Seasonal Cooking with Rita Calvert~The Local Cook
During my second farm visit, I had one of my many talks with Jeanne Dietz-Band owner of Many Rocks Farm. Formerly a bio-tech professional, Jeanne is now happily celebrating her 11th year as a goat farmer, and now a heritage hog breeder and duck farmer. On sprawling lush but rock studded hills in western Maryland, she has made her herd and farm a sound ecological project. Many Rocks offers many tested recipe cards at the stand as well as invaluable heritage breed history if you get to have a good chat at either Jones Falls Expressway or Silver Spring Farmers Markets. You’ll experience some of her cherished critters below. I used her goat meat to test the recipes for my cookbook, but just recently I purchased some of the Mulefoot pork loin chops which were incredible. My recipe follows after all of the farm’s ambiance.
In Jeanne’s voice: Many Rocks Farm is a 40 acre, family-owned farm in Washington County, Maryland. Very near to the historic Appalachian Trail and several major Civil War battlefields, our farm is in the midst of an abundance of rich American heritage and history. With deep respect for those that went before and for the beauty of the land we care for, we raise our livestock in natural fields abundant with grass and native vegetation. All of the fields lie away from our country road where the livestock can enjoy each day in the peaceful quiet of their mountain setting. Our livestock can count on being humanely managed at all times. Many Rocks Farm’s philosophy says there is just is NO other way.
Lean Healthy Goat Meat
Many Rocks Farm raises Kiko goats and Kiko crosses for meat products. The Kiko goat was developed in New Zealand as a premier commercial meat breed. Naturally lean goat meat (also called chevon) has become a boon in nuovo American cuisine. Lower in fat than skinless chicken breast and higher in protein and iron than beef, goat is the most consumed red meat in the world, but it is very new in the US. Top chefs highlight chevon on their menus and have come to love our products.
Superb Mulefoot Pork
In 2011, Many Rocks Farm began offering heritage pork from a very rare breed of American hog known as a Mulefoot. This black lard pig is characterized by a solid mule-like hoof and a sweet disposition. The heritage breed came dangerously close to extinction just a few short years ago. 5 of the 13 breeds of hogs raised in America when the lard industry flourished in the 1930’s have already become extinct. A handful of breeders are dedicated to saving the Mulefoot breed. We are proud to be among them. We believe that the BEST way to save any breed of domesticated animal from becoming extinct is to create a market for it. Mulefoot pork won a blind taste test conducted by Slow Food USA and the American Livestock Breeds Conservancy in 2009. Over 90 food critics, chefs, and food professionals voted Mulefoot #1 in taste compared against all other heritage breeds of hog and commercial pork.
Goat Milk Body Care Products
Our herd of beautiful Golden Guernsy dairy goats donate their rich milk for soapmaking and more recently, body lotion. What started as a hobby, rapidly turned into an obsession that now allows Jeanne to combine all natural essences with the high butterfat milk. Goat milk adds many nourishing vitamins and amazing moisturizing qualities to the soap. NO preservatives, dyes, or detergents.
Duck Eggs Coming
Who ever thought you could find the richness of duck eggs from Many Rocks Farm? Our ducklings have arrived and soon will grow large enough to lay those eggs which are rich with large yolks and make incomparable baked goods.
Pork Loin Chops with Bourbon Butternut Squash Chutney
So simple yet rich and satisfying. I grill year-round as the fresh air and smoky aroma are invigorating enough to rouse the appetite.
Try to make the chutney well in advance so it can season and is ready to go when you grill the pork chops.
- 4 6-ounce pork loin chops, 1¼-inch thick
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat the grill to medium-high.
Dry the chops with paper towels and season generously with salt and pepper.
Grill chops over direct heat for 6–7 minutes; Close the lid and grill 5-6 minutes more for medium doneness.
Remove the pork chops from the grill, place chops on a serving plate and top with a crowning of the Bourbon Butternut Squash Chutney.
Bourbon Butternut Squash Chutney
makes about 21/2 cups
This warm and lush chutney is very close to a product called Southern Bourbon Sweets, which I created and manufactured as part of a line of condiments. These products are no longer available but this chutney comes close. The “Sweets” referred to sweet potatoes from North Carolina. Now the recipe is available in The Grassfed Gourmet Fires It Up! IIt’s your choice to use sweet potatoes, pumpkin or the butternut squash as shown here.
- ½ cup apple cider vinegar
- 2 tablespoons yellow mustard seeds
- ¼ cup golden raisins
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 cup butternut squash, diced
- ½ cup apple, diced
- ½ cup onion, diced
- ¼ cup walnut pieces, lightly toasted
- ¼ cup bourbon
Bring the apple cider vinegar to a boil and pour over the mustard seeds and raisins, cover and steep for 20 minutes.
In a medium skillet, warm the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the squash, apple, and onion; sauté until tender, about 10 minutes. Mix in the walnuts, the raisin mixture, and the bourbon, and heat for about 5 minutes. Serve warm along with meat or poultry. This chutney will last well in the refrigerator for up to 3 weeks.