You’ve probably heard about an ecological footprint, but have you thought about your handprint? If you focus on your footprint, the best you can get is zero, meaning that you take up no space at all (impossible, and no fun!). If you focus on making your handprint bigger than your footprint, the world is better for you having been in it. What are you doing, to make your handprint bigger than your footprint?
We have heard from a number of people that, while they adore being able to order large quantities of locally grown, juicy pork, they would very much like to know how much their order will cost before they commit. I get that! When we sell sides, we can tell you if it will be a smaller side or a larger side, but we can’t tell you exactly how much the side will weigh, and thus how much it will cost. Sides are wonderful, because you get everything cut exactly the way you like it (1 huge ham? four tiny hams? No hams at all, and extra ground? Your choice!), but they come with a certain degree of uncertainty.
With the Cast Iron MEGAPACK, your cost is fixed, and we aim to include about an extra $100 in pork, compared to buying it piece by piece. It’s like a side, but unless you catch us at just the right time in our process, there is much less flexibility in how it is cut. For most people, though, that’s just fine 🙂
Want to save yourself trips to the grocery store? Invest in a MEGAPACK, and enjoy a freezer full of pork!
At Cast Iron Farm, we love to collect recipes for Things To Do With Odd Bits. Trotters are the foot and ankle part of a pig, and are is full of gelatin, collagen, and might possibly be the fountain of youth (or so this article claims).. and are also one of the things people ask us about most often when we have it listed on our sale board (what is a TROTTER?!?). There isn’t much meat on a trotter, but with a pressure-cooker or slow-cooker, all the delicious goodness gets transferred into the cooking liquid. Anyone with joint issues should definitely be eating more trotter broth!
This recipe comes highly recommended by one of our wonderful trotter-loving farm-supporters (thanks, Fiona!). Do you have a favourite recipe for trotters or hocks?
Guernsey Bean Jar Ingredients
1 pigs trotter or shin of beef
200 g (1 cup) haricot beans
200 g (1 cup) butter/lima beans
1 large onion chopped
2 carrots diced
1 bay leaf
2 cloves of garlic (optional)
1 litre beef stock or water
Salt & pepper
Soak the beans overnight in plenty of cold water.
Drain and rinse the beans the following morning, then load them and all the other ingredients in the slow cooker/crock pot.
Cook on low for 8-10 hours, or high for 5-6 hours or until the beans are soft.
Switch off the slow cooker and remove the trotter and/or shin of beef. Remove the meat from both, discarding the bones, skin or gristle.
Pop the meat back in with the beans, stirring well and check seasoning adding more salt & pepper as necessary.
One of our favourite things to eat is pulled pork, made in our pressure cooker. Here’s Erin’s highly variable recipe for Cast Iron Pulled Pork.
Take 1 large pork butt roast. It doesn’t matter if it’s still frozen, or perhaps it does, but Erin has no idea because it’s always still frozen.
Put the roast in the pressure cooker with some variation on these ingredients:
– fried onions and/or garlic
– half a bottle of BBQ sauce
– molasses (not very much)
– garam masala, fried in a bit of coconut oil
– tomato sauce
– water to bring the level of liquid up to almost cover.
Pressure on high cook for half an hour. Open the cooker and cut the pork up into chunks (maybe a couple of inches?) so it cooks faster.
Pressure cook for another half an hour.
Take pork out, skim the fat off the cooking sauce as much as possible. Mix about half and half cooking sauce with barbeque sauce to make the pulled pork the right consistency. Heat it all up together, and pull the pork apart into pieces in the warmed sauce.
Enjoy, either on rice, or on toasted buns, with cole slaw (or crunchy raw cabbage) on the side.
Did you know you can sign up to receive updates? On the sidebar, you’ll see a spot you can put in your name and email address, so you can get a notification whenever I post something. Facebook is not a great way to stay in touch, because facebook only shows you what it thinks you want to see, in order to get you to spend more time there.. and sometimes it’s wrong 🙂
We have SOMETHING NEW! We are having Edward at Black Market Meats make some sausage and bacon for us. He does small-batch, artisanal sausage, and was completely aghast at the thought of it when we asked him if he uses pre-made spice mixes.
We will have Edward’s sausages and bacon for sale within the next few weeks, and will be selling them at our regular sausage price ($12/lb). For people that love sausages, and want to try them all, we have a Sausage Party Pack: 3 flavours of Cast Iron sausage for $30.
Let us know how we can help you get happy pork into happy bellies. We are available on facebook, phone (250-642-5445), or email (name of farm + sooke at gmail).
This is a favourite recipe in cold weather. If you have less than 9 people (plus farm-helper guests) in your household, you may want to make a half batch. This has been a great success with one of our farm people that is allergic to wheat.. she can eat things made from this dough after a few days of fermentation.
3 c warm water
1.5 Tbsp yeast
1.5 Tbsp salt
6.5 cups flour (at least 5 c white flour for best results, rest can be mixed other flours)
Mix the water and yeast in a big bowl, let it sit a bit so that the yeast dissolves. Add salt and flours, mix. Cover. Place somewhere warm and ignore for at least 12 hours. If you have a cold pantry where you can keep it, the dough stays usable for up to 5 days (after which it gets a bit too alcoholic), or you can keep it in the fridge. For best results, give the dough a bit of time to warm up if it’s kept really chilled.
Use resulting dough to make:
BREAD THINGIES: Take a scoop of dough, stuff it with whatever cooked ingredients please you. (Cheese and jam! Bacon and cheese! Pork and leeks! Chocolate and marshmallows! Pulled pork! The chunky bits from leftover stew!)
Fry in lots of fat (lard is best) until both sides are golden and it has risen a bit (at least 5 mins).
BREAD or BUNS: add enough flour to allow you to form it on a baking dish without being a sloppy mess, cook at 350-425 until done. Very nice crust when you cook it in a pre-heated dutch oven, high heat, with the lid on.
PIZZA: Roll it out on a heavily floured surface, with lots of flour on top, so it doesn’t stick to your rolling pin. Put pizza stuff on top. Cook like pizza.
The possibilities are endless!! Have you tried something like this before? Tell us your secret recipe.. please?
We have resupplied on all porky goodness, at least until you fine people buy it all again. We have a few Family Packs available (27 lbs, variety of cuts, $250), and are happy to make you up a box of delicious pork to fit any budget. Take a look at our price lists (above in the title bar) to see what could best suit your family.
We get a variety of breeds of piglet from different small local breeders, and these ones were a Landrace cross, meaning that the meat is a bit more lean than we have had in the past. This is good news for meaty bacon lovers, but not so much for people that enjoy making their own lard. Let us know if you are interested in lard, and I’ll see if I can find you a good bag of pork fat – if not, we’ll have some in our next batch. I usually include a bag of fat with every family pack. Making lard is easy! Lard is full of Vitamin D, and we use it as our main cooking oil.
Our pigs are fed lots of different kinds of food – everything from organic salad mix, to beets, to yoghurt, to chicken. Pigs are omnivores, and do best on a widely varied diet. We also give them a bit of bread and pig kibble, and occasionally cake or pie (they LOVE that). They even get sushi! Our animals eat near- or past-dates food from a grocery store – the food is on the shelves for sale in the morning, in the fridges at the back of the store in the afternoon, and in our truck headed back to the farm for sorting in the early evening. It is more work for us, to feed our animals this way, but both for the quality of the animals and the saving of good food from turning into waste, we believe that it is well worth the effort. If you want to know more about this program, ask a question – I can go on and on about how wonderful it is for small farmers, farm animals, grocery stores, and the planet 🙂
Hello, lovely people! We will be selling pork at the Sooke Fall Fair this weekend! A fresh batch of pigs means MORE BACON!! These pigs made leaner bacon than we’ve had previously – it is interesting to see the difference in the pork as we try out different breeds of pig, and different proportions of feed. Danish Landrace pigs (these are a Landrace cross) are well known for their length and their excellent bacon.
Thanks to our delightful, fabulous, and hungry customers, we sold out of bacon in a week last time, and pretty much everything else in the second week, so come see us early! The market runs from 10-2.
Our latest batch of pigs have just headed out, and they are looking great! These two sows are a Duroc/Hampshire+Landrace/Yorkshire cross, and they came to us from a large pig breeder in Alberta. The pigs are a mix of quick-growing commercial breeds, and Danish Landrace are well known for their length and excellent bacon. These pigs are long and lean(ish), and should make excellent pork.
Usually, we like to buy local piglets, but there were none available to us this spring. One strange thing that happened due to these piglets coming from a large breeder: their tails are docked. This is common for large pig operations, because pigs that are kept together in higher concentrations tend to get a bit neurotic. Sometimes, a pig will chew on the tail of the pig in front, resulting in infections and injury (which no one wants), so the solution that the large pig producers use is to dock all tails, which causes the end of each docked tail to be exquisitely sensitive. If a docked tail is chewed, the affected pig will immediately remove their tail from the zone of chewing. Our pigs still wave their tail-stubs around when they are especially happy, it just looks a little odd.
These pigs have especially enjoyed: fried chicken, and having the hose turned on so they can decide to run through the spray.
We will be accepting orders for sides from these pigs until August 12th, and thereafter will be accepting orders for freezer packs. Any pork that is left will be sold in individual pieces at the Sooke Country Market on Saturdays.