Savor The Earth

eat tastier, eat greener, eat cheaper

Green(s) Tasso–Sustainable Sustenance from Dai Due March 17, 2010

Filed under: Dai Due,easy,locavore,meat,pressure cooker,tasso,thrift,vegetables — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 12:48 pm

emerald I'll eat that

Dai Due‘s nitrate-free tasso, fashioned from seasoned and smoked Richardson Farms local grass-fed pork, likkered up my pot o’ greens as only pig parts can.  Pressure-cooked for 20 minutes with a bay leaf to flavor a hearty broth, the tasso pieces yielded plenty of meat, picked off in shreds to be added back later.

Into the brew I tossed Texas-grown, Texas-sized collards and mustard greens, only 99¢ a bunch at Central Market and HEB, local turnips, cubed, one chopped local onion, a few organic garlic cloves, smashed and chopped, and some salt.  The pressure cooker required only 8 minutes to tenderize the mighty leaves and roots.  A pinch of turbinado sugar and two capfuls of organic apple cider vinegar later (Whole Foods brand in the quart bottle is usually the best buy), I returned the tasso meat to the mix and had myself a fine bowl of greens, peppered aplenty.

Save the fat, too.  Chopped and rendered, would-be-discards (yes, after boiling into broth) become rich crumbs that dissolve instantly in your mouth.  A fine, fatty garnish, especially for a starchy side like polenta, which creates a comforting landing for a mess o’ greens.  I buy Arrowhead Mills organic yellow corn grits and bake them up into a plushly yielding mound using Paula Wolfert’s oven method, a simple technique requiring minimal effort from the cook.

Wear your green while eatin’ your greens—for good luck—and no pinches!

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Dai Due–Toss-o in the Tasso January 19, 2010

Filed under: Austin Farmers Market,beans,Dai Due,easy,slow cooker,tasso — Austin Frugal Foodie @ 1:04 pm

tasso on top

Once again my favorite local charcuterie source seasons my beans.  Dried legumes, even organic, are a bargain as well as nutritional gold.  So you can afford delicious, sustainable and good for you meat when you stretch its flavor with versatile beans.  A half pound of Dai Due‘s seriously smoky tasso (hewn from local pork and crafted without nitrates) can fortify a good two pounds of dried black-eyed peas (or the pulse of your choice) or fancy up your feijoada for posher prandials.  My last batch of hoppin’ john included a pound of organic black-eyed peas (from Whole Foods bulk department.  I bring my own bag.), Texas leeks, local carrot tops (always cut off the tops before storing your carrots, but don’t throw them away!), domestic organic garlic, a home grown bay leaf and that fragrantly meaty, smoky tasso, seared for Maillard’s sake, all crocked up in the slow cooker on HIGH for a few hours.  I added a splash of organic apple cider vinegar (WF 365 brand is usually the best buy) towards the end.  Remember to salt at the beginning of the process, to fully salinate the beans and facilitate even cooking.

Serve over cooked Lowell Farms Texas grown organic jasmine rice with lots of freshly cracked black pepper and pickled hot peppers or hot sauce, if you please.  Cornbread plays friendly here, too.