St. Croix Sheep
At Live Oak Farms, Woodruff, SC
I had cured and smoked a ham for Christmas dinner, but Ken had become concerned that it might not be enough for everyone.
I disagreed at first (he had planned on getting a turducken to go with the ham), but decided after I got to SC that a second entree might be a good idea after all.
Christmas Eve dinner was going to be wild sockeye salmon, so I needed something besides fish or pork. After poking around a bit on localharvest, I found Live Oak Farms in Woodruff. Wednesday morning i drove to Charlotte to pick up Carly. Woodruff is an easy detour on the way back to Greenville and taking the wife on a food-related excursion is always a good way to start a trip!
It was an easy farm to find, and we were soon at their store. The only poultry they has was whole chickens and turkeys, so I picked up two 2.5 - 3 pound sirloin tip roasts. They also had farmstead butter and cheeses as well as raw milk. We were really curious about the latter, but they only had it in gallons the day we were there. At a different time of year (one where the refrigerator was not already packed) we would have bought some; maybe next time.
The Parmesan was wonderful - nutty and fresh. The butter was great as well (I used it to saute the green beans Christmas Eve). We also picked up a goat feta that worked well in Friday's salad; moist without being soggy and with an appropriate amount of salt.
The beef, from Red Devon cattle, was high grade, flavorful and tender. As it should be. I browned it on the stove top, then moved it to the oven and roasted until it hit 125 degrees minimum. While resting it continued to cook and finished at 130. Because of the may things worked out, the oven wound up being pretty well stuffed. This resulted in some uneven cooking, but that fact was actually to our advantage. At least half of the meat-eating adults were the sort who were just unwilling to eat any beef with the slightest bit of color to it; there ended up being enough "medium" meat to satisfy their palates.