Homestead Meat Recipes


             Here on our homestead we raise only a few animals for meat. With those that we have raised we have had to do some experimenting to find recipes that make them taste the best. Our chickens tend to be a bit tough but that doesn’t mean they are inedible. The birds can be pressure cooked whole about 20 minutes until the meat falls off the bone and then can, of course be used for all sorts of recipes or it I can it for later use. I also found that our chickens (or rabbits) could be put in a crock-pot full of barbeque sauce and cooked all day and the meat would be tender and flavorful.  Here is a barbeque sauce recipe that can be made quickly and the recipe double or tripled as needed.

Barbeque Sauce

  • ¼ C. apple cider vinegar

  • ½ C. ketchup

  • ½ C. strong coffee or water

  • 3 T. brown sugar

  • 1 tsp. Salt

  • 1 tsp. Chili powder

Mix all ingredients and store in refrigerator until ready to use or you can cook down until desired consistency then can in a boiling water bath for 15 minutes.

            I also use this barbeque sauce for ribs, beef or pork. I par-boil the ribs in large pot covered in this barbeque sauce for an hour. Then put them on the grill or in the oven. They can be dipped back in the barbeque sauce several times making them extra delicious.

Besides cooking duck in barbeque sauce another recipe we absolutely loved was duck and mushrooms. I had also never eaten duck before we butchered our own but this first recipe I tried we loved probably because we love mushrooms and onions and this dish uses both.

Duck with Mushrooms

  • 1 duck cut in pieces

  • 1 clove garlic minced

  • 4 oz. Cubed ham (this was optional for us and was good with or without the ham)

  • 1 tsp. Chopped parsley

  • ½ pound mushrooms sliced

  • salt and pepper

  • 3 T. butter

  • 1 small jar pearl onions (or regular onions cut up if these are not available)

  • 1 T. flour

Sauté duck in butter, then add the rest of the ingredients except onions and sauté about 10 minutes. Cover ½ of mixture with water. Simmer about 30 minutes or until done. Add onions in the last 15-20 minutes.

            Fishing became a fun past time for me this spring and though I didn’t catch a lot one day I was given a very large catfish a (probably sympathetic) fisherman. This was the largest catfish I had seen and I had no idea what to do with it at first. After looking through several cookbooks and the internet we came up with a recipe for baked catfish and with a few adjustments we made it fit the ingredients we had at the time. The following is our revised recipe.

Baked Catfish

  • 1 large catfish, cleaned

  • ½ tsp. Garlic powder

  • Dash of salt

  • 1 medium onion (chopped)

  • 1 large can diced tomatoes

  • ¼ tsp thyme

  • ¼ C. lemon juice

  • 1 T. melted butter

  • 3 T. bacon fat

  • 1/8 tsp pepper

  • 1 green pepper (chopped)

  • ½ C.  water

  • ¼ C. bread crumbs

  • 1 tsp, grated lemon rind

Place fish in shallow baking dish, sprinkle with garlic, salt and pepper. Heat bacon fat in skillet; add chopped onion, pepper and tomatoes. Sauté for a few minutes, add thyme, lemon juice and water. Pour over fish. Combine breadcrumbs, melted butter and lemon rind: sprinkle over fish. Bake uncovered at 350 for 45 minutes.

            You may find your homestead meats aren’t as tender (or as cardboard tasting) as store bought meats and you may have to get a little more creative with your cooking but there are plenty of ways to cook your homestead meat and still have it tasting wonderful.


                                                      Rebecca Whitford