Recipe: BBQ Beef Sliders


  • 2 lb. Kettle Club Beef Roast
  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1 Tbsp olive oil
  • 1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes
  • 1 18-ounce bottle of your favorite barbecue sauce (check out our great selection in the shop)
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 12 slider sandwich buns



  1. In a large, heavy pot, heat olive oil on medium heat. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, roughly chopping them in the pot. Add the barbecue sauce, increase heat to medium high and simmer for 10 minutes.
  2. Add the beef roast. Bring to a low simmer, cover and slow cook until meat is very tender, stirring occasionally, about 3 hours.
  3. Remove the meat from the pot. Use a fork and knife to separate the roast into small pieces. Set aside
  4. Increase the heat on the pot to medium/medium-high, uncover, and reduce the liquid until thick. Stir often to prevent burning.
  5. Return the meat to the liquid in the pan. Warm both thoroughly. Add salt and pepper to taste.


The Science of Sausage

Ever wonder who is behind the scenes making those delicious  sausages of the month? Meet our own Trevor Schultz, butcher and sausage savant. Trevor explains how he comes up with   featured sausages and his strategy for adding flavor depth to each one.


Where do you find inspiration for your sausage creations?

Ideas for sausages come from my surroundings, seasons and  available ingredients. When we have exceptional seasonal ingredients available, like fresh sweet corn or Michigan Blueberries, it’s pretty easy. Some ingredients take a bit more strategy. A while back, Kettle Range was asked to create a few sausages for an event, each featuring a different Central Waters Beer. The challenge here was to create a seasoning base for each sausage that accentuated the tasting notes of its paired brew.


To accomplish this, I sampled each beer and noted the flavors that were present. (Hard work, I know). I then formulated a seasoning base for each sausage that provided balance and depth. Sweet with bitters for contrast, mild flavors with strong to highlight the under notes and melding similar flavors to add intensity. All of these worked together to create a great depth of flavor.


Explain what is meant by flavor depth?

I want my sausages to be an experience for the palette. Meaning I want flavors to play off one another and come through sequentially. This is what we’re talking about when we refer to flavor depth. It can take a bit of noodling sometimes, though the idea is quite simple. I like to think about flavors in layers. Imagine you’re creating sand art and adding different colors to create an aesthetically pleasing display. Maybe you’re wanting a certain color to stand out, but also to meld with the colors on either side. Same idea here for building flavor profiles. We begin with low intensity flavors and move to higher intensity flavors, filling the gaps with accenting ingredients like salt.


Take for instance seasonings that are desired for a specific sausage, like fennel in an Italian. This seasoning is high in concentration, so it’s the first layer of taste that comes thorough. Then we have other layers of ingredients in lower concentrations like oregano, nutmeg and wine. These flavors linger and add complexity without overpowering the primary seasoning, fennel.


Tell us about this month’s featured sausage, the Roasted Corn Brat.

Spring and summer are easy because there is a plethora of fresh, seasonal ingredients. But late Summer brings one of our favorite grill-able treats, sweet corn. I start by roasting the corn in the husk to steam the corn until almost done. I then husk it, and put it back to the flame to finish it off, charring the kernels and changing the flavor beautifully. Add this to our original brat seasoning, and you have a perfect balance of sweet and salty.


Thanks for sharing your secrets with us, Trevor. Enjoy the sweet corn brat this August, Kettle Club!

Farmer Spotlight: Avrom Farms

To say that Hayden Holbert of Avrom Farms uses sustainable farming practices is an understatement. He speaks of his farm as an agro-ecosystem, each living thing an instrument playing its piece in the harmonious song of the land as Holbert orchestrates.

“Every organism here has a job,” Hayden explains. “We move our chickens across pasture daily so they may take advantage of the nutrients provided by the land, and also fertilize the pasture for future growth. By moving the chickens to new pasture every day and encouraging them to forage amongst the diverse polyculture of plants and insects, the result is a fundamentally different chicken.”

Holbert raises Freedom Rangers, a heritage breed of chicken known for its ability to utilize pasture and succulent flavor. These breeds tend to be higher in yellow omega 3 fat and contain less saturated fat than faster growing commercial breeds.

Freedom Rangers were initially bred out of protest of the fast-growing, industrialized breed of chicken, the Cornish Cross. They come from Northern France as part of the Label Rouge movement, which is similar to the USDA Organic Standards, but has much more stringent regulations on animal welfare with a focus on small, diversified farms. In addition to their superior flavor, Freedom Rangers are equipped to thrive in the outdoors and transform grasses, bugs, and grain into highly nutritious food.

“Choosing chicken breeds that are slow-growing is an important part of producing chicken with extraordinary flavor,” Holbert explains. “A chicken that has taken longer to grow will have more complex proteins, antioxidants, and vitamins than the 5 week old turbo-charged chickens common throughout nearly every grocery store in the United States.”

Hayden has been raising his Freedom Rangers chickens, heritage pork and even vegetables and mushrooms since he took over the family farm a few years ago. The land has been in Holbert’s family since his grandfather purchased the property in the 1950s.

“I’ve known since the age of six that I wanted to be a farmer,” Hayden says. “I grew up in Chicago but spent many summers enjoying the country life. Driving tractors, taking care of livestock – so agriculture has always been a big part of my world.”

Thanks for all you do for the for the sustainable agriculture community, Hayden! And thanks for the fantastic chicken!