Grilled leg of lamb

The Collingswood Farmers’ Market now has a lamb vendor.  Headquarters Farm owned by Roger Byrom is located in Stockton NJ.

An article published in states : “Headquarters Farm is a stunning historic property with the Neshanic River running through it. The farm, built in the mid-1700’s, is home to a flock of sheep cross-bred over the years to create the Headquarters Farm Romney/Romeldale/Jacob breed which are raised for meat production and sheepskin byproducts. Byrom raises and finishes his sheep and lambs on grass, as was customary during the time the farm was founded in the 18th century. He also rents out his flock to solar farms to provide a sustainable mowing service and for invasive plant species control. Roger sells his meats and sheep skin byproducts directly to the consumer at several local markets.”  Including, now, Collingswood Farmers’ Market…every other week.

You can see and “like” the farm’s Facebook page here: Headquarters Farm Facebook page.

My daughters and I walked to the end of the market and quickly found Roger Byrom’s stand.  It was adorned with lamb skins and slippers and a large cooler full of frozen lamb meat.

One of my daughters bought slippers and ground lamb.  The other bought lamb cubes.  And I bought a leg of lamb for my husband to grill/smoke.  Roger assured me that it was a small leg…he showed me the large for comparison!

small leg of lamb
olive oil for marinating and basting.
spices for dry rub (including…white onion, black pepper, lemon peel, salt, French thyme, roasted granulated garlic, Greek oregano, spearmint) Your preference.
small chuck of a mild wood for smoke in the grill (we used cherry)

1.  After thawing the lamb, rub with olive oil and throughly cover with the dry rub spices you prefer (mint, oregano, garlic, rosemary…)  Put in the refrigerator for several hours, or better, overnight.

2.  Set the fire in the grill with a hot and cold area.  The leg will be roasted on the cold side of the grill.  Put the meat on the grill.  Put the lid on.  And monitor the temperatures of the grill and the meat.

3. The whole cook took only about 3 hours.  The “oven” temperature of the grill was a steady 230 degrees Fahrenheit.  Low and slow is a must when cooking lamb.  Lamb is extremely lean and will dry out and be tough if overcooked.  The meat easily rose to 140 degrees and was taken off to rest for about 40 minutes.

Serve with your favorite side dishes.  To accompany our grilled lamb we ate zucchini and white beans sautéed with olive oil and thyme.

Roger Byrom is the man to talk with if you love lamb….he sells a variety of different cuts and gives very good advice as to how to cook this new meat offering at Collingswood.



Beef filet mignon with maitake mushrooms

Maitake mushrooms are also called “hen of the woods”.  They have a funny name and they are funny looking.  They are to be fried when cooked and make a wonderful paring with steak.   We love them with a filet mignon.IMG_8945

This is a simple, delicious, and very special meal.

At the Collingswood Farmers’ Market we are fortunate enough to have, every week, Davidson’s Mushrooms from Kennett Square PA (THE MUSHROOM CAPITAL OF THE UNIVERSE!). Davidson’s Exotic Mushrooms are at the end of the market and they sell over a half dozen different variety of very fresh mushrooms.

1 small maitake mushroom
2 grass fed beef filet mignon
2 tablespoons butter

1. Put a skillet on a burner on the stove at medium to medium high temperature and melt the butter.
2. Tear the mushroom apart.  Be aware of the root (a small rough piece) and discard it.

3.  Toss the mushroom pieces into the skillet and fry until brown and crispy. Stir frequently.   Do not burn!
4.  Cut the filets in half across the width and dry on paper towels.IMG_8967
5.  When the mushrooms are brown and crispy take them out of the skillet and put aside.  6.  Sprinkle the filet lightly with salt.  Place the filet salt side down in the skillet.  Fry in the butter that is left in the pan for about three minutes.  Turn over and fry another two minutes.  The steaks will be rare to medium rare.  Fry another minute for more doneness if desired.

6.  When the steak is done, remove to a serving plate. Top with the fried mushrooms.  And serve with favorite sides.


Maitake mushrooms from Davidsons Exotic Mushrooms

Filet mignon from Hillacres Pride

Butter from Hillacres Pride (research shows that grass fed beef is best cooked in butter, not oil)

Potatoes from Muth Family Organic Farm

Green beans, tomatoes, onions from A.T. Buzby Farm (from my CSA share!)

The farmer who changed my eating life.

Hillacres Pride has been selling their products at The Collingswood Farmers’ Market since 2006.  They started with cheese.  And then a little ground beef.  They gradually added their family grown farm products so that today they sell over 40 dairy products (no milk…Not in NJ!), over 45 beef products, over 25 pork products, 15 different sausages (from breakfast sage to chorizo to kielbasa), over a dozen chicken products, eggs, and a host of prepared products like meatballs, mac & cheese, beef BBQ, and cheese crackers!

Hillacres  Jerseys is the name of the family farm from which Hillacres Pride sprung.  Tom’s family had the farm first.  Then Tom married Mandy.  Tom and Mandy wanted to stay on the farm and raise their family.  They needed to add income to keep everyone together.  Cheese was the first and most obvious answer.  Jersey milk is high in protein and makes excellent cheese (according to Mandy)!  And so Mandy’s husband Tom dubbed their venture their pride….Hillacres Pride.

After cheese production came beef (cattle takes two years to raise) and then pork (pigs take seven months raise).  Tom and Mandy added a pasteurizer and processing plant in 2009, which helped to expand their cheese line.  And finally they added chickens.

I have purchased Hillacres Pride products since the first time they appeared with their cheese at The Collingswood Farmers Market.  I ventured into ground beef shortly after that.  And I haven’t looked back.

The first time I bit into a burger made from Hillacres Pride grass-fed beef I was five years old again.  (And that was a long time ago)!  This was what beef tasted like.  I remember.  Yes, beef should taste rich and buttery and full of flavor!

Hillacres Pride has a winter program.  Once a month, on a Saturday,  from December through April,  Judy (Mandy’s mom) and Roland (Mandy’s dad) set up shop for preorders items only in nearby Haddonfield.  I am proud to say that I am one of the two people who made up the first year of the winter program.  Now there are many, many winter people.  One simply signs up, orders online when the email reminder comes, and spend a minimum of $25.  Easy to do.

I no longer buy my meats from a supermarket or even a butcher.  I buy from Hillacres Pride.  And that has changed my eating life all for the better.


Links to some of my recipes using Hillacres Pride products.

Stuffed peppers
Quick collards with bacon
Elegant beets stacked with feta and peston fresh cheese
Asparagus chicken stir fry
Smoked Boston Butt and Hash (for two)
Chicken fingers and easy chicken parm
Slow cooker chicken paprikas
Pork chops with apples, leeks, and sweet potatoes
Prepared meals you can buy from Hillacres Pride
The best hot dog you’ve never hear of…Italian Style
Another smoked Boston butt
Johnny Marzetti….I love him!
Breakfast for dinner….BACON!
Stuffed Cabbage!
Chicken noodle soup…
Good for what ails you soup with a chicken and beef knuckle
Fresh Ham
Whole chicken in a slow cooker…just like rotisserie chicken, but easier to make
Sheet pan chicken and vegetables
Hamburger vegetable soup.
filet mignon with maitake mushrooms

Thank you Mandy, Tom, Judy, Roland …and the rest of the family!

Hillacres Pride website