Kunekune “Suckling Pig” Oven Roaster – Sweet & Spicy Rub

 

This preparation was a “suckling pig” sized oven roaster prepared October 2018. I say “suckling pig” because this is a small roaster pig, approximately the size at which a regular farm breed suckling pig would be around weaning. In this case, it was an older Kunekune piglet, about 4 months old. The hanging weight for this roast was 18 lbs. This is about the largest size that could comfortably be done in the oven, unless of course you halved the roaster and did one half in two pans on two oven shelves.

This roaster was brined in my usual brine recipe (Sea salt, bay leaves, fennel, star anise, juniper berries), then liberally salted and peppered and rubbed with my sweet & spicy rub (recipe here).  Skin was scored and the rub worked into the crevices.

This was slow-roasted at 200F for about 6-7 hours, approximately. The final result was a perfectly cooked, tender and falling-apart-at-the-bone oven roaster.

This roaster was enjoyed by folks at an AKPR Sanctioned picnic in October 2018.

Petite Kunekune Whole Loin-Halved Wrap Roast

Originally prepared for Easter 2019, we brought in a number of half and whole loins as a special holiday offering. This recipe features the entire primal cut loin section of a smaller pig.

We’ve brined the loin, then cut the loin in half, seasoned with a sea salt/black pepper/brown sugar/garam masala rub, and stuffed with apples, shallots, garlic, rosemary. The two loin sections are tied with cotton twine, rubbed with olive oil and pierced with cloves, and roasted at 325F for 20 minutes per pound.

The result? Perfection! This is a true statement centerpiece dish for any holiday meal or special occasion. This recipe was inspired by a half wrap roast prepared by Lonedove KuneKunes.

Each photo has a caption describing the process.

Kunekune pork pork loin primal cut
Whole loin section from a younger pig. These halves range in weight from 8-11 pounds
Kunekune pork pork loin primal cut
The loin is halved and ready to be seasoned and stuffed.

Brine Kunekune pork tender pork
But first, a brine. My go-to brine is sea salt, fennel, star anise, fennel seed, juniper berries and bay leaves.
Submerge in the brine for several hours.
These two loin halves will be stuffed with apples, garlic, rosemary and shallots that are drizzled with olive oil, sea salt and pepper.
Stuffing the loin.
The loin is tied, then a dry rub of sea salt, black pepper, brown sugar and garam masala is rubbed all over the entire two tied roast pieces.
Cloves are pieced into the skin and scattered on the top with more olive oil.
325 F for 20 minutes per pound. Skin is crispy, deepest center portion of the meat is at 160F with a meat thermometer. Remove the ties and enjoy!
Ready to carve, slice, pull… however you want to cut it!

 

Pan-seared & Oven-finished Sirloin Chops, with Whipped Lardo and Chanterelles

Sirloin chops, also known as sirloin steaks, are cut from the back section of the loin, in the hip area. With sirloin chops from lard breeds, tenderness is typically not an issue as long as the meat is properly cooked (i.e. not overcooked, it will still have pink color). In regular “bacon breeds” (pigs bred for leanness, low fat and more common pale color), these chops tend to be tougher and are best braised or slow cooked.

Again, with lard breed chops you needn’t worry- tenderness is built in thanks to the intramuscular marbling and overall fat quality.

I used some of our Rosemary & Garlic Whipped Lardo to prepare this meal. This is used in place of cooking fats, such as olive oil, in this case. It’s whipped pork fat with seasonings. To sear the chops I used the same method I’ve written about in this post: “How to cook a Heritage Pork Chop, featuring Kunekune Pork“, only when I put the chops into the oven to finish, I added a liberal dollop of whipped lardo to each chop. This melted, infusing the chops with flavor from the rosemary, garlic, sea salt, pepper and vinegar.

Fresh beans and farm-foraged chanterelles also enjoyed the same whipped lardo seasoning, although the flavoring was a bit heavy on the chanterelles. Butter or olive oil is best for those.

The final plating, a delicious and perfectly cooked sirloin chop with beans from our garden and chanterelles from our woods.

This recipe was originally shared on Facebook in July 2018.

How to cook a Heritage Pork Chop, featuring Kunekune Pork

How to cook a rare breed heritage pork chop! These are Kunekune chops…

Liberally salt and pepper, sear on all sides in a hot pan. Add some Olive Oil or Corva Bella Farm Whipped Lardo and sear some more! Get sizzling!

Preheat oven to 450F, put your chops in a baking pan, add a little more whipped lardo on top (or butter or olive oil), cover with foil… and oven finish until your meat thermometer reads 135F.

Let rest about 5-10 minutes until internal temp reads 145F

Enjoy!

Yes, the meat will still be pink on the inside. If it’s completely white, you overcooked.

Mangiamo!

Sweet & Spicy Rub for Pork Bones or Ribs!

Originally posted on Facebook, August 2018:

Last night we made roasted #kunekune pork bones. Let me tell you… this was quite possibly the most tasty and finger-licking good way to make use of these bones, ever! My son and I barely waited for them to cool, before we dug in and stood in front of the stove, gnawing the sweet & spicy seasoned morsels off the bone. It was incredible, and we’ll definitely be cooking up the rest of the bones this way.

This is a great way to cook ribs, in particular!

From the post I made last night: Whole Hog Eating — pork bones! We got two big bags of pork bones back from our recent processing, as the meat was all utilized for sausage making… so we had a lot of bones! And there is still meat on the bones, honestly several meals for us. Out comes a tasty dry rub, and a long, slow roast in the oven. After the meat is off, we can make pork stock with the bones. Nothing goes to waste!

The rub recipe is an adaptation of one I found online- adjusting some of the herbs and spices. I’m sharing my version of it, as I’ll most definitely be using this rub again!

Amazing Sweet & Spicy Rub

1 cup brown sugar

1/4 cup smoked paprika

4 tbs salt

1 tbsp chili powder

2 tbsp onion powder

2 tbsp garlic powder

2 tbsp black pepper

2 tbsp sage

Ultra Crispy Slow Roasted Kunekune Pork Shoulder

Originally published on Facebook in August 2018
We are working our way up to doing an oven roaster sized pig, but for now I’m experimenting with a few different recipes and techniques- utilizing a quartered oven roaster weighing about 4.25 lbs.
 
This first recipe was for slow cooked crispy pork shoulder, it roasted all day long at 250 F after being rubbed down on both sides with sea salt and cracked black pepper. Then back into the oven to crisp the skin at 500 F! This is the first time I’ve ever successfully achieved crispy pork skin on a roast, so I am pleased!
 
 
We *may* be able to offer oven roasters this holiday season, also commonly known as “suckling pig”, although our oven roasters will be 4-5 months old. Also known as “Porcelet” or “Maialino”
 
The deep red meat color and marbling is something that comes with age in our pigs. Younger pigs will always have paler meat! It is still incredibly tender, however!

Kunekune Whole Loin Porchetta – Easter 2019

A masterpiece! Kunekune whole loin porchetta. Deboned 10 lb whole loin, stuffed and rolled.

This was prepared for Easter 2019, with variation on traditional porchetta recipes.

Stuffing includes ground Kunekune pork, liver, minced onions, olive oil, chopped pignoli and pistachio, chopped figs, sherry, sea salt, black pepper, sage, rosemary, thyme, parsley and oregano. It’s not traditional, but I also like to add bread crumbs to my stuffing.

Wrapped and tied, on a bed of carrots, parsnips and shallots, decorated with more fresh herbs.

Fresh petite Kunekune ham roast with Maple Bourbon Honey Glaze

This recipe was for petite Easter hams that we’d brought in for the holiday. Publishing it here so that it doesn’t get lost in the clutter of Facebook. It was exceptional!


We have these perfectly sized fresh hams available for purchase, $9/lb They are UNCURED. The word “ham” simply means they come from the hindquarters of the pig- it doesn’t have anything to do with cured, salty or pink meat. 

I worked with a recipe by Andrew Zimmern and made some ingredient adjustments to my liking and to accommodate a smaller sized ham.

Dry Rub:
2 Tbsp Fine Sea Salt
2 Tbsp Ground Black Pepper
2 Tbsp Garam Masala
2 Tbsp Brown Sugar

Glaze:
1/8 cup spicy brown mustard
1/4 cup soy sauce
1/4 cup honey
1/8 cup bourbon
1/4 cup maple syrup

325F

Place uncovered in the oven for 20 minutes per pound, until the internal temperature reaches 160 degrees, checking with a meat thermometer.

Connor’s Kunekune Pulled Pork

Connor’s pulled pork recipe, originally written for his 4H project blog in 2019. Enjoy!


My Mom and I are making pulled pork for the first time. I am going to tell you the recipe and how it tasted. We decided to cook it in the crock pot instead of the oven.

The part of the pig we used for the pig is a picnic ham. picnic ham is the lowest part of the pigs shoulder. You can also use pork shoulder called Boston Butt, or fresh pork ham.

Pulled Pork is known as one of the most popular dishes in the south. You can get it pretty much any where. Barbeque is so famous due to it starting in the south. It first started when Native Americans started barbecuing pigs that were introduced to them by the Spanish.

We researched some recipes online and added ingredients from two recipes, and added our own ideas to make our pulled pork.

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon chile powder

worcestershire sauce

half a bottle of dark beer

a big vidalia onion

1 tablespoon paprika

2 teaspoons garlic powder

1 teaspoon mustard seed powder

quarter cup brown sugar

2 teaspoons pink sea salt

1 teaspoon  ground black pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 pork shoulder

bottle of barbeque sauce

 

1. Mix all the spices together and rub them all over the pork.

2. Wrap the pork in saran wrap and let it sit in the fridge for a couple hours

3.Put it in the oven or crock pot till it is tender and falling apart (We added dark beer and cut up onions for extra flavor and so it stayed moist)

4. When done cooking take the ham out and start taking the bones skin and fat out

5. Pull the pork into smaller pieces and mix it together with you’re choice of BBQ sauce

6. Toast up some buns and eat up

 

This turned out absolutely amazing it was super moist and flavorful unlike most pulled pork I have eaten. We have enough leftovers for three more lunches of pulled pork sandwiches. We will definitely will be making more pulled pork with our other cuts of ham.

Lardo di Kunekune di Corva Bella

This post was written by Connor and originally shared in 2016 to his 4H blog. We hope to make traditional Italian lardo again soon!


Today, I am going to teach you how to make Lardo and a little of its history. Lardo is cured pork fat and is an Italian delicacy. I have Italian ancestry so it is cool to learn about the food they ate.

Italians believe in using all the pig. Lardo is an easy and cheap way to make the fat into a delicious dish. Lardo was once a poor man’s food and now it is seen as a delicacy. Due to them working so hard, they needed a cheap and healthy food to get by. So they used the fatback that was seen as useless and made it into a delicious ingredient to eat with all their meals. Since they also didn’t have refrigeration having a cured food solved the issue of rotting. Pigs are one of the most common livestock in Tuscany. Historically all the rich people got the meat and the poor got all the less used parts like the fat, ears, feet, etc.

Below is a picture of the town of Colonnata and its marble quarries. The town is located in the mountains right outside Florence.

Lardo is cured in salt and countless herbs for a delicious flavor and is then left in a marble container for six months. Here is a example of a Lardo curing cellar and shop.

Lardo can be using in countless recipes to add some extra flavor. Below I have some pictures of dishes made with Lardo. I can’t wait to use it in six months.

Now let me tell you how to make delicious and easy Lardo at home.

The fat used in this recipe is from the KuneKune pigs I was raising since they were piglets. They had an amazing life. They ate pasture, produce and had ton of area to roam. I would not buy the fat for this from the supermarket as it tastes worse and it is pumped full of artificial hormones. Buy the fat from a organic, pastured heritage breed pig. Also the fat from the super market wouldn’t be from a lard pig. A lard pig is a lot more fatty and delicious than a meat pig.

Ingredients you will need:

  • Fresh Rosemary
  • Fresh Thyme
  •  Kosher or Sea Salt
  •  Fresh Sage
  • Fennel Seeds
  • Black Pepper
  • Ten Cloves Of Minced Garlic
  • One Slab Of Fatback

Instructions:

Step One: Add all the ingredients besides the pork into a container and mix them. Make sure to cut up all the herbs.

Step Two: Cut the skin off your fatback slowly with a very sharp knife.

Step Three: Cover the fat with the mixture from step one, then add them both to a zip-loc bag. Put the plastic bag into a black trash bag and put it in the back of your fridge to cure for six months. Every month take the Lardo out and redistribute the salt. Add more salt or herbs if needed.

In six months, I will tell you how it turned out and share some delicious recipes. Buon appetito.