Brisket with Horseradish


Brisket with Horseradish
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Snug Valley Farm Brisket prepared with horseradish sauceThis baked brisket is extremely tender and has a nice flavor. Mike serves it with cheesy mashed potatoes, horseradish gravy and the baked vegetables. Recipes for each are given separately below.
Cut of Meat: Beef Brisket
Serves: 8
  • You'll need a large, heavy skillet such as a cast iron frying pan and a dutch oven or heavy casserole with lid. Pot must be OK for stove top and oven cooking.

  • 4-5 pound brisket (Mike uses the second cut or blunt end because it has more fat and gives it a nice flavor)
  • 1 teasp salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 Tablespoon Tabasco
  • 4 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 medium onions, slivered
  • 4 carrot, cut crosswise 1 inch thick
  • 2 celery ribs, cut in 1 inch pieces
  • 5 medium parsnips, halved lengthwise and cut crosswise 1 inch thick
  • 3 ½ Tablespoons olive oil (divided)
  • ¼ cup prepared white horseradish, drained
  • 2 cups dry red wine (divided)
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 cups beef stock or low sodium broth

  • 10 medium Yukon Gold potatoes, peeled and cut into pieces
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ½ stick butter
  • Tub of extra sharp spreadable cheddar (Mike uses Cabot)

  • GRAVY:
  • 3-4 Tablespoons flour
  • ¼ cup prepared horseradish, drained
  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Wash and dry brisket. Using a sharp knife make about 10 slits in the brisket on the fat side and stuff each with 2-3 slices of the garlic. Season the meat with the salt, grated pepper and the Tabasco. Cut the brisket into 2-3 large pieces, just small enough to fit your skillet.
  3. Heat 1 ½ Tablespoons of the olive oil in a large skillet over high heat. Sear the meat evenly, one piece at a time, for 2-3 minutes on each side.
  4. Transfer the meat, fat side up, to a large lidded dutchoven or heavy covered casserole. The meat can overlap.
  5. Pour off all but 2 Tablespoons of the fat from the skillet. Add ½ cup of red wine to deglaze the pan. Bring the wine to a boil over high heat and cook for about 1-2 minutes, scraping the brown bits from the bottom of the pan. Pour the wine mixture over the brisket in the dutch oven.
  6. Bake the brisket, uncovered, for about 45 minutes, until it is nicely browned. While the brisket is baking - mix the horseradish, minced garlic and remaining 1 Tablespoon of olive oil together in a small bowl and set aside.
  7. Once browned, remove the pot from the oven and remove the brisket from the pot and set aside. Place the pot on a burner and add the remaining ½ cup of red wine and bring to a boil, stirring to deglaze the pot. Add the onion, carrots, parsnips and celery to the pot and cook while stirring for about 4 minutes. (note: if you do not wish to serve the vegetable side dish, add the onions and substitute one chopped carrot and one chopped celery for flavor for the full list of vegetables). Push the onions and vegetables to the side of the dutchoven and add the 2 bay leaves.
  8. Reduce the oven temperature to 375. Rub the garlic and horseradish mixture onto the fatty side of the brisket pieces and place the pieces in the dutchoven. Pour the beef stock around the brisket and bring to a simmer. Cover and place in the preheated oven. Turn the meat after it cooks for 1 hour and reduce the heat to 350. Continue cooking, covered, until very tender - about 2 - 2 ½ hours. Turn the meat occasionally.
  9. (Note, if you are making this ahead, you can place the pot in the refrigerator at this point and let it set overnight. The fat will congeal so you can easily skim it off (reserving 3-4 Tablespoons) before reheating the next day and proceeding as below.)
  10. Transfer the meat to a carving board and let rest, covered with foil, for 30 minutes.
  12. Discard the bay leaves. If you are serving with the vegetable side dish, remove the vegetables with a slotted spoon and place on a platter and cover with foil to keep warm.
  13. Slice the brisket across the grain and transfer to the platter with the vegetables. Defat the broth and pour over the top, or use the broth to make the horseradish gravy, below.
  14. GRAVY:
  15. Place 3-4 Tablespoons of the reserved fat into the skillet and heat, stir in 3-4 Tablespoons of flour to make a roux. Whisk in the ¼ cup of horseradish, season with salt and pepper and whisk in the remaining defatted broth. If too thick, add a bit of water. Spoon some of the gravy over the brisket and place the remaining in a gravy boat to pass at the table.
  17. Boil the potatoes until tender, drain. Return to pan and add cream, butter and cheese. Mash with potato masher and stir or mix until well blended. Serve hot.


VIDEO – Nancy on Fox 44

Nancy promotes Winooski Market on Local Fox 44

Nancy promotes Winooski Market on Local Fox 44

Just days before the City of Winooski holds its first farmers market of the summer season, Nancy Nottermann with Snug Valley Farm joined Local 44 Morning Brew in their Colchester studio. In a great interview, she showed off some of the farm-raised meat products SVF offers at the market, Sundays from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m.

Watch Nancy on TV! ]

SEVEN DAYS Visits the Frozen Butcher

Article Published in Seven Days, March 8, 2016

Written by Melissa Haskin

Once a month throughout the winter, Helm Nottermann, aka the “Frozen Butcher,” transports meat from his Snug Valley Farm in East Hardwick to a dive bar in Essex Junction. Customers drop by between 6 and 7 p.m. to pick up orders: bacon, pork loin, ground beef, and other pork and beef products.

Last Friday, I joined Nottermann, 76, on a delivery. It was still sunny when I pulled into his unpaved driveway off Pumpkin Lane a little after 4 p.m. He gave me a tour of his farm, starting in the room where he assembles orders, putting them in paper bags labeled in green Sharpie with recipients’ names.

After a stop at Nottermann’s massive walk-in freezer, we headed toward a pigpen. He pointed to a field and told me that, during warmer months, the swine spend their time roaming and romping in the grass. As we approached, the animals tried to squish behind a single hay bale at the back of the pen. If they were trying to hide, it didn’t really work; there were 25 or 30 pigs and a single, four-pig-wide bale of hay.

Once they were satisfied with their positions, they turned and stared at us. Nottermann tried to coax them out, reassuring them that the strange reporter was harmless. A single pig ventured forward, but we didn’t have time to make friends, as Nottermann and I had to leave for town. Probably good, because I like bacon.

We made our way to the second swine enclosure, passing his steer. He has 60 — two groups of 30 that were born in 2014 and 2015, respectively. Nottermann and his wife, Nancy, will get another batch this spring, as they do each year. They prefer to raise steer, while their son, Ben, 33, prefers to raise pigs. If you’ve eaten pork at Prohibition Pig, you’ve eaten an animal that Ben raised. He sells an entire hog to the Waterbury eatery each week.

The Nottermanns also supply Michael’s on the Hill in Waterbury Center and the Lazy Farmer, a popular food truck whose owner is opening a restaurant in Essex Junction later this month.

We returned to the main house, where Nottermann grabbed his paperwork and Nancy accompanied us to the door. Usually he’d take his truck, but it was in the shop, so we piled into Nancy’s Honda CR-V.

As we drove the winding roads toward Essex Junction, Nottermann told me about his life. He was born in Germany and spent several years in New York City as an editor at a small, now-defunct publishing company before becoming a farmer. Over and over, he told me he was a lucky man.

He first got into farming when an old friend wanted to retire. The friend’s children didn’t want to take over the Bradford farm, so Nottermann did. Not only did he get a deal when he purchased it, he was able to learn from the farmer. “It was a fabulous way to start out,” Nottermann said.

When the couple made the decision to buy a bigger farm, luck found them again. At first he and Nancy couldn’t find a property in their price range, and they briefly gave up. Then, a year later, another couple approached him. They, too, were retiring and had children uninterested in farming. It was also quite a deal, Nottermann recounted. So, in 1979, he moved his family to East Hardwick.

Nottermann told me he enjoys the 75-minute drive to Essex Junction because it gives him time to think. The night I went with him, he had only five orders. Why would Nottermann drive that far to deliver so little? Surely it’s not financially worthwhile. But to him it is.

“I don’t measure sales, I measure staying in touch and relationships,” Nottermann explained. Even if only five people show up on a given delivery day, 500 are on his email list. Maybe someone will see his email and think, I’m throwing a graduation party for my daughter; maybe I should call Helm, he said. He’s interested in the long term, and that means not necessarily making a profit every day.

He’s not the only one who makes deliveries. Ben and Nancy do as well, visiting Burlington and Shelburne every other week. Before email existed, Nottermann would send out snail mail once a month. A few holdouts still receive hand-addressed mail, he said, but most have switched to electronic communication.

We pulled up to our destination, Murray’s Tavern, at 5:50 p.m. During summer, the Five Corners Farmers Market fills a block next to the tavern. Nottermann has a stand at the market, and we parked on Lincoln Avenue almost exactly where he sets up. This is why, of all the places in the town, Nottermann chose a bar for his winter deliveries.

When we stepped inside, a customer was already waiting. Nottermann greeted her and then disappeared for a few minutes, returning with a grin and a pint of beer. He took a seat in one of the padded green chairs across from the woman.

About 20 people sat or stood around the bar. Some chatted, while others tried to get the attention of the single bartender, who seemed to know many of the customers by name. Signs covered the walls, including a Busch ad and street signs warning “Private road,” and “Danger.”

Some of Nottermann’s customers joined our table. Jean Palmer asked if he’d forgotten her bacon. As he darted outside to check in the car, another woman at the table offered, “We can front you some bacon.” A conversation about bacon ensued, and someone asked if I’ve tried Helm’s. “It’s the best bacon I’ve ever had,” she said. Another customer concurred: “The bacon is sooooo good.”

Nottermann returned, victorious, and raised a pack of bacon in each hand. Everyone at the table clapped.

Nottermann resumed his seat at the table as talk about his offerings continued. One lady convinced another that she had to try the pork loin because it makes the best roasts, especially for parties. The men picked at a bowl of peanuts on the table. Then one of the women started talking about food writer Michael Pollan’s documentary series and said she was happy to know where her meat came from. “Helm, do you have Netflix?” she asked. He shook his head. Everyone wondered out loud if the series was available on DVD. Probably not, they concluded.

Two more people stopped in to pick up orders. They signed some paperwork, spoke briefly with Nottermann, then followed him outside to get their meat. By 6:37 p.m., all five orders had been filled. Nottermann lingered a little longer, eating peanuts and answering questions, then bid everyone farewell.

The ride home was a little quieter. It was too dark for me to take notes. Ice was still frozen on the windshield, but inside the car was warm. Nottermann checked to make sure I was comfortable. We talked a little about his younger days and how he misses dance halls. One night, he said, he and his friends had a grand party, from which their wives had to drive them home.

I asked if he’d thought of retiring. “I think I’d be bored to death,” he answered. My mind wandered, and I looked up at the stars. “Yeah, I’m a lucky man,” he mumbled.

We pulled up to his house four hours after we had left it. Nancy and two dogs greeted us. She’d been doing some accounting for the business on QuickBooks and had a pot of soup warming on the stove. She set two places at the dining-room table and sat with us while we ate, asking about our trip.

Before I left, she showed me the farm photo album. Inside were beautiful pictures of pigs playing in dandelion-speckled fields, Helm feeding a baby steer, Ben’s pumpkins. And then I was off for the hour-and-a-half journey home. I thought about my experience with Nottermann and came to a conclusion: He is not a lucky man; he is a happy man. If I could be half as content, I think I will succeed at life.
The original print version of this article was headlined “Meat-Up”

Link to Seven Days Article

Chopped Pork Liver Spread

Chopped Pork Liver Spread
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
This recipe comes from our webmaster, Cheryl Michaels. Cheryl says "I love liver cooked the traditional way, floured and sautéed in bacon fat with onions. I only eat liver that has been raised without antibiotics, so having pastured pork from Snug Valley Farm is a real treat. Because half a package is enough for dinner, I tried using the rest to make a spread similar to the traditional chopped liver that is made with chicken livers. I found the spread needed to be spiced-up a bit so I add hot sauce and dill gherkins. Enjoy!"
Cut of Meat: Pork Liver
Serves: 6
  • ½ lb pork liver
  • 4 Tablespoons salted butter
  • 4 Tablespoons olive oil (more if needed)
  • 1 large onion, slivered
  • 2 hard boiled eggs, cut in half
  • 1 tsp sriracha sauce
  • 5 dill gherkins (baby dill pickles) coarsely chopped
  • salt and freshly coarse-ground black pepper
  1. Wash and dry the livers, place on a broiler pan and broil until just cooked through. Cool and chop into large chunks.
  2. Melt the butter in a sauté pan and add the oil and slivered onion. Cook on low until the onion is very soft and yellow. Add the liver pieces and stir to coat them with the oil.
  3. Place the liver mixture, eggs, and sriracha in a food processor and pulse until well chopped. Add pickles and a generous amount of salt and pepper. Pulse to mix. Liver should be a consistency that can be spread.
  4. Taste mixture and adjust seasonings. If it is too dry add a little olive oil and pulse to mix.
  5. Refrigerate until about 10 minutes before serving. Serve on toasted rounds of french or rye bread or on rye crackers.
For a mild spread soak the liver in milk before broiling, omit the hot sauce and pickles and add nutmeg.

Have fun experimenting with this recipe. You might substitute kim chee for the pickles (adjust the salt and sriracha sauce).

Or you might try adding fresh cilantro. We'd love to know your results, comments welcomed below.