Yesterday was a market day for us. I was torn over what to make for a sample. I wanted to change it up and try something new. I was politely cautioned that is was not a good idea but I knew better, ha.  I had pulled goat chops to prepare and was thinking about the many different ways I could prepare them.  Then while gazing out my kitchen window the idea hit me like lightning striking.

I picked a couple of fresh Asian Pears from the tree just outside the window. I chopped one medium size onion and one medium sized pear and put them in the pressure cooker with about 1 tablespoon of olive oil. I sauteed them for a few minutes then added the chops, bones and all. I added a dash of salt and pepper and a very light sprinkle of chili powder, some tumeric, cumin powder, corriander and about 1 cup of water.  I put the lid on and set the timer for 45 minutes. Just as the timer went off I could smell the awful odor of burnt meat. I was doomed and immediately heard "I told you not to try something new" in my head.

Fortunately for me I still had time to thaw more chops and try again. I set the chops to thaw and scraped the burnt matter from the pressure cooker and started all over again. I again cut up one medium onion, one medium pear and sauteed them in olive oil. I added the chops, salt, pepper and a light shake of chili powder. And for the liquid I used 1 cup of apple juice and 1/2 cup of water. Set the timer for 30 minutes and went off to pack up for the market.

I was nervous about burning another dish so I checked on it regularly. At last the timer went off and I quickly cooled and opened the top to find a very pleasing aroma and nothing burnt! I began removing all the bone and what little fat there was. Then the moment of truth... the taste test. I tried a bite and my immediate reaction was Booyah! I hit it out of the park. I was impressed with myself and had found redemption.

I know it was a winner because of comments like "Holy S--- that's good", "Oh my God that is amazing", "Wow! That's goat?" and those were just a few of the compliments I received yesterday.  Then my final critic arrived. The Foodie tried it and said "Wow thats really good".  Yup I was out of the doghouse for trying something new and was pressured into quickly posting the recipe. Sometimes simple is better and I couldn't have made this one any easier for myself, even though I had to burn some first! Farmer wins another round!

1 medium onion
1 medium pear
1 tablespoon olive oil
1-1.5lbs of goat chops
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh cracked black pepper
Dash of chili powder
1 cup apple juice
1/2 cup water
We have brought a few goat meat dishes to the farmers market for sampling. We promised to post the ingredients from some of our dishes so here they are.

Homemade Cole Slaw for Pulled Goat
1 head of cabbage-shred 1/2 and cut 1/2
2-3 carrots- shredded
2-3 stalks of celery- shredded
1 small onion diced fine

1/2 cup mayo
1/2 cup honey
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon pepper

Dry Rub for Pulled Goat
1/4 cup paprika
1/4 cup cumin powder
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
1/2 teaspoon onion powder
1/4 teaspoon mustard powder

Carolina style BBQ Sauce
(Slightly altered version of Big Daddys Carolina BBQ Sauce)
3/4 cup Cider Vinegar
1 cup mustard
1/2 cup sugar
1/4 cup brown sugar
1 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup water
1/2 teaspoon soy sauce
2 tablespoons mustard
Dash of cayenne pepper and chili powder-add more if you like the heat

Mix and simmer all ingredients except the soy and butter. Simmer for 30 minutes. Add butter and soy sauce and simmer additional 10 minutes.

Parmesan Goat Meatballs
1 lb ground goat meat
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 farm fresh egg
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
dash of garlic powder
1 sm-med onion diced

Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Saute onions in 1 tablespoon of olive oil until transparent. Mix all other ingredients and add onions. Roll ground goat meat mixture into small sized meatballs to a size of your liking and put onto a lightly oiled cookie sheet. Place in the oven uncovered for about 10-15 minutes (till lightly browned). Remove from the oven and serve with your favorite pasta or on a roll with your favorite red sauce and shredded cheese.

Goat Teriyaki
For this recipe we used a boneless rolled leg cut into strips and we used River Valley Market Co-op teriyaki sauce for the marinade. While it was still partially frozen we cut the meat into strips (dont cut them too small otherwise they fall in the grill grates). We then placed all the strips in an airtight container and generously poured the teriyaki sauce on it. We sealed it up and put it in the fridge overnight. Next day remove the meat at least 1/2 hour prior to cooking to let the meat come up to room temperature. Fire up the grill on medium heat. You can add the strips onto wooden skewers if its easier- soak the wooden skewers in water for at least 30 minutes prior to putting on the grill. It will not take long for these strips to cook- we grilled til there was a nice grilling mark on each side then removed from the grill and covered in aluminum foil (the meat will rest and continue to cook a little more allowing for juicy, tender teriyaki goat).

We will continue to add to our recipe list as we go.  Remember that goat is a red meat and can be offered in many of the same ways that beef can. It is best served medium- medium rare for fullest flavor, tenderness and juiciness and best when cooked "low and slow"  Don't be afraid to experiment.

Goat meat is higher in protein than beef and leaner than chicken... go ahead and try it.

Live large and enjoy!

Lately we have been cooking a lot of our sweet italian ground goat sausage. Being asparagus season it made sense to cook it with fresh picked asparagus. Our recipe is very simple yet delicious!

You will need 1lb of ground goat sausage, 1 bunch of fresh asparagus, 1 large onion, 1 red pepper and 2-3 medium tomatoes.  Chop the asparagus, onion, pepper and tomatoes. Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a pan and add the asparagus, onion and pepper. Add a little oregano, salt, pepper and garlic powder to the mix. Saute til it starts to soften and add tomatoes and cook til desired tenderness. Set the asparagus mix aside in a bowl or dish. Put the ground goat sausage in the pan with a little more olive oil and as it browns use a metal spatula to chop the sausage into smaller bits. Cook until no red or pink is visible and add asparagus mix back in. Ready to serve! Its great served on its own, in a pasta sauce or on a roll with a little shredded cheese on top. Yum!

If you don't have ground goat sausage you can cook ground and add salt, pepper and fennel to it for a very nice, sweet flavor. Enjoy!

I am usually not the gourmet in our house however I wanted to share this simple and delicious way to prepare goat meat. Pulled goat sandwich with homemade cole slaw starts here with a half leg. I prepared a homemade dry rub from paprika, salt, pepper, mustard powder, garlic and onion powder and brown sugar. I covered the half leg in the rub and let it sit in the fridge for 4 hours.

While the meat was marinating I made a simple cole slaw. I used cabbage, celery, carrots and some onion. I found an easy recipe on the internet and when it called for sugar I substituted honey.   Our kids are accustomed to honey as their sweetener instead of a lot of sugar.  The dressing was perfectly flavored, I mixed it in with the veggies and let it sit in the fridge while I prepared the rest of the pulled goat sandwich.

I took the leg out of the fridge half hour prior to cooking to let it come up to room temperature. I seared it in a skillet on the stovetop for about 5 minutes each side.  I then slow roasted the leg for about 3 hours at 200 degrees in the oven.  When it was done it fell off the bone and was very juicy and tender.  I then prepared a Carolina BBQ sauce on the stovetop and mixed the meat into it and let it sit for a few minutes.

Dinner time. We called the kids in for dinner and made them all pulled pork sandwich on a bed of cole slaw on french bread and all 3 of our kids ate it without hesitation. In fact our oldest had a second helping.

Myself and our oldest son are the worst food critics in our house. We are the finicky eaters. In fact he enjoyed the sandwich so much that the next day he asked for it again, now knowing that it was goat meat.  He chowed it down without any reservations whatsoever.  Just when I thought it couldnt taste any better I can say that it is definately more flavorful the second day.

The moral of this story is that if I am a finicky, pickey eater and I enjoyed it then it should please most palats.  This is only one of the many ways to prepare goat and I look forward to serving it again!


Farmer Dee Scanlon installing livestock fencing for pasture rotation.
As much as I love the Dodge Ram commercial shown during the Superbowl (below, along with hilarious must-see parody), it does continue to propagate the stereotype that all farmers are mid-western white men who owns acres, upon acres of land handed down to him ... afforded only by government subsidy with fiscal risk managed only by farm insurance. It's not an ideal system, and by no means are farmers rolling in the dough. I'm not knocking them. However, the growing but fragile LOCAL movement needs to shine a light on role models.

Here's Farmer Dee. She's a mother of three. In 2006, after a long career managing the service department of a local Saturn dealership, she co-founded Route9Auto, a AAA-certified automotive repair shop (I guess that makes her Mechanic Dee as well, but that's another story). The business thrived until 2008 when the rug was pulled out from all of us and, to this day, small owner-operated shops like these struggle with the onslaught of well-funded giants Jiffy Lube, Firestone (new to Hadley) and Auto Express. By day, she and her awesome business partner Bryon Fuller, continue to serve happy loyal customers... but, when she's not at the shop, she's tending to her herd of goats and flock of chickens and turkeys.

Motivated by the desire to feed her children healthy chemical-free food, Dee has labored during every remaining waking hour and all weekends to make the most of an acre and a half of land. She has up-cycled pallets and scavenged second-hand hoop houses to create sturdy structures for the goats. She has up-cycled ice-fishing sheds for chicken housing. Thanks to her inventive approach, she has bootstrapped our farm operation during a very difficult fiscal period with the hope that Copperhead Farm and ValleyFreshMeat CSA will one-day yield a return on investment that can support her family.

I won't go into her upbringing on a farm, her need for a tractor so she's not snow-blowing an acre and a half of land or her need for a barn... or how she has managed to navigate the learning curve of raising animals. I will simply introduce you to her and introduce you to her blog (drum-roll please), God Made A Female Farmer, which will chronicle her experiences growing a farm venture from the ground up. Check out the first blog post, which is a picture of the first baby goat kid born at Copperhead Farm.


Video: God Made a Farmer (Shown by Dodge during Superbowl)

Video: God Made a Factory Farmer

What is a Goatupperware Party you ask? Well, it's like a Tupperware Party, except instead of buying plastic products you learn how to prepare Goat Meat in my kitchen. Enjoy a fun evening with other adventurous cooks that includes a short guided-trip to the Asian store (one mile from our kitchen), food preparation, a farm tour and a simple Indian feast.

There are no high-pressure sales tactics, but goat meat will be available if you want to try your hand at this in your own kitchen.

*Introductory Special*: $ 10/head Includes Humera's Goat Curry, Basmati Rice, Cholay, Indian Vegetable Dish and Naan. BYOB.

Choose from THREE dates:
Next Thursday, February 14th from 6-8pm (Great Valentines gift! We're skipping the asian store visit and farm tour given it's a weeknight), and next MONTH, on Saturday, March 9th from 5-8pm.
(Saturday, February 9th CANCELLED DUE TO STORM NEMO)

This is an experiment. If we get to our maximum of 6-10 registrations, we will consider holding more. Register today! If you have any questions or comments, please email us at humera at copperheadfarm dot com.


NBC Affiliate, Channel 22 Covers Yesterday's Winter Fare

Our fourth farmers market ever has been perhaps our best so far! Yesterday's Greenfield Winter Market and Winter Fare (with classes for patrons from cheese making to canning) brought shoppers from all over Franklin County to buy fresh and local foods. For Copperhead Farm, this was our most successful showing yet.

We came prepared with plenty of delicious goat curry and basmati rice (you can see me passing out samples halfway through the video on the left at the :30 mark). We were so busy from the get-go that I forgot to take pictures of the booth and the family...

Family Farm

Yes, as we are a family farm, we felt it was important to teach our kids (10, 6 and 4) how products are brought to market and that they needed to 'represent'. OK... we had to bribe them with donuts and the promise to spend their allowance at Target later that day, but they were well-behaved and seemed to learn a lot. The highlight for me was having my partner-in-crime also present - the real farmer in the family, Dee Scanlon. Yes, I'm not the farm laborer that you imagined me to be :) I am the chef and marketer. Dee is the one who grew up on a farm, can build goat housing out of pallets, and knows each and every goat's personality. There's much to say about her, so I will leave it to a separate blog post, but together we managed the flow of product sampling, purchase and inquiry. We make an awesome team!

Humera's Goat Curry

When does my Mom's goat curry recipe become my goat curry recipe? I feel some guilt about claiming it as my own. I owe her credit for not only the recipe, but also my passion for cooking and inventiveness in the kitchen. Still, it would be a lot easier to spread the word about it if I were to name it. So, in honor of my mother who taught me that I can do just about anything I put my mind to (including renaming age-old Indian food recipes), I am renaming the dish Humera's Goat Curry. Thank you, Mom. I love you.
One in every three people that tries my Humera's goat curry recipe (newly renamed) goes on to buy meat and grab a recipe card. I don't know if it's the seductive powers of the dish, the simplicity of the ingredients list, or the few steps in preparation... but it works. What made this market the best ever for Copperhead Farm was the repeat customers. People we met in January, who tried goat meat for the first time, sought us out! We learned that their dishes were a success and that they introduced it to friends. We had one couple who arrived at 10am on the nose because I had run out of samples last time. I can't believe I didn't take a picture of the dish! ... but I am posting a recipe card for you here...
Our second farmers market ever and we learned that much more. We learned that if you're going to make your mother's authentic goat curry with basmati rice, you must double the recipe... because you will be out of it in the first half of a three-hour farmer's market. We also learned that we need to bring double the amount of dixie cups and utensils. Luckily, our patrons were so gracious. Some even let me feed them with the clean plastic forks we had remaining. I was most impressed by the 11 year old who waited patiently for a taste, loved it, then convinced her mother to try some. Wow.

I was out of stew meat way too early in the day and moved on to my other favorite cuts of ribs, chops and riblets. One in every three people who sampled my childhood favorite dish, purchased meat and grabbed the recipe card (pasted below). It's an easy recipe with few ingredients and steps. You can make it in under an hour if you have a pressure cooker. I feel blessed to be introducing goat meat into so many kitchens.

This market was bustling with people and in a beautiful sky-lit open foyer at the Greenfield High School. I found people to be generally open to trying goat meat and many already big fans of goat meat. I think I will most certainly be back!

Today we attended our FIRST farmer's market, the Hampden Winter Market in Hampden, MA. Located in a beautiful glass greenhouse, the nine vendors had a steady stream of traffic, beautiful violin background music and holiday additions like a cookie decorating station children enjoyed after sitting on Santa's lap.

Copperhead Farm served up its own brand of Billy Balls, goat meat and goat cheese meatballs with homemade pesto sauce, made fresh this morning. The received rave reviews! We 'guess-timated' the recipe by pausing and replaying the Food Network video review of the NYC-restaurant, Meatballs. We've posted our version below.

Products sold at market: Goat meat from Copperhead Farm. Grass-fed beef, chicken, free range eggs and maple syrup from our CSA partner, Sunnybrook Farm / North Hadley Sugar Shack.

Upcoming Farmer's Market Appearances (plan ahead and restock):
January 5, Greenfield Winter Market (Sampling: Goat Curry with Rice)
January 19, Hampden Winter Market (Sampling: Goat Roast)

* Purchase a CSA share and we'll bring your order to an upcoming farmer's market for easy pick-up. Just email humera at copperheadfarm dot com.

Billy Balls Recipe:
1 lb ground goat
4 oz goat cheese
1 cup bread crumbs
1 cup diced onions
1 egg
1 tsp paprika
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp red chili flakes

Caramelize onions until translucent. Mix all ingredients. Form meatballs. Roast in 400 degree F oven.  Serve hot, topped with pesto. Enjoy! Serves 4-6.

1 tightly-packed cup of basil leaves
1 clove garlic
1/4 cup walnuts
1/4 cup parmesan cheese
1/2 cup olive oil
salt to taste
pepper optional, to taste

Chop garlic in food processor. Add basil leaves and chop until fine. Add walnuts and Parmesan cheese and grind to paste. Add olive oil, salt and pepper, pulsing until just combined.

Food Network Reviews 8-Course Meal at RESTO. This restaurant is on my list of places to visit when next in NYC. Watch the episode here: