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Posts tagged as karen weiss

Pork Burgers

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 9, 2012 at 10:58am

pork burger little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Burger maniacs (including myself), I have a proposition for you (us)…pork burgers! Why do we all not eat pork burgers? I’m not suggesting that beef burgers are anything but delectable, but I have been pondering – given the borderline gastronomic insanity over bacon, pork belly, and charcuterie – why the heck isn’t a fabulously juicy, porky burger on every menu in this town?

I took my question to Karen Weiss of Little Foot Farm, host of this summer’s Outstanding in the Field farm dinner. Weiss and her partner Sally Doherty raise heritage breed hogs on their picture-perfect farm for chefs like Lenny Russo of Heartland Restaurant and Mike Phillips of Three Sons Meat Co., but they also sell their highly-prized pork to the public, including ground Gloucester Old Spot (GOS) pork.

Weiss confessed that she’s on a mission to convince Minnesotans that pork burgers deserve a spot on everyone’s grill, particularly best-quality pork like she and Doherty raise, the kind that actually tastes like pork.


After grilling a few batches myself, I can not agree more. Not that I thought I wouldn’t agree – it’s no secret that I’m a big, BIG pork fan – but holy cow my friends, the first batch of burgers I pulled off the grill were not savored, they were inhaled. I seasoned them with nothing more than salt and pepper so we could enjoy the clean, rich, pure pork flavor that Little Foot’s tender loving care delivers. In a buttered, toasted bun, of course. Gah.

For round two pork play, I added cheddar cheese and tomato jam. Kablam. Future rounds might go breakfast-y with a fried egg and a crumble of bacon to gild the lily. Or Asian-style with scallions, ginger, and a splash of soy sauce. Or bratwurst-esque with caraway cheese and sauerkraut on a pretzel roll. Or even quicky barbecue, with a slathering of sauce topped with slaw before devouring. You get the picture – keep it simple, or go with classic-for-a-reason pork accompaniments. All paths lead to porktastic.


Tips for perfect, juicy burgers at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

To purchase Little Foot Farm pork, call 612.207.9771 or email

Rhubarb Mostarda, Little Foot Farm: Outstanding in the Field 2012 Prep, Part I

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 12, 2012 at 10:03am

little foot farm scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

Let’s call it summer and make plans to eat outside, preferably as often as possible. Dinner al fresco pretty much anywhere feels special, but dinner on a farm is particularly divine for us city dwellers, away from cubicles and concrete, with time to learn about, discuss, and savor food prepared at its source.

In fact, one of the best meals I enjoyed in all of 2011 was an Outstanding in the Field (OITF) dinner, at Riverbend Farm near Delano. I realize that a setting so gorgeous can work strange magic (farm goggles?), but I’m quite sure that aside from the view, the bounty of family-style platters, piled with fresh salads, cheeses, and wood-fire grilled meats, would blow my mind in the dingiest of rooms. When the night ended with chanterelle mushroom ice cream – a dish at once delicious, clever, and just plain fun – I knew I’d had an unforgettable meal.

scott pampuch mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

If you missed last year’s event, no worries: OITF is circling back to the Twin Cities on August 9, this time landing at picturesque Little Foot Farm near Afton. Given OITF’s stated mission to “re-connect diners to the land and origins of their food and to honor the local farmers and food artisans who cultivate it,” there will most certainly be discussion about how Little Foot owners Karen Weiss and Sally Doherty found their calling, especially given they were inspired to raise hogs in general and Berkshires in particular after being served “awesome” Berkshire pork by chef Lenny Russo at a 2005 OITF event.

little foot farm mike phillips karen weiss scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm mike phillips karen weiss stephanie meyer fresh tart

Weiss and Doherty sell their heritage-breed Berkshire and Gloucestershire Old Spot hogs directly to food enthusiasts and a few local chefs, including chef Mike Phillips of Three Sons Meat Company (formerly Green Ox).

I tagged along with Phillips and chef Scott Pampuch – the two are this year’s OITF host chefs – as they scouted the farm for the event and chatted with Weiss about Little Foot’s sustainable philosophy and their careful practices for humanely raising and selling best-quality, highly-prized pork (as well as chickens, eggs, produce, and bedding plants).

little foot farm stephanie meyer frest tart

little foot farm berkshires stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm karen weiss berkshires stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

little foot farm scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

As we talked, there might also have been a fair amount of piglet cooing going on, even by the charcuterie boys (the pic up top might be one of my favorites, ever). Oh my goodness the Gloucestershire Old Spot piglets are adorable with their snuggly snorting and flirty sly smiles. We were smitten!

little foot farm karen weiss mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

You’d think it might have been tricky to move from petting pigs to planning the menu but alas, it was a seamless progression. Both Phillips and Pampuch are known for their pork mastery, so it goes without saying that the meal – which will also include piles of gorgeously prepared vegetables – will be at its essence utterly porktastic. The charcuterie was begun the very next day, in fact, with the butchering of two hogs.

Picture a dinner table set with a colorful variety of snappy, custom-made condiments to sample with each course, including the spicy-tangy-sweet Rhubarb Mostarda pictured below. Serve the mostarda as a foil for rich pork belly, pork terrine, or pork rillettes.

Buy tickets for this year’s dinner at the OITF website. See Little Foot Farm’s website if you’re interested in purchasing heritage-breed pork, chicken, eggs, produce, or bedding plants.

See you on the farm!

rhubarb mostarda stephanie meyer fresh tart

Chef Matt Morgan’s recipe for Rhubarb Mostarda at TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.