Two weeks ago Matt took our only commercial hog, "Mini-Pig", to the butcher. Mini-Pig was mean to me (biting, running between my legs to knock me down) and to the other pigs (biting, not letting them near the food trough) and it was time for her to go. We weren't expecting anything special because she was just a Yorkshire gilt we had picked up from a local farmer for $30 to keep our first pig company. (Companionship can help with weight gain...until the other pig starts keeping you away from the food!!!)
Like I said, she was raised on pasture but isn't one of our heritage breeds so we weren't expecting anything but normal, grocery-store quality meat. Wow, does pasture make a difference! We opened our first package of pork chops last night...
Look at all that marbling! We were impressed. I have my creative moments, but for the most part I cook about as plain and simple as it gets. I cooked these pork chops to medium/medium rare (which we are comfortable doing with our own farm-fresh pork) in a frying pan with a bit of vegetable oil and Mrs. Dash Grilling Blend: Chicken. (We got a bunch of free Mrs. Dash at the American Dietetic Association Conference and use it on everything. The chicken blend actually tastes great on pork.)
I served the pork chops with stuffing, mashed potatoes, and fresh raw goats' milk for a not-so-well-balanced but delicious meal.
The pork chops were AMAZING. They were juicy and tender and didn't taste like any pork I have ever eaten before. If only I could put it into words. Or, better yet, give you a sample here. Now I am even more excited for our first heritage breed hogs to get up to butchering weight.