Pigs eating 2s

At Wickedfood Earth we run free-range pigs as an important mix to our farming model. Not only do the pigs supply us with meat for processing, they assist with various aspects on the farm including tilling areas of land that we have earmarked for crop cultivation. They live outdoors and are not confined in small cages or overcrowded barns.  In addition to being able to forage in large camps, we supplement their diet with fresh vegetable offcuts supplied by the various packing houses in our area. This means that our animals are eating vegetables that are fresher than those available to the consumers on supermarket shelves.

Our  animals are all raised completely naturally, in a free-range environment, without the use of routine antibiotics and growth hormones or stimulants. Due to these natural farming practises, our animals take on average, twice as long to reach maturity. This means that the muscles of the animals get to work, which ensures added flavour. It does also however mean that the meat quite often benefits from being cooked at lower temperatures for longer periods.

Few animals have been as useful to man as the pig, and yet through its eating habits it has received a bad name in culinary circles due to fear of disease. Pork, from unknown origins should never be eaten raw, due to a parasite found in the meat, that is killed with cooking. This has unfortunately led to pork often being overcooked. This is also the reason why it is incredibly important to know exactly where your pork comes from. Questions that should be asked when purchasing pork:

  • Is it growth hormone and antibiotic free?
  • Has it been ethically raised preferably free range, but if not, then in pens large enough for the pigs to roam about.
  • Has it been slaughtered at an ethical abattoir, where all the health checks are in place?

To kill any potentially hazardous parasites, the pork only needs to reach an internal temperature of 60°C, the same as that of medium beef. To allow for an additional margin it is recommended to allow the internal temperature to rise to 65-70°C, but do not allow it to go further as this will severely dry the meat out.

Because pork should always be cooked thoroughly, meat should be roasted at a lower temperature for a longer time. A higher starting temperature, however will colour the meat crisp on the surface.

The nicest way of eating pork is with a crackly skin. To make crackling, score the skin and rub it liberally with oil and salt.

For a full list of Wickedfood Earth pork recipes, click here …

Should you wish to order pork, please contact Mike on 072 548-8814 or earth@wickedfood.co.za.