Welcome to Dennis Farms!

Dennis Farms is located in east central Alabama about half way between Anniston, AL and Carrollton, GA. We grow lush, nutritious grass in our pastures. We raise Red Angus cattle, Katahdin hair sheep and Tamworth heritage pigs to harvest our grass. At the appropriate stage of maturity, we harvest our animals to produce nutritious and delicious grass-fed beef, grass-fed lamb and pastured pork.

We raise our cows, sheep and pigs in a natural pastoral environment never giving growth promoting antibiotics, hormones, or steroids. We believe that contented animals produce a superior product, so we strive for a low stress environment emphasizing the humane treatment of our livestock. We follow a strict grass-fed protocol with our cows and sheep never feeding grain, animal byproducts or feed supplements. Our pigs graze the pasture along with the cows and sheep receiving supplemental grain as needed. We do not use farrowing crates.

Please take some time and explore our web site to better know us and our farm. We are proud of the effort we make to provide our customers a quality product that tastes good and is good for them. In today’s world, the only way to be sure of the food you’re feeding your family is to know the farmer and how it was produced.

Holiday Season 2017 and Shepherd’s Pie Recipe

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We want to remind you that we’ll be at the Carrollton Holiday Gift Bazaar and Farmer’s Market this Saturday, November 18, from 9am-5pm. The Bazaar will be held at the East Carroll Rec Center, which is located at 410 Northlake Drive. In addition to the familiar vendors of the Cotton Mill Farmer’s Market, there will be local crafters and artisans, as well as many family friendly activities. It’s a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas gifts and to get some of your holiday grocery shopping out of the way a little early. We’ll be fully stocked with our Dennis Farms Primeburger, Whole Hog Sausage, Pork Cuts, Leaf Lard, and Lamb.

To inspire your Holiday menus, we wanted to share some recipes that work particularly well with our products. Last week we showcased our Whole Hog Sausage and Leaf Lard by sharing our recipes for breakfast casserole and pie dough; this week we’d like to offer a suggestion for our Primeburger or Ground Lamb. We love to make Shepherd’s Pie – it is a delicious and versatile comfort food that makes a great dinner for your family. If you’ll scroll to the bottom, you’ll find our favorite recipe.

We would love for you to stop by the Holiday Bazaar and say hello as we enter this 2017 Holiday Season.

We appreciate your continued support of our farm and our efforts to provide you and yours with a healthy, wholesome, quality product. We look forward to seeing you there!

 

SHEPHERD’S PIE
serves 6

4 cups mashed potatoes
garlic salt
1 lb ground meat, either Dennis Farms Primeburger or Ground Lamb
1 medium onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, minced
3 Tablespoons flour
1 Tablespoon tomato paste
1 Tablespoon Worcestershire sauce
1 Tablespoon soy sauce
1 can (14.5oz) chicken broth
2 cups frozen vegetable medley

Pre-heat oven to 400 degrees. Brown meat in a large skillet over med-high heat. Once some of the fat renders out and meat is starting to brown, add onions and garlic and continue cooking. When meat is completely cooked, stir in flour and cook for 1-2 minutes.

*Note: our Primeburger is very lean, so you may need to add a little olive oil, or perhaps some of our Dennis Farms Leaf Lard, to the pan to add a bit of extra fat. There should be at least 2 Tablespoons of fat in the pan at the point at which you add the flour.

Stir in tomato paste, worcestershire sauce, soy sauce and chicken broth. Simmer for 5-6 minutes, or until sauce is thickened. Turn the heat off and stir in frozen vegetables and salt and pepper, to taste.

Pour beef mixture into a large, oven-proof casserole dish. Top with mashed potatoes and smooth with a spatula.

Place casserole dish on a large sheet pan (in case the sauce overflows) and bake for 20-30 minutes, or until top is golden brown. Ladle and serve!

Holiday Bazaar 2017

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On Saturday, November 18, Dennis Farms will be at the Carrollton Holiday Gift Bazaar and Farmer’s Market. The Holiday Bazaar will be held at the East Carrollton Rec Center from 9am-5pm. In addition to the familiar vendors of the Cotton Mill Farmer’s Market, there will be local crafters and artisans, as well as many family friendly activities. It’s a great opportunity to pick up some Christmas gifts and to get some of your holiday grocery shopping out of the way a little early. We’ll be fully stocked with our Dennis Farms Primeburger, Whole Hog Sausage, Pork Cuts, Leaf Lard, and Lamb.

To inspire your Holiday menus, we wanted to share a few recipes that work particularly well with our products. Most of you are familiar with our Whole Hog Sausage, and one way we like to use it at the holidays is in a breakfast casserole. If you’re expecting houseguests, it’s a great way to feed a crowd in the morning.

We also do quite a bit of baking around this time of year, and our Dennis Farms Leaf Lard makes the flakiest and most delicious pie crusts or southern style biscuits. We also use it extensively in our savory cooking; it’s great to sauté veggies in or for browning meat. If you scroll to the bottom you’ll find a couple of recipes below for your cooking and baking pleasure.

We would love for you to stop by the Holiday Bazaar and say hello as we enter this 2017 Holiday Season.

We appreciate your continued support of our farm and our efforts to provide you and yours with a healthy, wholesome, quality product. We look forward to seeing you there!
MAKE AHEAD BREAKFAST CASSEROLE
Serves 6-8

10 oz frozen hash brown potatoes (shredded)
6-8 oz cheddar cheese, shredded
1 lb Dennis Farms Whole Hog Sausage
6 slices bacon
6 large eggs, lightly beaten with salt and pepper
8-12 cherry tomatoes, halved
This is is a great make ahead recipe. It can be prepared the night before and then baked in the morning for a no-hassle breakfast that’s perfect for when you have houseguests.

Place half of the shredded hash browns into the base of the dish. There’s no need to thaw them. Scatter over with half of the grated cheese.

Fry the sausage and bacon over med-high heat until golden brown and crispy. It may be best to do this in two batches depending on the size of your skillet. Break the Sausage up into small crumbles as it cooks, and crumble the bacon when it’s done. Drain the meat and scatter it over the cheese and potato mixture.

Add the rest of the shredded hash browns and then pour the beaten eggs over, pushing down the ingredients with the back of a fork. Arrange the tomatoes on top and then add the rest of the grated cheese over the top. Cover and let sit overnight in the fridge.

The next day, take the casserole out of the fridge and allow to come to room temp while you preheat the oven to 400. Bake for 30 to 45 minutes, or until it is set, puffed up and golden brown.

Cut into squares and serve immediately.
PIE CRUST
makes enough for a double crust pie, or two singles

2 1/2 cups all purpose flour
1 tsp sugar
1 tsp salt
1 cup leaf Lard, chilled
1/4 to 1/2 cup very cold water

In the bowl of a food processor, combine flour, salt, and sugar. Add Lard/butter, and process until the mixture resembles coarse meal, 8 to 10 seconds.

With machine running, add 1/4 cup ice water in a slow, steady stream through feed tube. Pulse until dough holds together without being wet or sticky; be careful not to process more than 30 seconds. To test, squeeze a small amount together: If it is crumbly, add more ice water, 1 tablespoon at a time.

Divide dough into two equal balls. Flatten each ball into a disc and wrap in plastic. Transfer to the refrigerator and chill at least 1 hour. Use in your favorite Holiday pie recipe. Dough may be stored, frozen, up to 1 month.

Summer 2017

Here is a glimpse of what we’ve been up to on the farm lately.  We’ve had a hot and rainy summer so far and we’ve got an abundance of Pearl Millet that our cows were beyond excited to start munching on. Here is Janie helping to set up a new grazing cell:

The first few bites of “cow candy”:

Here are a couple of older calves, tall enough to see over the Pearl Millet. The younger calves waited until “paths” were cleared before they ventured in.

Happy Summer!

Farmer Wanna Be

This past Saturday, daughter Rachael, son-in-law Ryan and grandson Brody came to the farm to help Janie and I wean the latest litter of pigs. Well… Ryan and Rachael helped with the pigs, Brody was mostly interested in learning how to operate a tractor.

At Last!

It has been a very long 5 months since we have had grass worthy of grazing, but finally we have animals munching the juicy green stuff. The drought of 2016 was extremely challenging for us. This is the first group of cows and sheep to get out of their sacrifice paddock and back on grass a week ago. We are “limit grazing” them about 4 hours a day. This week we started the same practice with another group of cows in a different pasture and next week we hope to open up a third pasture. Right now green is definitely our favorite color.