First off: We do not do full pig orders. We only sell by the cut from our store or delivery. Sorry about that.
We raise English Large Black Pigs because they eat grass without rooting up our pasture too much. We feed them whey and just enough of our grain to prevent them from rooting. They will definitely root if they are short on grain. The most important part of this breed is how docile they are. Our kids can scratch the sows and even the boar at any time.
Their meat is the best we have ever eaten. We did not eat store bought pork for 20 years, for obvious reasons. We mix up a ration similar to our chickens and feed them from a moveable feeder out on pasture. In the winter, this allows us to get them out of the barnyard, and out in the sun to eat. We are able to move the feeder to new pasture that helps prevent mud from accumulating around the feeder and barnyard.
At around 250 lbs they are taken to our local butcher for dressing. We are able to make pepperettes, sausages, hams, and bacon. We always have some in stock at our store for pick up. Our sausages and mostly-meat bacon were a huge hit at the market this year. There is a $20 fee per order for gluten-free sausages (the cost of the testing).
A confession must be made. A good friend had a pink pig he raised the same way we raise ours and was looking for a good home for her. I was very impressed by this gilt’s shape. The muscles and in particular the hams were beautiful. Unfortunately she would not get along with our herd. I had hoped to cross breed one litter and see how they turned out. There are some real genetic benefits to cross breeding. Things got worse when the new pig could not stay with the herd and insisted in living outside the fence. She began ripping up our yard and garden. It normally takes 5 minutes to load our pigs into our trailer, this pig took 4 weeks. Safe to say it made a mess. We finally got her loaded and without hesitation, delivered her to the butcher for her “one bad day”.
The next week we got the meat back. It was down right awful. We questioned the butcher and he said it looked great. What we didn’t realize is that, we had “store bought pork”. The colour was white, fat was tasteless, and it was dry. We had raised what we were running from. The pork industry had bred all the “good” out of pork. Remember the whole “the other white meat” marketing. Our pork is red like beef, and has fat with a taste like no other. What were we thinking in attempting to cross breed this garbage with our heritage breed. Sometimes, as humans, we just don’t think.
When buying meat ask the person selling it to you:
1) Did the meat come from a “downer”.
2) What breed and gender was the animal.
If you get a dull stare from the teenage kid standing at the meet counter, ask yourself, “What am I doing here?”
Boy life throws you some lessons when you least expect it.
The Porking Tips You Should Know
If you are looking for a farm that has it all, you do not have to look further because we got you covered. As a matter of fact, we make sure to offer you the high-quality products you deserve. Feel free to visit our farm every Sunday!
When it comes to pork products, you can definitely rely on us. This is because we raise large black pigs. What makes them special is that they eat grass. We make sure to feed them the right amount of nutritious feeds to make their meat flavourful.
If you did not know, its meat is the best in the market. In fact, some customers said that ever since they tried our pork products, they stopped buying pork products at the grocery store. To make it easier for you we also have a butcher who can do the chopping for you.
Aside from freshly cut pork products, we also offer sausages, ham, and bacon. The great thing about our sausages and bacon is that both are gluten-free.
Wondering how to buy the best meat? Here some tips you should know:
When it comes to buying pork meat, it is best to keep an eye on the colour. You also need to decide how much time and effort you want to put into preparing and cooking the meat.
If you are planning to cook for a huge number of people, it is best to choose pork chops because it is easier to prepare and cook. Choosing loin cuts is also recommended but it can be more expensive.
You should also choose the right thickness. The thickness of the meat also depends if you want to grill, broil, or braise it. If you prefer extra speed and convenience, you should go with boned meat.
If you are planning to buy from the supermarket, you need to check the labels such as the ‘sell by‘ or ‘use by’ date to make sure that the meat is fresh. You should also choose meat that is approved and inspected.
Before cooking, it is best to place an adequate time to defrost. The best way to thaw pork meat while keeping it fresh is by placing it in the refrigerator and not in the freezer. You also need to make sure that the drippings from the pork meat won’t contaminate other food in the fridge.
For proper thawing of pork meat, drain the juices and pat it dry using a paper towel. This is because the juices can spoil faster than the meat. If so, there is a huge possibility that it can contaminate the meat.
When refrigerating pork meat, check the temperature on a regular basis and maintain the proper temperature. It is also recommended to store it on the bottom shelf of your refrigerator. This is to avoid the possibilities of meat juices dripping down.
If you are not sure how long it has been stored in the refrigerator, it is better to throw it away. Do not attempt to conduct a taste test!
To properly freeze pork meat, use moist proof bags. This is to make sure that the bacteria won’t accumulate through the moist. It is also not recommended to use wax paper because it is not moist proof.
After removing it from the original packaging, make sure that it is marked with its use by or sold by label. This is to easily keep track if the meat is still edible or not. If the meat is placed in a can, do not place it in a refrigerator because it might expand and cause the seal to break open.
Before cooking, wash your utensils, cutting board, and your work area. It is also best to sanitize the equipment before using it. It is also highly recommended not to use the same unwashed utensil to serve it on the dining table.
When it comes to marinating, make sure that the meat is totally covered. This is for a more balanced seasoned meat. It is best to marinate pork meat for 6 to 12 hours. However, you should place it inside the refrigerator.
The marinating sauce should not be reused. This is because it might contain bacteria coming from raw meat. If you are planning to use the sauce used to marinade, it is best to boil and use it as the sauce of the meat. The great thing about marinating is that it can shorten the cooking time by 30% to 35%.
Keep in mind that the ingredients need to be cooled down before stuffing them into the meat. You also need to make sure not to overstuff because there is a possibility that it might expand while cooking. The stuffing should only be around 1 ¼ inch to 1 ½ inch thick.
When Trimming and Slicing
You need to use sharp knives to ensure clean cuts. This makes the process easier. Before slicing the meat, you also need to dry the meat off using a paper towel. To avoid curling when cooking, make one-inch cut intervals through the fat and on its edges.
For a crispy pork chop, it is best to preheat the oven and do not cover the meat. It is also recommended to roast it at a lower temperature to make sure that the insides are perfectly cooked.
It is also not recommended to use a sharp utensil to avoid accidentally cutting the meat when turning it over. Cutting the meat while cooking might also cause its valuable juices to escape! It is better to use a wooden spatula or spoon.
When frying, you should use boneless pork meat. This is because it can lay flat on the pan which allows it to cook evenly. Instead of using a fork, you should use tongs or a spatula. Afraid of splattering oil? You should dry the meat first. You also need to make sure that your tongs or spatula is also dry.
It is highly recommended to use canola oil for a healthier meal. You can also use an equal amount of butter and oil. This is to avoid butter from burning.
When Broiling and Grilling
Similar to roasting pork, you need to preheat the broiler or grill for a more flavourful and crispy crust. To avoid the meat from sticking on the grills or rack, it is best to coat it with vegetable oil spray or butter.
For a more flavourful taste, it is recommended to use aromatic woods such as mesquite, apple, hickory, or cherry wood. You also need to place it away from the flares to avoid burning the surface of the pork.
It is also highly recommended to marinate the meat before steaming for a more added flavour. You can just also add some salt to retain the natural flavour of the meat. Avoid removing the cover of the pot when cooking. This is to avoid cooking it for a longer period.
When it comes to stir-frying, it is best to cut it into small pieces to cook it evenly. You can also slice the meat into strips to turn it into bacon. If you want to add other ingredients, it is best to add vegetables and your prefered sauce. Do not put too much oil because the meat has natural oil.
The Different Pork Cuts
It might not be obvious but there are different kinds of pork cuts. The amazing thing about it is that each cut tastes different. These cuts are:
As they say, it is the healthiest part of the meat. This is because there is not much fat. However, it needs to be slowly cooked to keep it moist and tender juicy.
The Shoulder Blade
It is known as the most versatile cut. It can be diced or minced and cooked until it is tender. It is also the cut if you want to grill a steak.
It is the best cut that can be cooked using a grill or a pan. You should also marinate it for more added flavour. With this type of meat, it is recommended to use high heat.
This is the type of cut that needs to be cooked slowly using an oven to retain its tenderness. Shank is usually from the front leg of pork. This is the reason why it is sometimes called foreshank.
It is one of the tender cuts of meat. To make the most out of it, you should slowly roast and let its natural juices flow. It can also be sliced thinly. Planning to make your own pork recipe? You should definitely get your pork meat at Castor River Farm. As mentioned, we offer the highest quality pork!