Shoppers looking for quality, local pork can now find it through a new website.
Porc.Wales will tell the story of the Welsh pork industry and what makes the pork it produces so special. Welsh consumers will be encouraged to eat more high quality, locally produced pork products as well as helping them to find a supplier to support local farmers and producers and cook up a storm in the kitchen with a range of new recipes.
Porc.Wales, created by Hybu Cig Cymru – Meat Promotion Wales (HCC), showcases the finest pig farmers and premier porcine producers from around the country and includes a directory of regional stockists to link consumers directly with pork producers and butchers – enabling them to source pork produce locally. With a growing innovative pork industry, the Porc.Wales website includes interviews with farmers, butchers and chefs who describe why pork produced in Wales is so unique.
Other highlights of the new website include recipes and features which explore how to use different cuts of pork.
Melanie Hughes, HCC Market Development Officer said: “Wales is well known for producing top quality Welsh Lamb and Welsh Beef but this shouldn’t overshadow the nation’s pork offering. The profile of the Welsh pork industry is growing and it has a fantastic story to tell which we can all be very proud of.
“We believe that the pork that is produced in Wales stands out for many reasons; the climate and the landscape, not to mention the expertise and knowledge of the pig farmers which has been handed down through the ages. The sector is also innovative and has a new generation of passionate artisan producers who make award-winning products.
“This new website will inform foodies about the wonderful producers and the products we have in this sector of the meat industry in Wales, and will encourage consumers to buy good quality, locally produced pork. We’re confident that once they’ve tried it, they’ll be discerning about any future purchases.”
We were asked by Porc Wales to create 2 recipes featuring Welsh Pork. The breed of pork was Oxford Sandy and Black (OSB) and was supplied by Mary Benfield, Teyrdan Hall Farm, Llanelian, Colwyn Bay via Bodnant Welsh Food Centre. The OSB is one of the oldest British pig breeds, having existed for around 200 – 300 years. It is believed to have developed in Oxfordshire. Oxford Sandy and Black are a rare breed pig. They are in the Slow Food Ark of Taste as their numbers are still low. Extinction was a real possibility in the 1980’s but thankfully there are more farmers breeding this pig across the UK.
They are slow growing breed but time does equal flavour! Although flavoursome, OSB is a tender and delicate tasting pork and it makes excellent bacon and ham.
I was inspired by my Bahamian heritage and created a Bahamian recipe using the tenderloin of pork. You should be able to get a copy of the recipe here very soon.
For my second recipe, I was inspired by the fact that this is a rare and old breed pork and I wanted to make a dish using another ingredient that is not as popular today as it was a few hundred years ago: the quince. Quince belongs in the same family as apples and pears and so is a fabulous pairing with pork. I bought the quinces for this recipe at The Riverside Farmers market in Cardiff. I do know I am giving a recipe with an ingredient that is not as easy to find but I am on a little crusade to reintroduce to our plates ingredients that used to be very popular in the UK. If we don’t start using again these traditional ingredients, they will become lost to us.
- 2 pound pork shoulder boned and rolled with skin scored for the crackling
- 2 teaspoons sweet paprika
- 1 teaspoon ground coriander
- 1 teaspoon sea salt
- 1 teaspoon ground black pepper
- ½ teaspoon ground ginger
- Pinch of ground cinnamon
- Fresh rosemary leaves from 2 sprigs of rosemary or ½ teaspoon dried
- 1 large carrot chopped
- 1 large red onion chopped
- 3 small parsnips chopped
- 3 large quinces peeled and cored with each cut into 8 wedges (see tips)
- 5 large garlic cloves peeled and chopped
- 3 tablespoons of pomegranate molasses
- 1 teaspoon of honey, rowan jelly or red current jelly
- 1 cup of water (you may need to top up during cooking) (you can use white wine, cider, or chicken stock)
- Fresh rosemary (2 sprigs)
- 1 bay leaf
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- Juice of half of a lemon
- A deep roasting pan large enough to take the pork, but small enough that the vegetables form a thick layer on the bottom or they will burn,
- Preheat oven to 220ºc (200ºc fan) / 425ºf / Gas Mark 7
- Mix the ingredients together for the spice rub.
- Spread mixture all over the shoulder including the skin. Set aside.
- Add the chopped vegetables (excluding quince) to the roasting pan.
- Add the liquid, herbs, honey/jelly and stir.
- Put the quinces on top ensuring the bottoms are in the liquid.
- Place the pork on top.
- To get a good crackling, rub the skin with some sea salt and place on top of the veg in the roasting pan.
- Place in the hot oven for 30 minutes. This initial high heat and salt on the skin will give you nice crisp crackling.
- After 30 minutes, turn the oven down to 190ºc (185ºc fan assisted) / 375ºf / Gas Mark 5.
- Check the liquid in the pot and top up if it has evaporated.
- Cook the roast for 35 minutes per pound
• Insert a skewer in the thickest part and the juices that run out should be absolutely clear without any trace of pinkness.
• Use an instant read meat thermometer. Take the temperature at the thickest part of the roast. When temperature is 62ºC the meat is cooked.
When the pork is cooked, remove from the pot and allow to rest. The vegetables and quince should be nice and tender and the liquid reduced to a nice gravy. Stir in the juice of the half lemon.
Slice the pork and serve with the vegetables and quinces. Steamed broccoli or cabbage would be a good side dish.
Tips: Quinces are very hard when raw and can be tricky to cut and core. I freeze the quinces which makes it easier to peel, cut and core. The freezing does not change the taste and will have the same texture after braised.
If you’d like to learn more about Welsh Pork, ‘nose to tail eating’, the importance of ingredients and even gain some basic butchery skills then pop over to Food Adventure and check out our Learn How to Make Pâté, Faggots and Black Pudding course led by Illtud Llyr Dunsford, founder of the award winning Charcutier Ltd.