The Rooster Contest

Created with Microsoft Fresh PaintThis will be an experiment in reality farming.  Throughout 2014 we hatched out several batches of laying chickens from our own flock.  We now have a great new flock of hens that are starting to consistently lay eggs.  But, we have too many roosters!  Our poor hens don’t seem to get any rest, as any way a girl turns there’s a rooster there waiting.  So we have to select two or at most three of our roosters to keep.

Over the month of February we will post rooster profiles here for everyone’s viewing.  Once all the roosters have had their time in the spotlight we will start a poll so that the legions of Stoneybrook followers may vote for their favorite roosters.  Think of it like American Idol or The Bachelor, but with more pecking and crowing (maybe not).

Our first profile is online now!!!  Follow the link below

The Experienced Gentlemen

Stoneybrook Tourtière

Meat pie!  Need we say more?

By the time this was out of the oven, there was no holding back the masses so we have no picture of a finished tourtiere.

You can use your imagination, or use try google.


 Pastry Recipe:

Use your favorite recipe, enough for a double crust 9 inch deep dish pie plate.

This one is currently my favourite (buttermilk lard pastry).

Filling Recipe:

1 small lamb shoulder approx. 2 lbs bone- in

2 medium onions chopped divided

5-6 garlic cloves minced

5 whole black peppercorns

5 sprigs thyme or 1 tsp dried

2 bay leaves

2 c chicken stock plus more if needed

1 Tbsp butter

8 mushrooms finely chopped

½ c white wine

1 lb ground goat (or pork or lamb)

1 heaping Tbsp summer savory

½ tsp cinnamon

¼ tsp cloves

1 medium potato peeled and grated


Start by braising the lamb shoulder.  Preheat oven to 325. Season the lamb with salt and pepper and place in a dutch oven with ½ of one of the onions, a bit of the garlic, the peppercorns, and bay leaves. Add enough stock to come 1/3 to ½ way up the meat. Cover and braise until the meat is falling off the bone, around 3 hours. Check after about 2 hours adding more stock if the pot is getting dry. Take the lamb out to cool and strain the juices discarding the solids. Keep the juices aside for later. Shred the meat with forks or your fingers when cool enough.

To a large skillet add the butter and a glug of olive oil and sautee the remaining onion until soft. Add the garlic and then the mushrooms. Sautee until almost all the liquid is evaporated then add the wine. Bring to a boil and cook almost all the liquid off . Add the ground goat and spices and cook for around 5 minutes. Season with s + p. Add the potato with enough of the braising liquid to  moisten.  Simmer gently for around 15 more minutes then add the shredded lamb and the rest of the braising liquid.  Cook for another 20-30 minutes or so, adding more chicken stock if the mix starts to look dry. I had to add another cup or so. You want it to be quite moist but not too runny.   Start tasting after around 20 minutes and add more spices, s+p to taste.

Chill the filling for 1 hour in the fridge.

Meanwhile roll out the bottom crust and chill in the fridge in the pie plate. I rolled the top crust out too and kept in the fridge.

Fill the pie and add the top crust with vents. Chill the filled pie for around 1 hour.

Preheat the oven to 400. Bake the pie for 30 minutes. Decrease the heat to 350 and bake until the crust is golden and the filling is bubbling around 40 minutes. Let cool for 20 minutes or more to set.



It’s a little tight to make this recipe all in one day ( unless you skip on the chilling times ). I do think that having the filling chilled is important for the texture of the crust. The last time I made this I braised the lamb and made the pastry the day before. You could also make all of the filling the day before. That would be best for the flavors to meld together too.

We have made this using all ground meat – use 2 lb total- a mix of meat is best, lamb, pork, goat.

Recipe adapted from Bon Appetit Jan 2012.

Pork update

 Brown pig and black pig have stayed on for a bit longer than planned, but we do enjoy having them around.  Our estimate before the new year was that they were close to 250 pounds and they don’t seem to have packed on too much more in the last month.  Estimating their weight involves taking length and girth measurements, and we haven’t tried again as last time they tried to eat the tape measure.

We haven’t made too many swine blog updates, in part because it is very tricky getting good photos of the pigs.  We don’t spend too much time with them, so they mostly associate us with food and will rush up to anyone that stops by the pen.  To get a picture that isn’t all ears, you have to be down at snout level, which presents some challenges, as they like to mouth everything new that comes their way.  Yesterday I was able to grab a few photos before they got too close.


It did involve a fair amount of running back and forth across the pen to keep them from getting their snout froth on the camera lens.  If you are curious what pig photography is like, check out the gif below.

pig gif


A keen eye might recognize one of these fleeces from previous posts on the blog.  We kept some of our 2014 lambs through the fall, and after some winter butchering we were left with some hides to use for our own attempts at tanning.  The leather is still not quite the same quality as the tanner’s, but  it is improving with each attempt.DSC_0102



A winter sunset was a great opportunity to catch a handsome portrait of Monty.


The only other fellow that would stand still for a photo with the pink and orange sky was not as photogenic…