Latest Blog Posts

The Block Rind-On Bacon!

Ever wonder what pork rinds are?  Pork rind is the culinary term for the skin of a pig.  Today most bacon has the rind removed before smoking.  A few butchers will leave the rind on pork bellies when they are smoking the bellies to make bacon, then remove the rind prior to slicing.  Even fewer (we know of only a handful across the Country) will actually leave the rind on the bacon.   We decided to give it a try!  Bacon and Pork Rinds – what could be better!

For those that like a little extra crunch with their bacon, try The Block Rind-On Bacon!

There are two (2) methods to cooking it.  First, and easiest, is to just pop it in the pan and fry like regular bacon.  This will make the rind curl and cook, making some parts crispy and crunchy while other parts are soft and chewy.  Or you can cut 3-4 notches into the rind (just through the rind, not the meat or fat), which will help the bacon to cook evenly and become crisp all over.

We are making four (4) sides of Rind-On Bacon next week and plan to sell as individual 1-lb packages for $7.99.

Try it!  Let us know what you think.

 

A GUIDE TO COOKING BRATS

A GUIDE TO COOKING BRATWURTS

The Block Brats!  We have been asked several times within the last few weeks how to cook our brats, so we decided layout a few options for you.  The best part is that it is hard to go wrong with good brats!  We described a few methods below, but your imagination shouldn’t be limited.   Think Deep Fat Fried Brats!

  1. Boiling Bratwurst

Put water and brats in a pot or deep pan. Make sure your pan is deep enough that the brats will be covered in water. Place the bratwurst in the pan. Try to not let them overlap. Giving more room is better for cooking the bratwurst.

  • Alternately, you can add half water and half beer to the pan for added flavor.

 Boil the brats for about 20 minutes. Turn the pan to medium-high heat and let the water heat up to a boil. Once it gets to a boil, turn down the heat so that it doesn’t over boil or ruin the brats. If you boil the sausage at a slower, gentler boil, you will have better bratwursts.

  • If you are cooking pre-cooked brats, you just need to heat them up, rather than making sure they are cooked through as you would with raw bratwurst.

 Throw them on the grill to finish cooking if desired. Grilling the brats will help finish them off and give them a nice flavor. Put them on the grill with a pair of tongs and grill them for 5-10 minutes, turning them over at least once to make sure they cook on both sides. They will be browned from the grill and ready to serve.

  • You can also grill your brats first for 5-10 minutes on each side, and then boil them. If you do this process, boil them for about 20 minutes after grilling.

 Check the internal temperature. Check the internal temperature of the bratwurst by using a meat thermometer and making sure the brats are about 160 °F (71 °C).

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  1. Poaching Bratwurst in Beer

Assemble your ingredients. In order to poach bratwurst in beer, you will need to assemble your ingredients and have everything on hand before you start. You will need:

  • Bratwurst: use as many as will fit into your pan or as many as you plan to serve
  • One medium-sized white, yellow or sweet onion
  • Half bottle of dark beer

Chop 1 onion. Use 1 medium-sized white, yellow or sweet onion. Chop the onion into rings. These will cook with the bratwurst, giving a nice flavor and companion to the sausage.

Melt butter in a pan with a heavy bottom. Use either a heavy skillet or a Dutch oven to cook the brats and onions. Turn the burner on a medium high heat. Melt about 1 tablespoon of butter and make sure the butter covers the entire bottom of the pan.

Add the onions. Brown the onions in the butter for 1-2 minutes. Stir them frequently to make sure they are browned on all sides.

  • Some recipes suggest cooking the onions after you cook the bratwurst, so that you can monitor the bratwurst more effectively and so that you don’t risk overcooking the onions.

Add bratwurst to the pan. Cook the bratwurst with the onion for 2 minutes. Then turn over the bratwurst using tongs and let them cook for another 2 minutes. Both sides should be nicely browned.

Add beer to the pan. Slowly pour 6 ounces of dark beer (about half a regular sized bottle) into the pan. Cover the pan with a lid. Turn down the burner’s heat to medium to medium-low. Allow this to cook with the bratwurst and onions for approximately 15 minutes. The beer will poach the bratwurst, adding good flavor to the sausage.

Finish off the brats on the grill. Remove the brats from the pan using a pair of tongs, and put them on a plate. Transfer them to a pre-heated grill. Let them cook for 5-7 minutes, turning them over at least once halfway through the cooking time.

Remove the brats from the grill. Take the brats off the grill with tongs and place them on a serving plate. Dish up the onions on the same plate.

  • Alternately, you can use a casserole dish or the Dutch oven to serve the bratwurst.
  1. Cooking on the Grill

Don’t use extremely high heat. Your bratwurst will probably char and crack open if you place them on the highest possible heat immediately. Furthermore, they will probably still be raw in the middle. Give them a chance to heat up a little more slowly on the grill.

Don’t use very low heat. If you use very low heat and try to cook the bratwurst, you might get overcooked interior meat. In addition to having to cook it for a long time, the bratwurst might look like it’s done on the outside but has cooked too long. It will shrivel up when it cools.

Use a disposable aluminum pan to poach bratwurst first. Use the heat of the grill to poach the bratwurst before putting them directly on the grill.  Get a disposable aluminum pan at the grocery store.

  • Put your brats in these, along with some chopped onion, red or green peppers, or other vegetables. You can also put a bed of sauerkraut in the bottom of the aluminum pan.
  • Pour some beer over the brats (about ½ a bottle) and let this simmer with the grill lid down for about 15 minutes. Check the internal temperature of the brats with a meat thermometer. They should be about 160 °F (71 °C).
  • Remove the brats and place them directly on the grill for about 5-7 minutes. Be sure to turn them over about halfway through the grilling time.

Place the brats on the grill. Use a medium setting heat on the grill. Let the brats cook for a few minutes on one side. Turn them over and let them cook for a few more minutes. If you have not poached or boiled the brats before grilling them, then you’ll need to grill them for about 25 minutes total. Be sure to turn them over a few times while they cook to ensure they are cooked on all sides.

  • Do not poke holes in the bratwurst, as this will let all the juice escape from the casing and result in a dry bratwurst.

Don’t crowd the brats together. If there are too many brats on the grill, you raise the potential for causing a flare-up or grease fire. Spread out the bratwurst and give them some room to cook.

Spritz the bratwurst with water or beer. As the brats are cooking, you can spritz them with water or beer to keep them from burning. Put water or beer in a spray bottle. Carefully and quickly spray the liquid over the bratwurst. Alternately, you can brush water or beer on them with a pastry brush.

 Remove the brats from the grill. Use a pair of tongs to remove the brats and place them on a plate. Do not use the same plate that held the raw bratwurst, so that you don’t risk cross-contamination. Check the internal temperature with a meat thermometer to make sure they are around 160 °F (71 °C).

©Blue Moon Studio, Inc.

  1. Baking in the Oven

Preheat your oven to 350˚F/177˚C . Turn it on and let it preheat for about 10 minutes.

Put brats on a broiler pan. Make sure there is a little room around each brat. Line them up to be perpendicular to the grates on the broiler pan.

  • You can also use a cast-iron skillet instead of a broiler pan.  Be sure to rotate the brats every 5 minutes to prevent them burning on one side.

Put the brats in the oven for 5 minutes. Place the broiler pan on an oven rack and close the oven. Let the brats cook for about 5 minutes.

Turn the brats every 5 minutes. After 5 minutes have passed, open the oven and use an oven mitt to hold onto the broiler pan. Use tongs to turn over each brat. Put the pan back in the oven for another 5 minutes, and then turn the brats again. Cook the bratwurst for a total of 15-20 minutes.

  • If you don’t rotate your brats, you will risk burning them.

Check the brats to see if they’re done. Use a meat thermometer and poke into one bratwurst so that the tip of the thermometer rests in the middle of the bratwurst. It should reach 160 °F (71 °C).

  1. Broiling in the Oven

Move the rack in your oven to the topmost spot. In order to broil food, the oven rack must be about 4-7 inches from the heat element in the ceiling of the oven.

  • If your broiler is a compartment underneath your oven, then you can skip this step.

Preheat the broiler in your oven. Most broilers just turn on or off. You can’t control the temperature the way you do with normal oven cooking. Turn it on and let it preheat for about 10 minutes.

Put brats on a broiler pan. Cover the broiler pan with aluminum foil and place the brats on the pan. Make sure there is a little room around each brat. Line them up to be perpendicular to the grates on the broiler pan.

  • You can also use a cast-iron skillet instead of a broiler pan. Be sure to rotate the brats every 5 minutes to prevent them burning on one side.

Cook the brats for 5 minutes on each side. Place the broiler pan on an oven rack and close the oven. Let the brats cook for about 5 minutes.  Turn them over and cook them for another 5 minutes.

Check the internal temperature. Remove the brats from the oven. Use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the bratwurst. The bratwurst should reach 160 °F (71 °C). Stick the tip of the thermometer into one bratwurst and let the thermometer sit for a minute.

  • The brats will also have brown stripes from the grates on the broiler pan.
  1. Smoking Bratwurst

Heat up your smoker. Smoking meats is a very different process from grilling on a barbecue or cooking on a stove. Smoking involves lower temperatures and longer cooking times. Heat up your smoker to about 200 °F (93 °C). Follow your manufacturer’s instructions to get the smoker ready for use, such as adding water and smoke flavoring.

  • Some people like to cook bratwurst at a higher temperature, such as 250 °F (121 °C), while others aim for a much lower temperature, starting at 100F for an hour, then raising to 125F and 150F. These lower temperatures will mean it will take you much longer to cook the brats.
  • Hickory or applewood smoke is a good flavor for smoked bratwurst.

Use tongs to place bratwurst inside the smoker. Line up the bratwurst inside the smoker and be sure to give each brat a little room. Be careful not to puncture or tear the casings on each brat.

  • Brats will cook more slowly on the bottom rack than on the top rack.

Smoke the bratwurst for 2 to 2.5 hours. Leave the smoker to cook the brat for 2 to 2.5 hours. You don’t need to flip over the bratwurst halfway through. Rather, leave them alone for at least 2 hours. Every time the door to the smoker opens, the smoker loses a little heat and you’ll have to cook a little longer.

  • Adjust your cooking time if you are smoking at a lower temperature than 200F.

Check the bratwurst’s internal temperature. After about 2 hours, use a meat thermometer to check the temperature of the bratwurst. The bratwurst should reach 160 °F (71 °C).

  • It’s best to use the same bratwurst every time to check the temperature. Every time you puncture it with a thermometer, some juices will escape and will make that bratwurst less than perfect.

Remove the bratwurst. Use tongs to take the bratwurst out of the smoker. Set them on a plate. Be sure to use a different plate than the one you may have used to load them in. You want to avoid cross-contamination between raw bratwurst and cooked bratwurst.

  1. Cooking in a Microwave

Place bratwurst in a microwave safe dish. Only put a few brats in at a time. This will ensure that each brat has enough room around it to cook thoroughly.

Cover bratwurst with water. Fill the dish with enough lukewarm water to cover them. This will ensure that the bratwurst don’t dry out as they are cooking. The water will boil while it’s cooking, so you want to make sure you have enough that it won’t boil away as you’re cooking.

Cook on high for 2 minutes. The microwave will cook the bratwurst very quickly, but you won’t be able to adjust the heat while they are cooking. Cook the bratwurst for 2 minutes only so that they don’t burn on one side.

  • Cook according to your microwave’s manufacturer instructions. Some cooking times may vary depending on the microwave.

Turn Brats over and cook for 2 more minutes. Use tongs to grab the bratwurst and turn them over. Space them out so they have enough room to thoroughly cook. Cook on a high setting for 2 more minutes.

  • Be careful, as the dish may be very hot. Use oven mitts to take the dish out of the microwave.

Check the bratwursts to see if they’re done. Use a meat thermometer and poke into one bratwurst so that the tip of the thermometer rests in the middle of the bratwurst. It should reach 160 °F (71 °C).

  • Alternately, you can cut into the brat with a knife to check if it’s done. If it is still pink, put it back in the microwave for one more minute on a high setting.
  1. Brats in a Crockpot or Slow Cooker

In a crock pot combine sausages, 1 bottle of amber ale, brown sugar and vinegar. Cover and cook on low-heat setting for 4-5 hours or until sausages are cooked through.  Remove cooked sausages from crock pot. Serve with spicy brown mustard.

 Cooking in a Dutch Oven

Our personal favorite!  Meant for summer camping and pack trips, or just around the fire out behind the house or cabin.  In your Dutch Oven over medium-high heat, heat the butter or olive oil.  When butter is hot, add the Brats and brown them, turning the sausages frequently to assure all sides are evenly browned.

Once sausages are browned, add the potatoes, sliced onions, chopped garlic, sweet peppers, and sage, stirring gently until onions are cooked.

Add 1 bottle of dark beer and let bubble for 5 minutes to glaze the onions.

Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and let simmer for 45 minutes (checking liquid level on occasion and add additional beer if necessary).

Remove from heat and add fresh basil, salt, and pepper; gently stir in.

Cover with lid and let sit for 5 minutes before serving.

dutchoven2

  1. On a Stick over a Campfire

As simple as it gets!  Cut a willow, stab a juicy brat and cook it over the fire.  Most important is the type of fire.  The brats will drip more than other hot dogs while they cook.  Let the flame die down so the fire is mostly coals and embers.  The best part is all family members and friends can partake.  Enjoy!

March Madness Sale

Thank God for college basketball in March to get us through the transition to spring-time!  Often better than the games are the story-lines that develop.  Hats off to the Ramblers from Loyal~Chicago for making it to the Final 4!  How can you not cheer for Sister Jean?

In the spirit of the season, this week The Block is offering four (4) high quality quarter beefs. (Grass-fed, grain finished.)  Orders need to be placed this week before the Final Four games start.  Just ask for Tylee when you call.

¼ High Quality Beef:

Purchase Price: $350

Standard Processing: $150

Total = $500

Also, we will take 25% off any Jerky or Summer Sausage ordered!

Let the Dancing begin.

Sister Jean Profile:

https://www.nytimes.com/2018/03/14/sports/ncaabasketball/loyola-ncaa-tournament-nun.html

Please contact us at any of the provided contacts below, we look forward to hearing from you!

Email: starvalleymeatblock@gmail.com

Phone: 307-883-2397

Address: 50 Westwood Ln, Thayne, WY 83127

Spring Thaw Sale

We all have a freezer (or 2) in the garage or basement that still has meat from the last few years of hunting seasons or some beef roasts that just don’t ever seem to get cooked.

We have a solution!

Starting April 1st through May 15th we are be offering deep discounts on jerky and other processed meat products.  Go ahead and bring your frozen meat in before the 1st, we will start defrosting ASAP.  We slow defrost in our walk-in cooler to preserve the meat quality and avoid you having another mess to deal with.

Unwrap & Defrosting Fee…………….$0.25/lb

Boneless Meat

Grind Only…………………$0.6575/lb

Grind and Wrap…………..$0.7585/lb

Beef Suet….Market Price

Jerky

(Charged by green weight)

 

“Snack Sticks”

Ground and Shaped……..$3.00 $3.50/lb

Regular, Jalapeno, Teriyaki, Barbecue and Colorado Blend

 

“Old West”                               

Whole Muscle Jerky………$3.75 $4.25/lb

Original, Sweet & Hot and Teriyaki

 

Smokey Sticks……………..$3.25 $3.75/lb

 

Cooked Sausages

Summer Sausage………….$3.00 55/lb

Our mildest with distinct flavor of mustard seed

Salami………………………..$3.00 55/lb

Seasoned with garlic and pepper

Pepper Salami……………..$3.25 75/lb

Jalapeno salami for those who like it hot

Cheese and Jalapeno…….$3.50 4.25/lb

Bits of cheddar and jalapeno make this summer sausage our most popular flavor! 

Our spring hours are 9:00 AM to 5:00 PM Monday through Friday.

Please contact us at any of the provided contacts below, we look forward to hearing from you!

Email: starvalleymeatblock@gmail.com

Phone: 307-883-2397

Address: 50 Westwood Ln, Thayne, WY 83127

 

           

#CONNECT

THE BLOCK PHOTO CONTEST

#itsalifestyle            #starvalleymeatblock       #earnyourjerky

wyhunters18

Each month we will give a bag of our jerky or a package of bacon to the winner of our photo contest.  Post your best family, ranching, hunting, fishing, paddling, skiing, rodeo, sledding, grillin, hiking, shed hunting, pet loving, patriotic, country and small-town living photos.  Bonus points if you have a bison, pet, or our gear/products in the photos! Good luck.

Show us your best shots and win some jerky!

PhotoContest