The owner of Peter Springs Alpaca Ranch, LLC, Dorothy Pipkin-Padilla, began a new venture in 2014, Wild Mountain Meats, LLC; purveyor of Alpaca meats featuring: burger, steaks, chops, ribs and sausage.
While Alpaca is a staple in South American countries, it is beginning to find a place on the palates of North Americans. It has become available in, still existing, butcher shops (Ye ’Ol Geezer Meat Shop in Moab, for example) for the residential kitchen; and making its way into gourmet restaurants.
The Alpaca for Wild Mountain Meats comes from Dorothy’s ranch, so they are locally bred and raised. The processing is done by Jerry’s Custom Meats, located in Helper, UT; and is certified safe by the State of Utah.
Approximately 50 percent of a carcass is used as prime cuts, such as loin cutlets and steaks, which are sold in either the fresh or frozen meat market.
Secondary cuts are processed into sausages, hot dogs, ground meat and processed alpaca hams.
Alpaca meat should be cooked quickly on a high heat to retain its natural tenderness. For the best results, the meat should be served rare or medium and allowed to rest before serving.
Nothing from the Alpacas is wasted. The hides are made into leather goods. On the ranch, the Alpaca are sheared and their wool made into thread for weaving. In February 2015, Dorothy (who is also the manager of the Monticello Welcome Center) opened a new business on Center Street (across from the City Office) in Monticello; “Paca Pantry: Everything Alpaca and More”.
While the store is currently open Friday and Saturday only; an open house will occur in April; days and hours will be added on.
Paca Pantry also features work from local artisans such as Melinda Redd and Roy Cokenour; personally I am working on an inventory of photos to display at the shop.
If you are interested in anything Alpaca, visit Paca Pantry or call (435) 419-0750 to find out what meat cuts are available; arrange a tour of the ranch and meet the Alpacas; the babies are adorable!
Here is my recipe for Alpaca Shepherd’s Pie using ground Alpaca sausage.
Alpaca Shepherd’s Pie
1 lb. ground Alpaca meat, or Alpaca/Pork sausage; 1 cup chopped mushrooms; 1 Tbsp. butter; 1 cup frozen peas, thawed; 1 and ½ Tbsp. Worcestershire sauce; 3 cups mashed potatoes; ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese; 1 tsp. garlic powder.
Preheat oven to 350F; spray a one and one half quart baking dish with nonstick cooking spray.
In a 10 inch skillet, medium-high heat, brown the meat until no pink is showing; drain any excess oil. If using only Alpaca meat, add half teaspoon of salt plus one quarter teaspoon ground black pepper for seasoning. While meat is browning, melt butter in another 10 inch skillet, medium heat, and sauté mushrooms for five minutes.
Into a medium bowl, mix together browned meat, mushrooms, peas and Worcestershire sauce. In another bowl, mix together the mashed potatoes, cheese and garlic powder.
Spread out one cup of potatoes on bottom of baking dish and partially up sides. Spoon meat mixture into bowl; cover completely with remaining two cups of potatoes.
Bake for 35-40 minutes; until potatoes are slightly browned. Let rest for 15 minutes before serving.
Makes six servings.
Wild Mountain Meats, LLC; 15 East Peter Springs Road; Monticello, UT, 84535,
Phone: (435) 419-0750; Email: firstname.lastname@example.org; Website: http://wildmontainmeats.com