I'm thrilled to be on board with LOCAL CONNECTIONS HALIFAX as their 'Resident Food Photographer, Stylist and Blogger'. Each issue I'll be styling, photographing and writing about one incredible Nova Scotia food/drink product/ingredient. The current issue features a variety of locally made sausage (YUM) with the late summer issue coming soon!

To view the entire article, click here.


M&M Meat Shops : Recipe Development : Southwest Sausage Frittata

I recently had a pretty cool opportunity to develop two brand new recipes for M&M Meat Shops, the only requirement being, to use a minimum of one M&M product in each recipe.


Have you ever been to an M&M Meat Shop? Well, I have, but not for a long time so I didn't realize the sheer amount of selection I was to have at my disposal. Meats, vegetables, breads, fruit - the list goes on and on. Once I saw the boxes of sausage though, I kind of had an idea as to what I wanted to make and I gotta tell you, after testing this baby a few times to make sure it worked, I'm REALLY happy I settled on a frittata. Frittata is kind of like a quiche without the crust and it is SO GOOD. With all of the spices, especially the earthy goodness of cumin, plus, mild Italian sausages, corn, onion and spinach, this thing is basically the perfect breakfast.

You can see my two recipes, as well as some other fabulous Canadian blogger's recipes, on the M&M Meats website.

Chorizo and Bacon-Stuffed Pork Belly

Sausage Fest 2013. It's a thing. And what better entry to a Sausage-themed recipe contest than pig + pig wrapped in pig?

All or nothing baby.

Here's how to make a pretty easy (just takes time), flavour-packed dinner, that could probably sway even the most hardcore of your vegetarian friends to the pork side.

STEP ONE - Go to Getaway Farms' Butcher Shop. Buy a 2 pound pork belly with the skin on. Ask Ben, or one of the other awesome staff, to score the skin for you. Also, buy 2 Argentinian Chorizo Sausages, 1 pound of bacon and ask Chris for a sample of their wicked new Meat Rub.

Meat Rub - Paprika, Black Pepper, Salt, Garlic, Onion, Coriander, Fennel, Chili, Organic Evaporated Cane Juice

STEP TWO - Make your filling. Sautée a small onion until just translucent and put it in a large bowl. Toast 1/4 C pinenuts in a dry pan until golden and add them to the onion. Remove the casing from the 2 sausages and add the meat to the onion/pinenuts along with - 15 cracks of black pepper, 1 clove chopped garlic, 1/4 C Panko and the chopped leaves from 1 sprig of rosemary. Mix everything with clean hands.

STEP THREE - Lay out your pork belly, skin side down. Make incisions all over the top (meat side), about 1 inch apart, with a paring knife. Sprinkle 1 Tbsp of Meat Rub over belly meat and massage in with your fingertips making sure to really stuff the rub into the incisions.


Stuff the rub.

It just sounds dirty doesn't it?

STEP FOUR - Cut 4-5 slices of bacon in half lengthwise and lay them on the belly meat width-wise. Drizzle the bacon with 1 Tbsp of honey. Place sausage mixture on top.

STEP FIVE - Wake up your husband and make him get out of bed to help you tie the pork belly with twine. Place the tied belly, skin side up, on a baking sheet in the fridge for two hours, uncovered, to let the skin dry out a bit - this makes it nice and crunchy later on. After the two hours is up, preheat your oven to 500°, brush the skin with a little olive oil, rub 1 Tbsp of Meat Rub all over and sprinkle the whole thing lightly with kosher salt. 

(iPhone pic)

STEP SIX - Place the belly on a rack in a baking dish, skin side up, and roast in the oven for 20 minutes. After 20 minutes, rotate it and let it roast 20 minutes more (tent it with tinfoil after the first 20 minutes if things are getting a little too crispy) - 40 minutes total at 500°.

STEP SEVEN - Lower the oven temp to 300°, pour 1/2C white wine over the pork and put it back in the oven for 1.5 hours or, until internal temp is 145°. Baste it with wine/drippings every half hour while it's in the oven. When it's done, take it out and let it rest for 30-40 minutes. Slice it up and eat that cracklin'.

For more information about Sausage Fest 2013 (August 12-18), check out the Local Connections Halifax website.

(pork belly cooking temperature and times adapted from Bon Appetit)

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