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Visited Perth Pork Products today

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Hello all

We visited Perth Pork Products today - (www.perthporkproducts.com) and put a down payment for 1/2 of a Tamworth pig. Pickup will be on or around November 20.

The were immensely friendly, helpful and accommodating. We met much of the family and they took us for a tour of the farm.

They are willing to cut it pretty much any way we want, and were very helpful in explaining things (this is the first time we've done something like this). We're getting the head, leaf fat, heart, and a bunch of other miscellaneous bits, along with the meat. They will cure and smoke certain cuts, but we like to do that ourselves. We will be able to pick it up unfrozen, which surprised us. Can't get blood though.

They have Berkshire, Tamworth, Ironage pigs and wild boar. The Berkshire and Tamworth were quoted at $2.50/lb, the Ironage and wild boar were quoted at $3.50/lb. We purchased a wild boar rack they had in their little store and will try it tomorrow night. If we like it, we will probably purchase a wild boar at some point in the near future. They are quite small, probably around 200lbs for a larger one, so storage wouldn't be much of an issue.

We saw the wild boars, the Berkshire and the Tamworth pigs. Tossed in a few pumpkins for the pigs, and fed the wild boars some walnuts. The animals are definitely some of the happiest looking farm animals we've ever seen.

I'll put in an update once I've picked up the meat, but if you're thinking about doing something like this but are a bit intimidated, they are a great place to call (and even if you don't need a bit of hand holding).

Thanks,

Brian

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  1. For those who are wondering what an Ironage pig is, it's a Tamworth/wild boar cross.

    3 Replies
    1. re: Tatai

      We've not had the Ironage from Fred at Perth but have had Wild Boar and Berkshire. We're looking forward to trying our first Tamworth this year.

      Fred is a pretty thoughtful, knowledgeable and savvy farmer. I wouldn't be surprised if he starts working with another breed in the future like Duroc or Mangalitsa.

      1. re: Machiavelli

        From their website, Duroc is part of the mix for their "commercial pork". Mangalista would be very interesting. they're supposed to be REALLY fatty.

        Thanks for the tip on Perth Pork. I plan on picking up either half a Berkshire or half a Tamworth within the next year.

        any feedback you have on what breed to select is welcome.

        1. re: grandgourmand

          I know that Olliffe gets their tamshire pork from Perth Pork Products. It is a a hybrid of Tamshire and Berkshire that their butchers Jason & George asked them to raise for them two years ago. As far as I have learned, any landrace (sp?), duroc or yorkshire pig's are the same as what you get in any grocery store.

    2. Good stuff. Keep us posted. Why'd you pick the tamworth?

      4 Replies
      1. re: grandgourmand

        We're trying Tam's this year because I've never tried them and because they're known as 'bacon' pigs. Long lean bellies ideal for bacon/pancetta.
        The meat is supposed to be very good as well.

        In terms of something to start I think Berkshire is a very good start. It's very much like commercial pork in flavour porfile but way better.

        1. re: grandgourmand

          To be completely honest, I hadn't heard of Tamworth pigs until last week when I looked at their website.

          The description indicated they made good bacon, and we make our own bacon, so that intrigued us. Ultimately though, it was the fact we hadn't tried them before.

          We did have the wild boar rack last night, and it was very good. Not dry or gamy in the slightest, very good flavour. We will be purchasing a boar in the future.

          Thanks,

          Brian

          1. re: brianl999

            Just curious, since the website doesn't provide the details of pricing etc, how much does a berkshire or Tamworth pig cost? and do you have to pick up at their location only?

            1. re: Royaljelly

              brinl999's OP listed the prices for 1/2 or whole hogs, based on breed. They also have a "commercial" pork, that I assume is substantially cheaper. You also have to assume a certain amount of processing cost (e.g. vac packing). A whole Berkshire hog will cost somewhere around $500. When I called them, they said they come to Toronto on a weekly basis.

              There is pricing on the site for boxes of various cuts. I wouldn't buy these because they don't appeal to me. But they also sell specific cuts. You'd have to email for pricing.

        2. I've been meaning to update this thread for awhile, but if I haven't been busy with work, I've been processing pork.

          Picked up the pork without incident on Nov 20, as promised. It was a 250lb animal, hung weight (internal organs removed, but I believe everything else attached). It was packed in four boxes (ended up splitting a pig with mt brother-in-law), and they all fit (snugly) in the back of my three-door Ford Focus without needing to put the seats down. We took everything but the head and feet.

          If you're thinking of buying a pig, and think you want the leaf and back fat, be prepared for a _lot_ of fat, at least from these Tamworth pigs. The leaf fat alone made several liters of lard, and I haven't even touched the back fat yet.

          The meat is excellent, with an abundance of fat around the cuts, and very well marbled. I need to adjust when making sausage - often sausage recipes call for extra fat, ie 4lbs pork, 1lb back fat. If you actually do that with this pork, you end up with a very, very fatty sausage (and I like fat). I'd just omit the extra fat entirely.

          The bacon turned out quite well (lots of fat!). There ended up being 16lbs of it after curing and smoking it (you can order it cured and smoked it for you if you want - I'm assuming there's an extra charge).

          We made three 5lb batches of sausage out of the trim (that's a whole pigs worth).

          I was surprised as the loin muscle seems quite small, but I'm guessing that's the kind of thing 'commercial pork' emphasizes.

          All in all a good experience, and one I will do again. I left a deposit for a wild boar, as the rack we bought was quite tasty, apparently it will be ready in February sometime.

          Thanks,

          Brian

          6 Replies
          1. re: brianl999

            Thanks for the update. Great to hear your adventure so far. I've got a bag full of back fat I've got to render. Can I use it for confit?

            Also, did Perth Pork vac pack everything?

            1. re: grandgourmand

              I've never done a confit, but I am familiar with the concept, and I don't see why not. We like to cook carnitas (cube pork, put in pot, add beer/water/broth to cover, herbs/spices, cook until water is gone, fat has rendered and pork is browned and crispy, several hours), and I've always wanted to make a confit of that.

              It was all paper-wrapped. I should mention that there was a cutting charge of $.32/lb, which I wasn't really expecting. I realize that the abattoir doesn't do this for free, I just figured it was 'buried' in the price. That being said, it's quite possible they did tell us about it earlier and I missed it. I get distracted easily sometimes...

              To get it vac packed, it was an additional $.19/lb. We have a Foodsaver, so we were OK with just wrapped. When I do it again, I'll get certain cuts vac-packed. You can only process so much pork, so the majority of it needs to be frozen relatively quickly. Foodsaver bags aren't cheap, so I don't think we saved any money doing it ourselves. We just weren't 100% sure exactly what to expect, so just doing it ourselves was easier the first time.

              Hope that helps,

              Brian

            2. re: brianl999

              Really interesting, thanks for the update brian!
              I've bought a half-lamb before, but you know, they're a lot smaller... This would definitely ahve to be split...!

              ---
              http://www.foodpr0n.com/ -- food. is. love.

              1. re: brianl999

                When I purchased a half hog (Duroc) from beefconnections (R.Huber) the processing was done by Frey of Mount Forest. There was no extra charge for sausage making, or curing and smoking the ham. Nor was there a $.32 /lb charge for paper wrapping. My impression is that Perth Pork is a bit pricey.

                1. re: jayt90

                  The processing fee at Frey's is about 45c/lb, I believe. Don't know about the extra charges for making sausage, etc. But that price is the base price for cutting and wrapping in paper. To get vac-sealed, you pay extra.

                  1. re: jayt90

                    There may or may not be a charge for sausages, etc. I just assumed that extra processing would cost more, maybe it doesn't.

                    The price was in-line with other producers I had spoken to, at least for the Berkshire, I don't know of anyone else that sells Tamworth pigs. I never asked how much the commodity pork was.