Fall Staff Recommendations


I’m always inclined to leave the cooking at our house to my wife, Orsi, because she is such a phenomenal cook. I happily handle all the cleanup. Fall is the time of year when Orsi makes goulash, the signature dish of her native Hungary. Any stewing cut can work for goulash. You might try Silver Fern Farms Angus bolar blade, a shoulder cut, as a start.

And speaking of braising meat, there’s a new cut we’re offering that I can’t wait to try for our next dinner party at home. Thor’s Hammer is a massive, grain-fortified beef shank on a marrow-filled, frenched bone. It makes quite an impressive presentation

Iberico pork is a perennial favorite, no matter the season. I love Presa (shoulder eye steak) because it’s a great cut for medallions. I’ll still grill them while the weather cooperates, but eventually we’ll cook them in a pan and serve them alongside sauteed chanterelles, a star of the fall mushroom season.

A summer favorite we tend hang on to year-round is fried anchovies. We like to dip them in lemony aioli because there is never a bad time of year to imagine you are on a beach in Spain.


I smoke fresh salmon fillets in the summer, so I can keep them on hand during the fall and winter. I love to add smoked salmon to cream cheese as a dip with crackers. It’s a family favorite!

Mushrooms are a fall staple. I like the organic mushroom sampler because I’ll add mushrooms to anything I can, but mostly I rock them oven-roasted with chicken breasts. Roasting a whole Shenandoah Valley organic chicken is like giving yourself a mini-Thanksgiving. I like to stuff it with lemon and potatoes, which creates a brighter tasting side compared to the more traditional holiday fixings.

Angus beef cheeks are great for a slow braise that allows my home to fill with lovely and inviting smells. Blood oranges are wonderful to use in fall deserts, like blood orange curd cookies or blood orange cake. Their color just screams Autumn.


I love cozy weather comfort foods. Braise away! Nothing sticks to your ribs like braised beef chuck roast with a hearty side of veggies. To warm the bones, I love osso bucco. Making it with our New Zealand farm-raised venison really elevates the meal. Venison is super lean so it’s relatively guilt-free and oh-so-tender --a really delicious alternative to commodity beef shanks.

I love to make a classic shepherd’s pie in the fall with minced lamb. It’s delicious, comforting, plus gives me an excuse to eat mashed potatoes.

Nothing beats a whole-roasted herb chicken to brighten up a dreary fall day. It’s an easy weeknight dinner that requires little prep, especially with our Shenandoah Valley Organic chicken which tastes so good on its own with little seasoning.

Iberico pork tenderloin would be a star on any dinner table. An herb-crusted pork tenderloin makes a festive and tasty centerpiece for gatherings. Iberico pork tenderloins are smaller than your average pork tenderloins so it’s great these come in bulk to make bigger batches for parties. It also has a delicious natural taste, so you don’t need to doctor it up with a bunch of ingredients -- unless you want to.


A lot of my perennial favorites are very fall-y dishes. I love to make borscht. Mine is usually vegetarian so that means lots of beets and potatoes. Our Washington-grown red LaSoda potatoes are perfect for borscht. If I made borscht with beef, I would choose an affordable cut like Silver Fern Farms grass-fed top sirloin. I also love a good roasted chicken in the fall, especially when it’s Shenandoah Valley Organic chicken. For Thanksgiving dinner, I usually have two chickens instead of a turkey! Fall is the season when chili comes back into the repertoire. My dad has made chili with ground beef for as long as I can remember, but I would love to try making venison chili. Maybe this will be the year!


Coming off the tail end of Summer, salads and BBQs get replaced by stews, sandwiches, and anything with broth or curry basted. I love trying my hand at a lot of traditional Asian recipes. A recently discovered passion for mycology means I will be taking the motorhome out as much as possible to go mushroom hunting/identifying. Hopefully, I can top some grain-fortified beef ribeyes, strips or bavette steaks – or maybe a pan-seared Iberico pork abanico steak--with some freshly found oyster, morel, or chicken mushrooms from my adventures. I had my first taste of Iberico abanico (the rib cover) at a test kitchen shoot last spring, served with a morel cream sauce. I’d love to recreate that dish at home this Fall with chanterelles. But if I come up empty-handed from my foraging, there’s always our wild mushroom sampler as a fall back.


When summer’s over, I’m so ready to cook with the warm, fragrant, pungent spices that seem to go with cooler weather. I have a recipe that I love for kibbeh, a popular Middle Eastern dish. Cinnamon, cumin, and coriander ripple through its ground lamb and onion filling, encased in an outer shell that’s a dough made of sweet potatoes and bulgur. Curry powder is another spice that seems just right for warming crisp fall days. I like to marinate skinless, boneless chicken thighs in olive oil, curry powder, cayenne, smoked paprika, and cinnamon, then bake them on a sheet pan together with cauliflower, apricots, and olives.

Fall is birthday season at our house. My husband usually craves steak for his special day —preferably a grain-fortified ribeye with an extra-large baked potato and all the trimmings on the side. My birthday wish would be a grain-fed veal porterhouse with a pile of garlicky sautéed wild mushrooms.


Everyone connects BBQ with summer, but my favorite time to fire up the smoker is the fall. The other day I made a chile verde with white beans and smoked Iberico pork collar (cabecero) that still has me weak in the knees. I also like to braise cabecero in apple cider and pork stock. I portion the smoked meat and finish the slices on the grill, brushed with a reduction of the braising liquid. Serve that with roasted apples and fennel, and it’s about as Fall as you can get.

I love braising season. Everyone loves the shoulder for braising, so I guess you could say that I’m really putting my neck on the line with these recommendations, but the neck will save you some money on a cut that will perform the same but with better flavor and mouthfeel. The reason for the difference is that the shoulder muscle is used a lot more. Wild boar neck works great in a pasta ragu made with some kale and a warm red wine. It also puts a fun twist on al pastor tacos.

While I’m sticking my neck out, let me add that cheeks, shanks, and bellies are also good braising cuts. You’ll find these great Fall recipes on our website: Braised Beef Cheeks with Chanterelles & Baby Turnips, Veal Osso Bucco with Preserved Lemon & Figs, and Kurobuta Pork Belly with Cheesy Grits.