We wish you a wonderful holiday season! We are grateful for your interest in our farm and your business, both now and throughout the year. We couldn’t do it without you, and wish you well in 2014. Please read on for the latest news from Janzen Family Farms—and at the end you’ll find two fantastic grass-fed beef liver paté recipes for the holidays.
100% Grass-Fed Beef & Stone-Milled Wheat Make Great Gifts
If you’re still wondering what to get for that special someone, consider some delicious food from Janzen Family Farms. Everyone eats, so it’s hard to go wrong! Not only do we have 100% grass-fed beef, but we also produce certified organic freshly stone-milled wheat and Little Red Hen bread baked using our wheat (great for vegetarians!). See our website at www.janzenfamilyfarms.com for details. Please send us an email us at email@example.com or firstname.lastname@example.org, if you’d like to ask questions or place an order.
New Solar-Powered Water Pump
This fall, we installed a solar-powered water pump at the well near the pond, with a newly laid line going several hundred yards through the Henry Creek and up onto the east bank, to a tank where at least three grazing cells come together. The old windmill tower will come down shortly. (Click here to see the photos on our website.) This represents an investment that should pay off over the years, as it saves time, labor, and fuel to get water to the herd in far-flung pastures.
JFF Organic Wheat Off to Utah
We sold this summer's bumper organic wheat crop to Central Milling in Logan, Utah. Norm deserves a great big round of applause and praise for this successful crop. Central Milling is one of the bigger and older organic mills in the U.S., and we are glad to be a part of the national organic grain network. Check out their website at www.centralmilling.com.
Notes from Norm
So many calm days, then windy days. Such is life here at the farm. And rain. In addition to getting the new water system up and running, our early planted wheat and triticale are looking nice. The fall harvest is underway, and we’re weaning calves from their moms. We’ve got some electric fence to build, and it’s time to move the herd to their winter grazing. A fresh steer is in the freezer, since about Thanksgiving time.
Kansans Take our JFF Beef With Them
We feel lucky that we have a number of repeat customers who love our JFF 100% grass-fed beef so much that they’re really going out of their way to get it. We have sold bulk beef this fall to a number of customers who live at quite a distance, such as Dallas/Ft Worth, San Diego and Kansas City. These are either Kansans who have moved away and come home to visit and stock up on real Kansas beef to take along, or they are customers who shop online and find what they consider the closest source that they can connect to. In each case a Kansas rendezvous was arranged. Thank you so much!
Fantastic Grass-fed Beef Liver Paté Recipes
Daughter-in-law Kristi has a friend in Maryland who farms organically and raises 100% grass-fed beef, and he and his wife have been gracious enough to share their liver paté recipes with us. Kristi has tried the results and can say they are truly amazing. Thank you to Nick and Tory! Click here for the recipes. (For more on Nick & Tory, go to www.nicksorganicfarm.com.)
Thank you again. Sincerely,
All of Us at Janzen Family Farms
Tory's Organic Beef Liver Paté:
In the following recipe, you can always freeze whatever amount you don't think you'll eat right away.
1 pound beef liver
2 large onions, chopped
1 clove garlic, chopped
3 Tbsp olive oil
¼ cup Worcestershire sauce
¼ - ½ cup good quality sweet sherry
¼ cup butter
Cuisinart machine or similar
Trim the light colored film off the edge of the liver slices and cut out any air pockets with their tough skins. This skin is thin and flexible raw, but it becomes tough when you cook it. Cut liver into 1" x 1" pieces.
Sauté the onions and garlic in the olive oil on low heat for a long time until the onions are caramelized. Add the Worcestershire sauce, sherry and liver and cook on low to medium heat until the liver is just a little firm. Do not overcook. I put it in a Cuisinart machine and blend it with a half stick of butter cut in 1-inch pieces. Blend until smooth. I taste it at this point and add more Worcestershire sauce or sherry to taste. The Worcestershire sauce will give it a slightly hot spicy taste. The sherry will give it a nice flavor, but it can get a little too sweet if you add sweet sherry.
Serve with bread or crackers. If you serve it immediately, it will be quite soft and a little warm, or you can refrigerate it, and it will get firm.
Nick’s Organic Beef Liver Paté:
This recipe yields four cups. In sealed containers, this paté can be stored in the refrigerator for several weeks or can be frozen for future use. Cut the recipe in half for two cups or into one quarter for one cup.
2-2.5 pounds organic grass-fed beef liver, trimmed and cut into 1-1.5” cubes
3 large sweet onions, cut into thin wedges
¼ cup fresh rosemary, finely chopped OR 2 Tbsp freshly crushed dry rosemary
¼ cup fresh chopped thyme OR 2 Tbsp freshly crushed dry thyme
½ cup fresh chopped oregano OR marjoram, OR ¼ cup freshly crushed dried oregano or marjoram
1 tsp finely chopped fresh sage OR ½ tsp ground sage
4 cloves of garlic, chopped or crushed
¼ -½ tsp freshly ground black pepper, OR add to taste
¼ pound butter (1cup)
3 Tbsp olive oil (optional, for sautéing the onions)
¼ cup cognac
¼ cup sweet port OR sweet sherry OR sweet marsala
¼ cup dry port OR dry sherry OR dry marsala
1Tbsp aged real balsamic vinegar
Blender with a chopping blade
Add a small amount of butter or olive oil, or I use a mix of the two, to coat a sauté pan over medium-low heat. (Don’t let it get too hot or the oil will smoke.) When butter/oil is coating the pan, add onions, garlic, and all herbs. Cook slowly, stirring frequently to avoid burning and sticking, until onions are caramelized, i.e., until they turn translucent and then a deep brown color. Add more olive oil or butter, if necessary, to keep the onions moist and prevent sticking. This slow cooking process will reduce the volume of the onions to less than a quarter of the original and could easily take 45 minutes. I usually start the onions cooking, and then proceed to prepare the garlic and herbs, adding them as they are ready.
Then I begin trimming the liver to remove the thin greyish skin on the edges and any tough grizzle that may be visible or become evident as you slice up the liver. Removing these parts is not absolutely necessary, but it will make your paté much more smooth—avoiding any small chewy bits of grizzle. Cut the liver into 1- to 1.5-inch cubes. By this time the onions should be close to done.
Once the onions have reached a medium brown, add all the liver, the sweet and dry sherry, cognac, and aged balsamic vinegar at one time, increasing the heat so that the liver will cook completely in about 5-8 minutes, stirring and turning frequently. The liver should be just slightly pink in the center and still moist when it is done. Over-cooking can make the liver tough and dry it out. Taste, add more sweet sherry or balsamic vinegar to increase sweetness or more cognac or dry sherry to increase the fermented grape flavor to taste.
Remove immediately from the sauté pan to stop the cooking and place in a blender with a chopping blade. As you blend, add the remaining butter, about one stick, and continue blending until smooth. Taste as you go. Add salt to taste if you like.
Serve warm with bread or crackers, or put into covered terrines and refrigerate for later. The paté can also be frozen.
Increasing butter slightly while chopping will make a stiffer paté when cooled. Adding liquid or using all fresh herbs (which absorb less of the liquids) will make it less stiff.
Using all sweet wine (instead of some dry wine) and increasing balsamic will increase the overall sweetness. Using some red wine vinegar instead of or in addition to balsamic will make it more tart.
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