Local Pork

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Local Pork

Postby Redwinger » Sun Jun 16, 2013 10:06 am

Yesterday, I prepared a 4.5 lb boneless pork roast on the Weber using the indirect heat method. Rubbed with a bit of salt, pepper and a dose of Penzey's 33rd and Galena Rub. It was the juiciest, most flavorful best pork roast I've ever made...period. The major difference (IMO) is the meat was sourced directly from a local processor (slaughterhouse) and had a nice cap of fat and it was generously marbled. Waaay different than the blah, meh, industrialized stuff available in the local grocers.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jun 16, 2013 12:07 pm

I haven't seen a well marbled pork roast in many years. When the cooks started counting fat grams every five minutes, a lot of our delicious meat went downhill, IMHO.

A member of our family drove me crazy with her fat grams. Every other sentence she was reminding everyone of them. One time I was on the phone ordering a several pizzas for lunch after a morning of swimming, and lots of pool play. She was in the same room and said, "can you imagine how many fat grams from all that pizza?" to another family member. I was so frustrated by that time, that I told her to go make herself a salad and leave me an my fat grams alone! :evil: Sometimes you just have to speak up.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Joy Lindholm » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:08 pm

Luckily there has been a great national backlash to flavorless meat, and there are many great farmers and ranchers committed to humanely raising heritage (ie. flavorful) breeds of stock animals. If you are near a major metropolitan area, chances are at the local farmers market or food cooperative there are options for local pork (as well as other things). Breeds like Berkshire and Red Wattle are common here, and both are very flavorful - each better for different cuts.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Redwinger » Sun Jun 16, 2013 2:20 pm

It is "funny" that you mention farmer's markets. I live in a rural area and the local farmer Markets are pretty dismal. Our farmers take their products across the river to Louisville where they can demand, and get, prices that us poor country folks can't afford. The saving grace is that beef and to a limited extent, poultry is available directly through "on-the-farm" sales. We go to one farm for beef, another for berries, another for poultry and another for eggs...all within 5 miles of my front door.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Jenise » Sun Jun 16, 2013 3:11 pm

Joy Lindholm wrote:Luckily there has been a great national backlash to flavorless meat, and there are many great farmers and ranchers committed to humanely raising heritage (ie. flavorful) breeds of stock animals.


True. And yet in some areas, the only pork available is the heavily salinated "Moist and Tender (tm)" variety. Friends of mine are moving to Havasu from here, and that's the case down there. It was also the case in Southern California when I left there ten years ago--I would have thought that insanity would have reverted by now, but I guess not.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Karen/NoCA » Sun Jun 16, 2013 4:46 pm

We have a lot of ranches in this area, one is llano seco in Chico about 80 minutes from here. Trouble is, I see their cuts of pork in locally owned markets and they look uneven and very small. I like my pork chops, to be an even thickness, and bone-in center cut being my choice. I think I will email them and see if they do custom cutting. I know their pork is very popular and starting to show up in restaurants.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Mike Filigenzi » Sun Jun 16, 2013 7:19 pm

Best pork around here is from a guy named John Bledsoe. He's at our farmers' market every Sunday, so if we're looking to do something really good with pork, we buy it from him. He's quite a character as well.

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Re: Local Pork

Postby Christina Georgina » Mon Jun 17, 2013 1:09 am

The backlash needs to extend to raising the standard of meat cutting. There are many sources of well raised meat locally but NONE of the processors know how to wield a blade. As a result you get the bizarre shapes and uneven cuts that Karen mentions. Many of the really interesting cuts get thrown into the grinder because of ignorance about how to break down a carcass. This does make for tasty ground but it is a waste and so disappointing.
Have you ever seen a fresh ham sawed into quarters ??? It was not pretty and totally unusable except for further boning by myself and kabobs. That was my first foray at buying a pig and never went back to that processor.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Joy Lindholm » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:30 pm

Karen/NoCA wrote:We have a lot of ranches in this area, one is llano seco in Chico about 80 minutes from here. Trouble is, I see their cuts of pork in locally owned markets and they look uneven and very small. I like my pork chops, to be an even thickness, and bone-in center cut being my choice. I think I will email them and see if they do custom cutting. I know their pork is very popular and starting to show up in restaurants.


A popular thing here, and one that may fix your issue, would be purchasing a whole or half hog at a time. You will need a big chest freezer or a lot of friends to go in on it with, but often times you can request how certain primals or sub-primals are cut. For instance, you could request the loin (or shoulder or ham, etc.) be left whole, so you could portion it yourself to the desired thickness and weight. It takes a bit of butchery practice, but if you are comfortable breaking down large cuts of meat, that is definitely the way to go. And you will often pay much less that if you bought each cut separately. Farms here charge roughly $2-3 a pound for a half or whole hog.
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Re: Local Pork

Postby Redwinger » Mon Jun 17, 2013 12:49 pm

The processor here has a small retail operation and will pretty much "custom" cut to our specifications regardless of order size and we only buy the cuts we use and prefer. For example last time I went there, the boneless pork roasts were $2.19/lb and center cut pork chops were $2.09 . If I ordered a whole loin, which includes some end chops, the price would have been $1.89/LB. Guess things are "cheaper in the country". :wink:
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