Saturday, April 11, 2009

Impressed by Rowe Farms' meats

While shopping at the St. Lawrence Market this morning the Rowe Farms booth caught my eye -- located in the North Market's northwest corner, the Guelph, Ont.-based meat purveyors boast conscientiously-raised, hormone-free, antibiotic-free products.

Given that I don't include that much meat in my diet, I don't mind paying top dollar to ensure that what animal products I do eat are of higher quality. And it seemed clear from checking out what was on offer that these were indeed better meats than what I typically buy from the grocery store. The skin on the chicken thighs was white, not that weird yellowish tinge you sometimes see; the pork loin chops a uniform pale pink.

I bought two of the pork loin chops, a package of the thighs, four Italian sausages, and a pound of extra-lean ground beef. For that, I paid $30. Yes, probably almost double what I might have paid at a grocery store, but as I said before, for the amount of meat I eat it's worth it.

Tonight, I cooked one of the pork chops, using a recipe from Bon Appetit's Fast Easy Fresh. And I can honestly say it tasted delicious. The knife cut through the chop without any effort, and it was juicy and moist inside, not dry! If this is what I can come to expect from Rowe Farms, I think I've found my new butcher!

I've included the original recipe, which is slightly different -- it calls for a 12-oz pork tenderloin, but you can easily sub chops. If you pound the chop to 1/2 inch thickness, as I did, it'll only take about 3 minutes per side to cook.

Pork medallions with chili-maple sauce

1 12-oz pork tenderloin
1/2 tsp Chinese five-spice powder
1 tbsp vegetable oil
3/4 cup low-salt chicken broth
1 1/2 tbsp maple syrup
1 tbsp chili garlic sauce
1 green onion chopped

Cut tenderloin crosswise into six slices. Using meat mallet or rolling pin, pound medallions between sheets of plastic wrap to 1/2 inch thickness. Sprinkle with salt, pepper, and five-spice powder.

Heat oil in large skillet over high heat. Add pork; cook until brown and cooked through, about 3 minutes per side. Transfer to platter. Add next three ingredients to skillet. Boil until reduced to scant 1/4 cup, about 2 minutes. Pour sauce over pork, sprinkle with green onion.

2 servings

Courtesy Bon Appetit Fast Easy Fresh, Barbara Fairchild, Wiley, 2008.



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