Dawson Valley Free Range

Dawson Valley Free Range

Thursday, September 13, 2018

Pork and ways to cook it.

Pork is our main business. We started out with a few free range pigs and we now have hundreds. Over the years we've gone through various stages - sometimes we don't have enough pigs and then, like now, we have too many pigs! Pork in the shops appears to be very cheap and this is due to the fact that there has been a glut in the commercial market for a while. It has filtered down to us. So when you see really cheap pork, maybe think about how that pig was raised. It was most likely raised in a shed and never saw daylight until the day it was put on a truck to go to the abattoir.

Our pigs are happy pigs that get to live out side all their lives. They get to dig in the dirt, wallow in the mud and generally play around and explore.  We think that this improves the flavour - many people tell us that it has a clean fresh taste.

If you compare our prices with conventional pork, yes we are more expensive, but if you compare our pork with the price of meat in general, it's not so bad. So please consider that when you are next shopping.

Our free ranger packs have been quite popular with some of our customers and many say that they enjoy getting different cuts of meat that they don't normally cook with. Someone said the other day that they aren't sure what to do with diced pork. This blog to day is to mostly talk about different ways of cooking our pork.

Diced Pork  - I use this in a stirfry, casserole, curry or a soup. If you have a favourite chicken or pork recipe, think about swapping it out for pork. I do this all the time and there's quite a few recipes on the Recipe Tab that have pork - shanks or osso bucco - just use diced pork instead. I have even been known to make a Moroccan spiced pork dish - someone reminded me that that wasn't very traditional. I don't really care I'm a multicultural cook and love trying different flavours.  Please don't be scared to try something new.

Mince - If I have both beef and pork mince, I'll use a bag of each in spagetti bolognaise or lasagne, but if I only have pork (like now) I just use pork on it's own. You can use pork mince in any recipe that you would use beef or chicken mince. It makes excellent meatballs because it tends to stick together better than beef. I've also got plenty of recipes for pork mince. My favourite on the recipe tab of the blog is the Asian Style Meatballs, but just recently I made Low Tox Life Meatballs and they were really good. This is the recipe here. I basically followed the recipe but reduced the sweetener to one tablespoon honey and increased the broth because I like gravy/sauce.

And you can't go past a good lasagne. I like to use a grain free fresh pasta, but I have also made it with roasted, sliced pumpkin instead of the regular lasagne sheets.  You can also make tacos, nachos, savoury mince, pastry pie, shepherds pie (which Edmund cooked last night for us), or any mince dish really.

Pork Steaks - these can be cooked in any way you would cook a regular steak. The best part is that pork steaks are always tender! Don't overcook them, cook them about medium - you want them a little juicy still. They work exceptionally well, with a cream sauce (think Diane Sauce) or a mustard sauce, or just plain old onion gravy. We have collar, butterfly and sometimes leg steaks. The leg steaks are what you would use if you want to make schnitzel.

The other really important note to make with our pork, is that sometimes it does smell a bit stronger when you first take it out of the cryovac bag. The best thing to do, is to take the meat out and just leave it on a plate or in a bowl for a few minutes before actually cooking it. For some reason the cryovac smell seems to be stronger with pork than with any other meat.

If you have any doubts about how to cook our pork, please ask. I love cooking and should be able to give you multiple ideas!

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