Fig, Apricot & Blue Cheese stuffed NCH Pork Chops

Surprise and delight with this sweet and savory approach to our Pork Chops. 

Serves 4

Ingredients: 

4 dried figs, stem removed, cut into quarters

6  dried apricots halves, cut into quarters

¼ cup pecans, toasted then chopped

3 tbsp blue cheese, we are fans of this one from the local Orman’s Cheese Shop. 

1  shallot, minced

½ tsp fennel powder

¼ tsp salt

pinch of black pepper

4 thick cut bone in North Corner Haven pork chops

3 tbsp vegetable oil

¼ cup brandy

1 cup chicken broth

½ cup heavy cream

2 tsp Dijon mustard

 

Instructions

Preheat oven to 350℉.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Spray with pan spray.

Have a culinary thermometer ready. This one from amazon is a favorite and reminds you of cooking temps!

Put the dried fruit in a bowl. Pour ½ cup boiling water over the fruit and set aside for 15 minutes to soften. Drain fruit, reserving the liquid.

In a food processor, process the fruit with the nuts, cheese, fennel and half the shallot until finely chopped. Season with salt and pepper.

In a small sealable plastic bag or piping bag, transfer the mixture. Cut a ½ inch off the corner of the bag. Taking each pork chop, make a hole with a knife in the rounded portion of the chop and make a pocket to receive the filling. Place the cut end of the piping bag inside the pork chop pocket and squeeze a quarter of the filling inside the chop.

Dry the both sides of the pork chops. Season both sides of pork chops with salt and pepper. Heat a large saute pan over medium high heat.

Add the oil to the pan and heat the oil to a shimmer, maybe one minute. Add the pork chops and brown the first side for 5 minutes. Turn the pork chops with a pair of tongs, browning the other side an additional 2 minutes. Remove chops from the saute pan and place on the prepared baking sheet. Cook in preheated oven until the internal temperature is 135℉ or until desired temperature. About 15 – 20 minutes.

While the chops are cooking – it’s time to make the sauce! Drain the oil from the sauté pan. Place the shallots in the same pan and cook over medium high heat for a minute. Remove the pan from the heat and add the brandy to the pan. When returning the pan to the burner, be careful as the alcohol from the Brandy is flammable and could flambé. Cook over high until the alcohol is reduced to a syrup. Add the broth and the fruit liquid and boil down until the liquid is reduced by a ⅓. Add the cream and continue to simmer until it thickens slightly. Whisk in the mustard and season with salt and pepper. Once pork chops are finished cooking, remove from the baking sheet and place on a platter. If any juices have accumulated from the pork chops add it to the sauce. Pour the sauce over the chops and serve.

This dish is excellent served with white rice and asparagus! We particularly love our rice from Anson Mills, find info here. 

 

Honey & Chili Pork Meatballs | Featuring North Corner Haven Ground Pork 

There is nothing better than a sweet honey dish mixed with a little bit of spice. These homemade Honey and Chili Pork Meatballs are perfect for any occasion. It’s a quick but delicious meal using our forest-raised pork coated with spicy ginger-honey sauce for some nice flavor.

Ingredients List 

For the Meatballs:

  • 1 1/2 pounds Ground Pork 
  • ¼ cup minced onion
  • 4 large cloves garlic minced
  • 3 tsp minced ginger
  • 1/2 tbsp sesame oil
  • Kosher salt & pepper

For the Spicy Ginger-Honey Sauce:

  • 3 tbsp sesame oil
  • 1 tsp minced garlic
  • 3 tbsp minced ginger
  • 2 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • ¼ cup honey (our raw honey is the best!) 
  • 1-2 tbsp Chili with Garlic Sauce depends on how much you enjoy heat
  • 1 tsp cornstarch
  • Cilantro for garnish

*you could also use our honey with this sauce recipe from Love & Lemons…. 

Cooking Instructions

For the Meatballs:

  1. Combine all ingredients together and form balls. They will be wet, thats fine! Just get them to hold together. Place on a baking sheet until ready to cook.
  2. When ready to cook, preheat the oven to 350 degrees.
  3. Place on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes or until cooked through.

For the Spicy Ginger-Honey Sauce:

  1. In a frying pan with sides, combine sesame oil, garlic and ginger and saute for 1-2 minutes until fragrant. Add in vinegar, honey and chili with garlic sauce and bring to a boil. Add in cornstarch and whisk until combined and thickened. Taste & adjust. 
  2. Place meatballs in your pan, coat with sauce, garnish with cilantro leaves (if you like) and serve.

This special sauce helps add moisture and tenderness to create the perfect weekday lunch or dinner. You can serve these on butter leaf lettuce cups like we did, and even add some cilantro in there for an extra splash of spice! 

Enjoy ~ and share using #northcornerhaven

Interested in other ways to cook with ground pork – here are some awesome examples by Martha Stewart. 

 

Bone – In Pork Chops with Dijon Cream Sauce

Bring your regular pork chops to a whole new level with this flavorful mustard cream sauce. These bone – in pork chops topped with rich creamy goodness are pan-fried and finished in the oven. How good does this sound? Add it with your favorite fall vegetable or even better, blackened grits like these from Anson Mills – a fan favorite no doubt! Remember to always shop local when you can – our pastured raised chops are the perfect protein for this dish, with each pack having two chops. Want to ditch the bone? Try our boneless chops, perfect for a lighter fare. 

Ingredients: 

For the Pork Chops

For the Mustard Cream “Pan” Sauce

  • 1 tbsp butter
  • 1 cup chicken broth – I used low sodium
  • 2 tbsp whole grain dijon mustard
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  • ½ tsp salt, or to taste

Cooking Instructions

  1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Generously season pork chops with salt and pepper on both sides.
  3. In a large skillet over medium heat. Drizzle oil into the pan.
  4. Add pork chops to the pan and sear on both sides for 2-3 minutes. Transfer to a plate and cover to keep warm.
  5. To prepare the sauce, add butter to the pan. 
  6. Add chicken broth. We love this one from kettle & fire. Whisk in dijon mustard, then cream. Stir in salt and pepper.
  7. Return pork chops to the pan, spoon some of the sauce over the pork chops, then transfer to the oven.
  8. Cook for 10 minutes. Spoon liquid from the pan over the pork chops. Cook another 10-15 minutes until pork is cooked through and sauce is thickened.
  9. Spoon more sauce over the pork chops, garnish with black pepper and fresh herbs if desired and serve.

Note – If you are using really thick bone in pork chops, they will retain a lot of moisture. Be sure to reduce the cooking time if using a thinner chop.

Bon appétit!

 

Traditional Braised Short Ribs

Add this classic meal that uses simple ingredients to your Fall menu. These traditional braised short ribs are cooked low and slow and will fill your home with the most delicious smells drawing everyone around the table. Have this cooking in the oven on a Sunday night while you prepare for your upcoming week or serve it up for a family gathering. Either way, it’s guaranteed to leave your crowd wanting more!

Ingredients List

  • 6 bone-in short ribs (about 5 3/4 pounds) – grab these from North Corner Haven!
  • Kosher salt
  • Extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 ribs celery, cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 carrots, peeled, cut in 1/2 lengthwise, then cut into 1/2-inch pieces
  • 2 cloves garlic, smashed
  • 2 large tomatoes
  • 2-3 cups heavy red wine – a Cabernet Sauvignon would be great
  • 2 cups beef broth
  • 1 bunch fresh thyme, tied with kitchen string
  • 2 bay leaves

Cooking Instructions

  1. Season each short rib generously with salt. Coat a pot large enough to accommodate all the meat and vegetables with olive oil and bring to a high heat. Add the short ribs to the pan and brown very well, about 2 to 3 minutes per side. Do not overcrowd the pan. Cook in batches, if necessary.
  2. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees.
  3. While the short ribs are browning, prepare all the vegetables. When the short ribs are very brown on all sides, remove them from the pan. Drain the fat, coat the bottom of the same pan with fresh oil and add the vegetables. Season the vegetables generously with salt and brown until they are very dark and a fond (a crust of sorts) has formed on the bottom of the pan, approximately 5 to 7 minutes. Scrape the fond and let it reform. Scrape the fond again and add the wine and scrape the bottom of the pan. Lower the heat if things start to burn. Reduce the volume of the mixture by half.
  4. Return the short ribs to the pan and add 2 cups broth or until the broth has just about covered the meat. Add water if necessary. Add the thyme bundle and bay leaves. Cover the pan and place in the preheated oven for 3 hours. Check periodically during the cooking process and add more water, if needed. Turn the ribs over halfway through the cooking time. Remove the lid during the last 20 minutes of cooking to let things get nice and brown and to let the sauce reduce. When done the meat should be very tender but not falling apart. Serve with the braising liquid.

Serve these short ribs with some buttery mashed potatoes or even some homemade rolls. A great homemade dish that is full of comfort food flavors. Yum! 

Don’t forget to grab your short ribs from our Farm Shop! Our pasture raised Beef is raised right here on the Farm and can be delivered to your door! Learn more.

3 Reasons to Buy, Local Pasture Raised Eggs

Eggs are a staple in diets across the world – especially in the United States. On average, Americans consume 287 eggs per year, and for good reason. Eggs are packed with vitamins and nutrients, and are a cost-effective source of protein and amino acids. 

But the nutrient profile of eggs varies enormously between hens. Hens that are fed a poor diet and live in dirty, cramped quarters produce lower-quality eggs than those that are fed well and treated humanely. 

Thankfully, increased awareness of the drawbacks of factory farming has generated a growing demand for farm fresh eggs. Community sustained farms like North Corner Haven have risen to the occasion, and provide a bounty of fresh eggs from happy, pasture-raised hens. Here are just a few of the benefits of eating eggs from healthy and nourished chickens.

Less Cholesterol

Conventional eggs contain more cholesterol than pasture-raised eggs. This is a great indicator of the health of the hens.

In conventional farming practices, chickens are fed a diet consisting mostly in grains, which results in higher cholesterol and higher saturated fat. Higher cholesterol in the hens means higher cholesterol in the eggs!

At North Corner Haven, we feed our hens a balanced diet, resulting in eggs that have a better lipid profile. If you’re watching your dietary cholesterol, farm fresh eggs are the way to go.

More of the Good Stuff

Our eggs have less cholesterol, but more of the stuff you do want. Pastured eggs contain up to 2 times more omega-3 fatty acids than conventional eggs. They also contain more beta carotene, vitamin E, and selenium. And of course, all that sunshine means more vitamin D.

Chickens that are allowed to roam freely have a more diverse diet. At North Corner Haven, you’ll see our chickens roaming around in the sun munching on grass and insects, just as nature intended.

Farm Fresh Eggs Taste Better

Of course a better diet for the chicken means a better diet for you. But what about the taste? 

Once we started raising chickens at North Corner Haven, we never looked back. The eggs simply taste so much better. The nutrient-rich yolks have a far richer flavor, and the higher level of beta-carotene is evident in their deep orange hue. 

If you’re used to the tasteless egg whites of your grocery store eggs, you’ll be impressed by the slight nuttiness of the egg whites from pastured eggs. 

We’ve done side-by-side taste tests, and North Corner Haven eggs are the clear winner, every time. 

Environmental Impact

At North Corner Haven, we’re committed to using sustainable agricultural methods to manage the land and build regenerative ecosystems. Our eggs are not only more nourishing for the body, they’re a better choice for the Earth. 

Your purchase of our farm fresh eggs goes a long way in ensuring a verdant and healthy local environment here in the Carolinas. 

To place an order, visit our farm shop. We offer free local delivery in the Charlotte and Lancaster areas.

Pork dishes taste great and can be an excellent source of lean protein for your diet but not all pork is equal. The way your pork is raised can have a big impact on things like flavor and nutritional content. Most of the pork products you purchase in a grocery store are raised on commercial farms under terrible conditions. Pasture-raised pork is a healthier and more ethical option. 

Here are four reasons it is important to choose pasture-raised pork for your next meal. 

It Benefits the pig

On a commercial pig farm, there could be upwards of 2500 pigs housed in one place. They’re packed tightly into barns and rarely, if ever, out in the light of day. Antibiotics are often used to fight off the deadly diseases that can occur from such crowded living conditions. This is not the case with pasture-raised pigs.

Pasture-raised pigs are happier and healthier with plenty of room to exercise, wallow in mud, and are free to roam around. In addition to the health and happiness of the pig, pasture-raised pork also helps combat the selective breeding in the commercial pork industry. Pasture-raised pigs are hardier and more resistant to parasites, and they yield a better flavor when they make it to your table as a pork chop or sausage.  

It Benefits the Environment

Allowing pigs to graze on grass uses much less fossil fuel than a feedlot diet given to commercially farmed pigs. Commercial farms create massive amounts of carbon emissions each year that contribute to global warming. Grazing lands for pasture-raised pork are a much-needed habit for wildlife, and they reduce water runoff. This helps keep our natural watersheds cleaner and safer for both wildlife and human use.

The waste created by pigs on commercial farms poses a significant environmental threat to soil and groundwater due to spillage and disposal. Pasture-raised pigs spread their manure over the soil where it becomes a natural source of organic fertilizer. This improves the quality of the grass, which harvests solar energy and holds on to topsoil and moisture. 

It Benefits Public Health

Antibiotic resistance is one of the top ten global public health threats as determined by the World Health Organization. Factory farming of livestock, including pork, is recognized as a contributing factor. The antibiotics required to keep pigs alive in the cramped conditions of a commercial farm can remain in their meat and contaminate the soil and waterways near their waste lagoons. Pasture-raised pigs rarely require antibiotics, making their meat safer and cleaner. 

It Benefits Your Body

Pasture-raised pork contains higher levels of nutrients than commercially raised pork. Pasture-raised pork can contain up to twice the amount of vitamin E and three times the amount of Vitamin D contained in confined pigs. These vitamins are essential to heart, skin, hormonal, and brain health, as well as immune function and inflammation control. Pasture-raised pork also contains higher levels of selenium, which is necessary for thyroid health. 

Try the Farm Shop at North Corner Haven

Skip grocery store pork and choose the healthier option from the Farm Shop at North Corner Haven. Our range of pasture-raised pork products is packed with flavor and nutrients and can be delivered right to your doorstep.