Friday, October 25, 2013

harvest celebration farm dinner

In celebration of our milking season coming to a near end, we held a small community fall harvest dinner here at the farm. We provided the chili, drinks and of course a little cheese and all who came were asked to bring a side to share. A really fun evening of friends, neighbors, family, moonlight, warm fire and really great food! Apparently I was too busy chatting and relaxing and slacked on the picture taking. But here's a few of what I did take and also a little about the stew pot and our pork chili...and just in case you want to make chili for a small army sometime in the future, I've included the recipe!

After weeks of looking and looking at used pots, we finally decided to start our own heirloom hand me down and purchase a brand new cast iron 18 gallon pot.

It needed to be seasoned but what an awesome pot and just the size I had in mind. It is obviously way too huge to fit in the oven for seasoning, so we opted to season it on an open fire outside. We greased, heated and cooled it several times before the pot itself no longer smoked when it was hot and the inside of the pot was smooth enough to cook in. 
greasing the pot

seasoning the pot
We will likely keep repeating the process a couple more times before the pot is seasoned the way it needs to be. But in the meantime, we will cook in it!

ingredient #1 - our own pastured and milk fed pork

 ~Pork Chili~
10 pounds of pork roasts (cooked separately and deboned - add only meat to your pot)
I used a 10lb bag of pintos and 3lbs of navy beans 
(soaked overnight then drained - navy beans are a natural soup thickener)
15 gallons of liquid (combo of the broth from the pork, water and chicken broth)
15 chile and banana peppers (diced)
6 onions (diced)
12 garlic cloves (diced)
1 large bunch of cilantro
cumin, oregano, salt, pepper, cayenne & red pepper to taste
~ We sat the pot on rebar over an open fire. We used cinder blocks to run the rebar through for the pot to sit on - the heavier the rebar the better..cuz this pot is HEAVY. You could also hang it over the fire but the rebar & cinder block set up was the simplest for us. Once it's secure and sitting evenly, add all ingredients to your pot. You will want to get the liquid to a slow boil, so build your fire up and then let it die down to adjust your heat. We simmered the stew for 7 hours and it was perfect. 
our son Derek was the chili stirrer and kept the fire going

the finished chili with lots of added all natural smoke flavor...delish!

Happy Fall Y'all!

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