One of the reasons for stoping our lunch, besides getting to spend time with my family with baby #2 on the was, was to really focus on our dinner menu. One way we wanted to do that was by bringing in more whole animals, breaking them down ourselves and cooking each part, making sure not to waste anything.
Since we opened we have been getting our pigs from Timbercreek Organics and a few years ago we went exclusive with them for all of out land based proteins. We love the work they do. The care they give to all of their animals mixed with the natural surroundings that these animals graze on produces flavors that are unlike any I have ever tasted. The closest would be the meat that I used to eat as a child with my grandparents in England.
So at the beginning of the week we got whole hog from Timbercreek. It was a big one weighing in at 220 lb when we got it. The pigs that Timbercreek raises are Heritage Breed pigs. These are pigs that have not been scientifically manipulated to grow a certain way. One of the biggest advantages to Heritage Breed pigs is flavor. There are many heritage breeds and each one brings a little something different to the mix that when combined correctly tastes delicious. Some breeds produce more fat and others produce more muscle, some are bread for certain climates but through breeding a farmer can produce a perfect pig, and that is what I think Timbercreek has done. They have taken Tamworth, Old Spot and Duroc breeds and created a pig that has an amazing fat to muscle ratio that is perfect for our applications at Brookville.
We get our pigs skin on because we like to eat everything but the oink. We broke the pig down into Head, Shoulders, Belly, Tenderloin, Boneless Loin, Skin, Fat and Bones (the hams we have sent off to Kites to cure and we should be getting our first hams back this winter). From these cuts we have been able to create quite a few dishes:
Carnitas Taco w/ Cilantro, Red Onion & Roasted Carmen Pepper Puree
Crispy Pig Skin w/ Tarragon Yogurt
Pig Head Tots w/ Mustard Sauce
Pulled Pork Biscuits
“Chicken Noodle” Soup w/ Spicy Pig Head Broth
Crispy Pork Belly w/ Apple Puree & Raw Apple
Schnitzle w/ Potato Salad
Stock to make our sauces
Lard to cook with
Looking at this list makes me so appreciative of the hard work that Zach and his crew puts in because I am able to do very little to make something that to me tastes delicious. Now I hope that y’all will come on up and try.