On the weekend, I had the pleasure of meeting David Hohnen, aka ‘Farmer Dave’ at the Margaret River Farmer’s Market. David’s adventures into rearing happy healthy animals and production of quality smallgoods is definitely one of his less widely known talents; he is of course renowned as one Australia’s best winemakers. I love wine but it’s no secret I am an even bigger fan of pork so I was delighted that he was so generous with his time; we had a great discussion about what he’s been up to in that regard.
David’s ‘Big Red’ pigs are a mixed breed comprising Tamworths predominantly (think ‘ginger’ pigs), with the more commercially used Duroc thrown into the mix. The result, large red pigs with an excellent capacity to be reared and raised entirely outdoors. These pigs are fed a high quality base diet with the continuous opportunity to forage throughout the day. As I’ve mentioned in a previous post, pigs are instinctively foraging animals and are healthy and happiest when this forms part of their existence. One of the great things about the Big Reds is that they can be dispatched while they are still porkers (about 45kg) and already present decent yet manageable cuts of tender pork.
The Farm House ‘brand’ fulfills all the criteria I am looking for in a meat producer so I took the chance to sample some of the wares on offer at the market including a dozen rashers of bacon and generously sized roasting leg, currently waiting patiently until the weekend [evil laughter]. David’s team of loyal disciples brine cure their pork middles before smoking them with cherry wood sourced locally.
Sunday morning breakfast was incredibly satisfying, an excellent ratio of fat to flesh, possibly a bit high on the fat side to lesser enthusiastic pork eaters, but I was chuffed. The smoky fragrance imparted by the cherry wood wafted through the holiday house and like the pied piper, lured our other sleepy companions from their bedroom! Not too salty, not too smoky, moist and crunchy in all the right places and above all, very very porky.
I encourage you all to try some, The Farm House products and the Big Red range are now available at Fresh Provisions in Mt Lawley, so you don’t even have to go down south to get it.
I put in a big hint that I’d like to see the farm and get to know the team some day and I hope that opportunity arises sooner rather than later! (Yes I’m excited)
Pork on people!