From The Healthy Cooking Coach…..
Inspiring Healthy Choices by Chef Rachel
I heard about Pederson’s Natural Farms on the Primal Wisdom blog when Don Matesz wrote about trying their jalapeno bacon. I’d never had bacon flavored like that; it intrigued me. I perused their web site to find out more about the company and their products.
Pederson’s sells nine different pork sausages, nine bacon flavors, four different Bison sausages, six flavors of chicken sausage, ham, and three flavors of jerky (beef, pork, and turkey). I ordered samples of their Jalapeno Bacon, Uncured Apple Smoked Bacon, Uncured Hickory Smoked Pepper Bacon, and Breakfast Sausage Chub. Once they arrived I stashed some in the freezer, since they’re uncured and I didn’t plan to use them all within a week.
Products from Pederson’s Natural Farms are made from the meat of humanely raised animals that are never given antibiotics or growth hormones. They’re gluten free and grain-free. (Some brands of sausage include fillers made from grains, particularly gluten containing grains. Pederson’s doesn’t do that.)
They’re made without any artificial ingredients. Rather than cure the bacon and sausage with nitrates or nitrates, they add a lactic acid starter culture, along with celery powder, to give the products a rosy red color and reduce oxidation. Best of all, they taste great.
In the two photos you can see the pork breakfast sausage with baked sweet dumpling squash (with the halves baked cut side down, not up, and with no foil or water) and also with the same baked squash scooped out of the skin, mashed with ginger juice and coconut oil, heated in a toaster oven, then served with an ice cream scoop and topped with scallions. In one meal I have sauteed collard greens; in the other I have blanched broccoli, Really delicious, both ways!
I really liked the bacon. I prepared some of it using Mark Sisson’s Bakin Bacon recipe, a super-easy and clean way to cook bacon withought splattering, from The Primal Blueprint Cookbook. (Did you know you can bake bacon at a low temperature, store leftover cooked bacon in the fridge, and reheat it as needed? You can even freeze it, alrady cooked, for future meals.)
I cooked some of the in a skillet (the messy way, made less messy by using a skillet with 2-inch sides to reduce splattering). I used most of the Jalapeno Bacon to make Bacon Steak Bites from the Deliciously Organic blog (recipe below). (I used low-sodium gluten-free tamari soy sauce for the soy sauce in the recipe). That’s my favorite flavor so far. My friends and I found the flavor very mild, not spicy hot. I still have one more package of bacon to try in another recipe this week, something I’ve never made. I’ll let you know what I decide on.
Photo credit: Rachel Albert ©copyright 2011
The sausage has a mild sage flavor that I liked. Unlike many brands of sausage, it has a very low fat content, so it didn’t release much fat or lose much weight or size during cooking. I made small (2–ounce) patties with the ground pork and cooked it in batches by searing both sides of the patties in a skillet, adding about 1/4 inch of water to the skillet to create steam and speed up the cooking, and to remove some of the salt from the patties. (I like sausage less salty, particularly if I’m serving it as the only meat or protein in a meal… without eggs.)
If you’re looking for grain-free, gluten-free, preservative-free bacon and sausage, you want to try new flavors, and you’re looking to mail order, give their products a try and let me know what you think.
Bacon & Steak Bites
Makes about 30 appetizers; serves 3 as an entrée
I found this recipe on the Deliciously Organic web site by cookbook author Carrie Vitt. You could serve this as an appetizer, as an accompaniment to eggs, greens, and fruit for breakfast, or as an entrée over a crisp green salad or with sauteed leafy greens.
10 ounces beef tenderlion (grass-fed preferred)
1/2 cup soy sauce; I used San-J wheat-free, low-sodium tamari soy sauce
3 tablespoons red wine vinegar; I used unseasoned rice vinegar
2 cloves garlic, minced; I used a garlic press
10 large slices of bacon (I used Pederson’s Natural Bacon)
Freshly ground black pepper
Place meat in a shallow baking dish. Whisk together soy sauce, red wine vinegar and garlic in a small measuring cup. Pour marinade over steak and marinate for 3 hours in the fridge or 1 hour at room temperature. (I marinated it all day, turning the meat part way through. I also prepared it through the next step but waited to bake it until my brunch guests were on their way to my house.)
Preheat oven to 400ºF and adjust rack to middle position. Cut steak into 1 1/2-inch pieces. Cut each slice of bacon into 3 pieces. Wrap 1 piece of bacon around 1 piece of steak. Secure with a toothpick and place on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Repeat with remaining bacon and steak.
Season each piece with black pepper and bake for 18 minutes, turning each piece half way through baking time. Serve immediately. (I thought the leftovers tasted great reheated in an oven-proof dish in a toaster oven.)