Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook: Homegrown Recipes from Our Family to Yours

Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook: Homegrown Recipes from Our Family to Yours

Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook: Homegrown Recipes from Our Family to Yours

Five Marys Ranch Raised Cookbook: Homegrown Recipes from Our Family to Yours


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Featuring 75 family-friendly recipes straight from the ranch, this is a “beautiful, candid, heartfelt window into the life, kitchen, and home of [a] wildly successful rancher and businesswoman” (Erin Benzakein, New York Times–bestselling author of Floret Farm’s A Year in Flowers).

Explore home and family on the ranch with Mary Heffernan—rancher, entrepreneur, restaurateur, wife and mother. Together with her husband, Brian, they own Five Marys Farms and are raising their four daughters—all named Mary—while pasture-raising cattle, pigs, and heritage lambs. Their work ethic is as strong as their commitment to family, and Mary believes in nourishing meals shared together—in their cozy cabin in winter and around the outdoor camp kitchen in summer.
In these 75 satisfying, homespun recipes you’ll find something for every meal and mood, including Mary’s favorite beef, pork, and lamb dishes, as well as the secret to her famous sidecars! Some of the stand-outs include:
• Homemade English Muffins
• Loaded Carne Asada Nachos
• Wood-Fired Porterhouse Steak with Mushroom- Shallot Sauce
• Chili-Rubbed Pork Chops with Charred-Corn Salsa
• Grilled Lamb Sliders with Tomato Chutney and Havarti
• Crispy Brussels Sprout Salad with Citrus-Maple Vinaigrette
• Cast-Iron Hasselback Potatoes
• Mary’s Lemon-Bourbon Sidecars
• Sweet Drop Biscuits with Grilled Peaches and Cream
Evocative photos capture the breathtaking beauty of the ranch, the carefree joy of the girls with their horses, the majestic Great Pyrenees who roam the land, and so much more. Get ready to fall in love with ranch life, hearty recipes, and the Five Marys.
“A book that makes you want to leave the city and move to a ranch to have this kind of life yourself.”
—Tiffani Thiessen, actress, producer, TV host and author

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781632173072
Publisher: Sasquatch Books
Publication date: 09/08/2020
Series: Five Marys
Pages: 288
Sales rank: 1,079,660
Product dimensions: 8.30(w) x 10.80(h) x 1.10(d)

About the Author

MARY HEFFERNAN and her husband, Brian, left behind the busy life they'd built in Silicon Valley to become cattle ranchers with their four young daughters—all named Mary. Together they own and operate Five Marys Farms, an 1,800-acre ranch in the mountains of Northern California where they live, work, and raise all-natural beef, pork, and lamb. Mary and Brian sell and ship directly from the farm to families all over the US. They share their meats with local customers and visitors from far and wide at their popular restaurant and bar, Five Marys Burgerhouse. Five Marys was awarded Best Farm in America by Paleo magazine and has been featured in Oprah magazine, Real SimpleSunset, and other national publications. Mary has a fiercely loyal following on social media and hosts popular summer farm dinners and weekend retreats at the ranch. She and Brian believe in raising meat naturally and that great cooking starts with well-raised ingredients.

Read an Excerpt

In 2013 our lives took an unexpected turn. My husband,
Brian, and I had a comfortable lifestyle in Silicon Valley with our four healthy girls, great jobs, and a beautiful home. We worked hard to make a good living there for many years: Brian owned his own small law firm, and I had built a number of small brick-and-mortar businesses, including two restaurants. We had lots of great friends and many social commitments. We had everything we were supposed to want—we were living the
American dream. But we were inspired to change the direction of our lives. We bought a ranch and decided to move to a rural mountain town to raise livestock together as a family.

I grew up in Menlo Park, the heart of Silicon Valley, before it became a bustling hub of opportunity. I left California to attend college in Virginia,
where I started on the path to medical school. After college, I returned to my hometown and started tutoring local kids. I saw a need for a place where the kids could do their homework with tutors on staff, so I started my first business,
called Academic Trainers. It made me realize how much I loved owning a small business. And I had big ideas for more.

A few years later I was volunteering at a fundraiser and met a tall, handsome guy who drove a pickup truck but spent his days in a suit and tie. It was love at first sight. Brian was working his way up in a big firm, and I was managing my tutoring business and working on my next venture. We were married in 2006. After our first baby, Francie, came along, Brian decided to start his own law practice and leased office space upstairs from my business.

We enjoyed working close to each other and decided we wanted more of that.
Along with a few other family-centered businesses, we opened two farm-totable restaurants serving quality food made from the best ingredients we could find. We worked with top local chefs to identify just what we wanted and what was important to us.

Sourcing consistent, high-quality meats year-round proved to be difficult.
After a lot of research and a few years of searching, we knew exactly what we were looking for: well-marbled Black Angus beef from cattle with excellent genetics that were raised naturally on grasses and finished with barley. We wanted beef that was dry-aged for twenty-one to twenty-eight days for outstanding flavor and consistency every time.

When we couldn’t find anything that met our criteria, we decided to do it ourselves. We found the historic Sharps Gulch Ranch in the mountains of
Northern California outside of Siskiyou County—or we like to say it found us.
Our hope was that we could build an operation to produce our own consistently excellent, humanely raised meats, all while continuing life as we knew it.
With some help from my brother-in-law, a fifth-generation cattle rancher in Eastern Oregon, we set up operations and jumped into ranch life while trying to run our businesses in Silicon Valley. When we purchased the property,
we thought we’d just go up on the weekends, hiring a ranch manager to handle the day-to-day operations while we managed our businesses during the week.
We quickly realized we couldn’t do both things well.

A few months later—and about two hours into the six-hour commute we made every weekend—I turned to Brian and asked, “What are we doing?
Driving to the ranch every weekend is not sustainable. Let’s commit to this full time.” It was an easy decision to make. But it wasn’t easy to unwind the life we’d created.

Brian and I decided to sell our home and all of our businesses, including our two restaurants and his law firm, and move our family of six to the ranch for good. It was a huge change. We left behind the only livelihood we’d ever known and set our sights on creating a life and a sustainable business in a rural town with a population of just 681 people.

This decision wasn’t much of a shock to those who knew us. People often ask my mom if she’s shocked we ended up as ranchers, and her answer is always “No, it makes perfect sense for Mary and Brian.” Brian and I both have deep roots in California agriculture and share a love of the rural Western lifestyle. In 1867 Brian’s great-great-grandfather Casper and his wife, Theresa,
came to Ventura County from Germany to farm sugar beets. Casper was known as one of the first agriculturalists in the region. The couple eventually bought the four-thousand-acre Conejo ranch. Their son, Antone, continued ranching and later settled in Orange County, where Brian’s dad started their family in agriculture. Brian’s dad, Tom, was a banker in Ventura as a young man but decided to go back to his farming roots when Brian was an infant.
Moving his young family to Imperial County, Tom grew alfalfa, grains, and specialty crops. When Brian was sixteen, the family moved north to Tehama
County, where Tom began to farm prunes, almonds, and walnuts. Sadly, he suffered greatly from Parkinson’s soon after the move and passed away in
2015, but Brian’s dad made many visits to our ranch before he died. He was clearly very proud to see his son following in his footsteps.

My ancestors immigrated to the Pajaro Valley from Ireland in 1851 and grew strawberries, apples, lettuce, and sugar beets in Santa Cruz County. They sold gold-rush supplies to miners and worked as farmers in the Watsonville area for five generations. Much of my family remains in California to this day.
My grandfather moved away from farming but was a great man with big ideas and an entrepreneurial spirit. He always appreciated farmers and ranchers and found his own business niches—a trait I like to believe he passed on to me when I was a young girl riding around in the front seat of his car while he talked about his next big idea.

So Brian and I set our sights on creating a new business in ranching in the mountains of Northern California. We had a big job: we needed to find a way to make the ranch work to support our family, and possibly even support the next generation someday. The first year of business was tough—Brian and I
jumped with both feet into a life we hardly knew. We had 1,800 acres of pastureland and mountain hillside, and quickly started growing our herd of cattle,
flock of sheep, and passel of pigs.

It took us well over a year to determine the best way to ship and sell the meat we were working so hard to produce. We raise the animals for market,
meaning that we breed and care for them before harvest, and then after butchery we ship the beef, pork, and lamb directly to customers all over the country.
Little by little we grew our business from the bottom up, selling small boxes to friends and family, traveling for deliveries, and selling from farm stands.
Eventually we opened the Farm Store, from where we now ship our meats directly to customers’ doorsteps anywhere in the United States.

Moving to the ranch was a big change for our home life as well. All of a sudden our family went from sharing a spacious house in the suburbs to a rustic 760-square-foot cabin with only a wood-burning stove for heat. Our initial thought was to live in the cabin for a short time while we got our bearings and eventually build a larger house on the property. But we soon realized we craved the comfort of the cabin; we all loved being so close together. We simply didn’t need much more space. We spend so much of our time outside working that this small, cozy home is perfect for our family and all that we need.

Living on the ranch has made our four daughters—ages seven to twelve and all of whom really are named Mary—extremely independent and resourceful.
We honestly couldn’t do all this without them. The hard, physical work of raising animals, growing hay, and running our businesses has meant we’ve relied on them to help from the very beginning. The girls were young when we moved to the ranch, but we quickly realized that they were so much more capable than we could have ever imagined. They learned how to drive the hay truck, take care of their horses, and are in charge of the bottle babies, helping the momma animals through difficult births.

This collaborative effort has allowed us to branch out beyond livestock. Not long after moving, we built our camp area up the hill from the cabin so that we’d have a place to host family and friends on the ranch. We also offer summer experiences, where we share the food we raise, cocktails, and a little more about ranch life and what goes into raising animals with our guests.

In 2017 we opened Five Marys Burgerhouse, a restaurant and bar in town,
after swearing we’d never open another restaurant. But when the opportunity to purchase the historic bar came up, it just made sense. We serve all our own meats to the local community as well as to guests who visit from near and far.
We also produce our own small-batch single-barrel whiskey with our partner
Alchemy Distillery in Arcata, California, and use local produce raised by our neighbors whenever possible.

Taking a chance by purchasing the ranch and jumping in with our family was the best decision that Brian and I have ever made. We look back at where we were just a year ago, or six years ago, when we started from scratch and can’t believe how far we’ve come. It hasn’t been easy, but as we like to say,
“Nothing is easy—if it were, everyone would do it. But it’s worth it.”
This cookbook is a culmination of all of this, an invitation to join us around the table to share a meal, a glimpse into our free-range life of dirt and sunshine and animals and community. Because, at the end of the day, when the sheep are tucked away in the barn and the woodstove is warming the cabin,
there’s nothing we like more than to gather in the kitchen, cooking together and savoring some of our favorite family recipes. We are proud to share them here with you, and we hope you enjoy sharing them with your own friends and family.

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