Farmers' Kitchen—Try a Little Tenderness

Judy Sopenski—Not Your Ordinary Farm

Judy Sopenski

Written on

March 01 , 2008

There are some meals that spell COMFORT to all who eat them. Leave your teeth behind. Savor the smell and the melting texture. Give yourself over to a sensuous repast.

The shank and shoulder cuts of many meats are the most tender, but only if they are cooked properly. They have the unfair reputation of being tough because folks cook them as they cook steak or hamburgers—seared at a high temperature. But if you treat them right—cooking them slowly at low temperatures—they provide a dinner that can untangle us from life's stresses and remind us of the joys of a full stomach and a quiet evening.

At Not Your Ordinary Farm in Guilford, my primary offerings are lamb and pork products from animals born and raised on the farm. Animals are raised without hormones or drugs. Lambs are on grass from the first greening of the pasture in a mixed-age flock. Piglets and their mother sows live along the margins of the fields with shade provided by overhanging branches. And all the animals have a rotational life: for the sheep it's a daily occurrence, while pigs move according to weather, the condition of their paddock, and when the next area is ready for them.

Below is my recipe for lamb shoulder chops or lamb shanks.

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