08 September 2021
The story behind traditional pork
How to choose the best quality pork to cook in your Big Green Egg
Pork is one of the ingredients that is perfect for cooking in the Big Green Egg. There is a reason why classics such as spare ribs, pulled pork and slow-roasted pork belly are so popular to cook in the kamado. But there are also many other pork dishes for which your EGG provides the finishing touch. What’s our number one tip? Choose good quality pork.
If you have a Big Green Egg, then you’ve bought the best quality equipment and undoubtedly want to work with the best quality pork. This combination forms the basis for every successful dish. After all, good pork is tasty, tender, juicy and loses little or no moisture during preparation and carving. You can taste the difference!
How do you recognise good pork?
When buying pork, you should look for meat that is nice and light in colour. It should also be nicely dry on the outside, but not dried out, no matter which cut of the pig you buy. If the cut contains a layer of fat or has a nice fat marbling, then this fat should be bright in colour. Of course, you can expect quality from a good butcher. Above all, look for pork with a story, as the story will tell you a lot about the quality of the meat.
The provenance and story behind the meat
Meat, including pork, is always traceable, so, in the unlikely event that something is amiss, the provenance can always be traced. However, you don’t always hear about the provenance, but if you do, then you are often good to go. A butcher who sells quality will proudly tell you where the pork comes from and what kind of life the pig had. Such factors play an important role in the quality of the meat. After all, a good life makes for good meat.
A well-kept secret
For this reason, we are seeing more and more initiatives by farmers who – either in association with fellow farmers or individually – supply their meat under their own label. They choose to work according to a traditional philosophy with respect for the animal and a delicious, full-bodied taste as a result. This starts with the choice of a particular breed, such as Duroc, Piëtrain, Large white, Essex, Berkshire, Hampshire and Mangalitza or with a cross between a number of pig breeds, with the exact crossbreeding sometimes a well-kept secret of the farmer(s). Each breed has its own characteristics, from certain traits or the fertility of the breed to a good conformation of the animal and a nice fat marbling of the meat.
Peace and quiet
Thanks to the peace and quiet that these pigs are given, they grow up in a very natural way. The more space the animals have, the longer it takes for them to reach the desired slaughter weight, and the more beautiful the marbling and the tastier the meat. So these pigs not only have a nicer life, but they also live longer. The feed the animals receive, in addition to what they themselves often scavenge, is also tailored to their natural needs and influences the final taste of the meat.
The animal welfare that is so important to these farmers not only makes for happy pigs, but also for an old-fashioned, full-bodied flavour. Always look for honest meat with a corresponding story, which the butcher is proud to tell. It may cost a little more, but you get a great deal in return!
Do you feel like making a tasty dish in your Big Green Egg with quality pork in the leading role?
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