I Bought a Pig

I love pork. That was not always the case. I have always loved sausage and bacon and some ham, but pork roast, chops and fresh ham were NEVER my faves. John was the exact opposite. When I met and married John he couldn’t stand fish and chicken.  Then we discovered the problem…he had never had it made properly. His Mom knew how to make chicken and fish in exactly 3 ways, all with the same seasonings – baked dry as a bone, broiled within an inch of its life and greasy fried. We figured this out early in our marriage and now he is a sushi lover and eats all manner of fowl with a smile. It wasn’t until about 6 years ago that I realized my problem with pork (and lamb FYI) wasn’t the flesh itself, it was that Mom, bless her heart, really isn’t that good of a cook, but I can’t really blame her. My grandmother was a terrible cook too. The only thing she made REALLY well was pot roast – probably because you are supposed to cook the shit out of it and she was good at that – and all other pot roasts are forever compared to hers. (Moment of Truth – Mom LOVES to bake and cook with the kids, but despises making dinner every night. Her favorite thing to make for dinner is reservations).

As I began eating at multicourse tastings where I didn’t have a choice on the menu, and I started hanging out with chefs and other food writers, I found myself eating all the things that I previously thought I didn’t like. What a revelation to have pork tartare. A mind blowing experience to have a pork chop, cooked barely medium with so much flavor and so juicy that it required a napkin. That had never happened in my youth I can promise you.

So now, here I am cooking pork, stuffing my own sausages, smoking bacon and ham and even curing my own pancetta. And buying a pig…well, part of a pig. Friend John M told me about a family run farm that allows you to buy shares of animals. We went in together on a half pig and it was picked up Friday. Dealing with a family farm that humanely raises and slaughters my food appeals to me on so many levels. I love supporting a small business. I love knowing exactly what’s going in my belly and shopping local when possible is also a big thing for me. While many of you may not think that Utah is local, it’s less than 100 miles from my doorstep and there aren’t a ton of meat producers here in the Vegas Valley that sell direct to consumer.

I have to say, I thought with it being a family farm that it would arrive fresh and wrapped in butcher paper, ready for me to prep for the freezer. NOT SO! It arrived frozen and already vac sealed, saving me a step. We divied up the goods and they are safely ensconced in my freezer awaiting the tender ministrations of me and friends. I have no idea what I will be cooking first, but I am sure with quality like this, it’s bound to taste great.

For more information on Christiansen Farm, check out their website.

While you wait for my next installment, I suggest you drool over these porktacular pics! And if you like them here is a shameless plea to SHARE and /or SUBSCRIBE to the blog and the FB page and follow along on Instagram and Twitter for a first look at what I am eating NOW.

Please forgive the quality of some of these pics – they were before I got my swanky new camera!

Porchetta waiting to be sliced at MTO's Swine & Wine dinner
Porchetta waiting to be sliced at MTO’s Swine & Wine dinner
Cochinita Pibil by Chef Jose "Lupe" Avila
Cochinita Pibil by Chef Jose “Lupe” Avila
Now closed Comme Ca's Brian Howard had Kurobuta pork tartare on the menu for Bacon Day with crispy chicharons.
Now closed Comme Ca’s Brian Howard had Kurobuta pork tartare on the menu for Bacon Day with crispy chicharons.
Charcuterie by the amazing Brain Howard at the now closed Comme Ca
Charcuterie by the amazing Brain Howard at the now closed Comme Ca