PDA

View Full Version : Berkshire Iberico


Norm
04-23-2017, 08:48 PM
Some good friends of mine started a coop of farmers to raise Berkshire pork. That was 20 years ago and they sure have grown, I think last count there was 300+ members. They raise them the old fashioned style. They get shelter with clean bedding, fresh water and a home based supplier of feed. Most are fed out to the 300# range, not what most packers want so they reserve one day to do their hogs.

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-tbpz7sv/0/L/i-tbpz7sv-L.jpg

They have a breeder in Wisconsin that feeds them acorns to mimic Iberico pork. That's a hind quarter I've been stashing away in the freezer to cure for ham.

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-jsw7xnN/0/XL/i-jsw7xnN-XL.jpg

They let me try some of the chops off the same hog, the CI pan was used.

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-sSZQ93B/0/XL/i-sSZQ93B-XL.jpg

Some asparagus that grows wild here cooked on the grill.

https://photos.smugmug.com/photos/i-WZZ3cmN/0/X2/i-WZZ3cmN-X2.jpg

Berkwood farms, old friend of mine started the company 15 miles south of me in State Center.

http://betterpork.com

My friend sure liked it.

Pstores
04-23-2017, 08:51 PM
Very nice..... What kind of Birkshires are they? Shortlegged?

Norm
04-23-2017, 08:53 PM
True Berkshire hogs are shortlegged.

SDAR
04-23-2017, 08:54 PM
Lucky friend!

cowgirl
04-23-2017, 08:56 PM
I've raised Berks, they are personable pigs and good eatin'. Looks delicious Norm!!

Norm
04-23-2017, 09:10 PM
They gave me a runt who's growing fast. Doubt I'll let him go to 300#'s, probably after harvest do a pig roast. You're all invited to come up and help out.

First one I've ever had jeanie, since he's all by himself he has adopted the cats. They hang out there to eat scraps and get warm. Hogs are the most intelligent farm animal in my opinion.

Clay-b-que
04-23-2017, 09:57 PM
Looks awesome Norm! Can't wait to see the whole pig roast! Thinking of doing one myself this summer...

bbqwizard
04-23-2017, 09:58 PM
Oh how I'd like some of that!

Shagdog
04-23-2017, 10:02 PM
Where in Wisconsin are they, Norm? I'd love to get my hands on a good leg for a proccuttio

Food looks great!

Norm
04-23-2017, 10:20 PM
They have farmers that raise them in WI Matt. The one I'm showing came from there but they found out it was too much so they only raised them two years. You can order from them on the website or call. Nice folks but keep in mind they only do a production run once a week. Oh and you don't have to text them either. They answer the phone.

Gore
04-23-2017, 10:27 PM
They're eating acorns? Really? That's not Iberico, that's Bellota! Fark! I'm buying! Seriously, acorns transform the pig fat, making it mono-saturated. It is like olive oil. This is fabulous.

Evil-g
04-23-2017, 11:10 PM
I've had Iberico Ham and it's delicious but that's the extent of my knowledge so I'll just sit back and soak up this knowledge. Thanks.

Norm
04-23-2017, 11:31 PM
To be honest gore I'm guessing they let them graze in the woods after the acorns fall. Not like they have bins of them to ration out every day:)

The loins were good. I undercooked them knowing how fresh they were. If you don't hear from me tomorrow you'll know the pork or Cass did me in!

offshore_SoLA
04-24-2017, 12:31 AM
True Berkshire hogs are shortlegged.
This guy here knows hogs

Pstores
04-24-2017, 06:10 AM
True Berkshire hogs are shortlegged.

Yep, that's why I asked....... so many crosses out there. Good eatin

Big George's BBQ
04-24-2017, 08:25 AM
That looks Great Norm Would not mind having some of that

MisterChrister
04-24-2017, 09:54 AM
Nice leg, Norm! I'm envious of people who are able to live in the country and raise your own food, sure wish I could. Thanks for taking the time to share this with us, though!

Right on Q
04-24-2017, 10:33 AM
FIL had a Berkshire pig for a while and boy did he grow fast! Never seen a pig grow so fast.

Looks great! Thanks for sharing

gtr
04-24-2017, 10:49 AM
I've had that acorn fed ham in Spain - truly amazing stuff.

All that looks great, Norm!

Norm
04-24-2017, 06:09 PM
Thanks folks!

Wish the guy from Wisconsin would do another run of this style. I have tons of oaks on my farm but keeping pigs in would be impossible where they're at. Oh well maybe when I retire I'll give it a go.

My minor in college was animal science, I was going to be a vet or a EE. Glad I chose what I did but still enjoy raising cattle and piggers. Oh and I didn't know there'd be a trick question... :becky:

RolandJT
04-25-2017, 04:28 PM
Norm--I have tried some of Berkwood farms stuff and it is great. Sometimes we can get an acorn fed label on a local Berkshire producer--but I can't remember if that was Berkwood or not. I have tried both ribs and butts--the normal Berkwood is a step ahead of almost any pork I've had and the acorn is a half step above that IMHO. I usually do only salt and pepper on the ribs and butts so you can appreciate the taste of real pork.

If you're debating whether it is worth the extra price, I can say that Midwest Berkshire is a superior product and that fat does provide the extra flavor you'd expect.

MisterChrister
04-25-2017, 05:29 PM
What's the comparative going rate on this stuff vs commodity pork? I'm sure it's worth it, just trying to establish a baseline. My brother lives in Des Moines, maybe I can send him on a mission next time he's headed my way....

offshore_SoLA
04-25-2017, 05:33 PM
What's the comparative going rate on this stuff vs commodity pork? I'm sure it's worth it, just trying to establish a baseline. My brother lives in Des Moines, maybe I can send him on a mission next time he's headed my way....

you can't really compare the 2. commodity pork is raised in a tiny pen and never sees natural sunlight. they can't walk..they sleep and **** in the same location.

Proper berkshire or any heritage breed or specialty pork won't live in confinement. Feed is only half the battle.

Berkshire hogs have smaller litters and much shorter legs.

MisterChrister
04-25-2017, 05:48 PM
I understand that it's completely different, that's why I said I'm sure it's worth it. Just want to know what to expect/budget.

c farmer
04-25-2017, 05:57 PM
That's awesome.

Looks like I will have my wife out picking up acorns this fall in the woods. HA

Garyclaw
04-25-2017, 06:31 PM
Norm, the pigs I raised couldn't wait for me to come clean their pen. Very curious and personable. Hard not to become attached to them. Good luck.

Norm
04-25-2017, 06:53 PM
Give them a call and ask Chris, they price based what the market price is plus a premium. I will say I got some spare ribs from them and was not impressed. Not much meat on them but that was 5 years ago so not sure if they are like that now. They changed who they use for a processor a few years back so maybe it's changed. I got some bellies from them in January and they were around $3.50 if I remember right. But just call and see what it's going for now. They are north of DSM in south Ankeny, maybe have him just drive up and talk with em.

Norm
04-25-2017, 06:58 PM
Keep in mind folks that unlike beef pork is not graded. My uncle is a USDA certified grader for a packer in DSM. I've asked him to take a look at some meat on here to see what he thinks.

It's going to be rainy here so I'll drive down and get some to show what it looks like. I sure don't want folks here to take my word for their product. I'm only a friend of the guy who started it. Shoot me your address in a PM Chris and I'll get you some to see what you think of it.