In these early days of Near Country Provisions, our recommended recipe list is not very long, but it is very personal - these are the dishes we think excitedly about when our newest delivery of beef and pork cuts arrives, and they're the ones that please us and our kids, over and over again.
Increasingly, the list also includes recommendations from our subscriber community!
As our journey continues, we'll share more of our favorites. In any case, don't hesitate to email us with any questions... or your own recipe recommendations you'd like to share!
-Adam (Founder) & Anne (Chief Culinary Officer)
Since grass-fed steaks cook much faster than conventional steaks, let's start with a public service announcement to make sure you're using an instant-read digital thermometer to check your steak's progress towards the temperature of your choice, and also a recommendation to learn the reverse sear. You don't want to under-cook meat, but be aware that if you're not careful, grass-fed meat is easy to over-cook.
For the hero steak cuts that are supremely flavorful and tender (e.g., Ribeye, NY Strip) we like to prepare them extremely simply (salt, pepper, maybe some butter and garlic) so no elaborate recipes for them!
The Chuck Eye steak is generally considered a humble cut, but it's very, very flavorful, and resembles the Ribeye which it's located next to and comes from the same muscle as. We've had very tasty Near Country Chuck Eye with no marinade and minimal seasoning.
Cuts that are tender but lean -- such as the Filet -- may benefit from sautéing or serving with fattier sauces. Steak Diane is one classic way to add an unctuous sauce to a lean cut, and there are a million recipes on the internet that will also guide you through Diane's dramatic flambé step -- this down-to-earth take skips the open fire and also subs in the lesser-known Petite Tender cut.
Less-tender steak cuts will shine best with a marinade, and in any case we all need some variety, so here are three marinade styles you can try out on a range of your steak cuts. For Ranch steak and other lean cuts (even Sirloin steak which can also play more of a hero role), here's a nice recipe that uses a marinade and also complements the meat up with reliable companions mushroom and onion. We also have this Ranch steak recipe recommendation from subscriber Brittany M. of DC (thanks, Brittany!), which complements the beefy steak with tangy, herbal chimichurri.
With Tender medallions, try this Swiss Steak (aka Smothered Steak) recipe, which calls for braising this tasty cut that can be tough if you actually try to cook it like a steak. It's a great recipe for London Broil as well (more on this below under Roasts).
Chipped steak (aka Chip steak, aka Minute steak) can be confusing at first glance. Frozen in its packaging, it looks like a thick block. But upon thawing you'll see it's actually comprised of ultra-thin slices. These, friends, can be used for the Philly Cheesesteak, and its lesser-known but totally bombastic New Englander cousin the Steak Bomb. In our family we also use this cut in Hot Pots! (To be sure, many recipes call for shaved Ribeye as the thin cut of choice, and those would be delicious, but for everyday cooking, Chipped steak -- which comes from the Round -- works.)
Chipped steak becoming Cheesesteaks
As a starting point, it's important to underscore that beef roasts in general, and roasts from 100% grass-fed beef specifically, really benefit from patient cooking times at lower temperatures. If you don't have a slow-cooker or Instant Pot, that's OK, you can use your oven or grill, but be skeptical of recipes that have you cranking the heat up or promising ultra-short cook times. These are likely to dry out and toughen roast cuts, whereas a lower-temperature cook allows collagens and fats to dissolve into and permeate the flavorful meat without losing too much moisture. (A notable exception is London Broil - more on this below.)
It took the internet by storm a few years back, but in our household now, Mississippi Roast is a workhorse dish. We serve the peppery meat with rice or quinoa, then repurpose leftovers in sandwiches or tacos. The recipe for our favorite version is behind a New York Times paywall, but there are plenty of free versions a click away as well. By the way, the Times and some others use Chuck roast, and that works great, but so do the roast cuts from the round, e.g, Rump roast, Top Round roast, Eye roast, Sirloin Tip roast.
This pot roast is mostly a standard take on the classic recipe. Easy to make and heartily delicious, it's become our other roast standby.
The British have a Sunday Roast tradition, and customer Lindsay T. who hails from the UK and now calls Virginia home heartily recommends this Jamie Oliver recipe -- note that what the Brits call "Topside" we call Top Round roast.
London Broil can be a little confusing. First, to get one thing out of the way: London Broil was not created in England but rather here in our US Mid-Atlantic region! - in Philadelphia, in the inter-War years, according to James Beard. London Broil is a preparation style that can be applied to various cuts; your Near Country London Broil cuts come from the Top Round, which is why we group it with roasts. But what good butchers and cooks do with London Broil is create a steak from a roast - yes, using high-heat cooking. Here's a recipe that has the key marinating and cooking steps well laid out.
A well-made burger from 100% grass-fed ground beef is better than its conventional beef cousin, but if not made with care, it is true that a grass-fed burger can dry out easily. An elegant way to make amazing burgers from your grass-fed ground beef is to shred in some onion, as in this short and sweet recipe.
This Korean Beef Bowl recipe is extremely fast to make, and tasty both for eaters who appreciate Korean flavor profiles, and those who aren't all in on all Korean (read: it does not have kim chi in it... but you can certainly serve it on the side!) Sticking with Asian takes on ground beef, how about "Japanese-Style Meat & Potatoes," a versatile, light stew made aromatic with fresh ginger.
Then there's meatballs, which can of course be put on spaghetti, but can be featured in other ways as well -- this recipe for "everyday" meatballs gives you four applications.
- Here is a delightful Caribbean-style oxtail stew recipe
Chops and Tenderloin
Pork loves fruit as a companion. We've glazed pork chops with a fermented blueberry paste recommended by the Noma team - and they were amazing. For a fruity accompaniment that doesn't require a week-long fermentation project, try Serious Eat's cherry sauce or their apricot glaze recipe which also has you kebab-ify your chops.
This recipe optimizes for moist Tenderloin and easy clean-up. (Anyone shy about butter or garlic may need to tone the recipe down a little... but we have been pleased with following the recipe as is.) It also works great with pork chops.
A recipe named Last Meal Ribs says it all. Consider it for both Baby Back ribs and Spare ribs. Click through for the recipe, but wander around the Amazing Ribs website for tips and wisdom on all things ribs.
We fell in love with Kalua Pig, a Hawaiian heritage dish, when we honeymooned in the 50th state. It's delicious in an elemental way, with pork shoulder (often Boston Butt but Picnic roast is also great) and just a few seasonings, and so it's extremely easy to make in a slow cooker or Instant Pot. (It utilizes a few strips of bacon as well.)
We like to repurpose leftover Kalua Pig for taco night, adding some citrus and either chili powder or adobo seasoning. Alternatively, use this carnitas recipe -- either as guidance as you turn your garlic-infused Boston Butt or Picnic roast leftovers into taco filling, or to turn the whole cut into a carnitas dish.
Another terrific use for these same cuts is Korean bo ssam, and specifically the iconic modern take created by David Chang and Momofuku. (Once again, the recipe states the Butt is preferred, but in our experience, making this unassailably amazing dish with the Picnic turns out plenty delicious.)
Here's a creative, Italian-inspired approach to cooking that Boston Butt: Porchetta-style!
Of course, you can always turn your Boston Butt or Picnic into pulled pork. We start with Meathead Goldwyn's Memphis Dust dry rub, and we then slather it with BBQ sauce from Pierce's BBQ of Williamsburg, which is a longtime favorite of Anne's.
Pork and the claws that pulled them
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