DIRECTIONS Heat oil in a 12-inch heavy skillet over moderately high heat until hot but not smoking, then cook sausage, breaking up any lumps with a spoon, until browned, 5 to 7 minutes. Meanwhile, blanch kale (or spinach) in a 6-quart pot of boiling salted water, uncovered, 5 minutes. Remove kale with a large slotted spoon, drain over pan, and add to cooked sausage in skillet. Sauté, stirring frequently and scraping up any brown bits from bottom of skillet. Return cooking water in pot to boil and cook egg noodles in boiling water, uncovered, until al dente. Add noodles to skillet with a slotted spoon and ½ cup reserved cooking water if necessary, tossing until combined. Stir in cheese and thin with additional cooking water in desired. Serves 6.
Tips: Retain some of the noodle cooking water and add to any leftovers for easier warming up. As always, use eggs (for making noodles) from pastured hens and sausage from grass-finished animals for best nutrition and flavour. Grow your own or buy the greens from your neighbour. I make beef sausage a few days ahead and freeze; time allows the spices; salt, sage, black pepper, to meld with the ground beef.
INGREDIENTS 2 cups unbleached white or whole wheat flour 3 egg yolks 1 egg 2 teaspoons salt 1/4 to 1/2 cup water
DIRECTIONS Make a well in center of flour. Add egg yolks, egg, and salt; mix thoroughly . Mix in water, 1 tablespoon at a time, until dough is stiff but easy to roll. Divide dough into 4 equal parts. Roll dough, one part at a time, into paper-tin rectangle on well-floured cloth-covered board. Cut into narrow strips with a knife or noodle cutter. Shake out strips and place on towel until stiff and dry, about 2 hours. Break dry strips into smaller pieces. Cook in 3 quarts boiling salted water (1 tablespoon salt) until tender, 12 to 15 minutes; drain. About 6 cups noodles. Storage: after drying, noodles can be covered and stored no longer than 1 month.
Use these noodles for the Egg Noodles w/Sausage & Kale Recipe.