Now that we’ve introduced you to the Farm, please say hello so some absolutely delicious pork. Everything we’ve had from Flying Pigs Farm has been juicy, flavorful, and addictive, but we had really only eaten their sausage and bacon before. We used our trip to try a few new things – namely pork belly, blade roast, leaf lard, and tenderloin. The Surgeon General would not have approved of the amount of meat we ate that weekend…please do not attempt at home. However, you should definitely try all of these products as part of a balanced diet!!
Friday night started with a bang with pork belly in a Chinese-style glaze (recipe to come).
I had eaten pork belly in restaurants, but never cooked it myself. Success! This was one of the easiest things we made all weekend, but I think it was also my favorite. Pork belly is essentially unsmoked bacon. It’s rich and creamy and salty. NOT DIET FOOD! But, seriously, we weren’t there to diet and you shouldn’t diet all the time anyway! A little pork belly every now and then (from happy, healthy, well-cared-for pigs) is a treat you should allow yourself. We also had rice and bok choy, just to please our moms.
Although we were all stuffed, I wanted to try making pie crust with their rendered leaf lard. I had read a NY Times article about lard pie crusts (which mentioned Flying Pigs) and was dying to try it out. I was able to get the bottom crust out, but my rolling skills still need work, so I improvised on the top crust. I pinched off marble-sized pieces of dough, flattened them into sloppy disks, and laid them over the top of the pie like roof tiles. Not too pretty, but tasted delicious and saved me a lot of stress trying to make a perfect pie.
We all agreed that the leaf lard made a really flaky, but tender crust for our apple pie. The recipe I have from their website is delicious and easy, but uses volumetric measurements, which I think is kind of a pain. As soon as I figure out the weight equivalents, we’ll post the recipe.
We awoke on Saturday morning to a beautiful day and brown sugar bacon waffles! Yum yum yum. I wasn’t even really hungry, but who cares! We brought up a big bottle of cold brew coffee concentrate, which made the morning even better.
Our friends, Pete and Cynthia, made us a great mixed grill for lunch. Juicy chorizo, which was just spicy enough, on the grill along with peppers, onions, and tortillas. Pete’s grilling skills were much appreciated…he manned the grill even when a rain shower came out of nowhere. We enjoyed the spread on the covered deck with some refreshing rhubarb-rosemary gin cocktails.
Dinner on Saturday night was also “hosted” by Pete and Cynthia, who prepared two really impressive roulades – one with tenderloin and one with blade roast. They were both stuffed with mild sausage, lemon, and sage. The tenderloin was nice and lean, so was complimented well by the sausage filling. The blade roast was heavier, but the lemon and sage provided a nice light offset to the richness. Perfect! They roasted the roulades with some fennel, which turned so sweet it was almost candy. Mmmmmmmm… We also made a quick baked beans type dish with navy beans, spinach, and sweet and spicy tomato sauce I canned last summer.
I’m slightly embarrassed to say that we had another pie on Saturday night. Peach pie with a crumble top using the same great lard pie crust and peaches we canned last summer. We also whipped some local cream for the top. Please don’t count the calories we ate. I don’t want to know. It was so so so worth it though. Girlish figure be damed!!
Before we went to bed on Saturday night, we made a strata of sourdough bread, breakfast sausage, cheddar-ish cheese, leftover herbs, and Flying Pigs eggs. On Sunday morning, I popped it in the oven while we all got ready for the day and it was ready about 45 minutes later. Stratas are one of my favorite brunch foods to prepare. All the work is done the night before, so you don’t have to fuss in the morning. Plus, they’re delicious. Cynthia made a nice fruit salad for us, so that we didn’t only eat meat and bread.
After breakfast, Morgan, the Farm manager, took us on a tour of the Farm. I definitely needed a walk. We met the pigs and chickens, and climbed a nice hill to see the view. And, what do you know, I was hungry when we got back! As a quick lunch before heading out, we wrapped some asparagus in bacon and roasted it at 400 degrees for about 30 minutes. Topped off by a poached egg, it made the perfect farewell lunch.