90 Wiltsie Bridge Road
Ancramdale, NY 12503
I went to Herondale Farm for a field trip in my Food Ecology class. It was an hour and a half north of Hyde Park and I never knew such an amazing property existed. Jerry Peele actually used to be an Investment Banker and changed his career eight years ago. Today he is the proud owner of a farm that raises 100% grass fed beef and lamb as well as pasture raised chicken and pork. And of course, he doesn’t use any antibiotics or growth hormones.
The animals at Herondale Farm live a great life and they truly looked happy. The chicken lay out in the sun looking content. They may be slaughtered and eaten later but at least they don’t live in a miserable environment until then. He uses a model similar to the one which Farmer Joel Salatin uses at Polyface Farm. The cattle graze on the pasture during the warmer months and feed on hay during the colder months.
I bought a porterhouse steak, which was not cheap (24 oz for $30). It was too big for me so I cut off the tenderloin and saved it for another time. I wanted to savor the taste of this beautiful piece of grass fed beef so I just seasoned it with salt and black pepper. But I made some chimichurri type sauce as well. It was actually not as beefy as other grass fed beef I’ve had but it was reasonably well marbled and not too lean.
I was looking forward to eating the chicken more than the beef. I simply seasoned the chicken wings with salt and black pepper (no oil) and baked them in the oven (350 degrees and sometimes 450, until the skin puffed up and got crisp). I marinated some of the wings in a scallion marinade. The chicken was incredible. Not as firm as other free range chicken I’ve eaten, and tasted like chicken! Probably the best chicken I’ve had in the US! I love cooking chicken without oil because the skin gets extremely crispy.