The pork we source and prepare is from traditional, black–haired, slow–growing breeds. They are reared outdoors, free to roam as they wish, sheltering from the sun or simply bathing in mud. This relaxed, easy lifestyle really shines through in the meat, and pork is a great example of the benefits and advantages of choosing free-range. Our regular supplier is Plantation Pigs based in Shackleford, Surrey and we also use Orchard farm and the Rare Breed Meat Company.
There's always at least 2 different breeds to try in either shop, but often more so you'll always be spoilt for choice when trying to decide. As we stock whole pigs, it means you can usually have any cut you want, from head to trotter and everything in between.
You can roast shoulder, belly, leg and loin cuts, as well as the simpler chops and steaks. All of these can be tailored to your requirements, bone in or out, skin scored or removed, rolled or left flat! For something special we can prepare a french-trimmed rack, or a trimmed loin with prunes and apricots perhaps? Or any stuffing of your choosing.
We regularly and intermittently source Tamworth, Gloucester Old Spot, Black Pig, Middlewhite, Mangalista and the unique Iberico pork. Some more information on this is below.
The Black Iberian Pig
Native to the Iberian Peninsula, the Black Iberian pig, commonly know as Pata Negra (Black-Footed) enjoys a free-roaming lifestyle in the spanish countryside. This traditional breed has a healthy appetite and will feast on wild thyme, rosemary, mushrooms, and most significantly, acorns.
They have a propensity to eat too much and they store fat both inside and outside the muscle tissue. It is the inside storage that gives us the intense marbling that they’re known for, and this coupled with the acorn rich diet produces a uniquely rich, tender, nutty flavour. It’s good for you too, high in the healthier unsaturated fat, as well as being rich in iron, zinc, and vitiamins B and E!
When it comes to cooking Iberico, you want to get the benefit from the fat which is where that flavour is. You can slow-roast any cut of pork, and if you have the time, you won’t be disappointed with that method here. The Presa can be seared first then roasted slowly with maybe some thin slices of pancetta over the top.
They’re not large so 2 hours at 80-90 would be good, or alternatively 1 hour at about 150 will do. The Iberico chops can be pan or griddle fried on a low to medium heat (But hot for the first 20 seconds) for about 12 minutes, turning every other minute. The oven is good for these too though!