I connected with Eric Eschbach of Cedar Hill Farms in Amenia, NY. His farm is a good hour from where I live and he graciously offered to meet me half way. I rustled up some friends to make an order that was worth his while. We met in a parking lot of a library. Now, doesn't that seem incredible? Eric is an utterly respectable person, who is working constantly to create a great product. He had a lot of interesting information that I would have liked to learn about meat, how it's processed and the rules and regulations surrounding it all, but I had a wiggly toddler to chase after. It doesn't lend to thoughtful conversation, unfortunately. However, I was thrilled with the transaction, and I intend to visit his farm stand in the summer time, where he sells vegetables as well, and get a lay of the land he works.I came home with a cooler full of meat and a feeling of intense satisfaction.
My first meal was with the ground beef, and I used a recipe with which I took some crazy liberties. Ellie, of Almost Bourdain, does some amazing stuff. All of her elegant food is photographed perfectly---you always want to just sit right down, and tuck in to whatever it is that she is making. There is no pretension, and her writing is thoughtful and often from the heart. And, her precision and attention to detail is pretty much the exact opposite of how I roll. So, although I ogle her site I often think: I'll never make that. (Which is how I feel when I read a lot of blogs, come to think of it.) But, the other day there was this recipe for Beef Kofta Curry that seemed level to my playing field so I affectionately butchered it and in doing so probably took it down ten notches on the superlative stick, but still, it was delicious. In the original recipe it is served with pasta, but I did wild rice.
It's not that I'm lazy, it's just that I don't have the time (miniature violins, please) to attend to much else but the little toddler that keeps me busy all day. Which is just fine. In a few years I'll have plenty of time. I'm sure I'll miss making crock pot meals and cheesy pasta. Even making meatballs took a little precious time. So, in that vein of laziness, I'm not even going to write my version of the recipe, because really, why bother? Visit Ellie's blog and check it out. It's a simple recipe to begin with, I just amended it for what I had. There are a billion spices in this recipe! And I didn't have all of them. But that's okay. That's what cooking is about for me. Getting close. Helping things along. When you have really good local beef, that's a great start, isn't it?