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Pork ~ Produce


I recently flipped through a booklet titled something like “Cooking Modern Pork” that was published by some Midwest pork producers association.  Every recipe drowned the meat in ketchup or soy sauce.  Of course, such treatment is often necessary to make supermarket pork – too lean, overbred, and flavorless – edible at all.  At Treble Ridge Farm, we take a different approach to cooking pork, preferring to let the quality of the meat hold center stage.  When a customer asks us how to cook a particular cut, the short answer is always “Simply!”  We realize, though, that more detailed advice is often helpful, so here are some of our favorite pork recipes.  Most of them are simple indeed, with only three or four ingredients and very basic cooking techniques.

Sweet & Sour Spareribs
Loin Rack with Apricot-Wine Sauce
Perfectly Simply Pork Chops
Mustard Tenderloin
Spaghetti Carbonara
Biscuits & Sausage Gravy
Fresh Marinara
Chorizo Dates
Vienna Casserole
Pork-Stuffed Paranthas
Liver & Onions
Sweet & Sour Spareribs

These are an old family favorite, from the Joy of Cooking.

4 lbs spare ribs
1 cup vinegar
1 cup sugar
1/2 cup dry sherry
2 TB soy sauce
2 tsp fresh ginger, grated
4 tsp cornstarch
2 TB water

Cook the spareribs in boiling water for five minutes.  Drain and pat dry with a paper towel.  Bring the vinegar, sugar, sherry, soy sauce, and ginger to a boil.  Mix together the cornstarch and water and add to the boiling mixture.  Cook until the sauce is thickened and no longer cloudy.  Brush a thin layer of sauce over the ribs and broil five minutes.  Brush a second thin layer of sauce over the ribs and broil on the other side for five minutes.  Cut ribs apart and spoon more sauce over them to serve.  Serves six.

Loin Rack with Apricot-Wine Sauce

1 loin rack, 10-12 pounds                                
2 TB rosemary
1 cups dried apricots
Freshly ground black pepper                
1 cup red wine
Sprinkle the loin liberally with salt and pepper, along with the rosemary.  Place in a 350 degree oven and roast until done.  Remove from oven.  Put the apricots and wine in a small saucepan and simmer for twenty minutes, adding more wine or some water as necessary to maintain the same level of liquid.  Puree this mixture in a food processor and serve alongside the roast.  Serves eight or more.

Perfectly Simply Pork Chops

This is the way we usually cook pork chops.  Crisp on the outside, juicy on the inside, slightly spicy - they really need no fancier treatment.

2 pork chops                           
1 TB Old Bay seasoning
2 TB lard or oil
Sprinkle each pork chop thoroughly with Old Bay.  Heat the lard or oil in a skillet over high heat until almost smoking.  Add the pork chops and cook for about four minutes without moving them.  Turn once and cook for another three or four minutes or until just done, without moving them.  Remove from pan as soon as the chops are done.  Serves two.

Mustard Tenderloin

1 tenderloin                             
3 TB Dijon mustard
Salt & pepper                          
cup dry bread crumbs
Pat the tenderloin dry with paper towels and season with salt and pepper.  Spread an even layer of mustard over the whole tenderloin and roll in bread crumbs until well coated.  Bake in a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until done.  Cut in slices and serve.  Serves two.

Spaghetti Carbonara

“Miner’s spaghetti” is most traditionally prepared with guanciale, which is the spiced and smoked jowl of the hog.  In America, it is usually prepared with bacon or Canadian bacon.  Intended to provide fuel for hardworking manual laborers, this is not diet food but it is so good it is worth indulging in on a regular basis.  A salad on the side turns it into an easy complete meal.

1 pound bacon                        
6 cloves garlic, minced             
pound spaghetti, cooked      
4 eggs 
6  TB fresh parsley, minced
cup grated parmesan cheese
Freshly ground black pepper
Cook bacon on the stovetop.  Remove the bacon from the pan to drain on paper towels.  Drain off some of the bacon fat, leaving about cup in the pan.  Add garlic and cook over low heat until golden-brown.  Meanwhile, cut the bacon into bite-sized pieces.  Add spaghetti to the pan with the garlic and toss.  Add the bacon, eggs, and parmesan cheese.  Cook, stirring, until the eggs are done.  Season to taste with salt and pepper.  Garnish each serving with parsley.  Serves three to four.

Biscuits & Sausage Gravy

A traditional Southern breakfast – rich, but so satisfying that you might be able to skip lunch to make up for the indulgence.  The addition of a small amount of cornstarch to biscuits makes them very fluffy and tender.

1 cups flour                         
1 TB cornstarch                                   
1 tsp baking powder                
tsp baking soda                   
tsp salt                                 
1/3 cup lard or butter (half of each is best of all)              
cup buttermilk
1 medium onion, chopped
1 TB lard, butter, or oil
1 pound breakfast sausage
2 TB flour
1 cup milk
Biscuits: Combine flour, cornstarch, baking powder, baking soda, and salt.  Work in lard or butter with a fork, your fingers, or a pastry cutter.  Add enough buttermilk to make a stiff dough.  Shape or roll out and cut 6 biscuits, and bake in a 400 degree oven for 10-15 minutes.
Gravy: Cook onion in 1 TB lard, butter, or oil for 5 minutes over medium-low heat.  Add breakfast sausage (either use loose sausage or cut links into ” thick slices) and continue cooking until sausage is done.  Add 2 TB flour and cook another 2 minutes, stirring.  Add milk a few tablespoons at a time, stirring constantly.  Cook until thickened.
Split the hot biscuits and cover with the gravy.  Serves three.

Fresh Marinara

This is a basic spaghetti sauce that is very good on its own or that can welcome the addition of other seasonal vegetables such as summer squash, spinach, or broccoli. 

pound chopped onions                     
2 TB olive oil                                       
2 to 4 cloves minced garlic                   
1 pound hot Italian sausage (1” chunks)
2 TB fresh basil
1 TB fresh oregano
2 pounds fresh tomatoes
1 pound spaghetti
Cook onions in olive oil for 5 minutes.  Add garlic and hot Italian sausage.  Cook, stirring, until sausage is done.  Add chopped and seeded tomatoes, basil, and oregano.  Also add any additional vegetables at this time.  Cover pan and cook over low heat for 5 minutes.  Remove cover and continue to cook, stirring occasionally, until the watery juice has evaporated and the sauce is thickened.  Serve over cooked spaghetti with generous amounts of freshly grated parmesan, romano, or asiago cheese.  Serves four to six.

Chorizo Dates

Certainly not a traditional treatment of chorizo, but these are an interesting option for party appetizers.  From

1 link chorizo, cooked                         
About 12 pitted dates              
6 pieces bacon                        
1 egg
1 tsp water
cup flour
Cut chorizo into about 12 chunks.  Stuff the chunks into an equal number of large pitted dates.  Wrap strip bacon around each of the dates and secure with a toothpick.  Cook the wrapped dates in a small amount of oil in a covered pan until bacon is done, turning once.
You can stop at this point, but to make these really decadent, you can continue by dipping each date into a batter made of the egg, water, and flour and deep-frying.  At a party with multiple appetizers, allow three or four dates per person. 

Vienna Casserole

1 medium onion, chopped                    
2 TB butter                                                      
pound sliced bratwurst                                 
1 pound sauerkraut                              
1 TB poppy seeds
cup dry bread crumbs
tsp salt
1 tsp dried marjoram
Cook onion in 1 TB butter for 5 minutes.  Add bratwurst and cook until browned.  Combine these ingredients with sauerkraut and poppy seeds in a 1 quart casserole dish.  Cover with a mixture of bread crumbs, salt, and marjoram.  Dot with remaining 1 TB butter.  Bake in a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.  Serves four with a starchy side dish.

Pork-Stuffed Paranthas

great way to use Treble Ridge pork and Treble Ridge wheat in one easy but distinctive dish!

4 cup whole wheat bread flour, plus more for rolling out
1 cup water or yogurt
3/4# Coorgi Curry Sausage
1-2 TB coconut oil, lard, or vegetable oil
4 TB melted butter or ghee (Indian clarified butter)

Combine the flour and water or yogurt, adjusting the quantities as necessary to make a firm but pliable dough.  Knead for a few minutes, until smooth and stretchy.  Cover and allow to rest at least two hours (you can also put the dough in the fridge to use any time over the next several days).  Divide into 2-oz pieces (a little bigger than a golf ball).
Melt the fat in a pan over medium-high heat and add the sausage.  Cook, stirring, until the meat and spices are well-browned.  Remove pan from the heat.
Flatten a ball of dough with the heel of your hand and dip both sides in flour.  Roll the ball out into a circle about 1/8" thick.  Place a few tablespoons of the browned meat on the dough, fold in half, seal the edges, dust both sides with flour, and carefully roll out into an oval about 1/8" thick.  Do not roll it so thin that the meat punctures little holes in the dough.  Repeat with the remaining balls of dough.
Set a heavy (preferably cast-iron) pan over medium-high heat until a little flour sprinkled in the pan instantly darkens.  Place one of your flatbreads in the pan and cook about one minute.  Brush the top with a pastry brush dipped in melted butter and flip it over, then cook another minute.  Brush the top with butter, flip again, and cook for 30 seconds.  Brush the top with butter, flip again, cook 30 seconds, and remove the bread to a plate.  Repeat with the remaining flatbreads.  When you get good at rolling these out, the dough will trap the steam from the insides heating up, and the whole thing will puff dramatically.  It deflates quickly, though, and they're very good even if they don't puff up well, so don't worry about it if it doesn't happen!


Our Gyoza sausage is an easy shortcut for making those delicious Chinese dumplings!

1 package Nasoya wonton wrappers (these are available in the produce section of Hannaford's)
3/4# Gyoza sausage
Dipping sauces of your choice (storebought, or we like a mix of soy sauce, hot pepper sauce, and sesame oil, maybe with a little minced garlic)

Place about a tablespoon of Gyoza sausage in the middle of each wonton wrapper.  Use a pastry brush to wet the edges of the wrapper, and fold in half along the diagonal.  Pinch firmly to seal.  Wet the lower corners of the triangle, bring them toward each other lapping one over the other, and pinch them together (the wonton wrapper package has a diagram showing you how to do this).

These dumplings may be fried, steamed, or boiled.  To fry, heat 1/2" oil in a pan over medium heat and place a single layer of dumplings in the pan (do not crowd).  Cook about five minutes on one side, or until golden brown, then flip over and cook on the other side.  Remove from the pan with a fork or a slotted spoon and drain on several layers of paper towels.  To boil, add the dumplings to a simmering pot of soup and cook about ten minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.  To steam, place a steamer basket over 1/2" of simmering water, add a single layer of dumplings to the basket (do not crowd) and cover with a tight-fitting lid.  Steam for about ten minutes, or until the meat is cooked through.

Liver & Onions

This classic liver dish, frequently ruined by tough liver and burned onions, is delicious when prepared carefully.

1 pound sliced liver                  
1 pounds thinly sliced onions
2 TB butter                              
1 tsp dried sage
1-2 TB cider vinegar
Salt & pepper
Heat the butter over low heat until melted and bubbling.  Add the onions and cook, stirring constantly, until onions are limp and translucent.  Pull the onions to the side of the pan and add the liver in a single layer, in several batches if necessary.  Cook each batch of liver on one side until the edges are tan, then flip and cook until done, disturbing the slices as little as possible.  When all the liver is cooked, return it all to the pan along with the seasonings and vinegar to taste and mix all the ingredients together.  Serves three.


A few treatments, some straightforward and some unusual, for some of the produce items we grow the most of.

Chicken & Cantelope Salad

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage
Broccoli with Mustard & Capers
Stuffed Miniature Pumpkins
Bubble and Squeak
Squash & Shrimp Soup
Penne with Squash and Sage
Bread Pudding in Delicata Squash

Chicken & Cantelope Salad

1/3 cup yogurt
1/3 cup mayonnaise
Juice of 1 lime
2 tsp honey
tsp dried ginger
Salt & pepper to taste
12 oz skinless, boneless organic chicken meat
1 cup orange juice
1 tsp peppercorns
2 celery stalks, thinly sliced
3 cups cantaloupe chunks
cup minced parsley
Mesclun greens
Whisk together the first six ingredients to make the dressing.  Simmer the chicken and peppercorns in the orange juice until the chicken is cooked.  Slice the chicken thinly and combine with the celery, melon, and parsley.  Serve the chicken and melon mixture over a bed of greens with the dressing on the side.  Serves four.

Sweet & Sour Red Cabbage

1 head red cabbage
tsp allspice berries
1 tsp coriander seeds
4 cloves
1 TB butter or oil
1 onion, diced
3 bay leaves
1 TB molasses or 2 TB maple syrup
1 medium tomato, diced
2 TB balsamic vinegar
Salt & pepper to taste
Core the cabbage and slice.  Crush the spices in a mortar.  Heat the butter or oil in a large skillet and cook the onions, spices, and bay leaves over medium heat until the onion is tender.  Add the sugar and cook another minute.  Add the cabbage and tomato along with - cup water and cook covered for about fifteen minutes.  Remove lid, add the vinegar, and cook until most of the liquid is evaporated.  Season to taste.  Serves four.
--Vegetarian Cooking for Everyone

Broccoli with Mustard & Capers

1 head broccoli
2-3 TB butter
2 cloves garlic, minced
2-3 TB mustard
2 TB capers
Salt & pepper to taste
Cut the broccoli into florets.  Heat the butter and cook the garlic until slightly golden.  Add the broccoli, stir, and cook covered until broccoli is tender-crisp.  Add the mustard and capers and cook stirring for a couple more minutes.  Season to taste.  Serves four.

Stuffed Miniature Pumpkins

2 miniature pumpkins
1 TB oil
1 cup brown rice
2 cups water
cup raisins
1 medium onion, chopped
2 stalks celery, sliced
cup chopped walnuts or pecans
cup grated parmesan or crumbled feta cheese
Bake the pumpkins at 350 until you can poke a fork into them.  Meanwhile, heat the oil in a small saucepan and cook the dry rice until the grains begin to turn golden-brown.  Add the water, raisins, onion, and celery and cook covered over low heat until rice is done.  Set aside.  Use a knife to remove the top of each pumpkin by cutting around the stem in a circle.  Remove the seeds and discard.  Carefully scoop out some of the pumpkin flesh, leaving a sturdy shell to hold the stuffing.  Stir the pumpkin flesh into the rice mixture along with the chopped nuts.  Fill the pumpkins with as much rice mixture as you can.  Top with cheese and return to the oven.  Cook until cheese is browned and stuffing is heated through.  Serve with any remaining stuffing on the side.  Serves two.

Bubble and Squeak

1 pound bacon                        
2 medium onions, chopped      
1 pound chopped cabbage
1 pound diced potatoes
Cook bacon  on the stovetop.  Remove the bacon from the pan to drain on paper towels.  Drain off all but cup of the bacon fat.  Add onions and potatoes.  Cook covered over low heat until the potatoes are crusty and golden-brown, stirring once or twice to cook evenly and prevent the onions from sticking.  Add cabbage and cook covered over low heat for fifteen minutes, stirring occasionally.  Season well with salt and freshly ground black pepper.  Serves four to six.

Squash & Shrimp Soup

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
2 ripe pears, peeled, cored, and diced
2 cups milk
2 cups chicken broth
-1 tsp curry powder
tsp celery salt
tsp cinnamon
tsp nutmeg
3 TB butter
1 large onion, diced
pound peeled shrimp
3 TB dry sherry
Combine squash, pears, milk, broth, and spices in a large pot.  Bring to a boil and allow to simmer for thirty minutes or until squash is tender.  Meanwhile, heat the butter over low heat and cook the onions, stirring regularly, until they are golden-brown.  Add to the squash and puree the mixture in the blender or food processor until very smooth.  Return to pot and place over low heat.  Add the shrimp and cook just until shrimp are heated through.  Remove from heat and stir in the sherry.  Serves six. 

Penne with Squash and Sage

2 TB olive oil
1 cups butternut squash, peeled and cut into ” chunks
1 large onion, chopped
8 oz penne noodles
pound bratwurst
cup cream
2 TB fresh sage, minced
3 cloves garlic, minced
3 TB balsamic vinegar
Toss together the oil, squash, and onion and roast at 350 degrees for half an hour or until squash is fork-tender.  Bring a pot of water to a boil and cook penne for ten minutes or until done.  Meanwhile, cook the bratwursts thoroughly and cut into ” chunks.  Return to pan.  Add the garlic and cook briefly.  Add the squash mixture, cooked pasta, sage, cream, and vinegar.  Cook over low heat, stirring gently, until everything is heated through and well mixed.  Serves four.

Bread Pudding in Delicata Squash

2 delicata squashes
1 TB white sugar
  cup brown sugar
tsp cinnamon
4 thick slices chewy white bread, cubed
1  cup milk
2 eggs
tsp salt
tsp nutmeg
tsp allspice
cup raisins
2 TB bourbon or rum
Ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt
Split each squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds.  Bake cut side down until barely tender.  Scoop out the flesh, leaving a ” wall behind.  Sprinkle the white sugar and half the cinnamon on the insides of the squash shells.  Lightly beat the milk, eggs, spices, and bourbon.  Add the bread and raisins and let sit for thirty minutes, adding more milk if necessary to thoroughly soak the bread.  Spoon the bread mixture into the squash shells, place in a buttered baking dish, and cover with foil.  Bake at 325 for one hour.  Remove the foil and continue to bake for another thirty minutes.  Serve hot accompanied by ice cream, whipped cream, or vanilla yogurt.  Serves four.

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