Make Your Own Apple Cider Vinegar

 This might be the easier thing we've done all year.

 makes 1 cup vinegar

- Ingredients - 
6 apples, mixed variety
1 cup water

- Tools - 
Weston Apple Peeler
Jar, sanitized

1. Use your Apple Peeler to peel & core your apples. Use the apple slices to make fritters or some other tasty treat.

2. Dump the peels and cores into a jar with 1 cup water.

Cover with cheesecloth and allow to ferment in a cool, dry place.

3. After two weeks, remove the scraps.

Don't say 'gross!' That white stuff forming on top is the "vinegar mother." You can add that mother to cider or wine to make future batches of vinegar. 

We simply tipped our jar, cheesecloth still intact, into another container to strain the scraps from the fermenting vinegar, We then composted the leftover peels & cores and returned the liquid to the jar.

4. Let the liquid ferment another 2-4 weeks, covered with cheesecloth, until the smell from the jar is sweet & pungent.

5. Scrape the mother from the top and store for future vinegar-making ventures. The vinegar is now ready to use. Seal it and store in a cool, dry place.

6. Consider making a shrub!

DIY Homemade Burrata Cheese Recipe

Burrata cheese is made of a stretchy mozzarella shell that's filled with creamy mozzarella curds.

- Ingredients - 
½ gallon milk
¾ teaspoon citric acid, dissolved in a little water
¼ rennet tablet, dissolved in a little water
1 tablespoon cream
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon sugar

- Tools - 
Weston Cone Strainer
Weston Cheesecloth

Step One | Make Cheese Curds

1. Heat milk to 100ºF.

The setup: Milk, citric acid, rennet, cream, salt & sugar

2. Add the dissolved citric acid.

Small curds begin to form shortly after the acid is added.

3. Once curds begin to form, add the dissolved rennet.

4. Allow the rennet to further curdle the milk for about 15 minutes.

Larger curds begin to form and float

5. A thick layer of curds should now be floating at the top. Cut them into 1" squares.

6. Bring the temperature up to 105ºF, stirring gently for 10 minutes.

7. Use the Cone Strainer to strain the thick curds.

If you're storing the burrata for more than a few days, reserve the liquid whey. You can store the burrata pouches in an airtight container, covered with the liquid. 

Step Two | Prepare the Cheese Filling

1. Divide the curds in half.

2. Use your fingers to mush one half of the curds, then add in the cream.

3. Mix until uniform. Set aside.

Step Three | Mozzarella

1. Use the Cheesecloth to press & strain the other half of the curds.

2. Microwave them for 30 seconds. Continue to microwave in 30 second intervals until you have melted mozzarella.

3. Use your fingers to pull and stretch the mozzarella into four rounds (be careful, they'll likely be very hot and you don't want to be scolded - but if you let it cool completely, you won't be able to shape it).

Step Four | Assemble Burrata

Spoon the filling into the center of the still hot & stretchy mozzarella round, then gently seal it closed, into a pouch or ball. If you have a tough time sealing them, you can use twine. Enjoy! Seal & refrigerate what you don't use immediately. If you're storing for longer, place them into a container and cover them completely with your reserved whey or with a salt water brine (½ teaspoon salt/1 cup water).

Morning Juice Shots

Did you know we make a juicing attachment for our #8 Electric Meat Grinder? It's true! Not only that, it works extremely well. We gave it a spin when making these Morning Juice Shots. Citrus base, some ginger zing and a touch of spice — these shots are, in a word: zippy! 

makes ½ cup

- Ingredients - 
1 orange, peeled
1" piece ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
1 slice red hot chili pepper, sliced toward the stem (for heat)

- Tools - 
Weston #8 Meat Grinder with Juicer Attachment
or other home juicer

Attach the Juicer to the Grinder and load the ingredients into the grinder tray.

Turn the Grinder on and use the stomper to push the ingredients into the neck of the grinder.

Juice will pour from beneath the juicer.

Pulp will extrude from the end of the juicer.

And you can now enjoy your fresh-pressed morning juice shot.

Slow Cooker Wild Turkey Meatloaf Sandwiches

There are two things you should never settle for: dry meatloaf and dry turkey. Turkey season always finds us looking for ways to make a moist, tender dish from our harvest. This little slow cooker trick of ours makes just about any meatloaf exceptional, even wild turkey meatloaf. The butter also helps... 

Makes 6-8 sandwiches

- Ingredients - 

Wild Turkey Meatloaf
2 lbs wild turkey (you're grinding it, so any cut will do)
3 garlic cloves, minced
½ white onion, minced
handful fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped
1 egg
2 tablespoons Weston Mesquite Seasoning
1 tablespoon butter, softened
1 tablespoon Worcestershire sauce

Bourbon Molasses BBQ Sauce
½ cup molasses
2 oz tomato paste
⅛ cup Worcestershire sauce
⅛ cup apple cider vinegar
1 tablespoon bourbon (We like Maker's Mark for this)
1 teaspoon Tabasco sauce

(each of these just depend on how many sandwiches you're making and how much you like cheese and bacon)
slices of cooked bacon
hoagie buns

- Tools - 
Weston Meat Grinder
Weston Slow Cooker
Weston Smoker

Use a Meat Grinder to grind the turkey through a coarse (7mm or so) plate. Mix in the remaining meatloaf ingredients. We used our Chopper to chop the parsley and mince the onions and garlic.

Grinding turkey through the coarse plate maintains the meat's integrity (no mush here)

Butter the bottom and sides of the Slow Cooker crock. Pack the ground meat mixture into the crock tightly. Cook on low for 3 hours. The turkey is ready when a thermometer inserted into the center of the meatloaf reads 165ºF.

Freshly ground wild turkey pressed into the slow cooker crock, ready to become meatloaf

Preheat your Smoker to 200ºF. While the turkey meatloaf cooks, prepare the sauce by whisking together the ingredients.

We used our Chopper to finely mince the onion.
Slather the sauce onto a sheet of foil, then smoke the sauce at 200ºF for 1 hour.

Freshly smoked bourbon molasses BBQ

Once the meatloaf is done and the sauce is smoked, you're ready to make sandwiches. Slice off the amount of meatloaf that you're going to eat now, and then fry it in a skillet with a little oil, over high heat, just until browned.

Tender, moist meatloaf in the slow cooker

You can vacuum seal and store the rest of the meatloaf in the fridge or freezer until you're ready for more.

The finished product

Once you have flipped the slices of meatloaf, place a slice of cheddar on the browned side to allow it to melt while frying. Assemble the sandwiches by placing the meatloaf into a hoagie roll with a couple of slices of bacon.

Turkey meatloaf, gooey cheddar, crispy bacon, and thick, smoky bourbon BBQ sauce

Green Chorizo Bison Burgers for Earth Day

It doesn't have to be Earth Day to eat sustainably, but it's certainly a good day to be reminded to. Bison can be an especially sustainable alternative to the beef you buy at the store. Federal law prohibits artificial growth hormones when it comes to bison. The species is also more capable of staying healthy on their own so few antibiotics are used in their farming. They also don't have nearly the environmental footprint of a cow, eating much less and treading more lightly. Those of you who harvest your own meat are likely thinking, "Hey, my wild bison / venison / elk is just as sustainable as farmed bison!" We agree and that's why we're thrilled that this recipe will be just as delicious using your harvested meat. 

makes four ¼ lb. patties

- Ingredients - 

1 lb bison, cubed
½ cup fresh cilantro
½ cup fresh curley parsley
¼ cup fresh spinach
2 serrano peppers
5 sprigs fresh oregano, stems removed
1 garlic clove, smashed

1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 tablespoon coarse black pepper

Sweet Potato Hash
1 sweet potato
½ teaspoon coriander
½ teaspoon cumin
½ cloves
½ teaspoon pepper
⅛ teaspoon salt

For Serving
12 oz queso fresco

- Tools -
Weston Smoker and wood chips

Step One | Preheat Smoker
Preheat your Smoker to 200ºF. Fill the water bowl and soak your wood chips. 

Step Two | Grind Bison Meat
Use a Chopper to roughly chop together the spinach, herbs and garlic. 

Chopped spinach, parsley, oregano, cilantro, serranos & garlic

Use a Meat Grinder to grind together the burger ingredients through a coarse (7mm) plate (leave out the salt & pepper). 

One of the many benefits to grinding you're own meat is being able to grind fresh herbs right into the ground meat
Once the ingredients have been ground together, sprinkle in the salt and pepper. 

The finished product: freshly ground bison peppered with greenery

Step Three | Form Burger Patties
Form the ground bison into patties using a Burger Press.

This will press the meat together tightly and ensure that the patties don't fall apart in the smoker. If you're still worried that they will, you can freeze them overnight or use foil, poked with holes, on the racks. 

Step Four | Smoke Burgers
Place the patties onto the racks of your smoker and smoke at 200ºF for 30 minutes, or until the internal temperature reaches your preference. 

A smoked burger is where it's at.
We love a good 140º medium rare burger, so we pulled the burgers at 135. Remember to account for resting time - you'll probably want to cook the burgers to 5º less than your final temperature. 

Step Five | Prepare Sweet Potato Hash
While the burgers are smoking, make your sweet potato hash. Preheat the oil to 375ºF. Quickly cube the Sweet Potato using the French Fry Cutter.

We wrap our sweet potatoes in a wet paper towel or cloth and microwave them for 45 seconds before putting them through the cutter. 
Deep fry for 5 minutes, tossing occasionally, or until the cubes begin to brown lightly. Remove from the fryer basket and immediately toss with the seasonings.  

Golden brown sweet potato hashbrowns, fresh from the fryer

Step Six | Assemble in the Smoker
While the burgers are still in smoker and have about 5 minutes left, pile the sweet potato hash onto the tops of the burgers, then crumble the queso fresco on top of that. This will keep the hash hot and melt the cheese.

Carefully remove the patties and serve on buns or wrap in tortillas. Condiments are up to you. These are very flavorful, juicy burgers, so we ate ours without anything else. Sour cream, mayonnaise, hot sauce and any combination of those will all be good accompaniments if you so choose. 

Wild Turkey Sexy Fries

In San Francisco, there's a well-known Indian street food chain called Curry Up Now, where they dish out sweet potato waffle fries smothered in your choice of meat or vegetable, cheese, and fried leeks. My choice was always the lamb curry. Now that it's spring turkey season and I'm still dreaming of those sexy fries, I couldn't help but wonder how it might taste if made with wild turkey. So we tried it, and I might argue that we've even topped the genius originators of this dish with our version of the recipe. See for yourself...

- Ingredients - 

Wild Turkey Curry
1 wild turkey thigh
1 cup water
6 oz tomato paste
4 bay leaves
1 tablespoon butter
1 teaspoon Garam Masala
1 teaspoon cumin
1 teaspoon garlic
1 teaspoon coriander
1 teaspoon dry cilantro
½ teaspoon cardamom
½ teaspoon cinnamon
¼ teaspoon cloves
¼ teaspoon turmeric

1 sweet potato

1 leek
handful shredded cheddar jack cheese

oil for frying

- Tools - 
Weston Slow Cooker
Weston Mandoline Slicer or French Fry Cutter
Weston Deep Fryer

Step One | Wild Turkey Curry

Set your Slow Cooker to low. Combine all curry ingredients in the crock. Slow cook on low for 6 hours, until the turkey falls apart. Use a fork to roughly shred the wild turkey.

It only seemed proper to use our Camo Slow Cooker to make the Wild Turkey Curry

Step Two | Sweet Potato Fries

Preheat the Deep Fryer to 375ºF. Use your Mandoline to waffle your sweet potato fries. You may also julienne the fries instead using the Mandoline or a French Fry Cutter.

Using our V-Slice Mandoline with the waffle blade for make waffle fries

Soak the fries in cold water for 30 minutes (this will help them cook more evenly). Once soaked, deep fry the sweet potato fries for 3-5 minutes, shaking the basket occasionally.

Sweet Potato Waffle Fries, about midway through their frying process

Step Three (or 2.5, really) | Fry the Leek

While the fries are soaking, slice the leek lengthwise into ¼ inch thin slices. Deep fry them for 3 minutes, or until golden. Set aside.

Step Four | Assemble

Place hot fries onto a platter, spoon on the wild turkey curry, hot & straight from the crock, then sprinkle with cheese. Top with fried leeks. The cheese should melt on its own from the heat of the fries and curry.

You're probably going to want a fork for these...

Enjoy your messy, delicious and... well, sexy fries.

Smoked Wild Turkey "Hobo Dinner" with Acorn Squash & Brussels Sprouts

Foil dinners are all the rage lately. This is a good one for the smoker at home, but it's also not a bad idea for camp!

- Ingredients - 
1 wild turkey thigh

1 cup water
¼ cup brown sugar
¼ cup kosher salt

1 acorn squash, cut into ½ inch cubes
12 oz brussels sprouts, cut in half
4 slices bacon, cut into lardons
3 tablespoons butter, cut into small cubes
Weston Mesquite Seasoning

- Tools - 
Weston Vacuum Sealer + bags or canisters

Step One | Brine Overnight

Place the turkey thigh into a large Vacuum Bag, then pour in ¼ cup brine.

Turkey thigh vacuum sealed in a brown sugar brine

In another large bag, add the brussels sprouts and squash, then pour in the remaining brine.

Acorn squash & brussels sprouts vacuum sealed in a brown sugar brine
Vacuum Seal both and refrigerate overnight.

Do I have to brine it? You should, yes. Any food that goes into the smoker can easily become dried out. What's more: turkey, and even more: wild turkey can be exceptionally dry. So it is pertinent that you brine it first to ensure that it comes out of the smoker looking juicier than ever. It doesn't hurt to brine the veggies as well. Trust us, both the moisture and the flavor will be exponentially better if you brine. 

Step Two | Smoke
Preheat your Smoker to 200ºF. Fill the water bowl. Soak wood chips for 30 minutes.

Roll out a large piece of foil. Lay the turkey thigh, acorn squash and brussels sprouts out on the foil. Sprinkle the bacon lardons and butter cubes over the turkey, squash & sprouts. Sprinkle all over with Mesquite Seasoning.

Seasoned turkey and veggies, ready to be wrapped in foil

Close up the foil and place the packet into the Smoker and smoke at 200ºF for 6 hours or until the turkey thigh reaches 165ºF.

Seasoned turkey, sprouts & squash at the early stages of smoking

Toward the end of smoking, the foil will be yellow - that's normal, from the smoke

That's it - serve!

This smoky wild turkey literally fell off the bone when we poked it with a fork.