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Outstanding in the Field 2012 at Little Foot Farm. And Coffee Custards with Honey & Cinnamon!

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Oct 10, 2012 at 7:46am

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Remember August? It sure was pretty…

August 9, in fact, was the Outstanding in the Field farm dinner at Little Foot Farm in Afton, Minnesota. Little Foot raises heritage breed hogs so it’s no surprise that this dinner was a celebration of pork, pork, and more pork.

Thanks to chef Mike Phillips of Three Sons Meat, Inc., it was spectacular indeed.

I had the privilege and pleasure of working at the event this year instead of just attending it. I pitched in to help host chefs Mike Phillips and Scott Pampuch make and serve about 50 million pounds of pickles and condiments to enjoy with all of those beautiful courses of pork. 

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

While the guests gathered and enjoyed cocktails in Karen Weiss and Sally Doherty’s picture-perfect farm yard…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…the hogs got frisky…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

…and the crew set the signature Outstanding in the Field table.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Coppa. Glorious.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Afternoon showers meant a bit of a rush to set the table…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…with pickles! Okra, beets, peppers, cukes, rhubarb, green beans, corn, chanterelles, on and on.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm ben weaver scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

It takes a village to serve charcuterie to 150 people.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm charcuterie mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Just…wow.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm kielbasa mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Kielbasa’s on the grill. These beauties were plated with kimchi…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm scott pampuch mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

…as fast as pork-greased lightning by Scott and Mike.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

The one vegetarian at the dinner ate very, very well. Kimchi and pickled corn with a poached egg? Yes, please!

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm mike phillips porchetta stephanie meyer fresh tart

That’s Mike, slicing one of the three golden, crackling porchettas, plated and served with sauerkraut.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm emily anderson stephanie meyer fresh tart

Huge thanks to my left and right hand ladies Emily Anderson

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm kathy yerich niki heber stephanie meyer fresh tart

…and Kathy Yerich for working their butts off AND being a total blast. Oh how I love those gals.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm tomato salad stephanie meyer fresh tart

Stunning Laughing Loon Farm and Minnesota Peach Farm tomato salad with grilled kale was a welcome refresher after three courses of pork. Those bowls came back very empty!

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie<br />
meyer fresh tart

As the sun set…

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

…little jars of roasted fruit topped with toasted oat crumble, whipped cream, and magical sugar-glazed grapes, prepared by pastry chef Kelsey McCreight, wrapped the meal.

outstanding in the field 2012 little foot farm stephanie meyer fresh tart

Another dreamy farm dinner for the books. Huge thanks to Mike Phillips, Scott Pampuch, and the whole crew for letting me help out. The highlight of my summer, without a doubt, both the event itself and the preparation leading up to it.

See pics from:
Scouting Little Foot Farm with Mike and Scott
Pig butchering/charcuterie making in preparation for the meal
Outstanding in the Field dinner 2011 at River Bend Farm in Delano
Pork Burgers!

When I got home, and unloaded the 50 million pickle jars from my car, I found…a gigantic tub of honey! Farm dinner spoils, nice. In honor of the buckets of delicious coffee that powered the dinner prep and clean-up, I made these coffee, honey, and cinnamon custards. I will not lie…they are divine.

coffee custard stephanie meyer fresh tart

Ode to OITF Coffee Custards with Honey & Cinnamon
Based on a Martha Stewart Living recipe
Serves 4-6

soft butter
1 c. heavy cream
1/2 c. milk
2 Tbsp. instant espresso powder
3 large egg yolks
1 large egg
1/4 c. honey
1/2 tsp. cinnamon
1 tsp. vanilla extract

Preheat oven to 300 degrees. Set out a 9×13 baking pan. Butter 4-6 oz. (or 6-4 oz.) ramekins and arrange them evenly in the 9×13 pan.

In a small saucepan over medium heat, combine cream, milk, and espresso powder and heat until mixture almost simmers. Remove from heat and set aside.

In a medium bowl, whisk together egg yolks, egg, honey, cinnamon, and vanilla. Whisk a bit of the hot cream mixture into the eggs, then whisk in all of the cream mixture until well combined. Ladle into the prepared ramekins. Set the 9×13 pan on rack in preheated oven, then pour hottest tap water into the pan until it comes 3/4 of the way up the sides of the ramekins. Bake until the custards are set and jiggly, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven and water bath. Cool to room temperature and serve or chill to serve later. To serve, run a knife around the edges of the custard and then flip over onto a serving plate. Give the plate and ramekin together a bit of a shake to loosen and the custards will slide right out.

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.

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.

Go!

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

To purchase Little Foot Farm pork, call 612.207.9771 or email customerservice@littlefootfarm.com.

Butchery, Charcuterie, Artistry: Outstanding in the Field 2012 Prep, Part II

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 12, 2012 at 3:36pm

steve brennan scott pampuch ben weaver mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

After touring Little Foot Farm on Monday, site of the upcoming August 9, 2012, Outstanding in the Field dinner, host chefs Mike Phillips and Scott Pampuch moved on to butchery and making charcuterie from two of Little Foot’s Gloucestershire Old Spot hogs.

With the help of chefs Steve Brennan and Ben Weaver, Mike Phillips demonstrated his craft, working quickly and precisely while teaching.

mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

steve brennan scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart

In case you think the work was all serious…um no. It turns out that chefs are hard-working dorks with very sharp knives.

steve brennan scott pampuch ben weaver mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

dick sausage stuffer stephanie meyer fresh tart

No lie. Dick Sausage Stuffer. Premium awesomeness.

mike phillips genoa stephanie meyer fresh tart

Ready to hang, cure, and return to the farm…as dinner.

scott pampuch mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

mike phillips stephanie meyer fresh tart

Pickled ramps.

jeff lakatos stephanie meyer fresh tart

Chef Jeff Lakatos made us all a gorgeous lunch. Beef not pork!

jeff lakatos flat iron steak oyster mushrooms duck fat roasted potatoes

Flat iron steak with green-garlic chimichurri, oyster mushrooms, and duck-fat roasted potatoes with asparagus. Every day, please!

Needless to say, there will be stunning charcuterie and fresh pork courses at the August 9 dinner. My thanks to Karen Weiss, Mike Phillips, and Scott Pampuch. I had a ridiculous blast going along for the ride, from petting piglets to hanging salumi. (Yeah, it was a euphemism-filled week, in the best possible way.)

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.

Outstanding in the Field…2011

Posted by Stephanie Meyer on Jun 10, 2012 at 12:29pm

outstanding in the field riverbend farm

Tickets for Outstanding in the Field 2012 – August 9, at Little Foot Farm in Afton, Minnesota – are on sale. I bought a ticket and then thought, Hey! I should post the pictures I took at the 2011 event, at Riverbend Farm in Delano…last July…

Yeah. In fact I have several pretty posts in the queue, waiting for me to dust them off and share them. I guess it takes a looming one-year anniversary to kick my butt into gear.

Or a new batch of pics! I tagged along just this week to Little Foot Farm with host chefs Mike Phillips and Scott Pampuch as they scoped the site for this summer’s event and chatted through the menu. Stay tuned this coming week for more information, a recipe, and some fun pics, both here and on TC Taste/Minnesota Monthly Magazine.

stu & debbie williams

debbie williams stephanie meyer

Until then, here’s a mere fraction of my snaps from last year’s shindig, taken while eating, drinking, talking, and running around like a sundress-clad lunatic. Damn I had fun, particularly because I was lucky enough to attend with two of my favorite people in the world, Debbie & Stuart Williams. The three of us attempted the 2010 event but were too late to the game. I put myself on the mailing list so we wouldn’t miss the next go-round and I swear we were the first to buy tickets.

Yes.

Greg Reynolds River Bend Farm Stephanie Meyer Fresh Tart

jim denevan oustanding in the field stephanie meyer fresh tart

It turns out that July 26 was one of the prettiest days of the whole of last summer. Riverbend Farm was nothing short of breathtaking in the late afternoon sun, sparkly and lush and golden. Stu did his wine genius thing, handing out glasses of deliciousness mere minutes after arriving.

He’s good that way.

While we all enjoyed pretty cocktails in the shade of hosts Mary & Greg Reynolds’ front lawn, the crew was putting the finishing touches on the signature Outstanding in the Field table, snaking it’s way in this case through a wheat field with a lovely view of the river (bend!).

Why one wears boots to farm dinners, courtesy of Debbie Williams.

It’s the best fun of all for me to see the crew pull the meal together, having a blast while working their asses off, crafting a gorgeous meal out of fire and freshness. It’s a sight to behold, truly.

Cucumber Salad with Goat Milk Creme Fraiche, Mint, Basil, Shaved Onion & Tomato

Field Salad of Greens, Soft-Boiled Eggs & Summer Vegetables

scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart oustanding in the field

braised goat outstanding in the field riverbend farm

Braised Goat with Cornmeal Cake, Chile-Stewed Turtle Beans, Mustard Greens & Pickled Vegetables, my favorite dish of all of 2011. Divine.

stephanie meyer fresh tart oustanding in the field riverbend farm

Thousand Hills Grass-Fed Skirt Steak, Wood-Roasted Potatoes, Radishes, Green Beans & Chimichurri

debbie williams stephanie meyer fresh tart outstanding in the field riverbend farm

I might have spilled my wine. And pissed off the wine gods for my wastefulness…look at the angry eyes in that stain! Luckily no one snapped a pic of my dress hung up on the back of my chair. Between that move and posing for pics in the middle of the wheat field, I had a pretty mosquito-bitten arse. Utterly deserved for being such a dork, of course.

And so totally worth it.

 chanterelle ice cream stephanie meyer fresh tart outstanding in the field riverbend farm

This Chanterelle Mushroom Ice Cream (recipe below), with Black Trumpet Caramel Shortbread, Morel Sugar & Toasted Wheatberries, blew my mind with its layers of earthy, creamy sweetness. A collaboration between forager Kathy Yerich and chef Scott Pampuch, I’ve thought and talked somewhat obsessively about it all year long.

 

As you’ll see in my next two posts, preparations for the August 9 event at Little Foot Farm are already well under way. See you there?  

chanterelle ice cream kathy yerich scott pampuch stephanie meyer fresh tart oustanding in the field

Chanterelle Ice Cream
Chef Scott Pampuch
Makes 1 quart

Note: Start the ice cream the day before you plan to serve it.

1 c. (8 oz.) egg yolks (about 10-12 large yolks)
4 oz. dried chanterelle mushrooms, crushed with a rolling pin
2 1/2 c. heavy cream (like Cedar Summit)
1 1/2 c. whole milk
1 1/4 c. granulated sugar
1 tsp. vanilla
1 tsp. salt

Freeze the bowl of your ice cream maker per manufacturer instructions, at least a full 24 hours before you spin the ice cream.

Add the egg yolks to a small bowl and whisk a bit to break apart the yolks. Leave whisk in the bowl and set aside.

Combine mushrooms, cream, milk, and sugar in a large saucepan. Set pan over medium heat and warm the mixture, stirring constantly, until sugar dissolves (do not simmer).

Temper the egg yolks by slowly whisking one ladleful of warm cream into the yolks. Slowly whisk the egg yolk-cream mixture back into the pan of cream. Stir in the vanilla and salt. Cool mixture to room temperature, then cover and chill overnight. 

When you’re ready to churn the ice cream, working quickly so the cream stays very cold, strain the mixture through a fine-mesh strainer, pressing down on the solids to extract all of the cream and flavor (discard solids). Immediately transfer mixture to the frozen bowl of your ice cream maker and spin according to manufacturer instructions (usually around 30 minutes). Transfer ice cream to an airtight container and freeze until ready to serve.

Topping ideas: Think salty-sweet-crunchy, like granola, toffee, or caramel poporn…