Grandma Makes her Sausage & Peppers!

Home!

What is Home?
What does it mean to us?
A place of peace- rest- affection?
Of gaiety- and laughter?
The place we love- reverence- yearn for?
Enjoy?
For which we are ready to work, and plan and strive?
Or does it mean confusion, inharmony?
Hour after hour of petty quarrels, differences?
Frowns and fault-finding?
Injustice and misunderstanding?

Home is first of all within ourselves.
The most stately of mansions, the richest draperies,
rarest rugs, furnishings will not make a home-
Unless there is Peace- Stillness- Unselfishness- within
Every Heart.
Home is not bounded by the four walls of a house.
It is the heart of Life.
To it Life comes.
In it Life is nurtured, ideals born, knowledge gained.
Upon it the strength of the nation is built.
It is the cradle of World Progress-

-An excerpt from Ida Bailey Allen’s
New Modern Cook Book
published in 1924-

Not until we start to have our own families can we really appreciate how special our extended families truly are. How wonderful our family traditions are, and how important it is for us to enjoy them and preserve them for the next generation.

The video of Grandma making her Sausage and Peppers speaks for itself, so I will leave you to watch it…but I will print the full recipe in my next post.
Enjoy!

Below is the video of Grandma making her Sausage & Peppers. Be sure to watch all three parts:)

 

 

 

Gotta love cooking with Grandma!

 

 

Lazy Day?….Slow Cook your Whole Chicken!

When people hear that I am married to the butcher they often comment that we must eat well. They are right. But, there are days when it’s hard to convince the butcher to bring home dinner! Yep, it’s true. There are also days where I prefer to start dinner early in the day to prevent that mad rush after school. And then, there are some days I feel slightly lazy, and look for something simple to prepare. So on these days I need to dig into my freezer and come up with something fancy.

Recently, I read that you can put an entire frozen chicken in the slow cooker. I was doubtful, so of course I needed to try it!

I had previously frozen a D’Artagnan Crystal Valley All Natural Chicken, so I dug it out. These Crystal Valley Roasters are already pre-rinsed, giblets removed, and completely trussed. Perfect for popping into the slow cooker directly from my freezer!

I am happy to report; it was simple…and delicious to slow cook an entire chicken! Click through the following images to see how easy it was to prepare a delicious dinner on a lazy day.

The complete recipe is posted below the gallery

Ingredients:

One D’Artagnan Crystal Valley Whole Chicken
1/2 cup of warm water (only when slow cooking a frozen chicken)
1 cup of chicken stock ( I prefer to use Kitchen Basics brand)
6 carrots chopped into rustic size pieces
10 whole cloves of garlic
One lemon cut into 4 wedges
Fresh rosemary, sage and thyme
Freshly ground salt and pepper

1. Start by removing the whole chicken from the package. If you are using a D’artagnan Crystal Valley Chicken, you can place it directly into the slow cooker, since it has already been prepared for you. This is what makes it so simple to slow cook the chicken directly from your freezer. It has already been rinsed, trussed and giblets removed. Fantastic!

2. When using a frozen chicken, you will need to add a half cup of warm water to the bottom of the slow cooker.

3. Set the slow cooker to low setting for seven hours. Close the lid and leave alone to cook. At the three and a half hour mark, add one cup of chicken stock around the chicken. Add the chopped carrots, whole garlic cloves and lemon wedges. Drizzle some olive oil over the chicken, season with fresh salt and pepper. Place your fresh herbs on top and turn heat setting to high. Your chicken will continue to slow cook for another three and a half hours.

4. At the end of seven hours, the chicken should have reached an internal temperature of 160 degrees. At this point scoop the garlic cloves out of the drippings and rub them over the skin of the chicken. Gently remove the roaster from your slow cooker to a cutting board. Do this carefully as it will be very tender. Carve the legs first, then wings, and lastly the breast.

5. For a quick gravy, you can ladle some of the “drippings” into a small sauce pan and bring to a boil. Whisk in one and a half tablespoons of cornstarch that has been dissolved in one cup of cold water. This will thicken the gravy. Heat through and serve alongside your chicken and veggies.

Some tips:

I used a Crock Pot Brand Slow Cooker with a 6 quart capacity.

You can slow cook a fresh whole roasting chicken by omitting the warm water, and placing all ingredients in the slow cooker at the same time. Set the Slow cooker on low and cook for six hours or to an internal temperature of 160 degrees. ( Place your meat thermometer between the thigh and the breast to get an accurate reading.)

If you will be away from the kitchen, you can slow cook your frozen chicken on high for six hours, adding all ingredients at the beginning. (I use the two-step method because the veggies stay firm, but it is delicious either way.)

 

These twice baked potatoes would make a really great accompaniment to your chicken. http://randsmeatmarket.com/2014/10/10/twice-baked-potatoes-with-lavender-farmstead-cheese/

Recipe for Grandma’s Sunday Sauce

Today is a great day to simmer a delicious pot of Grandma’s Sunday Sauce. If you missed the video that shows the sauce making event at Grandma’s…you can watch it herehttp://randsmeatmarket.com/2014/09/02/grandmas-sunday-sauce/
FYI…plan to spend a beautiful afternoon making this sauce. Pour yourself a glass of wine, put on your favorite tunes and be prepared for family members to taste test along the way….

Sauce Ingredients:
Two 28 oz cans of Whole Peeled Tomatoes
Three 28 oz cans of Crushed Tomatoes
2 yellow onions diced
2 red onions diced
8 cloves of garlic chopped fine
Handful of fresh basil chopped
Six to eight dried bay leaves
4 teaspoons of dried oregano
4 tablespoons of granulated sugar
2 teaspoons of granulated garlic
Four to six tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil
Couple splashes of Cabernet Wine
Eight links of sweet sausage
Eight short ribs of beef

Meatball Ingredients:
3 pounds of ground beef/pork/veal mixture
1 1/2 rolls ( or several pieces of Italian bread) Soaked in water and squeezed
5 eggs
1/2 cup of grated locatelli cheese
small handful of fresh basil chopped
pinch of salt and pepper
vegetable oil for frying

Grandma uses two large sauce pots and one large frying pan to make this sauce. The entire process can take between four and five hours.

For the sauce:
Distribute the chopped onions, garlic and sweet sausage links evenly between two large heavy sauce pots. Add about two to three tablespoons of Extra Virgin Olive Oil per pot and sauté over medium heat until everything looks golden brown ( about 8-10 minutes).

While the above ingredients are sautéing, empty the cans of whole tomatoes into a large bowl and squish between your fingers to break them into pieces. Distribute them between the two pots and stir gently.

As your sauce continues to cook over a med/low heat, sprinkle the beef short ribs with a little salt and pepper and brown them in a large heavy frying pan with a small amount of Olive Oil. This process can take between ten to twelve minutes.

When the short ribs of beef are browned nicely on both sides, transfer them to the sauce. Now you will also add the three cans of crushed tomatoes, dividing them evenly amongst both pots of sauce. Giving the sauce a gentle stir you can also add whole bay leaves, 2 tablespoons of sugar and several splashes of Cabernet. Cover the pot with a lid that is set on an angle to let steam escape and prevent your sauce from boiling. Keep your heat low/med….let the sauce simmer as you prepare the meatballs!

For the meatballs:
In a large bowl, mix the beef/pork/veal with soaked and squeezed bread, eggs, locatelli cheese, chopped fresh basil, one teaspoon of granulated garlic and a pinch of salt and pepper. After the ingredients are mixed thoroughly, shape them into nice size meatballs. This should make about twenty five medium sized meatballs. Heat vegetable oil in the large frying pan. Add meatballs to brown in two separate batches so as not to crowd the pan. Meatballs should brown nicely on both sides for a total of twelve minutes. Add the meatballs to your sauce pots and simmer altogether for about two hours stirring gently every so often.

At the two hour mark, remove the meatballs and sausage from the sauce and set aside. The beef short ribs will continue to simmer in the sauce for another two hours.

After your sauce has simmered for a total of four hours, the beef short ribs should have fallen off the bone. Remove these bones from the sauce and give the pot a stir. You will be left with the most delicious Sunday Sauce. Serve it over your favorite pasta along side your delicious sausage and meatballs! Enjoy with your wonderful family!

A huge thank you to Grandma for sharing her delicious recipe with us. I had so much fun cooking with her and I think the secret to her delicious sauce besides the love she adds…is taking your time….and enjoying the experience. Cheers to making many pots of this delicious Sauce and spending many beautiful Sundays with our families!

Whistlin’ Chicken

As it turns out, two days of hunting down an article about grilling whole chickens, has made it much easier to tear it out, and bring the chicken to the table.

I’m happy to say…..grilling a whole chicken was simple and fancy too!

My butcher recommends a D’artagnan all natural roaster. I marinated the bird in buttermilk for 2 hours, turning it at the halfway point. Don’t Skip this step, it keeps the meat super juicy!

Pre-heat that grill! Over a medium heat, sear the bird on all sides for a total of twenty minutes. Reduce the grill to medium low heat ( 350 degrees if your grill has the handy temp gauge). Grill the chicken for 45 minutes to 1 hour, mopping every 10 minutes with your favorite barbecue sauce. I used Whistlin’ Dixie from Wild Thymes.

The chicken’s whistlin’ when it reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees…(use the meat thermometer ….it works every time).

Remove the bird from the grill and let sit covered with foil for 5-10 minutes.

Carve and enjoy!IMG_2314

 

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IMG_2290 So good! The kids will eat it:)