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Smoke Signals Blog
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Our smokehouse sits smack dab in the middle of New England, located in the same lush countryside we’ve been doing business on for more than a century. Like most New Englanders, we lean into seasonal ingredients and find ourselves drawn towards the flavors our region is so well known for. From sweet maple syrup to buttery cheese, our passion for provincial flavor is apparent in every handcrafted, small-batch we smoke.
Summer is the perfect time to break out of your meal-planning rut and try new recipes with local ingredients. Gardens are bountiful and farmers’ markets can be found on almost every corner. So, turn off the stovetop and take it outdoors – it won’t be difficult, our fully cooked sausage, ham, and hot dogs make meal prep a breeze - all you have to do is heat & serve. Be it family meals firmly planted at the picnic table, or carefree campfire cookouts, summer dining with friends and family in your own backyard is the stuff sweet, smoky dreams are made of.
Here are 3 super-simple recipe ideas to try on your next staycation.
Backyard Garden Kabobs with Vermont Cheddar Sausage
Pro Tip: Cook these kabobs over an open flame to activate the deep, creamy pockets of cheddar for melt-in-your-mouth goodness. The great thing about kabobs is you can use whatever garden vegetable you have growing in abundance. Simply slice the Vermont Cheddar sausage links into thick, meaty 1” pieces, and alternate vegetables and sausages on your skewer. The vegetables will pick up the savory flavor of the sausage while cooking. Sprinkle the skewers with salt, pepper, and garlic then grill them on medium heat for 8-10 minutes, turning occasionally. Our sausages are fully cooked, so there will be no long lines at the grill. The best part? You only need one hand to eat them – so you can crack a can of your favorite microbrew with the other.
Grilled Corn Salad with Chorizo Brandy Sausage
Cooldown at sundown with this oh-so-simple summer salad. The recipe is quick and easy, but the flavor is endless. Start by slicing our Chorizo with Brandy Mexican Style Sausages in ½” thick pieces. Grill them in a cast-iron skillet with olive oil, turning your slices until the pieces are slightly charred. In a bowl, combine fresh ‘off the cob’ corn kernels (to lessen prep time, grill your corn cobs ahead of time), halved cherry tomatoes, sliced red onion, and cilantro. Toss with olive oil, salt, pepper, and a pinch of cumin. Finally, place a heaping pile of salad on your plate and top it off by adding your Chorizo. The flavor is fresh and zesty.
Smokehouse Style Smores
Okay, this recipe may be more for the big kids’, but we couldn’t resist stacking a few crispy slices of our certified humane, Fruitwood Smoked bacon on a smore. It was everything we had hoped for. We like to pan fry our bacon in a cast iron skillet over the campfire, so we can enjoy the aroma of the bacon frying while we lazily toast our marshmallows. Grab your favorite graham crackers, add chocolate, marshmallow, and bacon. Give them a moment to rest, so the chocolate has time to melt. Sit back, stoke the fire, and indulge. Smores will never be the same.
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A few reasons why our mouthwatering meats are so dang good
Our mission is to handcraft premium, artisanal smoked meats with a relentless focus on flavor, exceptional animal care standards, and respect for the land. When it comes to choosing ingredient partners for our products, only the highest quality will do.
Sourcing locally is a more sustainable way of doing business because it encourages biodiversity, contributes fewer carbon emissions, and helps support our local economy. Plus, it always comes back to finding ingredient partners that care about flavor and standards as much as we do.
Lucky for us, New England is rich with authentic flavors and food practices. Take a gander at some of our local ingredient partnerships.
Most of our bacon and ham products are infused with a one-of-a-kind brine, consisting of maple syrup, sugar, and salt. We only work with 100% wood-fired maple syrup sourced from Mac’s Maple, a family-owned operating just 16 miles from our smokehouse. We infuse the meat with a sweet brine before the smoking process begins, a process that ensures our customers are getting the most tender products with consistent, evenly distributed flavor that inspires fierce loyalty from meat-loving humans. Case in point? Our Organic Applewood Smoked Bacon.
Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company
There’s one part of New England quite well known for its cheese—the kind of cheese that you want to drop into just about every meal. Well, Vermont’s only a few miles from here. For our Jalapeno Cheddar Sausage and our new VT Cheddar Sausage, we were looking for that perfectly custom-crafted cheddar cheese with a precise melting point. Vermont Farmstead Cheese Company, known for its fresh artisanal selection, delivered a match with rich flavor and impeccable quality. As for the cheese you can never get enough of, we’ve folded it right into our sausages, so you’ll get it in every single bite.
We wanted a brat with depth and breadth, infused with hints of an aromatic IPA that produces an unreal experience for your tastebuds with every bite. 20 minutes south of here, our friends at Harpoon Brewery—well known for their arsenal of brews—deliver an IPA that is the perfect partner for our beer bratwurst. It goes beyond yum and into that oh-my-goodness-I-could-eat-this-forever realm of otherworldly food experiences that you’re not likely to forget.
Working with great local partners is a bonus, but at the end of the day, if the flavor is flat, the texture is off, or the quality of the food doesn’t make you break out in song, it doesn’t really work.
We’re here to make it easy to enjoy the flavor you crave without sacrificing quality or integrity. This, friends, has been a glimpse at how we do it.
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There’s something about cold weather that makes a person crave hearty dishes full of savory ingredients and satisfying hunks of flavorful meat. The urge to hunker down and fortify your defense against the cold with a tasty homemade meal is relentless and pressing. You want something simple, but gratifying; a recipe that doesn’t take hours to make or involve too many ingredients.
We have three recipes that you can whip up without much to-do when what you really want is to huddle up by the fireplace after an active winter day. We’re talking slow-smoked, handcrafted, bursting with flavor meats that are certified humane and get-in-my-belly good.
May we humbly suggest using your favorite North Country Smokehouse sausage as the vehicle for getting warm, melty cheese into your mouth? Consider yourself warned: our organic kielbasa makes moderation seem ridiculous, nay, pointless. Once you’ve prepared the fondue and the savory scent of sizzling sausage has permeated your kitchen, cut the sausage into generous hunks and add in some bread and fruit for variety. Ready? Get your skewer loaded up, and dip with reckless abandon for a cheese-on-your-chin meal that puts winter in its place.
Chili With Sausage
Andouille or Chorizo - we can’t decide, but adding some heat to your chili in the dead of winter is an easy way to spice up a meal that’s pretty much made for cold weather. Our Chorizo’s sweet heat brings south of the border meets Tex-Mex taste to your simmering pot of goodness, while Andouille sausage brings the bayou to you for a gumbo-like experience. For a Paleo version, this recipe provides some inspiration, and if you’re a fan of beans, this recipe hits the spot. We suggest slicing up an NCS sausage and throwing it in the mix to add a major boost of flavor without a ton of work. The longer you can let all the deliciousness simmer, the better, so throw it in the slow cooker and let the flavors mingle all day long. Don’t forget the shredded cheese and jalapeno!
Loaded Baked Potato Bar
Ahhh, the potato. Simple, unassuming, versatile. Laugh in the face of winter as you heap a steaming baked potato with all the things that make you drool. That leftover chili in the fridge? Use it! Chives, sour cream, jalapenos, and shredded cheese? Yes to all of it! And holy blasphemy, don’t forget the bacon. Our Fruitwood Smoked Bacon is thick and meaty, slow-smoked to tender perfection and the ideal companion to top off your loaded potato. It’s fast, it’s easy, and if curling up next to a cozy fireplace had a taste… this would be it. Load it up!
Now that you’ve got your winter recipe-fix, you can spend less time stressing about what to cook and more time doing what matters to you (without ever sacrificing flavor). Integrity, ingredients, and the slow-smoked preparation of the meat that hits your kitchen table—that’s what matters to us.
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duBreton President, Vincent Breton, Promotes Former Chief Operating Officer
Vincent Breton, President of duBreton, has appointed Aaron Corbett as Chief Executive Officer of duBreton USA and its subsidiary, North Country Smokehouse. In his new role, Aaron will contribute to the strategic planning and development of both companies, as well as oversee daily operations, sales, marketing and management of the smokehouse in Claremont, NH. Prior to accepting the role of COO at North Country Smokehouse in 2015, Corbett held the Director of Operations title for Boulder Organic Foods, and received an MBA from the University of Southern California.
duBreton, the leading organic and certified humane pork producer in North America, acquired North Country Smokehouse in 2015. Aaron was tasked with scaling efficiencies at the new, 62,000 sq. foot facility, maintaining exceptional quality standards and overseeing entry into new retail markets. “It’s an exciting time for North Country Smokehouse.” says Corbett. “For decades, the company focused solely on Foodservice. We’re committed to maintaining those partnerships but realize there’s a growing consumer demand for sustainable, smoked meats. Our relationship with duBreton gives us an advantage over other producers. We’re vertically integrated, so we’re not exposed to the risks associated with sourcing meat from outside our own network. That means our farming, feed & husbandry standards are never compromised, which positively impacts consumers and customer partners.”
North Country Smokehouse products can now be found in several leading retailers including Whole Foods Market, Hannaford’s Supermarket, Stop & Shop, Big Y, Market Basket and HEB. The company continues to pursue expansion in the US.