Rich in color, rich in flavor.

Rich in color, rich in flavor.

During the week I decided to pull out some porkchops and have them for dinner. That is one benefit of having a farm.  If you aren’t sure what to have for dinner you just go to the freezer and pick out something tasty.  Ian has become a fan of a brine recipe in the book Charcuterie and when I got home he had the meat resting in the brine solution.  I was appreciative of his effort so I finished up the meal and we had some super tasty chops.  I took this picture after taking it out from the brine but before coating the chops in a whole wheat flour and pan searing them to get them ready for the oven.

When we have shown people our pork the comment we most often get is, “I thought pork was the other white meat.”  This should not be the case.  Pork even by the industry standards, should not be white or pale in color when raw.  The image above is a bit dark in representation, the color was actually a bit less of a dark red.  If I was being critical I would have liked to see a bit more marbeling.  That being said, the meat was juicy and tender and remains so even if not being brined however that was method of preparation that Ian chose that night.

Almost daily I research new recipes and I try to keep abreast of various pork and pig related topics.  In looking for pork color charts to link to, I found a nifty site showing “Hot new cuts.”  I found this to be a great advertisement for pork given that in most people’s minds pork is not necessarily an exciting meat.  I really like the idea of promoting new cuts because it shows the meats versatility.  Many people see pork as a comfort or homestyle food and don’t experiment with it using various flavors other than the drippings and gravy.  One of our favorite flavors to pair with pork is curry.  Combining the pork with curry flavors is something that you pretty much have to do at home because you won’t find many Indian restaurants serving a pork dopiaza or jalfrezi.  In addition we live in a region where there is very little ethinic diversity and the nearest Indian is well over an hour away.

Ok, getting back to the chops shown above, I mentioned before that I would like to see more marbling.  I think production wise the fact that these pigs were butchered about a month later than planned lowered the overall fat content(Note to self: remember to consider hunting season’s impacts on your local butchers’ schedules).  The pigs finished in heavy snow and extreme cold.  We wanted and anticipated that they would be finished just after the glut of apples and acorns but again due to scheduling this did not occur.  December and January butchering was not planned.  Forages were down because it was later in season.  Regardless, the meat turned out great just leaner than we had hoped due to the lower amounts of forage and extra energy expendature due to weather conditions.  This leaness, to some, is a great thing and many customers really appreciate the less fatty meat.  However, for our taste we prefer a bit more fat.  There was some marbeling but we would have liked to see more.  I am excited to see and compare the next batch which will be finsihed on pasture and some early season forests.