Meaty musing from Nicky USA and featured guest writers. Nicky is honored to feature Heather Arndt Anderson's writing on occasion in our Bites section. She is a Portland-based food writer, plant ecologist, and speaker, and is the author of four books on culinary history and her writing has been featured in numerous national publications. Heather is an avid home cook and will be working with us developing content and recipes featuring Nicky Farms products to share with any cooks interested in specialty game & high quality meats.

Nicky Farms game meats are available in retail friendly packs at select markets throughout the Northwest including New Seasons Markets, Metropolitan Markets, Chuck’s Produce, World Foods Portland, Long’s Meat Markets, Fitts Seafood, and Ken’s Markets. If you don’t see Nicky Farms products at your favorite store ask them to carry a selection!

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gnocchi with nicky farms wild boar ragu

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 10/1/19

Nicky’s wild boar is one of my favorite meats to work with, and this hearty, smoky gulyás-style ragù takes boar stew from feral swine to divine. The recipe comes together in a snap in a pressure cooker for weeknight meals, but now that we’ve hit peak braise season, it can also be slow-simmered on the stove to warm up your whole kitchen. I serve it with store-bought gnocchi as a weeknight meal, but feel free to make your own gnocchi or dumplings (it also makes a splendid goulash without pasta).

1 tbsp lard, bacon fat, or cooking oil
1 lb Nicky Farms wild boar stew meat
1 cup chopped onion
1 carrot, chopped
1 celery rib, chopped
5 cloves garlic, minced
1 tbsp sweet paprika
1 tbsp smoked paprika
1/2 tsp Aleppo pepper (or chile flake; optional)
1 tsp caraway seeds
2 tsp kosher salt
1/2 tsp black pepper
2 cups pork or chicken stock
2 tbsp tomato paste
1 17.6 oz/500 g pack of gnocchi
Chopped fresh parsley, chives, and chervil plus sour cream for serving

In a medium saucepan on medium-high heat (or electric pressure cooker set to the “brown” or “sauté” function), heat the fat and brown the boar meat in batches, removing the browned meat as you go to a bowl. After all the meat is browned, add the onion, carrot, celery, and garlic, and stir-fry for 5 minutes, until slightly translucent. Add the spices and salt, then stir in the pork or chicken stock, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon. Stir in the tomato paste and then add the browned boar back to the pot. Cover and reduce the heat to medium-low, then simmer for two hours (or affix pressure cooker lid, cook on high pressure for 30 minutes, and allow natural pressure release).

Cook gnocchi according to package directions, then combine with the cooked ragù, adding a splash or two of the gnocchi cooking water as needed to make a silky sauce. Adjust seasoning to taste, then serve with sour cream (optional) and fresh herbs


5 Uses for Nicky Farms Stew Meat That Aren’t Stew

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 9/26/19

Keeping a few packs of Nicky Farms stew meat in your freezer means dinner is always just around the corner — especially if you have a pressure cooker. The stew meats come conveniently portioned in one-pound packs. Even if it’s not stew weather (I wrote this in the middle of a late-summer heat wave), you can just toss everything in the pressure cooker (takes only about 20 minutes until it’s perfect), and serve it in a variety of more seasonally appropriate ways. Here are a few of my favorite ways to think outside the bowl:

Larb — Two words: meat salad. Stew meat shreds easily after cooking with aromatics like lemongrass, makrut lime leaf, shallots, garlic, fish sauce, and palm sugar. Serve with steamed sticky rice (you can also make this in a pressure cooker — no soaking required!), lime wedges, sliced cucumbers, and lettuce leaves. (Bonus: make this Korean style as ssam.)

Tacos — cook stew meat with your favorite mole to make a guisado. Serve with fresh tortillas, chopped cilantro, lime wedges, radishes, quick-pickled red onions, &c. Or add beans and rice and roll it into a burrito. Think outside the bowl!

Sandwiches — is a taco already a sandwich? (Is a hot dog a taco?) Irrelevant. Stew meat makes an outstanding sandwich. Cook the meat in your favorite barbecue sauce, or add dry rub spices and a splash of stock, then pressure-cook it, shred it and pile it on a bun. Add sliced pickles or slaw, whatever strikes your fancy.

Ragù — Nicky Farms stew meat makes the most exquisite ragù. Just cook it in tomatoes and wine, add garlic and herbs, and serve it on top of thick, chewy pappardelle or polenta. Or use Mediterranean flavors (zata’ar and sumac come to mind) and serve it on top of silky hummus with torn flat bread.

Curry — Ok, I admit this is a stew. But a bowl of Japanese curry rice is such a far cry from anything you get out of a can of Dinty Moore. You can stuff Japanese curry inside of bread, for crying out loud! Stew meat is a natural in masala curry, and Massaman curry, too. If you’re the DIY-type, knock yourself out with pounding out a curry paste in a mortar and pestle. If you’re in a pinch for time, just add store-bought curry paste, powder, or cubes and let ‘er rip — as long as the meat is this good, it’s impossible to go wrong.

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tips & tricks for more interesting burgers

7/2/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Most of the time, I approach burgers from an “if it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” school of thought. Besides a little ketchup, mustard and mayo to lubricate the sesame seed bun, all a burger needs, in my opinion, is iceberg, American cheese, pickles and tomato. That said, I firmly believe that cooking is a fun and creative medium for self-expression, and I’d be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy getting a little wild and weird on my burgers. Here are a few of my favorite ways to elevate my burger game.

  • Bierock style (pictured on left). I’ve written about bierocks a few times (one essay on them won me a writing award!) – they’re basically the German version of piroshky, stuffed with ground beef, shredded cabbage, and onions. Here I’ve cooked the onions and cabbage nearly to sticky-brown caramel and piled them on top of a venison patty with a poppy seed Kaiser roll.

  • Cheesesteak style: bison topped with Cheez Whiz (or if you want to go slightly off-script, Provolone or American cheese) with sautéed peppers and onions on a soft roll.

  • Jalapeño popper: top a patty with cream cheese and roasted jalapeños, or you could blend these into a dank burger sauce and melt some Monterey jack onto the patty.

  • Balkan style: a boar or lamb patty topped with ajvar (a thick salsa made of roasted peppers and eggplant), sharp Bulgarian feta, and chopped raw onions, preferably on a soft focaccia-type bread.

  • Korokke Sando: make a Japanese-style korokke (“croquette”) burger by breading a patty in panko and frying it. Serve on a brioche bun with katsu sauce, kewpie mayo, and finely shredded white cabbage.

  • Salisbury steak: who ever said gravy isn’t a burger sauce? Top a burger patty with brown gravy, sautéed mushrooms, and minced curly parsley, and serve it on a potato roll. OR make it a Loco Moco burger: skip the mushrooms and add a fried egg, and serve it on a Hawaiian sweet roll.

  • North African style: lamb or goat burger seasoned with ras-al-hanout, topped with carrot-mint slaw and a dollop of yogurt.

  • Donner Kebab Burger. What happens when a burger and a doner kebab get a little frisky? A more interesting burger, that's what. Lean and flavorful Nicky Farms ground goat, seasoned simply with salt, pepper, and just a pinch of fresh rosemary, on a homemade flatbread with a little salad of cherry tomatoes, cucumbers, and sweet peppers. A quick tzatziki-like sauce of buttermilk blitzed up with feta, garlic, olive oil, and fresh herbs (chopped oregano, parsley, and mint) is all you need to add a little POW to that plate.


a bigger, better Fire sale!


Just in time for Father's Day, we are making our Fire Sale bigger and even better. As usual, we'll have a fabulous assortment of high quality meats and specialty game available at deep discounts including some screaming deals on 100% Japanese Wagyu tenderloin and rib cap skewers- a great last minute gift item for dad!

The big day will also include:

  • Samples from our friends at Wayfinder Beer.

  • Bonus gifts with qualifying purchases.Spend $150+ and get a free jar of our Nicky Farms game seasoning salt (it's fabulous on everything!).Spend $200+ and get a free jar of our Nicky Farms honey or a Nicky USA t-shirt.

  • Stock up on some sweet Nicky swag and products:t-shirts, sweatshirts, Nicky Farms honey, Nicky Farms game seasoning salt

  • We'll also be cooking up some samples of our Nicky Farms Water Buffalo Brats, wild Hawaiian venison, and Iberico de Bellota Carrilleras (cheeks).

Keep an eye out for next week's newsletter where we'll feature a preview of some of the super hot deals. We can't wait to see you on Saturday June 15th from 12-2pm at the Nicky USA warehouse dock (223 SE 3rd Ave. Portland) for some smoking savings and some tasty bites and sips.

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Olympia provisions sausage sale


Just in time to kick off the summer grilling season we are partnering with our friends at Olympia Provisions for a sausage sale. OP sausages start with the best pork and freshest ingredients. They stuff each sausage in real casings and smoke them over real wood. From classic German-style bratwurst and snappy frankfurters, to classic American breakfast sausage and Austrian-inspired Käsekrainer studded with Emmentaler cheese—they guarantee the best wurst every time. Case sales only!

Retail Packs, 12oz (4 links/pack except where noted, 6 packs/case)
Regular Price: $4.78/ea, Sale Price: $4.19/lb
15303 Frankfurters
15402 Breakfast (6 links)
15403 Kielbasa(1 link)
15203 Bratwurst
15204 Italian Sausage
15212 Smoked Chorizo
15211 Kasekrainer

Food Service (5# packs, 2 packs/case)
15308 Kasekrainer Reg. Price: $7.31/lb, Sale Proce $6.59/lb
154004 French Garlic Reg. Price: $5.24/lb, Sale Price: $4.49/lb
154001 Andouille Reg. Price: $5.63/lb, Sale Price: $4.89/lb
154000 Smoked Chorizo Reg. Price: $5.63/lb, Sale Price: $4.89/lb
154002 Italian Sausage Reg. Price: $5.24/lb, Sale Price: $4.49/lb
15301 Bratwurst Reg. Price: $5.24/lb, Sale Price: $4.49/lb
15300 Kielbasa Reg. Price: $5.19/lb, Sale Price: $4.49/lb
15306 Breakfast Reg. Price: $5.06/lb, Sale Price: $4.39/lb
15305 Frankfurters Reg. Price: $5.19/lb, Sale Price: $4.49/lb

Give your friendly Nicky USA sales rep a call to start saving on some of the best wurst in the land!

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Now Pouring for a return Engagement!


Now pouring for a return engagement! Our Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer by Troy MacLarty is back by popular demand. The Bollywood Theater Pomegranate Pale Ale w/ Darjeeling Tea combines a touch of a few of his favorite ingredients from the Indian subcontinent with a classic Northwest pale ale. The result is a super food friendly beer that is smooth and easy drinking with a soft malt body and hint of tart fruitiness.

As always, the best part of this collaboration is that $1 from every bottle sold and a portion of every keg sale goes to support Growing Gardens and their work using the experience of growing food in schools, backyards, and correctional facilities to cultivate healthy equitable communities. But even better, a generous matching donation from the Richard & Helen Phillips Charitable Fund means that $2 from every bottle sold goes to this great organization!

Find the beer on tap at both Bollywood Theater locations and in bottles now at select Oregon and SW Washington retailers. Cheers.

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tea-smoked quail w/ ginger-scallion lo mein

5/1/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Tea-smoked Manchester Farms Quail makes an impressive presentation for a special occasion, but because these tender little birdies cook up so quickly, it’s fast enough to make on a weeknight. You don’t need a smoker to pull off this deceptively simple and elegant dish – just an old wok, a small rack (or metal steamer basket), and a few sheets of heavy duty foil. Serves four as a first course (or a light meal with stir-fried vegetables).

For the quail:

1 tbsp Sichuan peppercorns
1 tbsp kosher salt
1 tsp five-spice powder
1 pack (4 birds) semi-boneless Manchester Quail
2 mandarin oranges, quartered
1 cup garlic chives or scallions, rough-chopped in 1” pieces
½ cup black tea leaves such as Oolong (not Earl Grey)
1 piece dried orange peel (or sub the black tea for orange pekoe)
¼ cup uncooked rice
2 tbsp sugar
1 star anise
1 cinnamon stick

Lo Mein:
8 oz. dried linguine or spaghetti
¼ cup canola or vegetable oil
2 tbsp sesame oil
3 scallions, thinly sliced
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 tbsp grated ginger
1 tsp kosher salt
couple pinches MSG (optional, but live a little)

In a hot, dry pan, quickly toast the Sichuan peppercorns until they begin to smoke, then remove from heat and grind them with the salt and five-spice in a mortar and pestle or spice grinder. Pat the quails dry with a paper towel, and stuff each bird’s cavity with two quarters of the mandarins and ¼ of the chopped garlic chives (or scallions), then sprinkle liberally with the salt/pepper/spice mixture. Tuck the drumsticks into the cavities as though the birdies were sitting “criss-cross applesauce.”

Place a sheet of foil inside a large wok, then add the tea leaves, orange peel, rice, sugar, star anise and cinnamon stick, then place the rack on top of the spices. Arrange the stuffed quails on top, breast side up, then cover the wok tightly with a couple sheets of foil.

Turn the burner on high to get the smoke going (turn on your hood vent!) and then reduce the heat to medium. Smoke the quails for about 20-25 minutes, or until a meat thermometer reads 160 when inserted in the thigh. Leave the quail to rest on the rack with the foil draped over for five minutes.

While the quail Is smoking, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. While the pasta is cooking, heat the canola and sesame oil in a small sauté pan over medium heat. Sauté the scallions, garlic and ginger for about five minutes, until softened and glossy (don’t brown them). Toss the scallion mixture with the cooked, drained pasta and season with salt and MSG (if using, which you should).

Divide the pasta into four servings and top each with a smoked quail.

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rabbit pot pie

4/23/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Ideal for showcasing the best produce of spring, this savory rabbit pie is equally delicious with fall mushrooms or root vegetables in the winter. Store-bought puff pastry makes this dish a snap, and the gravy is made with the rich stock created by braising the rabbit.

1 Nicky Farms rabbit (roaster or fryer will work here)
1 cup white wine
1 quart chicken stock
¼ cup (half stick) unsalted butter
2 peeled and coarsely chopped carrots
2 leeks, chopped
1 rib celery, chopped
1 cup button or cremini mushrooms, halved
1 clove garlic, minced
1 cup baby turnips, halved
½ cup flour
1 cup half and half
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
1 tablespoon chopped fresh thyme
1 teaspoon Nicky USA Game Seasoning Salt (or salt to taste), available at Nicky USA
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 sheet puff pastry (Providore Fine Foods sells single sheets of their house-made puff, or find other brands in mainstream grocery stores in the freezer aisle)
Beaten egg and 2 tablespoons half and half (for brushing on the pastry)

Remove the rabbit’s organs (set aside for another use) and place the rabbit in a stew pot with the wine and chicken stock, adding water as needed so that the rabbit is fully submerged. Bring to a boil, then reduce heat to medium low, cover, and simmer for about 90 minutes, or until bones easily pull from the meat. Remove the rabbit from the stock and allow to cool for a few minutes before stripping the meat from the bones. Strain the stock through a fine-mesh sieve and reserve. Preheat the oven to 400oF and remove the puff pastry from the freezer to thaw on the counter.

While the rabbit is cooling, melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Sauté the carrots, leeks, celery, and mushrooms for 5-10 minutes, until the veg is slightly softened and glossy, stirring frequently. Add the garlic and turnips, and cook another 3-5 minutes.

Add the flour and stir to coat the vegetables, then cook for a minute or so, stirring constantly, until the flour is lightly golden and fragrant. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the half and half, making sure all the flour is blended in. Stir in 4 cups of the chicken-rabbit stock, a cup at a time, taking care to stir out any lumps. (Save the remaining stock for other uses!) Bring the gravy to a simmer and cook for 5 minutes.

Add the peas and the stripped rabbit meat, stir in more stock as needed to make enough gravy to coat all the meat and vegetables, then add the thyme, Nicky USA game seasoning salt, and pepper. Taste and adjust seasoning as needed. Pour the vegetable and rabbit mix into a casserole or baking dish.

Carefully unfold the puff pastry (if folded) and lay it on top of the casserole or baking dish, trimming to fit. (Protip: cut the excess pastry into strips and set them on a baking sheet to bake with the pot pie – you’ll be glad for extra bread sticks for dipping into the gravy.) Brush the egg wash on the pastry and bake, uncovered, for 45 minutes. Allow the pot pie to rest for 15 minutes before serving.

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Goat Kofte Meatballs

By Heather Arndt Anderson

When my friends at Nicky USA snuck a pack of their Nicky Farms ground goat in my monthly meat box, I was excited to play with flavors straight from the Silk Road, drawing inspiration from Central Asia, Northeast Africa, and the Middle East, and turning the meat into beautiful kofta.

First I mixed the goat with a little of the steak grind I always keep around (Creekstone Farms beef dry-aged and ground by Nicky USA) because it is so lean it can use a little extra fat. I mixed in crushed garlic and minced onions, chopped fresh mint and parsley, zata’ar, coriander, cumin, and just a little cinnamon. I roasted these in a quick, hot oven, then served them with homemade flatbread, yogurt, and pomegranate seeds. Leftovers reheated beautifully in a homemade Punjabi-style curry, to eat with rice (or more flatbread). Who knew this protein was so versatile? Get your goat - available at select New Seasons Markets, Barbur World Foods, and Ken’s Markets.

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Venison Mole guisado

3/21/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

I’ll admit, I’m not a huge sports fan, but I positively adore sportsball foods: hot dogs, wings, nachos, beer. But that doesn’t have to mean concession stand garbage—all you need is a pressure cooker (or InstaPot), a pound of Nicky Farms venison stew meat, and a few pantry staples, and it’s taco time! The meat stews in a fairly simplified (but still delicious) mole in a fraction of the time, thanks to a countertop pressure cooker. Game day (and Taco Tuesday) just got a little wilder. You can also use Nicky Farms elk, wild boar, or bison stew meat for this recipe. The filling is perfect for burritos and as a topping for nachos too. Serves 4.

2 Tbsp bacon fat or cooking oil
1 lb Nicky Farms venison stew meat
1 Tbsp kosher salt
1 small onion, chopped
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 cup chicken stock
3 dried guajillo chiles, stems and seeds removed
2 Tbsp raisins
2 Tbsp pumpkin seeds
1 cup crushed tomatoes (unsalted, if using canned)
1 tbsp Mexican oregano
1 tsp onion powder
½ tsp black pepper
2 Tbsp chili powder
2 Tbsp unsweetened cocoa powder
½ tsp ancho chile powder
1 Tbsp honey

Heat your pressure cooker to the “sauté” setting, and melt in the bacon fat or oil. Brown the venison in batches, salting as it cooks, taking care not to crowd the pan. Remove the meat from the cooker and add the onions and garlic, stir-frying for about 2-3 minutes until fragrant.

While the meat and onions are cooking, bring the chicken stock to a boil in a pot on the stove. Remove from the heat and soak the guajillos and raisins in the stock until softened and plump. Puree the chiles, raisins and pumpkin seeds in a blender or with an immersion blender.

Return the cooked venison to the pressure cooker and add the tomatoes, stirring and scraping up the fond from the bottom of the cooker. Add the guajillo-raisin puree to the cooker, along with the remaining ingredients. Secure the lid of your pressure cooker and cook on high pressure for 25 minutes. Allow natural depressurization, and then taste and adjust seasoning as needed.

Serve the venison guisado (stew) with warm tortillas, chopped cilantro, minced onion, and pickles en escabeche.

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Goatherd’s Pie

3/11/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

With St. Paddy’s Day around the corner , shepherd’s pie is definitely the best of Irish comfort food. Here’s an Indian reboot of the classic meat-and-potatoes casserole, with a lean and flavorful Nicky Farms ground goat curry filling, and a curried dum aloo-flavored potato topping. Serves 4.

2 tbsp ghee or butter
1 lb Nicky Farms ground goat
1 cup chopped onion
1 tbsp minced ginger
2 cloves garlic, finely minced
1 serrano chile, split in half
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tbsp Madras curry powder
1 tsp turmeric
2 cups tomato puree
1 cup water
2 tsp garam masala
1 cup fresh or frozen peas
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup whole milk yogurt

3 russet potatoes, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
1 tsp salt
1 tbsp Madras curry
¼ cup whole milk
¼ cup whole milk yogurt
2 tbsp butter
2 scallions, thinly sliced
½ cup chopped cilantro

In a large skillet, melt the ghee or butter over medium-high heat. Brown the goat for 5 minutes, then add the onions, ginger, garlic, chile, and salt. Cook for 5-7 minutes, until the onion becomes a bit glossy, then add the curry powder and turmeric. Stir-fry the spices with the meat and vegetables for a minute and then add the tomato, water. Bring to a boil, add the garam masala, then reduce to low heat and simmer, covered, for 15 minutes. Stir in the peas, cilantro, and yogurt, and simmer for a minute before turning off the burner. Adjust salt to taste.

Meanwhile, boil the potatoes in the salted water until tender, 10-12 minutes. Drain the potatoes and mash them with the rest of the ingredients, adding more salt if needed. Pour the goat ragù into an oven-proof dish or casserole, then spread the potatoes on evenly. Drag a fork across the topping to make a criss-cross hatchmark (or conversely, pipe the potatoes on with a piping bag). Bake, uncovered in a 375F oven for 10 minutes, until the filling is bubbly and the topping is lightly browned.

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Wagyu Beef Bukkake Udon

2/6/19 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Here’s a really beautiful and deceptively simple way to ensure you get a little love this Valentine’s Day, and it comes with a delightfully inappropriate name: bukkake udon. Okay, technically “bukkake” just means “splash” and it’s legit a style of serving udon in Japan —it just means a strong tare is poured over the top instead of serving the noodles in broth.

First, get yourself a Pacific Rogue 100% wagyu steak from your homies at Nicky USA. Marinate it in shio koji and crushed garlic for about an hour. Wipe off the excess koji and give it a quick sear on both sides, getting a nice char but keeping it on the rarer side of mid-rare. Slice it up ¼” thick, and serve it on a bowl of udon with rich tare (recipe follows), grated daikon and scallion, a soft egg, and a slice of butter-fried lotus root. Your mileage may vary, but I’m just saying, if someone made this for me, I’d be putty in their hands.

To make the tare sauce, combine a quart each of unsalted (or low-sodium, if not using homemade) beef stock and dashi stock, a generous splash each of mirin and soy sauce, a spoonful of soy sauce, a crushed clove of garlic and the same sixe piece of ginger. Reduce down to about a cup total and pour over the noodles. The main thing here is to just stay out of the way and let the beef take center stage.


Back By Popular Demand!


The Shalom Y’all Turkish Coffee Stout is back for the winter! The latest Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer from John Gorham is the perfect pairing for both savory and sweet dishes. Added bonus - it supports the good work of our friends at Growing Gardens.

Thanks to a generous matching donation from the Richard and Helen Phillips Charitable Fund $2 from every bottle and a portion of every keg sale goes to this fabulous organization. The beer is available at Shalom Y’all, Mediterranean Exploration Company, Toro Bravo, Tasty N Alder and at area retailers. Cheers!

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Boar Shoulder Ragù

11/28/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

This is an ideal winter dish, hearty and rich, perfect with any type of pasta or bread (I prefer it with semolina gnocchi). This will make about 8-10 generous servings, but the ragù freezes like a dream.

3 tbsp olive oil
One 4-5lb wild boar shoulder (or 4-5 packs of Nicky Farms wild boar stew meat)
2 medium onions, sliced
2 carrots, peeled and chopped
3 celery ribs, chopped
1 head garlic, minced
2 cups white wine
1 cup pork or chicken stock
1 28oz can diced tomatoes
2 tbsp tomato paste
2 tsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh thyme
2 tsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh oregano
salt and pepper to taste

Preheat the oven to 300 degrees. In a heavy-bottomed Dutch oven, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and then brown the boar shoulder on all sides. Remove and set aside. Reduce heat to medium and cook the onion, carrots, celery and garlic for 10 minutes, stirring to prevent sticking. Deglaze the pan with the wine, scraping up the browned bits with a wooden spoon, then add the remaining ingredients. Return the boar shoulder to the pan, cover, and braise in the oven for about 4 hours, turning every hour or so, until the meat falls apart easily. Cool slightly and shred the meat with forks or a claw barbecue tool. Serve with gnocchi, pappardelle, or bread.

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Pumpkin Congee with Nicky USA Five-Spice Water Buffalo Sausage

10/24/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Now that the weather is cooling off a bit, I’m moving my sausages out of the bun and into soups and stews, and I want to put winter squash in everything. Butternut squash risotto is a time-honored autumn classic, but why not mix it up a bit and take the flavors in a more Asian direction?

Simmer two cups of leftover cooked rice with a quart of chicken stock, a quart of water and a splash of sake over low heat for about an hour with about 1/2 cup of dried woodear mushrooms. Add two cups of roasted pumpkin or other winter squash (kabocha squash is perfect here), torn in rough hunks, then season the congee to taste. Then I stirred in browned Nicky Farms Five Spice Water Buffalo sausage, which I think make a really clever and highbrow lap cheong analog. Have fun with the toppings: one time I added sage leaves, thinly sliced garlic, and pumpkin seeds (all fried crispy), and the next time I ate it with cilantro, preserved radish, and a reduction of black garlic. With that juicy, flavorful sausage, even humble rice porridge becomes a special event.


new chef series beer tapped

10/20/18 -

We made a beer with this guy! Next up in our Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Beer Series is the Lardo Pig Out Brut IPA with a kiss of rosemary & fennel from Chef Rick Gencarelli. Crisp with a light dry finish, it has nice pine and resinous notes from the hops and rosemary, and a touch of lingering sweetness from the fennel. The beer is the perfect accompaniment to the porchetta sandwich that started it all for Chef Gencarelli and the Lardo food cart 8 years ago. As always, $1 from every bottle and a portion of every keg sale goes to support Growing Gardens. We’ve raised over $40,000 for local nonprofits from the Chef Beer Series!

Look for the beer to start pouring at all Lardo, Grassa and Beer O'Clock Portland locations and on the shelves New Seasons Market, Green Zebra Grocery, Zupan's Markets and other retailers this week.

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join us for one unforgettable culinary experience


We’ve had a lot of delicious experiences with Chef Gregory Gourdet over the years and we’re really looking forward to the next one. Chef Gourdet is hosting sixteen other  local James Beard Foundation  recognized chefs for one incredible night at The Nines Hotel on October 5th. We are thrilled to sponsor ROOTS, an unforgettable culinary experience benefiting The James Beard Impact Fund and the Oregon Farmers Market Fund

Participating chefs:

Gregory Gourdet (Departure), Gabe Rucker (Le Pigeon), Philippe Boulot (Multnomah Athletic Club), Andy Ricker (Pok Pok), Justin Woodward (Castagna), Jose Chesa (Ataula), Cathy Whims (Nostrana), Kim Boyce (Bakeshop), Katy Millard (Coquine), Naomi Pomeroy (Beast), Kristen Murray (Maurice), Vitaly Paley (Paley's Place), Greg Higgins (Higgins), Ken Forkish (Ken's Artisan Bakery), Greg & Gabi Denton (Ox), Bonnie Morales (Kachka), and Matt Christianson (Urban Farmer).

Join us for this epic meal - click HERE for more  info and tickets.

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Nicky Farms Russian-style brats for my Droogs

8/15/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

As a person of German-Russian descent, I'm always looking for culinary crossovers between the two cuisines. Nicky Farms Russian recipe wild boar and pork sausages are the easiest way to scratch that itch: rich and savory, with just the right touch of European spice. But what if we took those flavors even a little further, and added some essence of Georgia and Central Asia? Here I've served the brats with a thick, creamy yogurt sauce seasoned with blue fenugreek, fresh dill, summer savory, mint, garlic chives, and a little lemon juice, then served it on grilled peppers and zucchini. German potato salad and Uzbek-style achichuk salad from the garden. If you can't make it out to Kachka, this is the fastest way to transport yourself to the Caucasus.

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Mary's Pekin Duck Larb (Larb Ped)

7/30/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

It's hard to believe that the first cookbook from our friends at Pok Pok has already been out for five years! Andy Ricker has a new book out, but the first one has great recipes that were practically made for Nicky products. Case in point, this larb ped (duck salad), using Mary's free-range Pekin ducks. Breasts come two to a pack, and all you have to do is cook and finely dice, then toss in a dressing of fish sauce, lime juice, palm sugar, lemongrass, galangal, and...some other magical stuff in the cookbook (I won't reveal all of Andy's secrets!). My added touch is to give the duck a kiss of peach wood smoke, but that's just gilding the lily. This is a perfect main dish for a hot summer night (pairing perfectly with the Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer collab, Pok Pok Rhubarb-Som Shandy), or it makes an outstanding side to a larger Thai meal with friends.


the return of the shandy

7/25/18 - 

The summer sequel you’ve been waiting for - The Return of the Shandy. Staring Chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok and featuring Pok Pok Som. Produced by Gilgamesh Brewing. Directed by Nicky Farms. In honor of Growing Gardens. Rated D for deliciously drinkable. We are super stoked to bring back this highly quaffable and refreshing Chef Series Beer just in time for the heat of summer. Goes great with spicy fare like this Drunkard’s Stir Fry with noodles, green peppercorns, hot basil, 3 chiles, and wild boar from Chef Ricker's Whiskey Soda Lounge

$2 from every bottle and a portion of every keg sale goes to support the great work of our nonprofit partner thanks to a generous matching gift from the Richard and Helen Phillips Charitable Fund. Now playing at all Pok Pok locations and select retailers like New Seasons Market, Green Zebra Grocery, and Zupan's Markets. Chaiyo!

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wild boar korma

7/5/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

This wild boar korma (boarma?) is perfect for those nights when you want something a little wild and spicy. To make this easy curry, simply brown a pound of Nicky USA wild boar stew meat with a chopped onion in 2 tablespoons neutral cooking oil. Stir in 2 teaspoons of garam masala, 1/4 teaspoon cayenne,  1/2 teaspoon turmeric, 3 cloves minced garlic, a tablespoon of minced ginger, 3 cloves, 4 cardamom pods, a bay leaf, a 3" cinnamon stick, and stir-fry for a minute or two, then add 1/4 cup of plain yogurt, 1/4 cup each of almond meal and unsweetened shredded coconut, a couple tablespoons of crushed tomatoes, 1/2 cup of water, and a teaspoon of salt. Cover and simmer for about an hour or until tender, then salt to taste.

Serve with rice, nan and cooling raita for a complete meal. It pairs particularly well with the Nicky - Gilgamesh Brewing collab beer with Bollywood Theater - Pomegranate Pale Ale with Darjeeling Tea.

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Goat with Artichoke Hearts, Gigante beans, Green Garlic

Chef Johnathan Sundstrom,  Lark Restaurant - Saettle, WA. Goat is one of the most popular meats in the world, especially in the Mediterranean region, for it’s incomparable flavor and versatility. Chef Sundstrom’s dish deliciously serves as a prime example of the adage, “if it grows together, it goes together.” Equally as delicious made with ground lamb. Feel free to brown the artichoke hearts prior to adding to the dish for a deeper, richer flavor. Serves 4.

2 Tbsp  olive oil
1 lb ground goat 
2 Tbsp green garlic, chopped (or 1 tbsp. minced garlic)
¼ cup white wine
1 cup chicken stock 
2  cups gigantic beans, cooked (jarred or pre-cooked - see recipe below)
12 artichoke heart quarters (canned or frozen)
1 tsp thyme, picked and chopped
1 Tbsp butter
 salt & fresh ground black pepper

Heat a medium sauté pan over medium high heat, add olive oil to pan. Add ground goat to pan and cook  until golden brown (about 6-8 minutes), remove from pan and reserve. Add green garlic to pan, sauté 2 minutes. Add white wine, reduce slightly. Add stock, beans, artichoke hearts, and thyme. Simmer until reduced and slightly thickened. Add butter, thyme, browned goat, salt and pepper. Simmer together for for a couple of minutes to bring flavors together. Serve.

Gigante Beans

You can use canned, pre-cooked beans. Just gently simmer all the ingredients in a little water for 15 minutes and follow the rest of the instructions.

1 cup dried gigante beans (or cannelini or great northern)
1 bay leaf
4 garlic cloves, cracked
1 carrots, peeled, split
2 thyme branches

Soak beans overnight in cold water. Simmer beans in water with aromatics for 1 to 1-½ hours or until tender (make sure to keep beans covered with water during cooking). Drain and cool on a sheet tray. Pick out aromatics. Reserve.

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bollywood theater pork vindaloo recipe 

3/27/18 - By Chef Troy MacLarty. This Portuguese influenced dish comes to us from the Western Indian state of Goa and has been a popular menu item since the day we opened.  This is a spicy dish, so we recommend taming those chiles with a pint of our Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Bollywood Theater Pomegranate Pale Ale with Darjeeling Tea. We serve this dish at the restaurant  with buttered rolls in the Goan style, but Basmati rice is a fine substitute. Serves 8-10.

6lbs. pork shoulder, cut into 2” cubes
3 Tbsp kosher salt
1-½ Tbsp canola oil
2 medium yellow onions, diced
9 cloves garlic, chopped
3” ginger, peeled and chopped
4 Thai chilies, chopped
2 serrano chilies, chopped
3 Tbsp vindaloo masala (recipe below or sold at Bollywood locations)
2 Tbsp brown sugar
5 Tbsp red wine vinegar
5C unseasoned chicken stock
5 cloves garlic, sliced thinly
cilantro for serving

Season pork with kosher salt and allow to sit at least 3 hours, preferably overnight.  In a sauté pan, brown pork over high heat with canola oil. Remove pork and add onions to pan, lower heat to medium high and cook onions until caramelized; remove onions to a separate container. Add chilies, ginger and garlic and sauté briefly until aromatic, add vindaloo masala and sauté briefly, being careful to not burn mixture. Add these to onion mixture and puree this mixture in blender with vinegar, brown sugar and chicken stock.  Braise the pork, onion mixture in a 350F oven until pork is tender, roughly 1-½ hours.  When the pork is tender, stir in sliced garlic. Serve pork and vindaloo sauce topped with cilantro, along with buttered rolls or basmati rice.

Vindaloo Masala
1 ½ Tbsp. red chiles – lightly toasted in oil
1 tsp. cumin, ground – lightly toasted
1 tsp. black peppercorns, ground – lightly toasted
1 ½ Tbsp. black mustard seeds, ground – lightly toasted
1 ½ Tbsp. coriander, ground – lightly toasted
1 tsp. fenugreek, ground
1 tsp. green cardamom pods, ground
½  tsp. cinnamon, ground
1 tsp. turmeric

Toast chiles (lightly) in oil.  Toast cumin, black pepper, black mustard and coriander until aromatic and lightly browned.  Cool completely and grind all finely. 

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Shepherd's pie on the fly

3/12/18 - By Heather Arndt Anderson 

It doesn't have to be St. Patrick's Day for shepherd's pie to be on the menu! Just brown a pound of Anderson  Ranches ground lamb, add diced onions and carrots, and then simmer it all together with a cup of your favorite stout beer (better save a cup to drink, too) and a cup of beef broth. Stir in a couple spoonfuls of tomato paste and hit it with a few squirts of Worcestershire sauce, then simmer until the carrots are tender. Season to taste with salt and pepper (or even better, Nicky USA's game seasoning salt - available at their warehouse or with any order for delivery), then top with mashed potatoes. I like to whip an egg and melted leeks into my potatoes for added richness and to help get that golden brown crust. Bake at 375F until the potatoes are browned and slightly crispy, then gild the lily with some grated Irish cheese. Sláinte!

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koji aged steaks - dry aged flavor , super quick cure time

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 2/13/18

Dry-aging is such an outstanding way to get deeper flavor into a cut of beef while also making it nice and tender. But if you're like me, fridge space and patience are finite. If you've ever thought about dry-aging at home but don't want to wait months for the results, you're in luck: koji can do the heavy lifting in a fraction of the time. Nicky USA does offer a dry aged program for those who wish to let them do all the work!

Koji is a mold that's primarily used for fermenting soybeans and rice to make soy sauce, miso and sake; it's normally available in the form of either inoculated rice or in a salty liquid form (shio koji). I used the latter to age very budget-friendly Creekstone Farms ranch steaks over the course of three days.

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I just smeared on the  wet koji, placed the steaks on a rack set over a quarter-sheet pan, and left them uncovered in the fridge. On the third day, I just wiped off the koji with a damp paper towel and seared them on a hot grill pan for just a couple minutes on each side. 

The results were incredible: excellent char on the meat; rich, nutty flavor; and so tender that I could pile it sliced onto a ciabatta with none of the pull-out that is so often the bane of a good steak sandwich! 

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introducing nicky farms willamette valley farmland honey

1/15/18 - We've always been known for our savory side at Nicky USA with our large selection of high quality meats and specialty game. Now we are adding a touch of sweet to our line up. We are thrilled to introduce our Nicky Farms Willamette Valley Farmland honey. Our honey is from hives on our very own farm in Aurora, OR as well as other local farms, and has a well rounded flavor that reflects the diversity of crops grown in the harvest area. Perfect for use in any course of a meal, we are especially fond of making a sweet and spicy glaze with Peek's Pantry Sriracha from Little Uncle in Seattle for our Traeger Grills smoky Mary's Chicken wings - a fabulous playoff football snack. Retail jars and chef pails are now available - contact your friendly Nicky sales rep to order.

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Turkish Coffee Stout Beef Stew

1/5/18 - We are thrilled for the return of the Shalom Y'All Turkish Coffee Stout from Chef John Gorham this winter. This beer is our latest Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer release and $1 from every bottle and a portion from every keg sales goes to support Growing Gardens. The beer is a great sipper on its own and pairs great with food, both savory and sweet. It is even great IN a dish like this beef stew from Shalom Y'All & Mediterranean Exploration Club head chef Kasey Mills. You can find the brew on tap at Chef Gorham & Chef Mills' restaurants and in retail shops like New Seasons Market and Green Zebra Grocery. Give the recipe a whirl and pour yourself a pint of this delicious brew! Make sure to have plenty of pita bread on hand to mop up the tasty juices. Serves 6 to 8.

3 lbs. beef stew meat, cut into 2" pieces
4 Tbsp olive oil
1 red onion, diced 
8 cloves garlic, slivered
1 serrano chile, minced
1 tsp ground cardamom
1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
1/4 tsp red chile flakes
2 bay leaves
2 cups Shalom Y'All Turkish Coffee Stout
5 cups chicken stock
4 yellow potatoes, diced
2 carrots, diced
1 celery root, trimmed and diced

Heat a Dutch over or large heavy bottomed pot over medium-high heat. Season the beef with salt and brown the beef in 3Tbsp olive oil, in batches if necessary to avoid crowding the pot and steaming the meat. When all of the meat is nicely browned, set aside. Reduce heat to medium and add remaining Tbsp olive oil to pot. Add onion, garlic, and chile, and season with a pinch of salt. Sauté until just tender, about 5 minutes. Add spices and bay leaves, sauté for one minute. Add beer and stock, and bring to a simmer. Add reserved beef  and season stew with a little salt (amount will vary depending on if you are using homemade vs. commercial stock). Reduce heat, cover pot and simmer for an hour. Add remaining vegetables and return to a simmer. Cook stew covered for another  hour, or until beef is tender. Adjust seasonings to taste and serve with fresh, hot pita bread.

Elk Pörkölt

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 12/12/17

This warm and satisfying Hungarian dish (similar to a gulyas or goulash, but not as soupy) tastes like it takes all day on a slow simmer, but it can be on the table in about an hour. Serve with crusty brown bread and salted radishes (the radishes are optional, but the bread is necessary). Sour cream and herbs like parsley and dill aren't canon, but that's just how I like to eat a lot of things these days. Serves 4.

2 tbsp bacon fat, butter, or cooking oil
1 lb. Nicky Farms elk stew meat
1 medium onion, diced
½ tsp. crushed caraway seed
2 tbsp. sweet Hungarian paprika
salt & pepper to taste
2 tbsp. tomato paste
1 quart water
1 tsp. Worcestershire sauce
2 large potatoes; cubed
sour cream, fresh dill and/or parsley

Over a medium flame, heat half the bacon fat in a Dutch oven (or large, thick-bottomed pot) and brown elk meat; set aside. Add remaining bacon fat to pot and sauté the onions until translucent. Add the paprika and caraway, tomato paste, reserved elk meat, and a few pinches of salt and pepper, stir to combine. Add the water and Worcestershire sauce, and another pinch of salt and bring to a simmer. Simmer over low heat, covered, for about 30-45 minutes. Add the potatoes, another pinch of salt and pepper, and add more water if needed to cover the potatoes and meat. Simmer for another 10-15 minutes or until the potatoes are tender. Adjust seasonings to taste and garnish.

Alternately, you can do this in a pressure cooker, which will yield very tender stew. Follow the same directions as above up until bringing the pot to a simmer, and then cook the meat for 20 minutes on high pressure, allowing natural pressure release. Add the potatoes, then 5 minutes more on low pressure, allowing natural pressure release again before serving.

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Hams for the holidays

12-6-17 - We have a delectable assortment of hams from a host of producers who really know their pork. Smoky goodness awaits your holiday menu or table from Nueske's Applewood Smoked MeatsSnake River FarmsTails & Trotters, and Olympia Provisions. Give your friendly Nicky USA sales rep a call to reserve yours today.

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TOMATO braised nicky farms rabbit

12/5/17 - By Chef Stuart Lane, Spinasse Restaurant (Seattle). This dish showcases the rustic Italian style of cooking from Chef Lane. The recipe uses a whole rabbit, including the bones for stock. To make a simple stock, simmer the bones and forequarters (add a little carrot, onion, and celery if you like) in 4 cups of water for a couple of hours. Strain and use as directed. Serves 2-4.

1  whole cut up rabbit, saddle (loins) boned out and set aside, forelegs and saddle bones reserved for stock
2 Tbs  pure olive oil
3  onions, small dice
2  carrots, small dice
2  celery stalks, small dice
1 Tbs  tomato paste
2 (12 oz)  cans whole tomatoes, pureed
1 – 1.5 cups  rabbit (from bones) or chicken stock
To finish: 1/4 chopped  basil leaves, (save stems), 1/4 cup chopped  parsley, 4 Tbs  butter, salt & pepper, and polenta, rice, or bread for serving

Season rabbit hindquarters and forelegs (only taken off the body not boned) with salt and pepper. Sear in oil until lightly browned and remove to a holding tray.  In the same pan used to sear the rabbit, caramelize onions, celery and carrots until nicely browned. Add tomato paste and cook for about 10 minutes over medium heat, stirring occasionally. Add pureed tomatoes and cook 5 minutes more over high heat. Add stock and put in large casserole pan with basil stems. Put rabbit hindquarters in vegetable mix, cover with parchment and foil. Put pan on heat and bring to a simmer. Preheat oven to 300F. Cook until tender, around 1.5-2 hours. Take foil off and refrigerate overnight. The next day, remove hipbone from the hindquarters; it should easily come out of the tender meat.

Add extra stock to tomato mix, bring to a simmer and gently reheat rabbit legs. Season the two set aside loins with salt and pepper and poach in braising liquid until just cooked.  Remove and slice loins, or don't if you want a more rustic look.  Add torn basil, parsley and butter to tomato mix, stir and adjust seasoning.  To plate, place rabbit legs in a hot bowl and cover with tomato mix and place sliced loin around leg.

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Thanksgiving sides

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 11/14/17

It goes without saying: there's WAY more to Thanksgiving than the turkey. Lucky you, Nicky USA has your game day sides covered! We came up with a few fun ideas to get a little more protein and a LOT more flavor onto your table this holiday season.

Miso-creamed Kale with Ham: Who needs creamed spinach when you have miso-creamed kale with Nueske's ham? It's dead-simple to make. Brown a handful of finely diced ham with a minced shallot, then stir in a cup of cream mixed with a fat spoonful of miso (we used brown rice miso but any type will do). When it's all nice and bubbly, add one bunch of kale, roughly chopped. Cover and simmer over low heat for a few minutes; pull it from the heat after five minutes to preserve the bright color of the kale, or let it go a bit longer if you like it more tender. Add black pepper to taste -- the salt will be covered. Bonus: these leftovers go great with pasta -- stir in cooked penne and you're good to go. 

Chorizo Roasted Cauliflower: If you want to add a little color to your table, here's a new way to enjoy cauliflower. Onto a rimmed baking sheet, break a head of cauliflower into big bite-sized hunks. Then peel and crumble two Fermìn Iberico chorizo links onto the pan, and toss it all together. Add a minced shallot and roast at 375 until the cauliflower is beginning to brown on the edges and become tender. Sprinkle a pinch of salt over top, stir to coat in all that delicious chorizo fat, and serve. 

Duck Fat Smashed Potatoes: Looking for an alternative to the same old mash? Boil baby potatoes until tender and then toss them in a hot pan with Grimaud Farms duck fat and fresh herbs until the skins are tight and golden brown. Then smash them with the back of a wooden spoon and hit them with a fat pinch of sea salt. Done.  

Elk Huckleberry Sausage Stuffing: brown two diced Nicky Farms elk huckleberry sausages (our venison blueberry sausage also works well in this recipe) in a pan with a tablespoon of butter, two minced shallots, two ribs of celery, a clove of minced garlic, and a handful of your favorite Misty Mountain wild mushrooms (we used shimeji and maitake). When the celery becomes translucent and the mushrooms take on a little color, pour in two cups of stock (turkey stock will do nicely here) and scrape up those delicious browned bits with a wooden spoon. Cube six slices of stale brown bread (we used Russian rye) and in a large bowl, combine the vegetables/sausage/stock mixture with the bread. Add a teaspoon of Nicky USA's game seasoning salt and two tablespoons of chopped parsley, and 1/3 cup dried berries (we used tart dried cranberries and goji berries). Bake covered in a buttered casserole at 375 for about 15 minutes, then remove the lid and bake another five minutes until the top is slightly toasty.

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Now pouring our latest chef series beer

11/7/17 - For our latest Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series Beer we decided to create a beer for all of the hard working chefs (home or pro) we know. We also couldn't pass up the chance to work with Bull Run Distillery spirit master, and former brewer, Lee Madoff and his offer to use 10 of their Pacific Rum barrels. The resulting Bull Run Brown is a full-bodied ale loaded with toffee and raisin notes, and a nice spicy kick with a dry finish from the light argricole-style rum. Giving thanks to all the great chefs out there who feed us and giving back to the community ($1 from every bottle sold goes to support Growing Gardens) is something we can all say cheers to!

Look for the brew at area bottle shops and retailers including select New Seasons Market, Zupan's Markets, Whole Foods, and Green Zebra Grocery stores.

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By Heather Arndt Anderson - 11/3/17

Now that the cold damp is settling in, you want the rich comforts of a pot a cassoulet. And you know what? You don’t need to spend three days on it. You don’t a bunch of fancy specialty ingredients. Remember, this is a peasant dish at its heart — it’s a pot of beans! Start with your favorite recipe, and Nicky USA has the meaty components covered. 

I simplified this hearty meal by making a few smart shortcuts and finding other ways to sneak in flavor. First, pick up confit duck legs and Tails & Trotters Toulouse sausages from Nicky. You don’t really need ham hocks and pancetta and all the fancy stuff, but if you have these things feel free to add them! Pick up a pound or two of dry beans — if you’re feeling flush you can order Tarbais beans from Rancho Gordo but Fred Meyer carries really good organic heirloom beans in their bulk bins, so I used the tender/creamy European soldier beans instead. Here’s where you can take another shortcut: if you don’t have time for an overnight soak and two hour simmer, you can cook the beans halfway in a pressure cooker (15 minutes) and then finish them in the seasoned stock (I used a combo of pork and duck stock, but a dark chicken stock is also good). 

Here’s another flavor-packing trick: crisp up your duck legs on a small pan over a rack so the excess duck fat can collect underneath. Slide the skin off and set it aside, then toss your bread crumbs in the fat that dripped out. Then put the skin back in the oven for a few minutes to get super-crispy, and crumble the skin into your bread crumbs.

If you’re craving the warm hug of cassoulet, don’t be afraid to take a few shortcuts, and let Nicky USA take away some of the guesswork


mien ga - vietnamese chicken noodle soup

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 10/1/17

The weather is finally following the calendar’s suit, and with summer’s last death-rattle comes a yearning for soupy, nourishing things like Mien Ga (Vietnamese Chicken Noodle Soup). Here I’ve taken a whole Grimaud Farms guinea hen and simmered it gently with some Chinese celery, shallots, garlic, ginger, lemon grass, makrut lime leaf, bay leaves and peppercorns (It’ll taste better if you char the ginger, shallot, and garlic over a flame before tossing them in). After about a hour I pulled the bird, picked the meat from the bones and strained the broth, then returned the broth to the stove with more slivered garlic, another rib of finely sliced celery and thinly sliced lime leaf, seasoning to taste with a bit of fish sauce and kosher salt; simmer this together for about 15 minutes or so to take the edge off the garlic and celery. Serve the meat and broth with glass noodles, bean sprouts, chives or scallions, and cilantro. (If you have a change-of-seasons sniffle I also recommend a good blob of sambal.)

This delicious guinea fowl is one of the proteins at Wild About Game on October 8th, and I can’t wait to see what the Northwest’s finest chefs do with it!

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Nicky Farms Elk Ssam

By Heather Arndt Anderson - 7/31/17

Just because the meat’s ground and in patty form doesn’t mean it’s destined for a burger! This lean, flavorful Nicky Farms elk lends itself perfectly to Korean lettuce wraps (ssam). Just crumble and brown a pound of ground elk with half a small minced onion, some minced ginger, garlic, and a pinch of chile flake. When it’s all cooked deglaze the pan with a splash of soy sauce, a dribble of sesame oil, and a spoonful of brown rice syrup or honey. Boom. just sprinkle on a few pinches of sesame seeds and sliced green onions and you’re good to go. Serve with butter lettuce leaves, steamed rice, and you favorite Korean banchan (pictured here is finely minced kimchi and julienned cucumbers). To eat it, just put a little rice, meat, and kimchi on the lettuce leaf, fold or wrap it like a little parcel, then stick it in your word hole.

Recipe                                                                                                                                                                                  This is a perfect light summer meal on its own, or you could serve it as a part of a large meal with noodles and side dishes. Serves four as a main dish or more as a side dish.

1 Tbsp neutral cooking oil
1/2 cup onion, minced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 Tbsp grated ginger
1lb Nicky Farms ground elk
3 Tbsp soy sauce
1 Tbsp toasted sesame oil
2 tsp brown rice syrup (or honey)
a few pinches of chile flakes (to taste)
freshly ground pepper to taste
1 tsp sesame seeds
2 green onions, thinly sliced

For serving:
1 head butter leaf lettuce, washed and leaves pulled apart
2 cups steamed white rice
2 Persian/hothouse cucumbers, julienned
1 cup kimchi, finely chopped

Instructions:                                                                                                                                                                                Heat the oil in a large pan over medium-high heat, then brown the onions, garlic, and ginger for a few minutes.  Crumble in the ground elk and cook until browned, frequently stirring and breaking up the chunks, for about 7-10 minutes.  Stir in the soy sauce, sesame oil, brown rice syrup, and chile flake, then give it a little taste and add salt and pepper as needed. Dish the cooked elk into a serving bowl and sprinkle with sesame seeds and green onion. 

Because dads deserve pretty food, too

6/15/17 - By Heather Arndt Anderson

Father's Day doesn't have to be all meat and potatoes. Sometimes dads want to eat buttery flatbread with their Nicky Farms grass-fed bison ribeye cooked on a Finex grill pan, because it got rainy outside and no one likes cooking out in the rain. Sometimes dads want pickled ramps and green strawberries. Sometimes they want a gremolata of carrot tops, lovage flowers, mint, lemon juice, walnut oil, and garlic; sometimes they want it all sprinkled in opal basil flowers, parsley flowers, salad burnet leaves and Jacobsen Salt Co's  pinot noir sea salt. And because they care about their health, sometimes dads want some carrots and purple cauliflower on the side, because they heard that anthocyanins prevent cancer. Sometimes that's what dads want. 

Happy Father's Day to all the dads who appreciate the finer, prettier things in life.

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our newest find from the hawaiian islands - niihau ranch wild eland antelope

5/31/17 -  Eland are the largest of the antelope family. Native to the dry African deserts, eland thrive on the arid island of Niihau. Originally brought to the island for trophy hunting, the superior qualities of eland meat were soon discovered and now in high demand as a premium and delicious commercial protein.

Eland is fully sustainable and delicious, having been raised on pristine Niihau forage. The meat is over 95% lean and has half the calories of beef. It’s also rich in various nutrients and very low in saturated fat and cholesterol. 

Niihau Ranch livestock is 100% free range, all natural and produces a sustainable meat product that is raised on pristine Niihau forage. Our livestock are raised without antibiotics, growth hormones or steroids and is processed in a USDA certified abattoir.

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Hamming it up at the fermin IBéRIco dinner

5/22/17 - by Heather Arndt Anderson 

On Sunday, May 21, about thirty of the luckiest people in town (including yours truly) were treated to a seven-course dinner featuring Spain's famed Ibérico pork at Chesa. The dinner was sponsored by Nicky USA, Wagshal's Imports, and Fermin Ibérico. The meal included two jamón-based appetizers, giving us a total of nine different ways to enjoy an acorn-fed pig. If that weren't enough, slices of jamón Ibérico de bellota were carved by Raul Martín, the charming grandson of the Fermin Ibérico founder.

Chef Jose Chesa's menu was a global exploration, giving diners tastes of China, Mexico, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Spain, and the good ol' U.S. of A. The Chinese "char sui" was two medallions of boneless loin, served mid-rare, in a velvety jus with stir-fried vegetables, paper-thin omelet, and a sprinkling of nasturtium and cornflower blossoms. The quesadilla consisted of chorizo sandwiched between two toothsome tortillas with a pretty quenelle of adobo-spiked goat cheese wrapped in an avocado veneer, with a brunoise of grilled pineapple. (My dining companions and I agreed that the Spätlese from the first course would have been a better pairing than the slightly dryer moscato that came with the course, but this is such a hair-splitting quibble that I feel like a snob even bringing it up.)

The risotto was a relaxed bowl of creamy heaven: perfectly chewy, Manchego-cheesy bomba rice with spoon-tender pork cheek, a scattering of spring vegetables, and sweet freeze-dried eggplant wafers (called "crystals" by the chef). The yakitori course that followed was the mildest dish by contrast; a very light miso-jamón dash with white soba, a pretty little over-easy egg, and sweet hunks of pluma (a tender cut off of the shoulder). I wanted a little bit of combo in the broth, but the wine paired with it - a 30-year old Palo Cortado sherry from Spain - helped me forget all about it.

After all of this food, next they expected us to eat ribs. I started sweating. The ribs came out, so tender that they melted at a stern glance, sitting atop a bed of mercifully light saffron-scented couscous with currants and ras-al-hanout yogurt.

I am woman enough to admit that I cried 'uncle' by the time we hit Spain, managing only a bite or two of the succulent cochinillo (suckling pig) before tapping out and requesting a to-go box. Fortunately, a stroll to the patio (and an extra glass of bubbly rosé) was the bracing jolt I needed to make it through dessert: a flaky apple galette laced with more of the  Iberico jamón, served à la mode.

Fermín Ibérico is Spain's first producer of Ibérico pork to pass the USDA's muster, and you can get a nice selection of their excellent fresh and cured products from Nicky USA.

Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Series beer #4 Now available

5/14/17 - Chef Andy Ricker has created the Pok Pok Rhubarb Som Shandy for our latest Chef Series Beer. The Pok Pok Som drinking vinegar gives the brew the classic shandy profile of fruit, acidity, and a touch of sweetness that complements, not competes with with food, especially boldly seasoned and spicy fare. As always the beers in the series donate $1 from every 22oz bottle sold and a portion of every keg sale to a local nonprofit. We are thrilled to be partnered with Growing Gardens on this beer and helping them continue their great work in the community reducing hunger and transforming lives through the experience of gardening and growing your own food. The beer is available at all Pok Pok locations in Portland, and at Green Zebra Grocery, Zupan's, and select local bottle shops. Chaiyo!

Principe italian cured meats & Charcuterie now available

3/20/17 - Nicky USA has added a selection of cured meats and charcuterie from Italy's renown Principe Foods. Look for a range of prosciuttos (Italian hams) - di Parma, San Daniele, and Italiano, as well as other Italian deli meats like roasted pancetta, truffle ham, speck, bresaola, and porchetta. Principe's high quality standards and exacting production methods results in the finest authentic Italian charcuterie available. 

nicky farms - gilgamesh brewing chef series beer #3 now available

2/22/17 - We are thrilled to announce the release of Chef Aaron Barnett's  La Moule de L'Amour Red Brett Saison with Oyster Shells. Chef Barnett worked with the brew masters at Gilgamesh Brewing to create a refreshing, crisp beer in the French farmhouse style with a slightly funky wild side courtesy of the Brett yeast and the addition of oyster shells for some mineral complexity. Chef Barnett wanted a beer that would pair well with La Moule's diverse menu, but especially seafood dishes. The restaurant is a nod to the dimly lit bistros and bars of Europe, where a lively evening in cozied in a booth with rich bowls of mussels, crispy frites, and good company isn't an indulgence, but a part of life. It's a fabulous late winter beer that pairs well with the signature mussel dishes at La Moule and also holds up nicely to more hearty seasonal fare. 

$1 from every bottle sold goes directly to support the programs at The Portland Kitchen, Inc. which help underserved and low income aspiring teen chefs, and now also young adults, pursue a culinary career. This year a generous donation by The Richard & Helen Phillips Charitable Trust will match that buck and double the contribution from each sale!

The beer is available at Green Zebra GroceryZupan's Markets, and other area retailers and bottle shops, and on draft at La Moule and ST. JACK restaurant & bar. Cheers to a good beer and a great cause.


Nicky Farms - Gilgamesh brewing chef series beer #2 now available

12/21/16 - Nicky USA and Chef John Gorham are thrilled to release the second offering in our Gilgamesh Brewing Chef Beer Series with his Shalom Y'all Turkish Coffee Stout, a rich, classic toasty stout with coffee notes (thanks to some beautiful beans from Water Avenue Coffee) and hints of vanilla and cardamom. The beer is equally at home paired with savory and sweet dishes and of course, is perfectly delicious on its own. The stout is available on tap at Shalom Y’all and Mediterranean Exploration Company, and is available in bottles at Gorham’s other restaurants (Toro BravoTasty 'n SonsTasty 'n Alder, and Pollo Bravo) and in 22oz bottles at retailers like Green Zebra, Zupans, and area bottle shops.

The series launched in August with a collaboration between Gilgamesh Brewing and chef Carlo Lamagna of Clyde Common, raising over $1,500 for The Portland Kitchen with Lamagna’s Hibiscus Lager. Chef John Gorham’s Turkish Coffee Stout will be available through January 2017, and will be followed by collaborations with Chef Aaron Barnett of La Moule, and Chef Andy Ricker of Pok Pok.

All beers in the series donate $1 from every 22oz bottle sold and $10 from every keg sold to The Portland Kitchen. TPK sets the table for successful futures by using food and cooking to empower underserved teens to create healthy lifestyles, prepare for meaningful employment, and become engaged citizens in our community.

Just another example of our passion in bringing together the best ingredients and culinary talent to create delicious experiences for our community. 

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine w/ duck confit crust, Cascade huckleberry gelée, and candied pistachio by Chef Shaun McCrain - Copine

Hudson Valley Foie Gras Terrine w/ duck confit crust, Cascade huckleberry gelée, and candied pistachio by Chef Shaun McCrain - Copine

customer spotlight - copine

12/15/16 - Chef Shaun McCrain and his team are cooking exceptional contemporary American cuisine executed with classical French technique and attention to detail at Copine in the Ballard neighborhood of Seattle. We were fortunate enough to have them cook for us at this year's Wild About Game, where they partnered with Hudson Valley Foie Gras to present one of the most well received dishes at the event. Their foie gras terrine with duck confit, Cascade huckleberries, and candied pistachios was an absolute stunner for the eyes and the taste buds. They served over 500 of the delectable morsels to the attendees that day. The presentation and execution was flawless on every single plate. Imagine the possibilities when you go to dine at their restaurant and they are cooking just for you. You are in extremely capable hands.

They also have a cold case for take away items featuring everything from soups to smoked amarena cherries that will seriously upgrade your cocktail game. Copine should be at the top of your must visit list.